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This research work that analysis on the impact of public opinion on public policy in Nigeria from 2010-2012 while narrowing it down to the economic policy of deregulation or fuel subsidy removal of 2012. Broadly divided into five chapters, the work breakdown how governmental decisions are being influenced by the opinions of the people in the democracy of Nigeria. History had it that before the discovery of oil, agriculture gave Nigeria about 70% of her income until now oil has earned Nigeria a higher foreign income. Hence, this work fills the gap and age answers to questions on whether public policies are products of public opinion, the impact of public opinion on public policies and if the deregulation is a solution to poverty and underdevelopment. The system theory became the theoretical framework which deals on policy input and policy out put. A historical analysis was made on the topic was made, while the effect of public opinion on public policies were also discovered. Policies for managing poverty and underdevelopment were brokendown in the work. At the end, the work gives an insight and explains the reasons behind policy making in Nigeria and also gave possible solutions to the issue.


Title Page—————————————————-i
Approval Page———————————————-ii
Acknowledgement ————————————–v-vi
Abstract —————————————————-vii
Table of Contents ————————————–viii-x
Chapter One: General Introduction
1.1 Background of the Study —————————1-8
1.2 Statement of the Problem—————————-8-11
1.3 Objective of the Study———————————–12
1.4 Literature Review ————————————12-31
1.5 Significance of the Study——————————–32
1.6 Theoretical Framework——————————32-37
1.7 Hypotheses——————————————–37-38
1.8 Methods of Data collection and Analysis————-38
1.9 Scope and Limitations of the Study——————-38
1.10 Definition of Terms.——————————–39-41

Chapter Two: The Influence of Public Opinion on
Public Policy: A Historical Analysis
2.1 The Colonial Era.———————————–42-53
2.2 The Military Era————————————-53-69
2.3 The Civilian Era————————————-69-90
Chapter Three: The Impact of Public Opinion on
Public Policy in Nigeria.
3.1 The Abrogation of the Anglo-Nigerian Defence Pact
and the Rejection of the Non-Aligned
Policy. ———————————————91-102
3.2 The Rejection of the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) Loan and the Organization of Islamic
Conference (OIC) Membership.—————-102-114
3.3 Establishment of Anti-Corrupt Agencies and
Palliative measures.—————————–114-127
Chapter four: Policies for Managing Poverty and
Underdevelopment in Nigeria.
4.1 The Policy of Nationalization and

4.2 The Policy of Poverty Alleviation.———–138-156
4.3 The Policy of Deregulation and the Opinion against
Deregulation ———————————156-172
Chapter five: Summary, Conclusion and
5.1 Summary—————————————–173-179
5.2 Conclusion————————————–179-182
5.3 Recommendations—————————–182-186
Bibliography ————————————187-189


General Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study.
Since independence in 1960 in Nigeria, different
governments have embrace on one programme or
another. The research work is to examine the activities of
the public opinion on public policy from 2010-2012,
hence, narrowing it down to an economic reform policy of
the deregulation of the downstream oil sector in Nigeria,
also known as the fuel subsidy removal in Nigeria.
Nigeria is a democratic nation. One of the principles of
democracy is the operation of fundamental human rights,
which of allows for the freedom of speech, which is on the
view of the majority, influencing governmental decisions.
Public policy as applied to politics is seen as a statement

of a principle with their supporting rules of action, that
conditions and governs the achievement of their goals.
Government usually engages in different programmes, as
the government is the authoritative body because they
are backed up by the law. Government also has both
power and authority to execute their duties and also
ensure compliance. These programes are directed
towards solving a particular programmes or preempting
them. Therefore, programmes are not just mode for fun of
making them, they are made to solve the societal needs.
They entail the expenditure of public funds.
Before colonialization, the economies of the different
kingdoms that now constitute the Nigeria political entity
were based on agriculture. Since independence in 1960,
the role of agriculture in the economy of Nigeria has been
on the downward trend with regards to its contribution to
GDP. Its share to GDP fell from 61.5% in 1963/1964 to
14.6% in 1983. This has been partly due to the

emergence of oil-Reynolds (1975) argued that agricultural
development can promote economic development of the
underdeveloped countries in four different ways:
1. By increasing the supply of food available for
domestic consumption and realizing the needed
labour for industrial employment.
2. By enlarging the size of the domestic market for
the manufacturing sectors.
3. By increasing the supply of domestic savings
4. By providing the foreign exchange earned by
agricultural exports.
Since the discovery of oil, which earns us our
foreign exchange, agriculture has been abandoned.
Exploration for crude petroleum oil in Nigeria first began
in 1980. But serious and sustained efforts did not
happen until shell Darcy petroleum Company
commenced operations in 1935. It took this company
more twenty years to discover petroleum crude oil in

commercial quantities in Oloibiri in 1956. Nevertheless,
oil price has never been satiable in the country as
successive governments keep adjusting the price
upwards beyond the affordability of the common citizens
of the oil producing country. Like in the price of
petroleum products is a global phenomena problem in
the international market.
Specifically, oil prices in Nigeria have been on a
continuous increase since the beginning of 2004 and this
has happened despite the organization of petroleum
Exporting countries (OPEC) increase in its oil out put.
Earlier in 2004, the run up in oil price was attributed to
surging demand for petroleum products due to global
economy. Then, it was the unrest in Nigeria. Concerning
the security of oil, supplies have heightened more
recently. Nigeria is the sixth oil producing nation in the

The subsidy removal on fuel has increase the price
of oil. In the past, the increase in price occurred mostly
in the extent of disruption to oil supply. Now, the
deregulation policy has heightened the price of oil
disruption of oil supply. There is concern the current
step rise in the price of oil as a result of the removal of
subsidy on fuel could have an adverse impact on the
Nigeria economy; that is currently on road to recovery
and expansion. When oil is expensive, people try to use
less of it. They may reduce the amount they derive on
reduce the temperature to which they heat their houses,
which their minor economies will have little or nothing on
consumption Higher have less money to spend on other
things. This reduces because most goods and services
the consumer would have bought have required the use
of oil for their production and delivery. If higher oil prices
reduce consumer demand very much manufacturers and
retails will find that their profits suffer and that they

have surplus capacity. They will therefore, deter their
plans for expansion. This will result in very large energy
savings because work is energy intensive.
The concept of public policy can be seen as simply
governmental actions or course to proposed actions that
are directed to achieving goals (Ikelugbo 1999). Care
Fredrick (1980) defined it as government or one of its
divisions by government. The main idea of public policy is
that it has to do with the government. It is an action or
sets of actions taken by public authorities, it is the out
put or production of governmental process and activtieyt.
Public involves and affects the wide verity of areas and
issues with which government have to do such as the
economy, education, health, defence, social welfare,
foreign affairs as well as other areas like culture.
Sometimes, the government adopts the state coercive
agencies like the police to enforce and ensure compliance
of policies. Also these coercive agencies end up loosing

their lives in the course of ensuring compliance. A case
study is in Ilorin, Kwara state a police officer and a youth
were feared dead. Their death occurred during a violent
demonstration by the youths that engaged the youths
and police into a tow hours fight, throwing missiles
which led to the use of live bullets by the police.
The subsidy removal on fuel is an economic policy.
Nigeria adopted several economic policies for
development. The introduction of economic reform
programmes started after her independence in 1960.
During this period, Niger derived to embark on a
programme for development, which they saw its
importance for gaining economic independence
especially. Still at that, the past colonial masters of
Nigeria still control the affairs of the nation. While the
past-independent leaders sort assistance from them for
development. This was done through the iprotation of
industrial technology amongst others, while the assisting

countries will give out their conditions. And any
developing country like Nigeria that will not submit to the
scheme of economic demands or conditions of those
aiding them or will not accept their advice and control,
usually, will have little choice of developing.
The economic policy have been seen or have given
the impression that it is a policy which has been
influenced by the western countries or foreign investors
based on their interest in the country‘s oil; another way
the westerns want to dominate Nigeria again. This has
elicited stiff resistance by the Nigeria public through
labour unrest and mass protest.
This study therefore, attempts to assess the impact
of public opinion on public policy in Nigeria, using the
deregulation of the downstream oil sector or oil subsidy
removal as our analytical focus.

1.2 Statement of the Problems

It is obvious that the present democratic rule in Nigeria
has witnessed increase price increase of petroleum
products more than during the past military
Since independence, successive governments in
Nigeria have embark on various policies geared towards
developing their country. The first development plan was
carried out during the ear of Abubakr Tafawa Belewa
(1962-1968), the second was during the era of General
Yakubu Gowon (1970-1974), the third was during the era
of General Murtala Mohammed (1975-1980), Green
Revolution by the government of General Olusegun
Obasanjo, Alhaji Shehu Shagari 91981-1985) carried out
the operation Feed the Nation Policy (OFN), War Against
Indiscipline (WAI) was carried out by the government of
general Mohammed Buhari in 1989, General Ibrahim
Babangida carried out the Structural Adjustment
Programme (SAP) between 1990and 1992, General Sani

Abacha carried out the policy on War Against indiscipline
and Corruption in 1997. At the advert of democratic rule
in 1999, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo embarked on
economic reform pregramme, encapsulated in the
privatization, liberalization and deregulation
Not withstanding, these array of programmes,
Nigeria is still looking for a better way for advancement
and development as none of these economic reforms of
the country. Deregulation of the downstream sector
started during Obasanjo‘s regime as an economic told
that will enhance or foster development. This was
justified on the grand that the downstream sector or the
oil sector is riddled with corruption as a result of
mismanagement and ineffiency.
Same Nigerians especially the political observes see
it as a good step that will save Nigeria from her present
economic problems. Other see it as a means where by few

people will benefit, which a large number pf the citizens
will not, instead, it will be detriment to them. To some
scholars also, it is a channel for development while other
sees it as a new way or means of penetrating and
exploiting Nigeria by the western world. None has
however emphasized the role of public opinion in
influencing the formulation or abrogation of public
policies to assuage the yearning of the populace. This
research work therefore attempts to fill this gap to the
extent liter by seeking answers to the following questions:
1. Are public policies in Nigeria a product of public
2. To what extent has public opinion impacted on
public policies in Nigeria?
3. Is the deregulation of the down stream oil sector
a panacea to poverty and underdevelopment in


1.3 Objectives of the Study
This work is channeled at the critical examination and
analysis of the impact of public opinion on public policy.
Specifically, the study intends to:-
1. To ascertain if public policies in Nigeria are
products public opinion.
2. To ascertain the impact of public opinion in
public policies in Nigeria.
3. To determine if the deregulation of the
downstream oil sector is a panacea to poverty
and underdevelopment in Nigeria.

1.4 Literature Review
It is the commitment of this chapter to discuss the
meaning of public opinion, raise pertinent questions in
respect of the political life-style of the average citizens. In

the highlight of this, we look on the importance of public
opinion and how it influences government policies. How
the elite formulate policies and the relevance of public
opinion towards policies.
Nwankwo (1990:123) explains that public opinion is
one of those terms, which eludes precise definition. In its
common use, public opinion refers to the composite
reactions of the general public on issues, which affect
them. He defined it as not just what people think, more
even what they say public, but rather, what in practice
they want to bring into effect.
Thomas Hobbes observes that this serves as a basic
instrument in evaluating the role and functions of
government and the level of its effectiveness and impact
on the political system. In every government, public
opinion is the measure of central tendency for democracy
both in theory and practice.

Taiwo and Olanijan (1974), submit that public
opinion refers to the sum total of citizens‘ view on
matters of public policy at any given time; reflecting the
way people think on subjects of national interest.
Public opinion can also be described according to
Lea (1978), as the opinion held by groups of individuals
on a particular issue. Hence, it is not necessary
unanimous majority opinion, since minority views can
carry more influence if expressed effectively when the rest
of the public are divided or apathetic on a particular
matter. Public opinion is very crucial in any society.
Every democracy is predicated upon the right of the
citizen to freely express himself. Even from the time of
the Greeks, public opinion has always been considered a
guiding ethic of government. The foregoing is given more
impetus, if we take into consideration, the fact that
elected make policies for the people, based on the
peoples‘ wishes and aspirations, and there is always the

need to listen to the voice of the world that ―the voice of
the people, is the voice of God‖. This voice of the people
may either be expressed opinion or feelings toward
decision which government has already made (fuel
subsidy removal) or contemplates making (adopting gay
marriage and the introduction of five thousand Naira
The public opinion may be for or against the
government. Every government is always assessed at the
court of public opinion and that is why it is advisable for
government to enunciate programmes that will meat with
the approval of the people. The annulment of the June
12, 1993, presidential election by General Ibrahim
Babagida, which brought the views of Nigerians under
one canopy, there have not been any other issue that
made them to have one voice or gave them one voice; but
the fuel subsidy removal.

The pervasive importance of petroleum to socio
economic development and political stability of a country
make its pricing very crucid and sensitive. Given
Nigerians past experience with the price of petroleum, the
management and productive of the sector.
In the past three decades, oil has played a critical
role in the Nigeria economy. On the average, it has
accounted for 70 percent of the government revenue, 90
per cent of foreign exchange earnings and 12 per cent of
the real gross domestic product (GDP). In addition, oil, as
a energy resource, affects all modes of transportation (air,
rail, road and sea) and thus, has implications for the
movement of goods, services and people. Developments in
the oil sector have also major implications for industrial
production as oil and its derivatives are used in the
production of goods and services. The unrealizable status
of electricity in the country forces many industries firms
to operate their own products. In the agricultural sector,

farmers depend on oil products to move their inputs to
the farms as well as evaluate their produce. Also, give the
country‘s high dependence or road haulage, gasoline and
diesel assumes a high significance in the transportation
sub-sector. Clearly, the price of oil products would affect
the costs and profitability of many Nigeria firms, as well
as the welfare of a vast number of Nigerians. Hence, the
price of petroleum products and their availability are of
major interests to Nigeria governments, yet, the civil
society and the masses. Yet the pricing of crude oil and
refined petroleum products in Nigeria has not been
generally well understood.
The debate on petroleum pricing has centered on
whether the pump price should reflect the full cost of
production (including refining and distribution costs) and
its opportunity cost c9against the background that oil is
a tradable goods), or contain elements of subsidy. On the
other hand, it is often argued that the greatest the

amount of subsidy, the less resources available for it for
the execution of development projects. (This view is
predicated on the argument that if petroleum on the
appropriately priced, it would ensure supply adequacy,
efficiency distribution, viability of the firms and enhance
government‘s capacity to generate and undertake core
capital projects). There is a strong view that given critical
role of oil in the Nigeria economy, pricing domestically
consumed crude at export parityis insensitive to the
plight of Nigerians, majority of whom live below the
poverty line, and the wide wage differentid between
industrial and developing countries. At this junction, the
work highlights on the view of
scholars concerning public policies or the deregulation of
the clan stream oil sector (also known as the fuel subsidy
removal), as well as the relationship.
Babs Conley (1998:34), deregulation is the removal
on simplification of government races and regulations

that constrain the operation of market forces.
Deregulation does not mean elimination of laws against
fraud, but elimination or reducing control of low business
done, thereby, moving towards a free market.
Ajinde Olu Washeti (1998:61), had it that
deregulation is the removal or withdrawal of side control
of economic activities, for the active participation of
private sector group and individual entrepreneurs in the
M. Katz and C. Malphaerson (2006:51) who were
international Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank
representatives support the deregulation programme.
They had it that if the governments do not remove the oil
subsidy, there would still be lack of transparency in the
oil and gas sector, massive corruption, large scale
inefficiency and waste.
Babanjide Soyade (12008:14) contributed that the
deregulation policy will be beneficial to the Nigerian

economy, because it will create a market environment
that will make it easy for the government to sell the
countries refineries for better management and efficient,
therefore, with out the policy of deregulation, it would be
difficult for investors to place appropriate values on the
President Olusegun Obasanjor (2006) admitted that
Nigeria, over the past three decades had not effectively
utilized the huge oil revenue. This is as a result of lack of
open power governance.
Many socio- political and economic challenges that the nation (Nigeria) face seems to coacese around that oil has not benefited the vast majority on population of Nigeria

Adaumeokoli (2006:8) say that significant savings in
foreign exchange will result when the privatized new
refineries are in operation. The nation currency will most
likely strengthen and there will be local and foreign

private capital flows into the Nigeria economy and there
will be adequate jobs. Based on this assumption above, it
is believed that the policy will bring above effective
competition and efficiency and this will kick off the price
reduction of petroleum.
It is in this highlight of this, that the view of
scholars who see the policy of deregulation policy fail to
see the consequences of the policy on the local market
and industries. And the widing gap-between the rich and
poor and developing country-Nigeria. To Mohammod
Sumugi (2006:50), the Nigerian government like its
counter parts in some developing countries has always
communicated the potential benefits of deregulation in
absolute terms. In the case of Nigeria, a gradual
approach to withdraw subsidy which Hassan petrol price
by more than 49% between 1999 and 2002 had failed to
deliver promised infrastructure, failed to improve the
social sector and economic development. In essence, the

deregulation policy is therefore, not capable of developing
the Nigeria economy but will only be for the satisfaction
of the foreign investors.
Raph Egha (2001:12) see the deregulation policy as
a deceitful way of the developed countries, He
I like the developed nations and their tricks they play on the rest of the world, Asia, Latin America and they compel the third world and trick them to adopt in their invest and to the interest of the developing nation-Nigeria.

To ascertain that the deregulation policy is foreign
influence, Alinde Oluwashontin (2006:51) say that
Buhari refusal petropetrolum subsidy, privatize and
liberalize trade as directed by the IMF and World Bank,
had results like Nigeria economic interest globally, the
refusal to honour Nigeria‘s letter of credit, reschedule
debts, suspension of all discussions with Nigeria for the

loans. Aduma Ahamed (2006:30) added that the policy of
deregulation is for the benefit of the Multi-national
companies and in open market, will not give spare for
local industries to take part in the policy.
To review on the concept of policy, in everyday
discourse, whether private or public sector, the concept
of policy is often use. Davis and Filley (1977), ―a policy is
a statement of a principle or group of principles, with
their supporting rules of action, that conditions and
governs the achievement of certain objectives to which a
business is directed‖. Coventry and Baker (1985), see
policy as the guidelines, laid down in generd or specific
terms to reach the long-range or targets set by the
objectives‖. In simple terms, Jones et al (1998:203), see a
policy as ―a generd guide to action‖. While Katz and Kahn
(1966:477), believe organizational policies are
abstractions or generalizations about organizational
behaviour, at a level that involves the structure of the

organization. Obikeze and Obi (2004:87), see policy as
the guiding principle towards the realization of
organizational objectives.
N.U Akpan (1982:32), who defined policy as ―a form
of law made by the governing bodies of organizations to
govern, direct, control, and regulate members of the
organizations‖. He went further to point out that this
―may take legal form of laws passed by the legislature,
decisions of a government cabinet, or boards of directions
of public corporations or private companies, and even
instruction issued by departmental authorities, and so
While Akpan‘s Definition may be regarded as
general and broad, Thomas Dye‘s definition is more
specific. According to him, public policy is ―whatever the
government chooses to do or not to do‖. It follows from
this definition that it is not only in situations when
government decides to take action about issue do we

have public policy but that it is also a policy position, if
government decides to do nothing about policy problem‘
another scholar Carl friedich, defines public policy as ―a
proposed course of action of a person, group, or
government providing obstacles and opportunities which
the policy was proposed to utilize and overcome in an
effort to reach a goal or realize an objective or purpose‖.
Professor James Anderson insists that policy ―a
purposive course of action followed by an actor or set of
actors dealing with a problem or matter concern‖. In this
definition, Anderson further classified that policy
―focuses attention on what is actually done as against
what is proposed or intended. Another salient feature in
Anderson‘s definition is that public policies are those
policies developed by governmental bodies and official‘,
an action which could be influenced by ―non
governmental actors and factors‖.

With the views of the mentioned scholars, was can
say that public policy refers to those define acts or
actions of government, geared towards the fulfillment of
the obligations of government on the citizens, that is, the
maintenance of law and order, and the provision of
necessary social and economic facilities needed for an
enhanced standard of living of the people-public policy
is usually organized around programmes and the
strategies to be adopted for its implementation towards
the achievement of the stated objectives outlined.
Public policy according to Anderson can be better
understood within certain conceptual categories outlined
1. Policy Inputs
2. Policy Decisions.
3. Policy Statement
4. Policy output
5. Policy Outcome

1. Policy Input:- They are decision refer to all the
demands or supports on the system. It can come in
a way of demands or supports on the system. Policy
demands are those demands or claims made upon
public officials by other actors private or officials.
2. Policy Decisions:- They are decisions made by
public officials that authorize or give and content
public actions. In this sense, the decision by the
Nigeria government to remove subsidy on fuel is a
policy decision.
3. Policy Statement:- Policy statements are
authoritative pronouncements of government
indication what government wants to do and how it
wants to do it. The deregulation of the downstream
oil sector is seen as a policy statement.
4. Policy Output:- It refers to what the government
does in response to a public opinion

5. Policy Outcomes:- It is the effect or impact of
policy on the target population or society as a
To gain deeper insight on the subject matter of public
policy, it is worthy to note the two derisions of public
policy. The Reformist and nationalist Perspectives. The
Reformist scholars are of the view that the public policy
(on the fuel subsidy removal). Hence, the two contending
scholars (reformist and nationalists) are either in support
of the policy or against the policy. The reformist had it
that there is the need for interaction between the less
developed countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America and
the developed countries of European and America. That
this interaction will foster development among the third
world countries or less developed countries. The
reformist schools of thought is led by an American
economist Bill Warren, who also obstacle that imperialist
relationship is not of the third world and the developed

world does not constitute an obstacle towards the
development of the third world countries.
Other disciples of the reformist school such as M. Katz
and C. Malphaerson (2006:51) who were IMF and World
Bank representatives support the deregulation
programme. They had it that if the government do not
remove subsidy, there would still be lack of transparency
in the oil and gas, massive corruption, large scale
inefficiency and waste.
Babjide Soyade (2008:14) contributed that the
deregulation policy will be beneficial to Nigeria economy
because it will create a market environment that will
make it easy for the government to sell the countries
refineries for better management and efficiency,
therefore, without the policy of deregulation, it would be
difficult for investors to place appropriate values on the

Adaumeokoli (2006:8) say that significant savings in
foreign exchange will result when the privatized new
refineries are in operation. The naira currency will hostel
likely strengthen and there will be local and foreign
private capital flows into the Nigerian economy and there
will be the Nigerian economy. And there will be adequate
The views of the reformist are criticized by the
nationalist school. The nationalist, who are mostly
influenced by Marxism, had it that the interaction of the
third world with the developed countries is of negative
effect. Based on their view that industrialization does not
mean development but a means to end, which is
development. They also had it that most of the industries
that exist in the third world countries are merely
assembly plant and extension of the industries, located
outside the third world, such as the Anamco Motor

industries and Peugeot car assembly (etc). This process is
known as transfer of technology (Abeh, 2000:64).
Ralph Egha (2001:12) sees the deregulation policy as a
deceitful way of the developed countries. He contributed:
―I like the developed nations and their tricks world, Asia Latin America and they cannel the third world and trick them to adopt in their interest and to the interest of the developing nation-Nigeria.

Aduma Ahamed (2006: 30) added that the policy of
deregulation is for the benefit of the multi national
companies and in open market, will not give spice for
local industries to take part in the policy.
This works however examines the relationship or
how public opinion affects whether the deregulation
policy is detriment to the Nigeria masses (who are the
ruled, and are also in the majority) or is the policy for the
advantage of the few ruling class, few individuals as well

as foreign investors, who hide under the umbrella of the
multi national or no development in the country.

1.5 Significance of the Study
Recently in Nigeria, public policies have affected the lives
of the Nigerian people. The work optimistically will be of
great value to the contributors of literature on policy
formulation in Nigeria. Therefore, it is to inspire and
guide researchers who in the future want to enroll in
more studies.
This work will help policy makers and executors to
consider their nation while attempting to make policies in
Nigeria as well as other nations. With this, it is believed
that the study will contribute to the economic, political,
educational, social development of Nigeria, hence
beneficial to the Nigeria public.


1.6 Theoretical Framework
The system theory will be the theoretical framework of
analysis. System theory was made popular by David
Easton who sees political life as a system of behaviour
with established set of interaction for the authoritative
allocation of the values of society through an input and
output matrix. In this sense, therefore, public policy may
be seen as a response of the political system to the
demands, expectations and as aspirations, of the citizens
or in a more technical sense, to the demands arising from
its environment. Input from environment into the system
consist of demands and supports.
On the one hand, demands are the claims or
expectations of individuals and groups on the political
system for action to satisfy interest or needs. On the
other hands, support represents the willingness of the
citizens to accept the decisions or value allocations,

which is made in response to demands on the system. It
is this authoritative allocation (or outputs) that constitute
public policy. Output is thus, the converted demands
(input) upon the system. Furthermore, systems analysis
involves the concepts of feed-back. Feedbacks are new
demands from the policy outputs ―which lead to further
outputs in a never-ending flow of public policy‖.
The usefulness of the systems theory lies in its
attempt to show how public policy can affect and be
affected by the environment, as well as the demand
conversion process. However, beyond this, the theory
says very little concerning how decisions are made and
policies developed within the ―black box‖ or the
conversion process. Thus, according to Anderson, the
usefulness of the systems theory is limited by its highly
general nature. For instance, one of the most important
limitations of the systems theory is the assumption that
public policy is the synthesized outcome of system

demands including, of course, demands from such
groups as the peasantry. This cannot be entirely true, for
the peasants could not have chosen to remain poor and
hungry or preferred to have the rural and agricultural
sector underdeveloped.
According to Dahl (1991), any collection of elements
that can be considered a system, a galaxy, a football
team, a legislature, a political party. David Easton in his
work believed that, while the political system receives
input from the environment informs of demands and
supports, it also produces output. A political system is
that system of interactions in any society, through which
binding or authoritative allocations are made and
implemented in form of policies and decisions. The
output flows back into the environment through a
feedback mechanism giving rise to fresh demands. A
breakdown analysis is described below:

Demand; it involves what the Nigerian masses need,
such as basic amenities like good roads, hospitals,
schools as well as job creation and security. This demand
is defined in terms of Input.
Support: it is defined interms of output. It involves the
willingness of the citizens (Nigeria) to accept the decisions
or value allocations, which is made in response to
demands on the system. It is the authoritative allocation,
that constitutes public policy. That is the removal of fuel
subsidy, to generate employment and provide more basic
amenities. Thereby, asking the Nigeria masses to accept
the support of deregulation policy.
Feedback: it is the reaction of the people from the
output. Hence, the feedback on the Deregulation policy
is expressed in terms of public opinion. As the feedback
of the policy on deregulation was the unwillingness of
Nigerians to accept the policy. To an extent, resulted to
strikes among the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

To draw the curtain on systems theory, it is seen
that in terms of utility, systems theory has bees found
useful in the study of public policies. First it tends to
show that public policies are not made from the vacuum,
that they are products of the demands from the
environmental. Thus, it tends to situate environmental
factors as being vary important in the policy process. The
theory is also very useful in comparative analysis, as it
helps in different countries in terms of the response of
the political system to the demands of its environment.
We can then be in a batter position to understand the
difference between developing and developed countries in
terms of public policy process. Also, this systems theory
enriches our study of not only public policy analysis but
of political science in general.

1.7 Hypotheses

Drawing from the forgoing, the study will be enriched in
the following:-
i. Public policies in Nigeria are produces of public
ii. Public opinion seems to influence public policies
in Nigeria.
iii. Deregulation policy may aggravate poverty and
underdevelopment in Nigeria.

1.8 Method of Data Collection /Analysis
Data will be gathered from text books, articles,
magazines, internet materials, Newspapers as well as
published and unpublished writings, records and
documentaries, (secondary source). While the qualitative
method will be the method of data analysis.

1.8 Scope and Limitations of the Study

The research work is on the fuel subsidy policy or the
deregulation of the downstream oil sector that was
adopted by the federal government of Nigeria, to take
effect from January 1, 2012. Though the policy took
effect on the given date, the work is the therefore to
examine on the impact of the policy on the lives of Nigeria
masses as well as the problem of the policy.

1.9 Definition of Terms
Deregulation: The act or process of removing or reducing
state regulations.
Subsidy: A benefit given by the government, usually in
form of a cash payment or reduction.
Public policy: A system of laws, regulatory measures,
course of action, and funding priorities concerning a
given topic promulgated by a government entity on its

Multi National Companies: A corporation that has its
facilities and other assets in at least one country that its
home country. Such companies have offices and/or
factories in different countries and usually have a
centralized head office where they co-ordinate global
management. Very large multi nationals have budgets
that exceed those of small countries. And most times,
they come inform of foreign investors.
Underdeveloped or Less developed Countries (LDCS):
Consist of the countries of the third world of Africa, Asia
and lain America that are referred to as agricultural
because they rely on agriculture and have little or no
industries, for manufacturing. Charactersied with:
a. Economic. Financial, technological and
cultural dependency.
b. Lots of import substitution industries which
depend on external resources.
c. Poverty

d. High level of child mortality
e. Unemployment
f. Political instability
g. Malnutrition
Developed Countries: They are also known as the
advances countries of Europe and Western America. They
are called industrialized countries because of their
advanced technology. They are often characterized by the
a. High level of employment
b. Self-reliance
c. Independent control of economy
d. Self-sufficiency in food production.
e. Incearse in the ability to guard national
Economic Policy: It is a guideline, used in the economic
development of a nation. Example, Structural

Adjustment programme (SAP), deregulation of the
downstream oil sector etc.


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