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May 23 , 2009

Democracy and Good Governance in Nigeria

A Survey of Indices of Transparency and Accountability


Over the last decades, the most striking changes made by the World Bank and other development institutions are their commitments to improve the quality of governance and most importantly fighting corruption and focusing more on the developing Countries. Driven by case studies that developmental deficiencies in the developing Countries are due to the crisis of governance (see—Khan, 2002); As a result of this, good governance and democracy became a very comparative and embracing ideal admired by most Countries in the World, and has grown rapidly to become a major concern in analysis of what is missing in Countries struggling for economic and political development—the developing Countries (Nigeria).

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Although issues concerning governance failure and corruption vary within Country to Country; nevertheless, researchers have adopted the concept (Good Governance) as a means of enhancing development and exploring institutional failures (see—Grindle, 2010). The issue of good governance is now a major concern, and without good governance, arguably, the developing Countries (Nigeria) have little or no chance to progress. The two words again-democracy and governance—are interwoven in the framework that is the mechanism of political dialogue across the globe. In theory, this book will examine the relationship between democracy and good governance, by critically analyzing the concepts.

This book is divided into two sections—The first section of this book will attempt to pin down these concepts: democracy and good governance to their manifestations on ground, using Nigeria as a case study. It will be argued in this paper, that there is no doubt that the transition from military to democratic government in 1999, marked a new beginning of democratic governance in Nigeria. However, Nigeria’s democracy has remained unstable since the Country returned to democratic form of governance. The political terrain and governing procedures has been characterized by corruption. This first section will argue that corruption has undermined democracy and have had grave implications for good (democratic) governance in Nigeria. In comparison with theoretical arguments, this paper will argue that the Nigeria’s practical scenario ironically portray the theory, due to the menace of corruption.

In summary, this section will focus on corruption as a means of exclusion (deficit), and as a stumbling block in the development of Nigeria’s good (democratic) governance from a nominal to a practical one, and further conclude that the vast discrepancy between Nigeria’s nominal democracy and corrupt governance practices show that it is much easier to talk the talk, than it is to walk the walk. That is to say, good governance is easier to deliberate in theory, than to effect in practice, looking at the case of Nigeria. Nevertheless, with the few steps that have been taken in the last decade or so of democracy, and the unending and continuous efforts put forward by the present administration, one can expect further improvement in the years to come. The essays brought together in the second section of this book represent a selection of my further contribution to the continuing discussion about the position of public policy and governance in today’s world. It tackles issues concerning public administration, public policy—policy implementation, and governance around the globe.

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