4.3. Socio-Economies Issues
In analysis of socio-economic development, we can’t underscore the importance of historical, institutional, cultural, demographical political, social and ecological factors. For this research work and focus, the researcher shall be limited to the economic development factors of the political, institutional and social. In the literature review, the researcher tried to establish the fact that our disabilities and ageing issues are social, institutionalised and political related. With those underlined facts in the literature review, the researcher shall try to unravel how inaccessibility, disabilities and ageing issues which are political, institutional and social factors affects our social-economic development.
The central issue of any countries socio-economic development lies in her citizenry level of per capital income. The masses of Nigerian population as a developing country, standard of living is low. This is as a result of their low per capital income. Low per capital income and short-changed standard of living and welfare affect economic development and thus leads to economic stagnation in a long term (Szirmai, 2005).
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Key factors distinguished in economic theories of growth as stated by Szirmai (2005) are labour, capital, land and technological changes. Labour in a broader discussion scale of demographic and human factors in socio-economic development. Labour includes population growth, as Nigerian population grows there is a decline in her labour force. For years long economic growth and development have been measured in capital-labour ratio. The declinations in the labour force are political and social motivated. Disabled people are not included in Nigeria labour force; they are part of the unemployed citizen of the Nigerian population. Needless to say, the unemployment rate of Nigerian population is higher to the employment rate. When the large number of non-disabled people find it very hard to get a job in Nigeria, without any form of bias and discrimination of the Nigerian labour structure, one just keep wondering how disabled people will then be able to be incorporated in Nigerian labour system that is prejudice and governmental (political) approaches are self-centred oriented (Nigeria Labour Congress 2012; National Manpower Board 1991; World Bank Country Survey 2013).
Economic development involves varieties of social indicators such as health, education, human capital, mortality and life expectancy. Citizenry health, educational level and average life expectancy have direct and indirect effect on the economic development of any nation. The Nigerian disabled people lacks accessible and affordable health care facilities, Nigerian schools are not sufficient enough to cater for her teeming populace. The citizenry state of health, level of education could have a determining factor on their human capital exploitation and life expectancy, which affect the quality of the labour force and the productivity of labour (Szirmai, 2005). The disabled people who ought to be part of her labour force are been held back by one or more different types of illness or ailment. Where there are no proper and accessible medical facilities and substandard, insufficient educational facilities leads to increase in illiteracy ratio, the socio-economic development of the country declines rapidly.
Modern economic growth is fundamentally inclined with massive capital accumulation, where human capital place can’t be overemphasized (Landes 1998; Maddison 2001). Economic growth of the western countries since the eighteenth century can be traced to industrialisation (Higgins and Higgins, 1979). The relationship between industrialisation and economic growth can’t be indiscriminately applicable to developing nations because; there have been changes in international politics and economic order since World War 2 (Szirmai, 2005). The developed nations have maturely arisen from the setbacks of the World War 2 and worked assiduously on their losses and gains. They formulated policies that are populous, policies and programmes aimed to inculcate every citizen in the labour force with equality and with no form of discrimination. The developed nations have rebuild their institution to cater for disabled and non-disabled people by ensuring that they all work and live in a political order that are masses oriented.
To compare developed nations with developing countries like Nigeria, can further enlighten or expose us to the realities of roles of institutions in advancing or impeding socio-economic development of any country. The political (interaction between state formations and democratic rule) aspect and cultural context of Nigeria institutions will not allow for economic integration and growth. Nigerian government depends largely on developed nations but unfortunately, they don’t imbibe the nature of the developed nation’s institutional (political, social and cultural) values that hinges on accessibility for all and special treatment for her seniors, whom they believe are human capital that decides the fortune of the social-economic growth and development of the nation.
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Developed countries economies thrive because they have established laws and acts, which have led to decline in social and economic inequalities. Efficient institution and good attitude to work, institution that allows for equal mobility, equal competition and equal opportunities. Governmental programmes for self-initiative development centred on entrepreneurship are being promoted and increase in production per capita and production per worker and (Szirmai, 2005). Myrdal (1968) states that developed nation’s economic growths rapidly as against developing nations as a result of their government sharp policies to improved standard of living, consolidated state and federal integration, national independence and increase social disciplines. Developed nation political officers work with the notion that development is for the benefit of the people and masses.
Nigeria desirability of economic growth and socio-economic development can’t be disputed. Nigeria traditional societal believes and governmental personnel lifestyles as be part of the drawback of her growth. Global modernisation, materialistic mass cultural spread and increase exploitation of people (Nigerian populace) in a capitalist market structure-where there is a transfer of income from consumer to capitalist and government’s official and their cronies alone without regard to the populace. With Nigeria government officials and their cronies exploitation of the people, there can’t be harmonious and a balance society that can give an equal working platform for both non-disabled and disabled citizenry.
Harmonious and a balanced society is the principle in which developed nation strive and thrive in. Myint (1980) posit that “if isolated and socially balanced society did exist before, they do not exist today”. Though this is Myint position in 1980, invariably close to four decades ago and we have seen turn in tide of today’s events. Myint believes that there is no more socially balanced society, the researcher will not contend with this position but it is necessarily to note that according to the Malthusian movement which maintain that continuous economic growth will affect the balance of nature (Brundtland et al. 1987; Meadows et al. 1972). Kudos to government of developed nation, as nature is being affected, they always put in place policies that will commensurate such negative effects, so they could work toward achieving a balanced society and vice versa is the case when it comes to Nigeria government. Nigeria government capitalises on Myint, posit that balanced society is lost and cannot be achieved. This has formed their bases of governance and that is why Nigeria socio-economic growth and development is declining.