An Assessment Of The Impact Of Attitudinal Challenges On Development Efforts In Nigeria
The major determinant to know whether a country is progressing or not is “development” as it is said to be a major predictor. Despite her abundance in human, natural and material resources, an assessment of developmental efforts in Nigeria reveals that the country is yet to achieve the desired expectations as clamored by her citizens. This is largely due to attitudinal challenges currently being faced in different spheres in the country. The study is aimed at identifying the attitudinal challenges that has hindered developmental efforts in Nigeria. A change in attitude towards these challenges is believed to bring massive development into the country.
To obtain data for this study, the researcher adopted qualitative research method through textual analysis. The findings of this study revealed that despite the country’s attempt to advance development, several challenges has posed a great threat to her progress. These setbacks range from historical challenge, Socio-economic inequalities challenge, imposition of policies on citizens, lack of adequate human resources or capital to implement development plans/policies, corruption and lack of credible leadership, constitutional challenge, the challenge of building institutions for democracy and development, among others. The study concludes that once the identified setbacks are tackled then development will be realized in the country.
The pride of place, which Nigeria as a great nation held in the past, has unfortunately been beclouded by the bulwarks of corruption, inordinate tribal sentiments, violent conflicts and inadvertently, poverty for a significant segment of the populace. Like a wall ripped down by an invading army and left unrepaired, the ‘Giant of Africa’ has exuded vulnerability at global economic and political changes, attracted the ridicule and taunts of the international community for being passive while the world passes by and left it’s people despondent. The economic indicators label a resource-rich nation like ours as poor, our academic institutions serve as breeding grounds for various anti-social activities, our strong cultural values are being eroded on a daily basis and the virile youth, the hope and future of Nigeria, are disillusioned at what tomorrow holds for them (Bayart,1993:15).
This is the precarious reality of the state of the nation. It is not a palatable situation and has tested the resilience of the Nigerian spirit to the extreme. For the most part, the problems Nigerians face are self-inflicted and demand a solution that the citizens must develop if the country is to reach the seemingly evasive land of promise (Alence, 2004: 9). The challenges against collective destiny as Nigerians are many. Fortunately, they are not insurmountable. Nigerians must come to this realization and have a deep burden for the holistic emancipation of Nigeria from debt and poverty, before the citizens start the reconstruction of the Nigeria of their dreams with great urgency (Baker, 2000). An old proverb says:
“No one climbs a tree from the top”, so it would be only wise if we retrace our steps to the root of our current predicament before mapping a workable strategy for national development.
It is no secret that the disunity of individuals is precipitated by mutual distrust, which nurtures conflict. From the early years of independence, through the obnoxious years of military adventure into civil administration, the stench of tribal affiliation that separates numerous tribes has been pungent in our national life. The vice of tribalism is not the preserve of ethnic constituents, as there exists even more lines of delineation within ethnic groupings that births conflict (Beckley and Wiggins, 2000:25). Such conflict reveals that the problem is not a case of tribalism per se but an innate state of intolerance.
1.1 Background of study
Nigeria is today being crippled by one of the greatest threat affecting her ability to rapidly transform critical areas of her society along socio-political and economic lines: this threat is centered on the reluctance or refusal of its citizenry to develop right attitudes towards doing things. Consequently, the inability of successive governments to tackle this problem has led to the stigmatization of the average Nigerian home and abroad. Corruption has remained the single greatest impediment to equitable economic development in Nigeria. It has weakened the country and all her efforts to create and facilitates sustainable development (Chukwuma and Chukwuma, 2015). The wide prevalent of corruption within the Nigerian society demonstrates its complex interconnection with politics, governance and the elite manipulating both the legal and regulatory agencies, thereby leading to unsustainable economic development. This, of course, is the root cause of poverty in the society.
Corruption is a complies social, political, and economic phenomenon that impacts on every aspect of Nigerian society with many long-term effects which adversely ignore the rule of law and human rights (Adewale, 2003).
Kofi Anam once said “Corruption hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a government’s ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice, and discouraging foreign investment and aid. The processes of corruption actually revolve around bribery, money laundering, abuse of power, embezzlement, nepotism and other forms of corrupt practices.
Attitude simply put, refer to opinions or a general feeling about things. Humans are naturally opinionated. We form likes and dislikes almost from the moment we first gain consciousness. Our stances on issues and our attitudes about things are directly linked to our stances on issues and our attitudes about things are directly linked to our innermost thought and feelings.
In modern society we are constantly subjected to various advertisements which try to or actually influence or change these thought and feelings. Ethics on the other hand deal with codes of conduct which guide individual in dealings with one another. Basically, deals with personal behaviour and moral duty and primarily concerned with what is right and wrong (Adewale, 2003). In a work situation for example, it is concerned with principles and practices of moral and good conducts in business life.
Chukwuma and Chukwuma (2015) feels that the irony of declining moral values in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized, as one will wonder:
Why many Nigerians conduct themselves properly abroad but act unethically any time they come back home. For example,
We hear of lecturers that study abroad under convenient conditions but come back home and subject students to inconveniences.
The Nigerian policeman on peace keeping duties abroad is constantly commended by the United Nations for showing high level of professionalism in the conduct of his duties. But once he returns home he immediately resorts to acts of indiscipline.
Traders and business men go all the way to China to get Chinese companies to reduce the standard specification of goods sent to them in Nigeria so that they can buy these goods at a cheaper price and make extra profits off their fellow Nigerians.
Politicians and government officials also travel out regularly and see the level of developments overseas, but come back home and find it hard to do the same here even when sufficient fund are provided to do so.
Why is it that we find a common Nigerian disappointment at someone who after holding a top government position failed to amass wealth?
These and many more are some of the attitudinal challenges facing Nigeria as a country and hindering developmental efforts in the country for many years now.
1.2 Statement of problem
The importance of attitudinal change on the development of any country, Nigeria inclusive cannot be overemphasized. However, the approach and strategies for achieving a developed country deserves zero tolerance to corruption, good governance and value based leadership. A lot of efforts have been initiated by the Nigeria governments past and present and civil societies in an attempt to eradicate corruption such as campaign against bribery and corruption decree, War Against indiscipline (WAI), Cultism in higher Institutions, sorting of grades by student and exam malpractice etc. but these have not been successfully because of genuine leadership (Chukwuma and Chukwuma, 2015).
Contrary to what is the “Norm” within the last 12 years the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and finical Crime Commission (EFCC) have both demonstrated that corruption can be curbed and best practiced can be upheld in Nigeria once there is a value based leader who is committed to achieving results and wiping out the wrong deeds (Barten, 2002). However, a whole lot of things sabotage the efforts of these commissions and other related commissions with similar objectives. Because of lack of effectiveness of some of these instituted authorities, corruption and other social vices have been “a way of life amongst Nigerians, as it has eaten so deep into the system. With a full support both by government and citizens of this country, there would be a drastic reduction in the economic and financial crimes usually committed amongst top Civil servants, politicians, governors, bankers and fraudsters. Also, if all hands are on deck, indiscipline, Cultism, malpractices and other social vices will be curbed, thereby changing the attitude of citizens towards national development.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The main objective of this study is to assess the impact of attitudinal challenges on development efforts in Nigeria (1999-2015). The study intends to identify factors responsible for inability of Nigeria to fully experience developments due to attitudinal challenges. Also, the work attempt to trace the attitudinal challenges and its impact towards the development of Nigeria and will reveal if the government and civil societies efforts are genuine or not. Specifically, the study is set to find out;
- If there are significant relationship between attitudinal change and national developments
- If the attitudinal challenges pose a threat on developmental efforts in Nigeria from 1999 to 2015?
- How the attitudinal challenges in Nigeria has affected the security of the citizens from 1999 to 2015?
- To know if an intensive attitudinal change campaign can bring about significant developments in Nigeria?
1.4 Scope and limitation of the study
This work is specially intended to assess the impact of attitudinal challenges on development efforts in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015. The various efforts previously initiated by the past and present governments and civil societies in an attempt to bring about a change in attitude will make the efforts of this research work limited by time, finance, transport, inadequate information and materials.
1.5 Clarification of study
1.5.1 Concept of Development
The ambiguous nature of development has made it difficult to advance a precise meaning. In fact there are numerous perspectives as to what the concept of development is all about. There is the perspective that sees it from the economic perspectives, while others sees it as a concept that is multidimensional, meaning that development is beyond the economic domain. According to Meier (1988), development is the act of raising to the highest value the Gross National Product through the process of accumulating capital and industrialization. Development can also be viewed as the capacity of a nation to increase its static economy to a level where it can generate and sustain an annual increase in its Gross National Product (GNP). Additionally, he further stated that development is not limited to just the process of acquiring industries, but encompasses such processes as modernization, productivity, social and economic equalization, modern technical know-how, improved institutions, and attitudes as well as rationally coordinated policy apparatus (Meier, 1988). In the same light, Oghator&Okoobo (2000) pointed out that development goes beyond the increase in per-capita income or economic growth, but also includes sustainable improvements in the living standard of the people, which is guaranteed through the provision of gainful employment, coupled with the presence and availability of social and economic infrastructures.
On the other hand, Seers (1979) defined development by posing certain questions such as; what has been happening to poverty, unemployment and inequality. To him, if all three indices (poverty, unemployment and inequality) are at a relatively high rate, there is absence of development, and vice versa. It follows therefore that for a country to be classified as developed, there are parameters to look out for which are: the state of poverty, unemployment and inequality. For Todaro (1985), buttressing on the multi-dimensional nature of the concept of development opines that it is the re-organisation and re-orientation of the entire economic and social system. Ajagun (2003) corroborates that development is a state of advancement which makes life more meaningful in its various aspects, including the economic, administrative, political, social, cultural and religious aspects. This implies that development is not about a particular aspect but it is encompassing, better still multi-dimensional depending on the point of contention. According to Onah (2005), development is not static but is a continuous improvement in the capacity of the individual and society to control and manipulate the forces of nature for the enhancement of the living standard of the people in a society. This definition introduces another dimension to the meaning of development, it analyses the human aspect of development, that is, the individuals who resides in a given state. Ahmed (2007) also noted that development is concerned with the general upliftment in the material, social and psychological conditions of a given human society.
Adamolekun (2007) also stressed that development has to do with improving the living condition of people. He highlighted some indicators of development, which includes; a higher quality of life, higher income, better education, higher standards of health and nutrition, less poverty in society, a cleaner environment, more equal opportunities, greater individual freedom and richer cultural life amongst citizens of a given state. From the various meanings of development outlined, it can be deduced that development is not limited to economic growth or per capita income alone but is a concept that is all encompassing that analyses the economic, administrative, political, social, cultural, religious, and living standard of the people in a given society.
1.5.2 Attitudinal Development
Attitudes developments should become a primary focus of citizenship in this present dispensation and in the future. It is very important to emphasize therefore, that citizens will need to learn to handle their feelings, satisfactorily. This can be accomplished effectively by developing such traits that would enhance positive attitudinal changes as for example:
- Willingly to value and respect all people regardless of their origins and ways of life
- Awareness of our own cultural heritage and respect for that of others.
- The willingness to respect all forms of cultural expression
Willingly to mediate differences through dialogue rather than though conflict which recently has tended to pose the problem of governance in our country and causing a lot of youth restiveness and political intolerance.
Willingly to share experience, acquire new knowledge and then apply them to a better understanding of the world.
Appreciation of the worth and dignity of others.
Undoubtedly, Nigeria will never experience peace unless its people learn to understand and forgive shortcoming of others. Every individual or ethnic or religious group has worth. Unless that is realized, feelings of inferiority and worthlessness will remain. Sound mental attitudes are the ground from which all effective conduct of living springs. All citizens need a proper frame of mind to confronting and unsuccessfully dealing with otherwise insurmountable problems they will encounter in the coming decades. This can be achieved by essentially teaching social studies in schools with intensity.
1.6 Significance of study
The essence of this study justifies the impact of attitudinal challenges on development efforts in Nigeria. The development of the country will only be actualised through great sacrifice and a attitudinal change towards the development of the nation. The future of the largest black nation on earth would require the resilience of Nigerians more than ever and demand commitment in all endeavours. The habit of lackluster performance of duties should be discarded in favour of a disciplined approach to duty. Success is earned and the citizens must justify their right to greatness by individually engaging in productive activity with a sense of responsibility, dedication and zeal.
The nation has contended with corruption in both private and public sectors. It has been also very difficult to attract international investors because of unending corruption, sharp practices and poor governance and this has greatly affected the development of the country.
This study therefore, attempts to identify the quality of attitudinal change to the development of the nation. It is expected that this study would reveal attitudinal challenges that have adversely led to slow development of the country. It will also proffers useful suggestions towards making amends through attitudinal change on the part of political leaders and the general public for the apt development of Nigeria.
1.7 Research Methodology
The researcher makes use of secondary sources of data collection and it involves Journals, Text books, Newspapers, Magazines etc.
The method of the data analysis was content analysis. The various data correction were edited, it involved objective, systematic and qualitative description.
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