Entries on Politics
The objective of this paper is to examine the roles, prospects and challenges of technology inspired government will help solve administration problems in Nigeria. The Nigerian government liberation of the telecommunication sector and proliferation of smart-phones have deepened internet penetration in the polity. Added to the new impetus is the proliferation of social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter among others. These platforms have their pros and cons such as using information shared on these sites to la spear phishing attacks for access to people’s online banking details with a view to fleecing them. Like every new policy, there are skepticisms about its workability. Banks have therefore taken the responsibility to enlighten their customers about the policy to achieve a seamless result. The paper highlights key-points in Electronic governance and administration. The paper goes on to explore and highlight the benefits and challenges facing the new payment system and concludes by positing that the new platforms have so far streamlined the operations of both users and government in Nigeria.
The anti-graft agency came into existence only a few years after Nigeria became a democracy in 1999. Its first Chief, Nuhu Ribadu, claimed that Nigeria lost more than $380 billion to graft between 1960 and 1999 (Eme 2010). The nation’s political class reigned with impunity until the agency’s creation. Under him, the agency arrested powerful state governors and earned media praise. However, the agency under Ribadu trampled on suspects’ rights while avoiding targeting allies of then President Olusegun Obasanjo. The Commission has only garnered four convictions against Nigeria’s political elites since its creation in 2004, with those found guilty facing little on prison time. Waziri took over the Commission in 2008 and has been criticised by the United States of America diplomats for being unprepared and for apparently being controlled by politicians. Others have leveled corruption allegations against her and operatives of the commission, though none has been proven There is no telling the fact the wait is still or on, close to a decade after. Instead of corruption abating it is increasing. Sadly, though with a clearly equipped arsenal to achieve spelt out goals, the EFCC allowed the enemy virus, which has previously destroyed the fabrics of the polity to creep into it operations. Thus, instead of a steely approach towards fighting crimes, the agency became a clay-footed organ that hardly get anything done. Pioneer chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, has shown the direction of the body would go when, like an attack dog for Obasanjo, he began arresting enemies of the former President. Particularly, those not agreeable to his third term bid, anticlimaxing in the odious impeachment of state governors without the mandatory two-third majority required by the 1999 Constitution. Last November, his replacement, Farida Waziri, like Ribadu, was unceremoniously removed from office, for reasons observes believes could also not be different from the sins of her predecessor-, more excuses than effectiveness. The paper examines the many problems of the Commission as well as he challenges of anti-graft war in post April 2011 Nigeria as it concerns governor who lost in the elections.
Environmental factors play significant roles in the determination and operations of the budgetary system in Nigeria. In the Nigerian Financial system law and order usually play a pivotal role. Hence, the system is hedged about with legal restriction and governmental order. Generally, environment can be viewed as all the condition, circumstances and influences affecting the development of and activities of the local government. These factors among others include industrial, socio-economic and political environment affecting the attitudes and work ethics/behaviours at work. It is within this milieu of interactions factor that the actors in the budgetary system is entrenched. In an ideal situation, budgetary process is said to be peoples’ driven when it calls for a consultative forum where stakeholders express their feeling relating to previous budget and present their inputs and priorities which form the part of existing budget. This process will go a long way in assisting and updating Elected Officers, Ministries, Departments and Agencies towards budgetary preparation. However, it is surprising that since 1999, Civil Societies, Nigerians and other well-meaning organizations in Nigeria, have made tireless effort to access the proposed Federal government budgetary estimations to guide them. But such has proved abortive; as the Government denied them meaningful contribution to the budgetary process. Apart from this, in two different occasions, the Presidency has failed in its attempt attempts to present the proposed budget before the National Assembly for scrutiny; only to be postponed at eleventh hour due to one or two reasons best known to presidency. This has posed series of confusions and doubt about effective execution and implementation of the draft estimation. The paper notes that the ecology of the budgetary system in Nigeria determines to a great extent its effectiveness as well as pattern. On the other hand, governments through their activities influence their environment. The paper concludes that the influence is reciprocal.
For the last few days, economic activities have been grounded throughout the country by the on-going strike embarked by labour unions and the civil society groups to protest the removal of fuel subsidy and the resultant increase in petrol price from N65 to between N141 to N200. The strike action, which has already gulped several billions of naira, has indeed put to question whether the continued statement in the federal government and organized labour and civil society organizations talks is not actually costing the country more revenue than the estimated N1.3 trillion the federal government pays oil marketers yearly. Instructively, the federal government said it as withdrawing the subsidy because it was draining the nation’s resources and would collapse the economy in the next two years or there about if retained. After six days of the strike, the country has already lost over N1.3 trillion than it would have spent subsidizing fuel for another year. One therefore, begins to wonder the sense in the removal of the subsidy. For instance, the presidency says the subsidy was removed in order to save cost. But, the ongoing strike has already resulted in huge revenue loses. Nigeria has a long history of increase in fuel price; and it dates back to the day’s o General Yakubu Gowon in the early 1970s. The deception of claiming to remove subsidy came with the supposedly Obasanjo’s democratic era. He increased it severally before he exited office from N20 to N70. The late Yar’Adua went against the trend and reduced it to N65. Finally, as at today, Jonathan regime has jerked it up to N141. For many Nigerians, the government has done it worst by increasing the price of petrol and they have to do all in their power to resist it. The paper concludes by positing that government is merely taxing the poor to subsidies the life of the rich.
In an effort to prune the rising cost of governance in Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan in August, 2011, set up a Presidential Committee on Rationalization and Restructuring of Federal Government's Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies. The committee, which was headed by former Head of Service of the Federation, Stephen Orosanye, recently submitted its report, which contained far reaching recommendations - some of which have thrown government employees into some sort of quandary and apprehension. In the report, the committee reviewed the extant laws in sync with its mandate and submitted inter alia: "The average cost of governance in Nigeria is believed to rank among the highest in the world…If the cost of governance must be brought down, all arms of government must make spirited efforts at reducing their running cost." Out of the present structure of 263 statutory agencies, the panel recommended a reduction to 161, with additional proposals that: 38 agencies be abolished; 52 be merged and 14 others be reverted to departments in various ministries. The agencies and parastatals employ varying numbers of workers estimated at 30,000 nationwide. However, since most of these institutions are creations of the law, it remains to be seen how the National Assembly will acquiesce to these proposals. Judging from the welter of public opinion as expressed in the mass media and in other outlets, the Orosanye's Report has attracted far more opponents than those who support it. When the Adoke Review Committee set up to look into the recommendations of the Presidential Panel finally submits its report, the government must exercise utmost caution and discretion in the choices of: what to implement now; what to discard and what belong to the future. In making these choices, it must also consider the contending interests of all stakeholders; the asphyxiating economic environment of the Nigerian worker and how the chosen items will accentuate the realization of the objectives of the government's Transformation Agenda. The objective of this paper is to explore the implications of high cost governance on the socio-economic sectors of the Nigeria economy.
It is remarkable to appreciate how much or little socio-economic conditions of people have been transformed in a corrupt but civil society like Nigeria. With huge resource expansion, unparalleled and unprecedented corrupt practices have been the bane of democratic governance which the people of Nigeria yearn for. Thus, corruption has made things very stressful and difficult and the reality of good governance a mirage. Dramatic abuse of office, injustice, embezzlement, nepotism, inequality and lack of basic needs of the people have been the order of the day as a result of corruption that has plagued the Nigerian governance structure and system. This work thus attempts to look at Corruption and Democratic Governance in Nigeria with Njaba Local Government Area of Imo state as our case study from years 2006-2010. It also examines the causes of corruption, the typology and further recommends ways of fighting the scourge to enhance democratic governance in the local government.
The objective of this paper is to explore the linkage between corruption and administration by using Nigeria as a case study. This is because corruption has been around for a very long time and will be around in the future unless governments figure out effective ways to combat it. Though various anti-corruption strategies have been designed and implemented. Toward the end of the twentieth century economics turned their attention to corruption that beforehand was the subject of sociology, political science, history, public administration, and criminal law researches. Despite the vivid link between corruption and economic performance hot debates arose to determine the nature (negative or positive) of this correlation. Reviewing the results of these empirical studies we can conclude that corruption in few cases can boost economic growth but only in the short run, for in the long-run and in general, corruption destroys the economy and the culture and impedes welfare. All empirical results of different research programs support the proposition that corruption inhibits economic performance. The surveyed studies provide evidence that corruption may seriously inhibit long-term economic growth and increase the volatility of business cycles. Various leading international organizations (the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Transparency international) national governments, scientists (despite their specialization) regard corruption as damaging factor for development and democracy. This paper adopts a qualitative methodology and uses the technique of content analysis and tables to document its findings. The paper suggests active policy against corruption should be elaborated and implemented in Nigeria.
The paper undertook a comprehensive study of a wide range of issues involved in the protracted character of the fifty-two (52) year Ezillo-Ezza-Ezillo Communal conflict. The paper also underlined the systemic and overlapping cyclical nature of the conflict in terms of its causes. In the review of literature we tried to situate in proper perspective, by undertaking conceptual review of conflict, communal conflict and their causes. We reviewed conventional causes such as indigene-settler-problematic, socio-economic and political resources. Extant literatures are of the view that conflict are caused by a multivariable factors. Similarly, the indeterminate and imprecise definition of who is an indigene and who is not, coupled with the mistrust, rivalries that occasion the coexistence of the two social categories are the major conflict triggers in many Nigeria communities including Ezza-Ezillo- Ezillo. This much was also elaborated in the theoretical framework for the study which was anchored on the Marxist theory of conflicts and the pluralism theory. The main thrust being that the hostile relation usually inherent in societies are driven by differences in material resources and existence of groups and subgroups. Following from our review of extant literature and analysis, we discovered that issues such as indigenship, land ownership, cultural denigration, competition for resources and measures taken by the government managing the conflicts were responsible for the conflict. In view of these unresolved issues the paper proffered plausible recommendations.
The problem of unregulated use of money in politics did not begin today. There are antecedents in the history of modern Nigeria, beginning with the politics of nationalism in the 1950s, similar to rent-seeking behaviours of parties, politicians and voters. For example, the absence of strict legislation to regulate party finance made it possible for politicians and political parties to engage in illegal party financing and corruption in the Nigeria’s First Republic. The electoral laws under which elections were conducted in the 1950s and 1960s were derived from the provision of the British Representation of the Peoples Act of 1948/9 and its regulations. The 1959 elections were conducted under the provision of the Nigeria (Electoral Provisions) Order-in-Council, LN 117 of 1958 enacted by the British Parliament. During this period, there was no clearly defined regulatory framework on party finance and political party funding was primarily carried out through private parties since candidates were responsible Granted that some efforts have been made to reform laws regulating political campaigns and party funding, campaign financing and their abuses thereof remain shrouded in mystery. It is in this connection that this chapter critically interrogates the challenges of political parties and election/campaign financing in Nigeria, with specific emphasis on the 2015 general elections. The chapter demonstrates that despite the existence of an enabling Act to sanitize campaign financing in Nigeria, the suspicious manner in which the presidential candidates of the two major political parties mobilized huge campaign funds in the wake of the 2015 general elections, reveals not just the contempt with which they hold this law, but also exposes the political corruption and commercialization of the electioneering process. The methodology made extensive use of secondary sources and employed the technique of content analysis to analyse both descriptive, narrative, and empirical data on election expenses. The chapter also argues that the commercialization of the electioneering process does not only disempower and dispossess citizens during the post-election period, but has other far reaching- implications for the nation’s democratic trajectory. The chapter concludes by positing that there is the need, not just to strengthen institutions but, to make them more proactive in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities.
Ever since the independence of Nigeria in 1960, scholars as well as developmental experts have sought to divulge the reasons for the nation’s protracted underdevelopment. These efforts gained momentum, following the oil boom of the 1970s, in which the nation boasted of having lots of money at its disposal to the extent that its problem became what to use the money for, yet there was no visible development or its indicators in the country. Most of the studies averred that corruption, tribalism and nepotism, an established system of mediocrity cum general administrative ineptitude account so much for the nation’s developmental catastrophe. This research work, though not completely denying the fact that the above mentioned issues in one way or the other contribute to the nation’s developmental crisis, contend that Nigeria’s developmental problems are inextricably intertwined with Census Politics as observed in the 2006 population census of the federation. Data generated from population census is among other things used in determining who gets what, when and why in the Nigerian federation. Consequently, there has been an unending drive towards inflation of census figures among Nigerian states, geared towards obtaining the advantages accruing from having higher population figures in the country. This scenario has created a situation of distributive imbalance and subsequently, injustice in the allocation of funds and other resources in the federation. It is observed from our study that the root cause of the jostle towards falsification of population census figures in Nigeria remains the inadequacies in the practices of revenue allocations in the country. The fact that considerable attention is being paid to generative capacity, as well as landmass among other principles has created and fortified the character of census that now obtains in the country and which was manifested in the 2006 population census. States with limited access to natural resources tend to see the population exercise as the only means available for them to bridge the gap created by absence and/ or inadequacy of natural resources. This accounts so much for the manipulation of the 2006 census figures in the country. As a result of high intrusion of politics in the 2006 population counts, there has been widespread discrepancy between revenue allocation to states and the call for its rejection.
Following the alarm raised by a coalition of civil society groups and professional bodies in the construction industry on the manufacturing and importation of poor quality cement into the country, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) recently convened and mandated a Technical Committee to formulate new standards for cement in the country. Though belated, this response to the alarm should help ensure that henceforth, only high quality cement that can guarantee the strength and safety of buildings is either produced or imported into the country. For some time now, the quality of cement sold in the country has been compromised at will, leaving unpleasant consequences such as frequent collapse of buildings across the country, with attendant loss of lives and property. There have been worrisome reports of different grades of sub-standard cement in the market, with consumers largely unaware that certain grades of cement were not suitable for housing construction. The use of law-grade cement probably contributed to the problem of collapsing buildings in the country. The loss of lives in the collapsed buildings could clearly have been avoided if proper quality standards had been set and enforced, and the people educated on the grade of cement to use for block making and house plastering. Nevertheless, it is good that SON has now taken necessary steps to formulate cement standards for Nigeria. This will help users of the product to establish the relationship between the quality of the cement that they use and the strength and safety of their buildings. We commend SON under the leadership of Dr. Joseph Odumodu for responding quickly to the alert raised by stakeholders in the construction industry. This paper addresses the challenges raised above and suggests that poor building practices are key to the problem of building collapse and that efforts to curb this problem would be beyond the scope of the Technical Committee alone but to all stakeholders. From these reviews and current development in the Nigerian cement industry in the last four months the paper concludes that with the availability of 32.5, 42.5 and 52.5 grade of cement in the country, it is high time for massive education of bricklayers and masons all over the country for them to know the right kind of cement for a given project and thus ensure safety of buildings.