• Friday, May 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigeria’s leaders need to advance good governance

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Leadership is a process in which the leader and followers interact such that the leader influences the actions of the followers towards the achievement of certain objectives. In fact, leadership is a reflection of characters, which include but not limited to knowledge, vision, courage, openness accountability, determination, transparency, uprightness, motivation and patriotism put in place by office holders to lead their people so as to achieve reasonable and positive societal development.

Studies have revealed that ethical leadership enhances good governance; hence, the ranking of Nigeria in the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) over the years gives food for thought. The IIAG provides an annual assessment of the quality of governance in African countries under four main conceptual categories: safety and rule of law; participation and human right; sustainable economic opportunity; and human development.

In the 2014 IIAG report released recently, Nigeria ranked 37th out of 52 countries in Africa which is an improvement over the 2013 ranking when Nigeria ranked 41st in Africa. The country scored 46 percent in overall governance index, 38 percent on safety and rule of law, while on participation and human rights, it scored 49 percent. The country was scored 43.3 percent on sustainable economic opportunity, while it got 53 percent on human development. Overall, Nigeria was scored 52 percent on category and sub-category ranks.

It was worthy to note that Nigeria scored lower than the regional average for West Africa which stands at 52.2 percent and ranked 12th out of 15 in the region. While Nigeria is placed in the lower rung of the scale, Mauritius maintained its rating as the best governed country in Africa, with 81.7 per cent, a position it has occupied since 2007. Other countries that made it to the top of the list included Cape Verde, with 76.6 percent to place second, Botswana, rated third with 76.2 percent and South Africa, fourth with 73.3 percent, while Ghana was rated 7th.

Analysts argue that of all the problems, challenges and crises militating against Nigeria’s quest for socio-political and economic development, the most disheartening appear to be ineffective leadership. They further argue that the reverberation effects of the failure of leadership, corruption and bad governance are being felt across all sectors and segment of Nigeria. In addition, they opine that rising unemployment, insecurity, crude oil thefts, dearth of infrastructures, problems in education, health services, transportation, accommodation, communication, amongst other issues have contributed to cause Nigeria to remain laggard in social, political and economic developments.

There is no doubt that most of the problems Nigeria is facing today especially, in terms of development were caused by the sharp practices of our leaders over the years. Despite the abundance of human and natural resources that make the country the toast of many nations, our leaders have failed to meet the people’s expectations of a better hope and opportunities since independence.

It is regrettable that Nigeria for now cannot compete favourably with its counterpart in the march to development, especially in the areas of quality of life, infrastructural facilities, basic needs of life and technological development.

The culture of political and administrative arbitrariness has been the major characteristic undermining good governance in Nigeria. We need to build on the recent marginal improvement in IIAG ranking by making conscious efforts towards building our political leadership based on competence, commitment, patriotism, acceptance and self-denial. Therefore, Public officials must provide leadership that brings about a change in behaviour, as leadership is indeed vital to good governance.