IBBnomics and the Babangida revolution
The volume of Nigerian business increased during his regime in spite of the state of the economy. This was credited to president Babangida’s romance with the business community and the chambers of commerce, while at the same time urging their greater participation in investment some of the old dormant industries and those moribund and unprofitable grain boards were privatized. The activities of the lucky entrepreneurs brought home hard currency to boost the dwindling naira.
Every revolution begets its own legality; the Babangida revolution was not an exception. The wide gap between the rich and the poor seemed to have given him a lot of concern throughout his administration as he fought the battle through many democratic reforms to narrow this gap. He felt if good production from the rural areas were in abundance, and the city dwellers are gainfully employed by the industries, all will have enough to eat, safe and to educate their children. He set the country on the path to economic recovery by adopting measure which the angels dared not, the Structural Adjustment Programme (IMF and World Bank options).
The year after ascending to power, the Babangida regime declared a National Economic Emergency. The options open to the country, Babangida said, were either to accept an International Monetary Fund loan and the conditions attached or to embark on more austere economic measures that would require great sacrifices. Although the people favoured a non-IMF option, they soon discovered the hardships eventually imposed differed little from the IMF's conditions. The economic recovery program recommended by the World Bank was instituted as a self-imposed structural adjustment program (SAP) that involved a drastic restructuring of the country's economy. Under SAP, unemployment rates soared, food prices increased significantly, and numerous user fees for education and health services were imposed. These hardships did not dissuade the government from SAP, which it believed to be the only approach to the country's social and economic problems. At first, many people couldn’t appreciate the Babangida Structural Adjustment Programme as realistic solution to Nigeria’s economic ailments at the time. Its curative ability was not immediate at first, but two years after its adoption, Nigerians learnt the economic tricks of self-reliance and began to look inward for socio-economic dependability. The benefits of SAP, such as lower inflation and more balanced budget, began to be seen but SAP was adhered to less stringently in the late 1980s.
Babangida had produced the following identifiable gains through Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). Intensive export promotion drives in the non-oil sector. Local production of wheat. Support for the establishment of small-scale businesses.
Babangida also introduced far-reaching changes in the civil service, the police, the armed and security forces, and the political system.