An Assessment Of The Contribution On Poor Governance And Administration On National Image

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

An Assessment Of The Contribution On Poor Governance And Administration On National Image

Chapter One


Background Of The Study

Over the years, there has been a persistent contention that the Nigerian economy, like its counterparts in Africa and other developing countries, underperforms due to a lack of state ability to cope with contemporary governance challenges. The essence of the state, i.e. the democratic institutions by which legitimate authority is exerted and applied, is crucial to understanding politics in every nation (Smith, 2003, p. 108).As a result, understanding the African structural crisis requires a focus on state capability. Clapham (2002) focuses on the inherent difficulties of maintaining a state in vulnerable societies and proposes possible reasons for states’ incapacity, especially during the globalization period. His recognition of systemic and contextual factors that exacerbate the vulnerability of most African nations, such as Nigeria, is of greater concern. Bayart (2009) investigates African sociopolitical and economic conditions, blaming state shortcomings on Africa’s historical legacy of poor national leadership, repression, crises, and wars. The signs of state failure and breakdown in Africa are well-known; the point of contention is the degree to which the Nigerian state has shown its incapacity.

The presence of sociopolitical institutions and mechanisms that authoritatively defined the division of social values is emphasized in both classical and contemporary understandings of governance (Easton, 1953). Further, the institution of government is required to settle or control disputes within groups within a community by making decisions that are enforceable without the use of force. This allows society to be organized for the ultimate good of all—the public good. Financial, political, cultural, religious, and technical classes make up almost every population. In most western cultures, the operations of these organizations are mostly regulated by an institutionalized structure of three major organs. The three organs, known as legislative, executive, and judiciary in several countries, are in charge of formulating legislation, executing policies, and rendering counsel and relevant recommendations, as well as adjudicating and translating for dispute resolution, respectively. While societies differ on how these vital organs function, it is normal, particularly in democracies, for them to exist in separate domains such that all power is not concentrated in a single entity or person.

Poor governance has been described as a public institution’s inability to “manage public relations and public resources” on a broad scale. Wikipedia further notes that “Bad governance becomes more pronounced when a state or government fails (abysmally) to meet the needs of the society even though it makes use of the best of all the resources at their disposal”. Broadly speaking, Owoye and Bisssessar (2009) see bad governance as a symptom of institutional and leadership failures, explicitly “manifested by its long list of dictatorial leaders, non free media and undemocratic elections

Statement Of Problem

Nigeria’s government collapse can be attributed to a number of reasons. Others are bureaucratic and organizational, while others are political, fiscal, cultural, and social. However, it is important to remember that the majority of these bad governance causes stem from past Nigerian regimes’ insidious corruption, which is one of the most prominent drivers of bad governance. According to World Bank, corruption is the abuse of public power for private benefit. In fact, in Nigeria, and in many developing countries, most of the proceeds of corruption go to finance the political parties. In several cases of corruption, the abuse of public power is not necessarily for one’s private benefit but it can be for the benefit of one’s party, class, tribe, friends, family, and so on. The causes of Nigerian corruption appear in several ways. First, the absence of accountability mechanisms. Second, the lack of effective institutional control, the alliance between business and the ruling powers was predatory and hence became a source of deep resentment within the public. Finally, corruption had a spill-over effect into wider society and became part of the social fabric, lack of transparency in rules, laws and processes, decline of public sector wages level and examples by the leadership. Privatization has been the most closely associated with corruption in Nigeria among the structural reforms that have occurred in recent years. There is no doubt that public or state-owned companies have been a major source of corruption, especially political corruption, since they have been used to fund political parties’ campaigns and provide work to representatives of specific political classes on occasion. The quality of the bureaucracy varies greatly among countries. In some, public sector jobs give a lot of prestige and status; in others, much less so. Many factors contribute to that quality. Tradition and the effect that it has on the pride that individuals have in working for the government may explain why, some bureaucracies are much more efficient and much less vulnerable to corruption than others. The less are recruitment and promotion based on merit, the higher is the extent of corruption. Absence of politically motivated hiring, patronage, and nepotism, and clear rules on promotions and hiring, in addition to some of the factors discussed below all contribute to the quality of a bureaucracy.

The incentive structure plus tradition go a long way to explain why the Nigerian bureaucracies is much more corrupt than others. Historically, the bureaucracy served as an indispensable arm of the Nigerian regime. It ensured stability and order, produced and distributed public goods, punished the enemies of the regime and maintained its grip on power through rigging elections. Successive presidents and Governors in Nigeria, expanded bureaucracy, consolidated their power, covered up their human rights violations and distributed benefits to those who occupied key positions in the state apparatus. The corruption that permeated the bureaucracy had a spill-over effect on wider society. The inability of public bureaucracy to perform its duties coincided with a noticeable deterioration in the performance of non-state actors and the private sector. A direct relationship between governance and public culture, in that the accountable and transparent government helps disseminate positive public values in other society organization. Successive Nigerian political regime had deliberately created a highly centralized public bureaucracy where citizens faced time-consuming processes in public organizations due to the top-down bureaucratic system.

Objective Of The Study

The following are the primary objectives:

  1. To assess the contribution on poor governance on national image
  2. To investigate the impact of poor governance on the citizens

Research Questions

  1. What are the contributions of poor governance on national image?
  2. What is the impact of poor governance and administration on the citizens?

Significance Of The Study

This study will be of significance to the government as it will aid in curbing bad governance in the country and it will also be of significance to scholars, student and researchers who will wish to carry out further research on this study

Scope Of The Study

The purpose of this research is to assess the contribution of poor governance and administration on national image in Nigeria

Limitation Of Study

Finance, time constraint and lack os research materials were the major challenges faced by the researchers during the course of this study

Definition Of Terms

Poor Governance:

Poor governance is the relationship between those who govern and those who are governed as a consequence of decision-making.


Administration is defined as the act of managing duties, responsibilities, or rules.

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