The Impact Of Mammy Market On The Livelihood Of Military Personnel In The Barracks

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Background to the Study

Throughout history every society has faced the fundamental economic problem of deciding what to produce, and for whom, in a world of limited resources (Alderson, 1962). In the 20th century, two competing economic systems, broadly speaking, have provided very different answers: command economies directed by a centralized government, and market economies based on private enterprise. At the end of the 20th century, it is clear that, for people throughout the world, the central, command economy model has failed to sustain economic growth, to achieve a measure of prosperity, or even to provide economic security for its citizens (Alexander, 1951).

Yet for many, the fundamental principles and mechanisms of the alternative, a market economy, remain unfamiliar or misunderstood — despite its demonstrable successes in diverse societies from Western Europe to North America and Asia. In part, this is because the market economy is not an ideology but a set of time-tested practices and institutions about how individuals and societies can live and prosper economically. Market economies are, by their very nature, decentralized, flexible, practical and changeable. The central fact about market economies is that there is no center (Alderson, 1962). Indeed, one of the founding metaphors for the private marketplace is that of the “invisible hand.”

Market economies may be practical, but they also rest upon the fundamental principle of individual freedom: freedom as a consumer to choose among competing products and services; freedom as a producer to start or expand a business and share its risks and rewards; freedom as a worker to choose a job or career, join a labor union, or change employers (Aspinwall, 1958). It is this assertion of freedom, of risk and opportunity that joins together modern market economies and political democracy.

Market economies are not without their inequities and abuses — many of them serious — but it is also undeniable that modern private enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with political democracy, offers the best prospect for preserving freedom and providing the widest avenues for economic growth and prosperity for all.

The responsibility of every government irrespective of the economy system is to provide adequate security to the citizens in the country. This provision of security is done by command of arm forces in such country. Nigeria as one of the developing country is therefore inline with other countries in the provision of security services for her citizens to great a favourable environment for living. It is on this notion that the military personnel required a high provision of well-being to transform the required security services in the country. Nigerian military personnel remain the significant arm force to restrain and curb the level of insecurity challenges among the rigorous political and social unrest in the country. Hence there is need for soldiers and their families to enjoy all the benefits accrue to the barracks which demonstrate the fact that the mammy market must meet all the economic requirements to improve the livelihood of the military personnel

Mammy market, coined from mini-market, is a Nigerian parlance for a cluster of relaxation spots in military and paramilitary formations which peak mostly in the evening and night periods. Mammy market readily provides assorted foods, drinks and other services peculiar with places inhabited by military or paramilitary personnel.

Situated in the ilorin District of the Kwaara state, the mammy market at Sobi Barracks is a quintessential destination for fun seekers and those in search of good food, pepper soup, fish and meat barbecue and other forms of delicacies. Besides, there are many other stalls where fun seekers and visitors could also assess garments, provisions, pharmaceutical products, and artisans ranging from fashion designers, beauty saloons, and cobblers, among others to make purchases or obtain various services

One important aspect of every economy is the commodity market. That is the market where virtually all household commodities are traded. According to Oxford Advance Dictionary of Economics, commodity market is a place or institution through which commodities are traded. Markets are originally places or buildings where traders come together to facilitate comparism of price and quantity. In a layman’s view, market is a place where items such as food stuffs are bought and sold. A good example of this is the mammy market and examples of food stuffs that are bought and sold here include rice, beans, yam, spaghetti etc and where services are adequately rendered. It is a market where virtually everybody including the military and the civil personnel are traded but built in the barrack.

Nigeria’s military is the largest in West Africa, but is significantly less capable than its size and equipment inventory would indicate. A large percentage of the Army is capable of little more than basic defensive operations, and most of Nigeria’s ships and aircraft are inoperable. The leadership of the military, from junior to senior levels, recognizes the role that the Armed Forces play as Nigeria’s most effective national institution, and the principal one committed to its unity

1.2       Statement of Research Problem

This is a major contributory factor to the level of insecurity in Nigeria, and this can be attributed to a number of factors which include inadequate funding of the military personnel and other security agencies, lack of modern equipment both in weaponry and training, poor welfare of security personnel, and inadequate military personnel (Achumba et al. 2013). According to Olonisakin (2008) the military-population ratio in Nigeria is 1:450 which falls below the standard set by the United Nations. The implication of this is that Nigeria is grossly under militized and this partly explains the inability of the Nigerian military to effectively combat crimes of national terrorist and criminality in the country.

As a large, complex organization, the Nigerian military contains a number of contradictions, incongruities, and internal disjunctions. It is the largest, most capable military in West Africa with major foreign deployments under ECOWAS and the AU, as well as extensive UN PKO commitments. At the same time, chronic under-resourcing has led to low operational readiness, lack of training, and relatively poor conditions of service. These problems, along with endemic corruption, have made the Nigerian military somewhat of a hollow giant resting on its reputation — more capable than any other force in the sub-region, but considerably less capable than it should be with tens of thousands of troops and a large stock of major weapons systems and other equipment. A high percentage of the heart of the force — the 60,000-soldier strong Army’s 25 infantry battalions — are capable of little more than basic defensive operations.

However, contrary to this falling in prices of goods and services in Nigeria was the increase in the prices of foodstuff items in the Nigerian commodity market. Since the crisis started in Nigeria, there have been unprecedented increases in the price of foodstuff as against what seems to be typical of every economic recession. This economic instability affects the prices of goods and services in the mammy market and thereby, making the purchasing power of the military men in the barrack to be relatively low.

1.3       Research Question

As a result of the contradictory response of the Nigerian barracks mammy market against the global commodity market to the present economic downturn, the following questions would be asked in the course of this work so as to know how the present mammy market have contributed to the livelihood of the military personnel in Nigerian barracks.

  1. Has the prices of goods and services charged in mammy market are satisfactory to the military personnel in Sobi barracks?
  2. Is mammy market a significant place or meeting of getting Information about Economic Issues?
  3. Has the level of Credit Opportunity and hour of operation rendered by the mammy market satisfactory to the military personnel and hence maximum livelihood in the barrack.

1.4     Objective of the Study

The broad objective of this study is to examine the impact of mammy market on the livelihood of military personnel in the barracks with reference to sobi cantonment ilorin. Other specific objectives are to:

  1. Evaluate if the prices of goods and services charged in mammy market are favourably to the military personnel in the barrack
  1. Examine the impact of Sobi mammy market on the livelihood of the military personnel in Sobi cantonment barracks

1.5       Justification of the Study

The increasing price of food stuff in Nigeria is becoming a thing of concern even in situations like this (economic and political instability) when prices of things are falling down. The foodstuff price faces the increasing ends. This situation could be termed as a menace because foodstuff prices in Nigeria have turned into an irreversible wheel (Prof.Abdullahi Ango 2010). The interest of this work is to explain the various causes of this increment. Examining the sources of supply of foodstuff into the Nigerian mammy markets is another area which this work would explore so as to get a clear understanding of the food situation in the Nigerian economy.

1.6    Hypotheses

      Hypothesis One

H00 = 0: the prices of goods and services charged in mammy market are not favourably to the military personnel in the barrack?

Hypothesis Two

H00 = 0: mammy market has no significant impact on the livelihood of the military         personnel in Sobi cantonment barracks.

1.7    Scope of the Study

This research work would cover an investigation into the impact of mammy market on the livelihood of military personnel in the barrack using a case study of Sobi cantonment Ilorin, mammy market, which is a district of Ilorin Local Government Area of Kwara State. Among other mammy markets in Nigerian army barracks, the scope of the study will cover only the Sobi cantonment in Ilorin which shall be use as a proxy for all mammy markets. This study is limited by time constrains within which the research is undertaken and also ignored other factors that that impact on the livelihood of the military personnel apart from the mammy market.

1.8    Organization of the Study

This research work would be divided into five chapters. The first chapter would contain the introduction, the statement of research problem, and the research questions. The objectives of the study would also be in this chapter followed by justification of the study and the hypothesis which the work intends to study scope and delimitation of the study would be the last part of the opening chapter.

The chapter two would be the literature review where items such as the conceptual literature, theoretical framework and the empirical literature would be discussed. Chapter three would be the research methodology which would contain items such as sources of data, population, method of data analysis etc. The fourth chapter would be the chapters were there would be presentations of data and analysis. And the fifth chapter would be conclusion and recommendations.

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