NATIONALIZATION. Meaning of nationalization:

Nationalization is a deliberate policy by which government takes over the control and ownership of private enterprises due to economic, political, social or strategic reasons.

In other words, nationalization is the process by which the government takes over the ownership and management of an industry from private control, by bringing it under exclusive control.

Enterprises are brought under state control and ownership as a result of economic, political, social and strategic reasons. Nationalized industries exist to provide services; they are not profit-oriented. \"nationalization\"

It\’s worth noting that nationalization can be a highly controversial policy. Critics argue that government ownership often leads to inefficiencies, lack of innovation, and reduced competition.

They argue that market forces and private enterprises are better suited to drive economic growth and development.

On the other hand, proponents argue that nationalization can correct market failures, redistribute wealth, and promote social welfare.

The decision to nationalize businesses varies from country to country and depends on the prevailing political, economic, and social circumstances. It is important to consider the specific context and objectives of each case to evaluate the potential benefits and drawbacks of nationalization.

Reasons for nationalization

For strategic reasons: The government can over the ownership and control of an enterprise for strategic reasons like security, defence and politics.

To prevent exploitation: Nationalization of enterprise can take place in order to prevent monopolistic exploitation of the citizens

Political reasons: Break in diplomatic relations between two countries can necessitate nationalization. Political differences can encourage retaliatory measures being taken against each other e.g. America and Iraq at the instance of the Gulf War.

To avoid foreign dominance of the economy: Government can also take over some companies in order to prevent dominance of the economy by foreigners

Need for large capital: For an industry to perform effectively and efficiently, it may need large capital which can only be provided by the government


To prevent wasteful competition:In order to prevent wasteful competition among companies, especially service companies, the government can come in and take over ownership and management of such companies

To provide uninterrupted services: Government can take over an enterprise in order to ensure a constant and uninterrupted supply of its products or services– nationalization


Helps to check exploitation: Nationalization of an industry helps to check exploitation by foreign businessmen.

Ensures steady supply of essential services:  It ensures the provision and steady supply of essential services

Elimination of waste: Nationalization helps to prevent and eliminate wasteful competition

Encourages efficient use of resources:  It encourages more efficient use of economic resources

Protection of strategic industries: It helps to protect and develop key strategic industries which cannot be left in private hands

Ensures equitable distribution of resources: It also ensures equitable distribution of resources as well as corrects any imbalance in the means of production

Elimination of monopoly: Another advantage is that it eliminates monopoly by businessmen

Mobilization of capital: Large capital can be mobilized to ensure large-scale investment


Prevention of private initiatives: Private initiatives can be destroyed when government takes over all or some industries

Low productivity and inefficiency: lack of competition can encourage low productivity and inefficiency

Consumers can be exploited: By nationalizing an enterprise, the government may arrogate to itself monopolistic power which can be used to exploit the consumers, e.g. PHCN

Corruption and mismanagement: Most nationalizes industries are not efficiently managed because of corruption and ineptitude

Resources can be misallocated: The resources of the country can be misallocated as a result of political interference

Differences between Nationalized Company and Public Liability Company
 FeaturesNationalized CompanyPublic Liability Company
1.OwnershipIt is owned by the governmentIt is owned by shareholders
2.AimTo provide essential servicesFor profit making
3.CapitalProvided by the governmentprovided by selling shares
4.ControlControlled by the board of directors appointed by the governmentControlled by the board of directors elected by the shareholders
5.Publication of accountDoes not usually publish accountsMust publish its accounts

Differences between Indigenization and Nationalization
1.It transfers ownership to the governmentIt transfer ownership to the government
2.It encourages indigenous participationIt ensures state monopoly of industrial activities

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