No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent” – Abraham Lincoln.
Over the years, good governance has been a challenge to sustainable development and growth in Africa in general, and particularly in Nigeria. The good news is, I am convinced, that as dismal as the general experience may be, Africa’s situation is not entirely hopeless, given recent emerging indicators from some African countries. What is needed is a combination of visionary and competent leadership, articulated development policies that promote local value, infrastructural renewal program, restoration of previously tested and proven standard of governance; and an active citizenry that must and sustain the capacity to engage and trouble the system.
Good governance is defined as a manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s social and economic resources for development. Consequently, good governance is meant to be a people-driven, participatory, transparent and accountable government. China Achebe inn his book titled “The Problem with Nigeria” stated that the problem with Nigeria is the problem of Leadership. Good governance can only be delivered by a leader that can guarantee peaceful and free revolt when things are not going as popularly expected.
In the immediate post independence period, Nigeria was relatively more developed than some of the countries which are celebrated today as developments models. Despite some imperfections, we had a robust parliamentary administration, and a well facilitated and healthy federal structure. However, I lot has changed over the years, arguably because of cumulative effect of bad governance, incompetent leadership and the institutionalization of corruption as if it is a part of the directive principles of state policy.
Other deficits recorded so far include the following: incompetence of many public officers which lead to poor policy articulation and poor policy outcomes; impunity and non-enforcement of laws and regulations; non-transparent handling of public resources; deliberate skewing of public and corporate policies for the attainment of private and selfish goals.
Having said that, the question is: what is the way forward?
In good governance, there are five fundamentals to transform the country:
1. Government Policy Stability:
Instability of government policies, especially in critical sectors is appalling. There have been varying degrees of inconsistencies and contradictions, including notable policy reversals, for instance, in privatization and education. Also the obligation of those empowered to rule us is to make remarkable difference during their tenure in office. When there is a sustainable long term policy, it enhances development and improves the economic situation of the country.
2. Electoral Legitimacy:
God fatherism has not helped our electoral body for a very long time. When people can freely choose their respective leader, then it is particularly and that is a democratic ingredient.
3. Peace and Security;’
This is regarded as an incontrovertible precondition for development. There is need to the implementation of some of arrangements for managing peace initiatives such as Amnesty programme for sustainable peace in Niger Delta. It is a state of no-war, peace and progress in the country where every other fundamentals rest.
4. Rule of Law:
Everyman is equal before the law, and the constitution of the Federal Republic is supreme; but where there are delay in the deployment of Justice, there may be anarchy.
5. Anti Corruption
Application of justice where is no bargaining. With the unimpeachable legitimacy and the Pan-Nigerian candidacy of President Jonathan, he has the moral and political leverage to take the tough measures and decision needed to arrest and prosecute (EFCC & ICPC) the rot in several facets in Nigerian polity, economy and society. Punishment of offenders is an antidote; to some extent threaten further breaking of law and order.
International Organization for Sustainable Development (IOSD) began in 2006 as a non profit organization with a mandate to administer the EUCLID University extension program and also develop and implement other programs related to sustainable development. The mission of IOSD is to foster the well-being of all human beings by promoting sustainable economic development, inter-cultural dialogue, and facilitating access to world-class higher education, especially in developing nations of Africa and the pacific.
In a signed cooperative agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria, IOSD as a non-profit International Organization engaged in community development has agreed to facilitate the creation of cooperative networks and economic development programs involving financial institutions, angry producers, private enterprises, universities, governmental bodies and other concerned parties. Broaden the understanding of field of sustainable economic development and to promote the implementation and dissemination of norms, rules and guidelines that apply to this field.
Our development partner such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is an organization established by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in 1965 to foster “sustainable human development” in impoverished nations. As many colonial nations gained their independence in the early 1960s, the UN recognized a need for opportunity by the emerging governments and their people. In its development efforts, the UNDP strives to reduce poverty; increase literacy; create jobs; enhance technical cooperation between industrialized and non-industrialization nations; preserve and protect the environment; and ensure that women receive recognition, encouragement, and training. The organization has its headquarters in New York City.
The UNDP has taken a lead role in helping countries create national development plans that integrate management, protection, and regeneration of the environment. At the same time, it has helped these countries create local action plans to combat water pollution; biodiversity loss, and depletion of the ozone layer. In addition to its fieldwork in emerging nations, the UNDP coordinates all operational development activities of the UN. It also helps to organize international responses to natural and human-caused disasters around the world.
In conclusion, governance and capacity building are guided by a number of key principles which reflect the essential attributes of well-functioning public sectors, and a creation of conducive environment for the private sector to function efficiently in the creation of wealth. Training and establishment of knowledge database centers o(Library) close to people for access to updated information is a project being unattended to.
Looking toward 2050, Postel says, “We could balance supply and demand. The question is whether basic human needs will be met, and the environment will be healthy. The conservation technologies are there. It’s a matter of whether we decide to mobilize and get the job done.”
AMB (Dr) Timothy Ihemadu
Head of Mission, Nigeria
International Organization for Sustainable Development (IOSD)
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