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Institutional Development as a Challenge to Democratic Sustenance in Nigeria

Abstract

This study was on Institutional development as a challenge to democratic sustenance in Nigeria, from fourth republic 1999 to 2021. Three objectives were raised which included; to examine the effect of democracy on institutional development in Nigeria’s fourth republic, to verify the extent to which there is democracy without institutional development in Nigeria’s fourth republic and to examine the relationship between democracy and institutional development in Nigeria’s fourth republic. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from national assembly. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).

Chapter one

Introduction

1.1Background of the study

The issue of democracy and national development in Nigeria’s fourth republic will continue to dominate political discourse by both academics and non-academics because democracy is at the crossroads in Nigeria and national development also has altogether, only materialized in the inscrutable imaginations of Nigeria’s national development planners (Okeke, 2014). Since independence, the country has been in search of democracy that works. What this entail should be the concern of all peace loving Nigerians. Democracy is a contested concept, it is not a given. Countries should find ways of making it meaningful to their peculiar circumstances. The way forward is to find out ways of adapting democracy to the country’s pluralism. This may require the pursuit of some kind of consociational arrangement that will allow for the sharing of power among competing groups and political interests in the country. According to Achebe (1984), political leadership has been one of the main obstacles to democracy and development in Africa. Post-independence political leadership has been everything but productive. They have been distributive rather than productive in orientation, wasteful, and corrupt in political and economic management. This argument is still forceful today. Given the character of the country’s leaders, it is not surprising that there are threats to human security. This is not unrelated to the schism in the ranks of the political elite who lack the hegemony and discipline to engender socio-economic and political stability (Igbodalo, 2012).

Despite all social and economic policies that have been implemented by successive administrations, Nigeria has remained a laggard in social, economic and political developments. Subsequently, political instability, abject poverty, acute youth unemployment, heightened crime rate, poor health prospects, widespread malnourishment have been the main features of Nigeria’s political economy. One of the major explanations for the failure of all development programmes in Nigeria has been the absence of democracy and the intermittent military intervention in politics (Ogundiya, 2010). Faulty development policies pursued since independence have left the people pauperized and decimated. Also, failure to play by the rules of the game of party politics brings the country close to the state of nature. This are manifested in increasing poverty, diseases, youth unemployment, poor medical care, poor housing facilities, lack of portable water, epileptic power supply, lack of access to power and resources by minority groups and their exclusion from policy making (Egharevba & Chiazor, 2013). Meanwhile, it is not an overstatement to contend that the return of the country to electoral democracy in 1999 has not made significant impact on the economic and social wellbeing of the people

However, as a theory that sets some basic principles according to which a good government, whatever its form, must be run, democracy offers good prospect for achieving national development of especially heterogeneous societies. The relationship between democracy and national development is widely appreciated. This is because democracy plays a very important and crucial role in promoting good governance and fostering national development. The common feature of democratic governance is its emphasis on improving the socio-economic welfare of the people and this is synonymous with the idea of national development. Thus, the individual and his quality of life must be the centre of conception of national development (Amucheazi, 1980; Gibert & Ubani, 2015). All over the world, democracy is prioritized because it is assumed to have the magic wand to effectively deal with inter and intra group conflicts arising from the democratic method. But the Nigerian experience with democracy is not very pleasant. The people’s votes in most cases have refused to count. While ethno- religious violence is rife in the polity, the economy remain on its kneels with abject poverty as a recurring decimal among the people. The popular expectations, that democracy will resolve all these challenges have largely been unattained.

Statement of the problem

In Nigeria, years of economic exploitation, mal-development and bad governance have continued to fan the ember of conflict and crises in the country. Since gaining political independence, Nigeria has continued to meander the path befitting failed, weak and juvenile states. A state that had very great prospects at independence and was touted to lead Africa out of the backwoods of underdevelopment and economic dependency, Nigeria is still stuck in the league of very poor, corrupt, under developed, infrastructural decaying, crises-ridden, morally bankrupt and leadership- deficient countries of the south. Rather than become an exemplar for transformational leadership, modern bureaucracy, national development, national integration and innovation, Nigeria seems to be infamous for whatever is mediocre, corrupt, insanely violent and morally untoward (Imhonopi & Ugochukwu, 2013). This supports the assertion of Okeke (2014) who posits that democracy is at the crossroads in Nigeria and that national development also has altogether, only materialized in the inscrutable imaginations of Nigeria’s national development planners. Gilbert and Ubani (2015) allude to electoral malpractices and corruption as the greatest challenges of democracy and national development in Nigeria. One of the major explanations for the failure of all development programmes in Nigeria’s fourth republic has been the absence of democracy and democratic principles which include the rule of law, transparency, accountability, participation and responsiveness to the needs of the poor, marginalized and underrepresented group.

Objective of the study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. to examine the effect of democracy on institutional development in Nigeria’s fourth republic
  2. to verify the extent to which there is democracy without institutional development in Nigeria’s fourth republic
  3. to examine the relationship between democracy and institutional development in Nigeria’s fourth republic

Research hypotheses

The following research hypotheses will be formulated:

H0: there is no effect of democracy on institutional development in Nigeria’s fourth republic

H1: there is effect of democracy on institutional development in Nigeria’s fourth republic

H0: there is no relationship between democracy and institutional development in Nigeria’s fourth republic

H2: there is relationship between democracy and institutional development in Nigeria’s fourth republic

 

Significance of the study

The study will be very significant to student and federal republic of Nigeria. The study will give a clear insight on the Institutional development as a challenge to democratic sustenance in Nigeria, from fourth republic 1999 to 2021. The study will also serve as a reference to other researcher that will embark on thee related topic

Scope and limitation of the study

The scope of the study covers Institutional development as a challenge to democratic sustenance in Nigeria, from fourth republic 1999 to 2021

The researcher encounters some constraints which limit the scope of the study namely:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

1.8 Definition of terms

Institutional development: Institutional development means development associated with a medical or educational institution and associated uses, on a site of at least five acres in area.  Institutional development means building the capacity and image of the University by initiating, mobilizing and managing resources

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