Political Culture and Good Governance in Nigeria Daniel Eseme Idowu Gberevbie currently lectures at the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. in Public Administration from the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, between and , and. Foreign relations[show]. Minister of Foreign Affairs; Diplomatic missions. of Nigeria · to Nigeria · Passport · Visa requirements · Other countries · Atlas · v · t · e . The federal government of Nigeria is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive Nigerian politics takes place within a framework of a federal, presidential. Bearing in mind that the life expectancy in Nigeria is less than 50 years . New patterns of the relationship between politics and administration.
Their role is to effectively complement the political masters in the administration of the State for the promotion of the well-being of the citizenry and, ultimately the fulfilment of the common purpose.
In Nigeria, like many other countries of the world, the Public Service is an integral part of the Executive Arm of Government led by the President at the Federal level, assisted by Ministers in the Executive Council of the Federation. The same process is replicated at the State level where the executive arm is led by Governors, assisted by Commissioners as members of State Executive Councils. The National Assembly, made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives, constitutes the legislative arm of the Federation, with the State Assembly in each of the 36 States of the Federation also featuring as the legislative arm at the second tier of Government.
A similar structural arrangement exists at the Local Government level, the third tier of Government, for organising the communities for the attainment of the collective good.
Governance And Politics In Nigeria
In effect therefore, the public service serves as the engine of government and its chief agent for facilitating the process of national renewal and accelerated national development.
The Public Service is also both the apparatus and the machinery for the realisation of national visions; hence national capability is often a reflection of the capability of the bureaucracy.
In other words, it is unthinkable for any nation to rise beyond the capacity of its public service. Structure, systems and processes of government: However, despite the violent violation of its provisions, the constitution remained the subsequent administrations military or otherwise.
Military regime, [ edit ] The breakdown of law and order which occurred in the period under review would not be attributed to any defect in the Nigerian legal system. Corrupt practices both in the body politic and all aspects of Nigerian life eroded efficiency and progress.
There were 8 coups generally five were successful and 3 were unsuccessful. Seal of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The president is elected through universal suffrage. He or she is both the chief of state and head of government, heading the Federal Executive Council, or cabinet.
The executive branch is divided into Federal Ministrieseach headed by a minister appointed by the president. It is instructive to note that, in these two variants of corrupt practices, the system of legal corruption is financed by the private sector, while that of illegal corruption is financed by the treasury of the public sector. Such a dichotomy seeks to justify legal corruption as a legitimate practice anchored on the ethnos of matured democratic polities, while it condemns the other variant with roots in less developed democratic systems.
In both scenarios, however, the state is captured by a group of political elites in collusion with the private sector, a phenomenon which leads to the privatization of the state for private sector interests. In the case of illegal corruption, however, the impact on the population is immediate, visible and more devastating as socio-economic infrastructures completely break down, driving the poor into extreme poverty and obliterating the middle class of society.
Using the state of Nigerian roads as a demonstration of the failure of governance in Nigeria, Reuben Abati lamented: Every sphere of national life is like the roads: The roads are bad; the hospitals are ill-equipped, the school system is in disarray, access to health remains a problem, human life in both the cities and the rural areas, is on the edge of despair…. Sincecontracts have been awarded by governments at all levels for the repair, rehabilitation and construction of roads.
There have been stories told of how this has provided great opportunities for corrupt self-enrichment; the beneficiaries being contractors, public officials and consultants.
In early President Obasanjo questioned where were the roads that his government had spent over billion naira constructing. His confidant, Chief Anthony Anenih was the minister responsible for that portfolio.
Neither Obasanjo nor Anenih answered the question, but the public knew in whose pockets the money was diverted to. In rendering his assessment on the quality of state governors in the Fourth Republic, the secretary general of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Col. It is interesting to note that while oil has intensified the rate of corruption in Nigeria, the polity has become less democratic and ridden with poverty.
On page 4 above, where we discussed Predictability as an element of governance, we identified the recognition of the principles of jurisdictional responsibilities as a critical property of this element, especially in a federal polity like Nigeria.
Federal government of Nigeria - Wikipedia
We posed the question whether a federal government can establish an Act empowering itself to review the finances, policies and activities of state governments and punish erring state officials. We shall return to the EFCC later. Being a federal system, it is imperative that we discuss the properties of good governance under federalism. First, both levels of government — the central government and the states federating unites — are independent, but never subordinate to one another.
Second, the relationship between the central government and the federating units is horizontal and not vertical…. When any of these elements are vitiated, federalism is compromised and the basis of good governance under federalism is eroded. The regular visits, either voluntary or mandated, of State governors belonging to the PDP, to the Presidency and party headquarters in Abuja for instructions considerably weaken the premise of federalism.
The federal government has assumed the status of a national government akin to that of a unitary system, with the state governments reduced to mere administrative arms of the presidency in Abuja. Because the state governors have acquiesced to the erosion of the fundamental premises of federalism, they lack the audacity to challenge President Obasanjo when it is clear that his policies negate those premises.
The establishment of the EFCC vividly illustrates this point.
Federal government of Nigeria
Instead of challenging the locus standi of the EFCC, federal legislators, state governors and their respective legislative assemblies blindly accept the EFCC as a normal instrument with multiple jurisdictional responsibilities under a federal political system.
The question is not whether the federal government can establish the EFCC to investigate federal institutions, but whether the federal government has the jurisdiction to investigate the fiscal management of the state governments and punish state officials.
But state governors and other elected officials have come to accept the EFCC as a legitimate institution with the authority to investigate state and local government performance. It was on the basis of this premise that the president of the Senate, Ken Nnamani, sent a petition to President Obasanjo in Julydetailing his allegations against Governor Chirmanoke Nnamani of Enugu State — his home state. In a telephone interview with the Nigerian Tribune from his hide-out, he declared: I have always been his boy.
In a national broadcast declaring a state of emergency on Ekiti State on October 19,President Obasanjo cited relevant sections of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to demonstrate the unconstitutional actions of the Ekiti State House of Assembly in effecting the impeachment of Governor Fayose and Deputy Governor Olujimi, and to justify his constitutional powers in dismissing the Ekiti State House of Assembly. If there was a breech of the constitution that led to three claimants of the governorship, one would have thought that the Judiciary would have been the appropriate authority to interpret the constitution and decide accordingly and not the Presidency.
By so doing, they have not only abrogated the independence of the federating units but aided President Obasanjo in subverting the fundamental tenets of federalism. This is exemplified by the role of President Obasanjo in determining when and how a state governor can be impeached.
He also told me that he is saddened about what is happening but asked me to continue my work in the state. Since the defeat of the proposed amendment to elongate the term of President Obasanjo beyond Mayby the National Assembly in Maythere has been heightened unpredictability in the polity. Will President Obasanjo hand over power in May if his successor is not his personal choice?
Will President Obasanjo allow a free and fair election? Will there even be an election in ? These questions are only legitimate in a political system riddled with poor governance, one where the rules of political contest are determined by undemocratic practices. That the population, as reported in various Nigerian newspapers, will even contemplate whether or not President Obasanjo will hand over power in May is indicative of the failure of politics and governance in the system.
Relationship between higher civil servants and their political masters
How do we explain these troubling developments? An explanation is located in two inter-related phenomena. The first is the military background of President Obasanjo that moulded his anti federalist policies.
For the purpose of this lecture we shall focus mainly on the first phenomenon.
The intrusion of the military in governance in January ushered in a systematic dismantling of federalism in Nigeria, in favour of a military-command system. President Obasanjo was a product of that military-command system.
Thus, by electing a former military dictator as their president in a civilian democratic regime, Nigerians unwittingly entrenched the military command system of government inimical to good governance and federalism. Given his military command background, President Obasanjo does not appreciate the need to separate party and state jurisdictions.