Local Government and Good Governance in Nigeira's Emerging Democracy, 1999-2011: An Analysis of the Constraining Factors

By Adebisi, Ademola | Canadian Social Science, November 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Local Government and Good Governance in Nigeira's Emerging Democracy, 1999-2011: An Analysis of the Constraining Factors


Adebisi, Ademola, Canadian Social Science


Abstract

When local governments were democratically instituted in Nigeria in 1999, Nigerians widely assumed that democratic rule would usher in good governance at all levels. This study however discovered that the expectations of the people have not been largely met. This failure the study further discovered is attributable to a number of constraining factors. The paper analyzed these constraining factors and prescribed measures that can engender good governance at the local level in the country.

Key words:

INTRODUCTION

The idea and practice of localizing government is a universal and age-old phenomenon. In Nigeria, before the emergence of the contemporary state system, governance in all originality was locally or community based. With the emergence of the state system, local government still finds a place in the scheme of things. The philosophy of localizing governance in the modern day setting as most scholars have concurred is anchored on the need to bring government closer to the people (Mills, Janda, Barry, & Goldman, 2000; Ajayi, 2004; Kolawole, 2003; Ola, 2004). Thus even as its functions and relevance sometimes overlap with those of other levels government, it is still seen as a contrivance that will not only engender development and make governance more efficient and effective, but equally compatible with a majoritarian view of democracy (Janda, Barry, & Goldman, 2000, p. 122). After close to two decades of military repressive rule (1983-1999) Nigeria was again returned to democratic rule in 1999. When the new democratic dispensation was about to take-off, expectations of the citizens were high in respect of the responsiveness of the democratic government at all levels that were to succeed the military rulers. Indeed, it was a general presupposition that the incoming democratically elected government would envelope and deliver to the people good governance. While it is acknowledged that democracy is not a destination, it was still assumed that, democratic rule would usher in good governance at all levels. However, the report card has not portended flying colours for all the tiers of government in the country namely: Federal, State, and local government.

In discussing the matter of good governance, veiled reference is usually made to the evaluation of the performance of the local government. Whereas, the national picture of governance ought to be a cumulative performance of all the tiers of the government in the country. It is in recognition of this fact that this paper has chosen to examine good governance at local level with emphasis on the constraining factors that have impeded or imposed the present level of development and quality of governance at the local level under the nascent democratic dispensation which was instituted in 1999.

1. CONCEPTUALIZING GOOD GOVERNANCE

In order to bring the term "good governance" into proper perspective, it is apposite to first examine the meaning of governance. Governance has been defined as the exercise of political, economic and social authority to regulate human interactions for the well being of society. In this sense, governance can be seen as an attempt by the state machinery (government or constituted authority) to translate into concrete realities, the objectives for which a political society is established which in the main consists of maintenance of law and order and the promotion of the welfare of the members of the political society in all ramifications. Human history has however revealed that the performances of the people charged with the responsibility of governance have, in term of satisfying the yearnings of the members of their states and fulfilling the traditional and primary aim of governance - maintenance of law and order - have varied. While some succeeded in fulfilling the traditional aims of governance, others have indeed engaged in the perversion of the core aims of governance. It is this perversion that brought about the concept of "bad governance", which has in turn generated the desire to remove bad governance and thus the emergence of the term "good governance". …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Local Government and Good Governance in Nigeira's Emerging Democracy, 1999-2011: An Analysis of the Constraining Factors
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.