The development of a nation does not entirely depend on the abundance of her natural and mineral resources. It is therefore not a contradiction for a nation to be well-endowed with both natural and human resources, yet, the nation may remain underdeveloped. It is generally acknowledged that Nigeria that is greatly endowed with resources but bankrupt of visionary and selfless leadership. What is the missing link between the resources abundant in Nigeria and development? This project holds that the reason why Nigeria is yet to be ranked among the developed countries of the world is its leadership orientation. Much has been written on issues related to leadership but this paper looks at the issue from a different perspective. It adopts a quantitative analysis of the concept of leadership and development. This perception underscores the persistent underdevelopment and leadership crisis, and suggests some ways forward.
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The socio-economic and political development of any country depends largely on the ability of its leadership to facilitate, entrench and sustain good governance (Afigbo, 2007). The extent of development of any nation globally is often been determined by the quality and selfless nature of its leaders (Onigbide, 2007). However, when there is a culture of impunity in any society and there is a wide spread of lack of leadership by example to enthrone transparent and qualitative public bureaucracy, a degenerated symptoms of underdevelopment continues to manifest as exemplified in Nigeria public administration.
Now, the manifestation of symptoms of underdevelopment does not imply that Nigeria lacks quality and competent human resources to engender development, but the process of enthroning leaders is bedeviled with crisis and it does not provide room for morally upright, competent, visionary leaders to emerge. Imhonopi and Ugochukwu, (2013) vehemently assert that Nigeria is richly endowed by providence with human and material resources critical for national development and advancement. However, since gaining political independence, Nigeria has continued to meander the path befitting failed, weak and “juvenile” states.
According to the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), “Good governance is the process and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised; the process by which governments are selected, held accountable, monitored and replaced; the capacity of governments to manage resources efficiently, and to formulate, implement and enforce sound policies and regulations; and, the respect for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them” (Onigbide, 2007). It also includes both a broad strategy and a particular set of initiatives to strengthen the institutions of civil society with the objective of making government more accountable, more open and transparent and more democratic (Minogue, 1997 cited in Abe, 2010).
It is a truism that the quality of leadership and overall governance in a country directly affects the level of political stability and development that such country enjoys. Bad governance and poor leadership only result in underdevelopment and political instability (Ologbenla, 2007). It is on the recognition of the imperative of leadership and governance to a country that Nnablife (2010) avers that the survival of a system rests with leadership. Allthings rise and fall on leadership because leadership effectiveness is a steering that drives a nation or any organisation to heights of development and productivity by the application of good governance (Folarin, 2010).
The post-independence Nigeria continues to grapple with the monster of bad leadership and governance which have been the bane of political instability and poor state of development in the country. With the diverse mineral and human resources, it is not far-fetched to expect Nigeria to soar high in consonance with the economic giants of the world. Paradoxically, Nigeria -the giant of Africa (as it is called) wallows in socio-economic, political and infrastructural decadence in all her crevices. The inability of Nigeria’s leadership to harness the nation’s vast resources and reserves towards socio-economic development continuously calls to question the composition of the fabric of the nation’s leadership and governance. There seems to be a total collapse of ethical governance with the abuse of every moral norm of administration and a loss of conscience towards ‘rightness’ and objectivism in polity. To this end, it becomes a wonder if Nigeria can ever rise out of decadence and her impoverished state if those that are meant to drive the steering towards the nation’s emancipation lack the morality and sanity to do so. It is against the backdrop of this that, this article reflects on the issue of governance and leadership in Nigeria. Itis divided into seven sections. This section is the introduction while section two is the conceptual analysis of governance and leadership. Section four critically examines governance and leadership within the context of the Nigerian state and section five focuses on the components of governance and leadership failure in Nigeria. Section six dwells on the effect of governance and leadership failure in the country while section seven draws the conclusions and the recommendations for good governance and effective leadership in the Nigerian democratic state.
A state that had very great prospects at independence and was touted to lead Africa out of the backwoods of underdevelopment and economic dependency, Nigeria is still stuck in the league of very poor, corrupt, underdeveloped, infrastructurally decaying, crisis riven, morally bankrupt and leadership-deficient countries of the South. Rather than become an exemplar for transformational leadership, modern bureaucracy, national development, national integration and innovation, Nigeria seems to be infamous for whatever is mediocre, corrupt, insanely violent and morally untoward.
History has shown that no nation in the wide world grew and enjoyed steady development in almost all spheres of its national life without experiencing good and selfless political leadership (Ogbeidi, 2012). This is mainly because qualitative growth and development has constantly been a product of good governance.
Therefore, the undertaking of this study will investigate the effect of Leadership and Development Crisis in Nigeria with a special reference to Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem of leadership and its pervasive bearing on social cum economic development in Nigeria is multifaceted. Now, the root cause of the Nigerian problem is attributed to bad leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land, climate, water, air, or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to their responsibility, to the challenge of personal example, which is the hallmark of true leadership.
Developmental research indicates that Nigeria is fraught of poor leadership, corruption and weak bureaucratic institutions. It is an axiom that since attainment of political independent, Nigeria has never been governed by selfless, truly transformational and intellectually endowed leaders. That is, Nigeria has never selected its best sons to positions of leadership and mediocre leadership can only lead to mediocre government without any serious achievement.
Moreover what has been common over the years in Nigeria governance is the enthronement of clueless, parochial, attitudinal debauchery and uninspiring leaders, with attendant formulation of series of ill-informed and poorly implemented policies leading to the exit of dedicated, competent bureaucrats and provided incentives for corruption. Competent and morally upright leadership engenders strong bureaucratic institutions. The success or failure of any society depends largely on the attitude and competency of its leadership. Nigerian leadership suffers from extreme moral depravity and attitudinal debauchery. Hence, the need to investigate the effect of Leadership and Development Crisis in Nigeria becomes sacrosanct.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The major objective of this study is to examine the effect of Leadership and Development Crisis in Nigeria. While other specific objectives are:
- To examine the effect of leadership and development crisis in Nigeria.
- To investigate the effect of leadership on socio-economic development in Nigeria.
- To determine the effect of leadership style on development in Nigeria.
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Ho: There is no significant relationship between leadership and development crisis in Nigeria.
Hi: There is a significant relationship between leadership and development crisis in Nigeria.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between leadership and socio- economic development in Nigeria.
Hi: There is a significant relationship between leadership and socio- economic development in Nigeria.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will be of immense importance to many sectors, and organizations especially the government who will adopt the findings of this research for better productivity and efficiency in the leadership of public offices. The research, if put into use will enhance further efficiency. This study is innovative in the sense that it will be first study to promote the leadership patter for effective management. This research will provide additional evidence to authorities in choosing or training their leaders.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study covers the Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State. The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following.
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Development: the process of developing or being developed or an event of constituting a new stage in a changing situation
Leadership: This refers to the action of leading a group of people or an organization the state or position of being a leader.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
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