Nigeria’s Federal Characters: Tool For Development, Underdevelopment

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Nigeria’s Federal Characters: Tool For Development, Underdevelopment


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine Nigeria’s federal characters: tool for development, underdevelopment with special reference to federal character commission. Specifically, the study aims to understand the relationship between federal character principle and nation building in Nigeria, examine the interplay between democracy and Federal Character and its consequences for national development, highlight the problems of application of the Federal Character Principle in Nigeria and investigate the drawback of federal character to national development. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 58 responses were validated from the survey. From the responses obtained and analyzed, the findings revealed that there is a relationship between federal character principle and nation building in Nigeria. The study also revealed the interplay between democracy and Federal Character and its consequences for national development is equitable distribution of political offices and appointment, resources of the state are determined by Federal Character Principles, democracy emphasizes representatives or popular participation in governance and modality for achieving fair representation among geo-political groups and ethno-religious and social groups existing in the country. The study further revealed the problems of application of the Federal Character Principle in Nigeria is inter-ethnic group conflict and attachment to the ethnic group with resulting tenuous development of national loyalty in adopting federal character solution, ethnic boundaries, lack of national loyalty but alienation and favoritism. Lastly, the study revealed the drawbacks of federal character to national development is economic disparities across states, race-to-the-bottom dynamics, the difficulty of taking action on issues of national importance and Inequality in the choice of representatives across the country. The study thereby recommends that there is the need for re-alignments of the divergent interest into a common political values and culture that would be generally accepted by all Nigerians. Also the people of Nigeria must develop a code of conduct or governance for both private and public office holders at all levels of government. This should be in form of democratic values and ethos that will be in line with the accepted political values and cultures in Nigeria.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7Limitation of the Study
  • 1.8 Definition of Terms
  • 1.9 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

In many developing countries, notably those in Africa, the absence of effective governance is a significant barrier to the accomplishment of national developmental objectives. Other difficulties, such as poverty, unemployment, insecurity, corruption, nepotism, lack of national cohesion, and economic issues, are also results of a lack of competent administration. It is little surprise that poverty, farming, conflict, and authoritarian rule have held back an age of wealth and stability in Africa over the course of many decades. As a consequence of this, there is a strong need for governments that are reliable, trustworthy, and productive (Kerry, 2015). The failure of effective governance was a contributing factor in the negative outcomes that occurred in a number of nations, including Somalia, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, the Congo, Libya, Egypt, and Algeria, amongst others. The achievement of sound administration is the pinnacle of democratic ideals because it paves the way for fair representation of all citizens via the electoral process.Nothing particularly noteworthy can be said about Nigeria’s experience with democratic administration up to 1999. This was a direct result of the many years of continuous military interference in the political process in Nigeria. The military held power in Nigeria from the time of the country’s independence in 1960 until 1999, while the civilian government had power for barely ten years. It was widely acknowledged that Nigeria’s transition to a democratic system began in earnest with the establishment of democratic governance in 1999. However, despite the fact that Nigeria has been under consistent democratic rule for the past 22 years and has adopted the principle of federal character, it appears that the fundamental ideas of good governance have not been achieved. This is especially the case with regard to the concept of equal representation in governance. Because of this, it is possible to draw the conclusion that holding frequent elections does not result in representative democracy. Adio (2015:21) stresses the significance of holding elections that are popular and in which the votes of the people matter. “It is also obvious that representative democracy without elections will be a contradiction in terms, that a democracy where votes do not count is nothing but a joke, and that democracy’s assurance of worthy governance will always be conveyed in the breach until those at the helm of power are aware that they stand a good chance of being voted out by the electorates,” he said. “It is also obvious that representative democracy without elections will be a contradiction in terms” (Adio, 2015:21).

According to Agbo (2008), the establishment of a capable election procedure that will fuel Nigeria’s democracy is the single most important factor in determining the country’s democratic trajectory going forward. According to him, such a system need to be robust and adaptable enough to withstand the intricacies of the federation, as well as just enough to take into account the individual characteristics of each of Nigeria’s numerous people. In the same vein, Iwu (2008:6) asserts that “at the heart of a successful democracy is the template of representation that should reflect the composition of the country as much as possible in number and heterogeneity of the population.” In other words, “at the heart of a successful democracy is the template of representation that should reflect the composition of the country as much as possible.” The comparison that was just presented suggests that attaining a masculine democracy requires widespread engagement from the populace in the form of free and fair elections as well as equitable representation.

Using the principles of federal character is the proper policy that should be implemented in order to ensure equitable representation in Nigeria. The purpose of this concept is to ensure that a fair representation is provided, one that is capable of addressing the problem posed by the politically, socially, and economically diverse composition of the Nigerian population. In addition to this, the federal character concept is focused on the establishment of equitable justice and a level of equality that is directed toward the growth of the country (Osifeso, 2013). However, it would seem that the execution of these principles has been hampered by disagreements and debates, which at each and every point in time threaten the national unity and progress of Nigeria as a federating country. Take, for instance, the current controversy that has been caused by the marginalization of the southern half of Nigeria, particularly the south east, as a result of the appointments that the federal government has made; this is a good example (Akinboye, 2015, Eke, 2015, Akinlotan, Zebulon, 2015). The recent and ongoing calls for a state of Biafra and a country of Oduduwa by the MOSSOB and some youths in Yoruba land, respectively, might culminate in another civil war if they are not properly controlled (Onyekwere, 2015). All of these have significant repercussions, both for the growth and underdevelopment of nations. Therefore, the question that needs to be answered is how federal character principles may be used as a tool for national development in order to solve the problem of underdevelopment in certain regions of the country. Therefore, the main aim of this study is to examine Nigeria’s federal characters: tool for development, underdevelopment.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

There is a growing consensus that Nigeria and a great deal of other African nations have failed as states. This is due to the fact that none of their features seem to be functioning properly. Despite the fact that excellent circumstances for growth now exist in many nations, it seems as if they are regressing into the unenlightened ages of the past. Many academics, both from the past and the present, believe that the failure of these nations may be linked to a variety of different issues. Culture, moral decadence, traditional religion, belief in occult powers, technical backwardness, colonialism, geography, biogeography, leadership, ethnicity, and other factors are included in this category. Ejiogu E. Amaku (2011) has proposed in recent years that the issue of Africa’s underdevelopment resides on the question of temporality, or the absence of judicious use of time. He says this is the root cause of Africa’s lack of development. According to him, the fact that Africa is lagging behind other regions of the world in terms of technological advancement is evidence that the ontological significance of time has not been adequately grasped or addressed.There are a growing number of factors contributing to Africa’s predicament. According to Chukwuokolo (2011), the correct application of reason is what reveals the disparities in the rates of development that exist across different cultures. This idea is supported by him with references to China, Byzantine, and Tibet. Byzantine culture was responsible for the invention of the clockwork, whereas Tibetan culture was responsible for the invention of turbines. However, rather of focusing just on the pledges to progress, they broaden the applications of their own findings. The findings made by these people were later adopted by Europeans. They made use of their reasoning in the way that they did things. And as a direct result of this, they are now basking in the benefits of these enormous developments. The obvious conclusion that can be drawn from Chukwuokolo’s case is that the application of reason in an incorrect manner is the primary contributor to Africa’s status as the world’s least developed continent.The reasons that are most often cited for Africa’s lack of progress have reached their natural conclusion. The arguments that were offered for colonization, for instance, have been out of date for a very long time. The same tactics that were used to colonize nations in Africa were also used to conquer China and Korea. However, almost immediately after they gained their freedom, by resolute resolve and honest communication, they have emerged more powerful and improved. It is no longer appropriate to point to Africa’s culture as one of the causes for the continent’s lack of progress, as was formerly the case with colonialism. Alexander the Great’s overly ambitious pursuit of a unified empire resulted in a great deal of cultural devastation for the Greeks and other peoples whose traditions he was responsible for protecting. The Greeks felt that this endeavor went in the wrong direction. Because of the level of fury, Aristotle, who served as the great emperor’s teacher, would have been severely punished for his actions if he hadn’t managed to flee the country. He would not consent to the Athenians committing the same philosophical offense again. Despite this, the Greeks were successful in reestablishing their culture once they regained their independence and continued on. However, despite all of the reasons that were listed above as to why Africa is considered to be the world’s underdog, this study contends that ethnicity is the most significant factor that impedes the growth of Nigeria as a country. This is because ethnicity creates tensions between the various groups that live in Nigeria. Unless the issue is handled in the appropriate manner, meaningful progress will continue to be a nebulous concept.There are over 250 different ethnic groups in Nigeria, and each one of them is fighting for recognition and relevance in the political scene in the country; each group is afraid of being dominated by others; each group is complaining about being politically marginalized. Nigeria is a country that is home to these ethnic groups. The outcry looks to be becoming more louder as the years pass, and as a result, it appears to be endangering the nation’s ability to function as a nation-state. It is not appropriate to characterize the scenario as heaving and gasping. It is possible that the forecast made by certain academics that Nigeria would fall apart by the year 2030 could come to pass if significant measures are not done to prevent this outcome. The purpose of this research is to investigate how the federal character of Nigeria may be effectively used as a tool for the nation’s growth and how, if it is not effectively utilized, it would continue to bring about the nation’s underdevelopment.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to examine Nigeria’s Federal characters as a tool for development and underdevelopment.

The followings are the specific objectives:

  1. To understand the relationship between federal character principle and nation building in Nigeria.
  2. To examine the interplay between democracy and Federal Character and its consequences for national development.
  3. To highlight the problems of application of the Federal Character Principle in Nigeria.
  4. To investigate the drawback of federal character to national development.

1.4 Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following research questions:

  1. Is there any relationship between federal character principle and nation building in Nigeria?
  2. What is the interplay between democracy and Federal Character and its consequences for national development?
  3. What are the problems of application of the Federal Character Principle in Nigeria?
  4. What are the drawbacks of federal character to national development?

1.5 Significance of the Study

As so many factors now influence policy implementation that will bring national development at the federal level, the study will serve as a foundation on those factors which range from social, economic to political issues considering the notion that federal character doctrine has become a national policy in every sector that contributes to national development in Nigeria.

Also, the study will help to shed more lights on the various factors that may hinder the national development in the country.

In addition, the study will help policymakers and stakeholders in the country to appreciate the need to ensure that everything possible is done to ensure objective, fair and just implementation of a workable federal character principle in Nigeria.

The study will also serve as a useful tool for students who would want to carry out further research in this domain. It would also be useful to public administrators. The study would be significant to policy makers and implementer s at large, as they will find this study useful.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The study will understand the relationship between federal character principle and nation building in Nigeria. The study also examines the interplay between democracy and Federal Character and its consequences for national development. The study further highlight the problems of application of the Federal Character Principle in Nigeria. Lastly, the study investigate the drawback of federal character to national development.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Federal Character

Federal Character: this is the distinct desires of the people of Nigeria to promote unity, foster national loyalty and give every citizen of Nigeria a sense of belonging to the nation notwithstanding the divestitures of ethnic origin, culture, language or religions which may exist and which it is their desire to nourish, harness to the entrenchment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on Nigeria’s federal characters: tool for development, underdevelopment using federal character commission FCT Abuja as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was on Nigeria’s federal characters: tool for development, underdevelopment using federal character commission FCT Abuja as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at highlighting the relationship between federal character principle and nation building in Nigeria, examine the interplay between democracy and Federal Character and its consequences for national development, highlight the problems of application of the Federal Character Principle in Nigeria and investigate the drawback of federal character to national development. A total of 58 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are drawn from staff of federal character commission.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:

  1. There is a relationship between federal character principle and nation building in Nigeria
  2. The interplay between democracy and Federal Character and its consequences for national development is equitable distribution of political offices and appointment, resources of the state are determined by Federal Character Principles, democracy emphasises representativeness or popular participation in governance and modality for achieving fair representation among geo-political groups and ethno-religious and social groups existing in the country.
  3. The problems of application of the Federal Character Principle in Nigeria is inter-ethnic group conflict and attachment to the ethnic group with resulting tenuous development of national loyalty in adopting federal character solution, ethnic boundaries, lack of national loyalty but alienation and favoritism.
  4. The drawbacks of federal character to national development is economic disparities across states, race-to-the-bottom dynamics, the difficulty of taking action on issues of national importance and Inequality in the choice of representatives across the country.

5.3 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. There is the need for re-alignments of the divergent interest into a common political values and culture that would be generally accepted by all Nigerians.
  2. That is, the people of Nigeria must develop a code of conduct or governance for both private and public office holders at all levels of government. This should be in form of democratic values and ethos that will be in line with the accepted political values and cultures in Nigeria.
  3. The establishment of an independent and incorruptible and virile political institutions that would be responsible for formulating and implementing and monitoring the re-definition and realignment of Nigeria’s divergent political values into a common unit acceptable by all.
  4. Government must stop meddling into the affairs and running of these institutions while the umpires must apply global best practices in running the affairs of these institutions.

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