A Critical Assessment Of Leadership Impact In Community Development In Lagos State Of Nigeria

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A Critical Assessment Of Leadership Impact In Community Development In Lagos State Of Nigeria

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Leadership is at the core of public sector governance, and it is critical to a country’s overall growth as well as its inhabitants’ well-being. The quality of leadership, according to Lawal and Tobi (2006), influences the rate of growth in any country. Baets (2011) argued that Africa lacks the leadership qualities needed for efficient public governance, while Ojo (2012) emphasized Nigeria’s leadership problem and political instability. Ngowi (2009) investigated the impact of political leadership on economic growth in Tanzania, concluding that leadership is the defining element that has influenced the form and trajectory of that country’s economic development. The sluggish rate of growth in major sectors of the Nigerian economy, particularly in the infrastructure sector, has been blamed on poor leadership and pervasive bureaucratic corruption that has characterized public sector governance since independence in 1960. (Lawal & Tobi, 2006; Ogbeide, 2012). A shift in Nigeria’s infrastructure development governance in the correct direction may provide a conducive environment for economic growth and social stability. According to Achebe (1988), except for repeated leadership failures, there is nothing inherently wrong with the Nigerian character. According to Burns (1978), leadership is a moral imperative, and the values of liberty, equality, fairness, opportunity, and the pursuit of pleasure are the finest indicators of its expression and accomplishments. These, in my opinion, are strong grounds for Nigerian infrastructure development. The government exists to fulfill the public’s needs, and good governance ensures that those requirements are met in an efficient, effective, and equitable manner (Deloitte Global Series, 2012). This means that governance has a lot to do with how authority is exercised in institutions and government traditions, such as the process of establishing government and keeping it responsible (Davis, 2011). According to the United Nations (2007), governance is the process through which society establishes and administers the norms that govern policymaking and policy implementation. According to Toikka (2011), public governance is concerned with how governments at all levels behave themselves in order to provide the best potential advantages to their population. As a result, depending on the style and mode of government, governance can be excellent or terrible (Rotberg, 2005). Adequate administration, according to Lawal and Tobi (2006), should be centered on the welfare of the people and directed toward the development of good infrastructure that would enhance citizen satisfaction. According to Oyedele (2012), a leader’s or government’s success or failure is determined by the degree and kind of infrastructure development undertaken by the leader or government, as well as how effectively it satisfies the people’s expectations under democratic governance. Good public governance contributes to the strengthening of democracy, the promotion of economic prosperity and social cohesion, and the reduction of poverty (United Nations, 2007). Good governance must be seen as a means of resolving social issues. According to Rotberg (2005), successful governance occurs when resources are allocated and managed to address common socioeconomic and political challenges. Good government, according to Cheema (2005), should promote gender equality, protect the environment, allow individuals to express personal freedom, and offer instruments to alleviate poverty, deprivation, fear, and violence. According to Therkidsen (2001), the bane of infrastructure development has been recognized as weak public institutions and bad governance, which serve as a catalyst for poverty and corruption in Nigeria. This study may be applied to other African nations and shows a general pattern. Nigeria gained independence from colonial Great Britain in October 1960. Since Nigeria’s independence, more than 60 years have passed in the country’s political history. During this time, Nigeria’s political history may be split into two primary eras: (a) military dictatorship, and (b) civilian party politics and democracy (Ado-Kurawa, 2005). The emphasis of this research was on how political leadership has influenced development governance in Nigeria since 1960.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Rural communities are critical to every country’s socioeconomic growth. Many resources abound in the area, and if they are exploited, they will not only serve as a foundation but also as a springboard for structural transformation for the people and the nation’s economic growth and development. However, it appears that little has been done to harness the rich resources of rural regions, despite attempts made to access the wealth in these rural communities, particularly in developing countries. Community development is widely regarded as an essential component of global approaches to the socioeconomic change of any country, particularly developing countries like Nigeria. Rural areas are widely acknowledged to be endowed with enormous human and material resources that may help any country speed its development. It is said that in Nigeria, for example, the bulk of the population lives in rural areas. Rural areas are home to around 80% of Nigeria’s population. Rural areas are the country’s primary source of capital formation and a key market for local products. Rural communities are mostly involved in fundamental economic activities (such as farming), which are the bedrock of the country’s economic growth. Informal economic activities, which are the cornerstone of each rising economy’s fundamental economic development, thrive in rural regions, where they are neither accounted for nor given attention. However, considering the importance of rural communities in a growing economy’s growth prospects, particularly in Nigeria, it is clear that the villages have continued to be neglected. They are severely undeveloped, and poverty has persisted. Despite abundant resources, most communities have been unable to grow owing to a lack of “the mastery of practical wisdom (leadership) and technology to deploy them for our total benefit”. This is to argue that the bane of community development in Nigeria is a lack of purposeful and knowledgeable leadership, the spark for integrating and driving the wheel of progress.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

The objectives of this study are to:

  1. To assess if community development policy design and execution been influenced by leadership in Lagos state?
  2. To assess if public trust in Nigeria’s community development sector governance has been influenced by performance in Lagos state?
  3. How to evaluate the kind of leadership that will best serve Nigerians’ community development needs in the future?

1.4 Research Questions

  1. How has community development policy design and execution been influenced by leadership in Lagos state?
  2. How has public trust in Nigeria’s community development sector governance been influenced by performance in Lagos state?
  3. What type of leadership will best serve Nigerians’ community development needs in the future?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This study has the potential to contribute to the literature on leadership and community development. I looked into the influence of leadership on community development in Nigeria because I was curious about the origins of Nigeria’s weak public sector governance, especially in the field of infrastructure development. This is meant to contribute to the reinvention of Nigerian public institutions by exposing the shortcomings of the previous 60 years and setting a new course that would aid in improving infrastructure development governance and provide the necessary support for Nigerian economic growth. This research had a social change component. The findings of this study provide a framework for improving leadership and the general development of the Nigerian community development sector in a way that raises people’s living standards by increasing citizens’ capacity to pursue productive ventures, resulting in an increase in Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the end, this study will give some valuable insights on how Nigeria may positively grow into transformational leadership that can replace the bad governance of the last half-century and materialize in excellent development that would bring about positive social change in the country.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The research period is well-defined in scope from the year of independence in 1960 through the year 2021, in Lagos state, Nigeria.

1.7 Limitation Of Study

By decision, the scope of this research was limited to the study of Nigeria as a geographical entity in connection to the influence of leadership on community development governance. This was a significant delimitation.

1.8 Definition Of Terms


The action of leading a group of people or an organization.

Community Development:

Community development is a process where community members are supported by agencies to identify and take collective action on issues which are important to them.

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