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Chapter one


1.1 Background of the Study

Any country’s socioeconomic and political progress is heavily dependent on its leaders’ capacity to facilitate, entrench, and sustain good governance (Afigbo, 2007).

However, when there is a culture of impunity in any society and a widespread lack of leadership by example to enthrone transparent and qualitative public bureaucracy, degenerated symptoms of underdevelopment persist, as seen in Benue State and Nigerian public administration as a whole (Onigbide, 2007).

The presence of symptoms of underdevelopment does not imply that Benue as a state or Nigeria as a country lacks quality and competent human resources to drive development; however, the process of enthroning leaders is fraught with crisis, leaving little room for morally upright, competent, visionary leaders to emerge.

In this context, Imhonopi and Ugochukwu (2013) argue unequivocally that Nigeria is endowed with human and material resources vital to national development and advancement. However, since attaining political independence, Nigeria has continued on the path of unsuccessful, weak, and “juvenile” states.

Nigeria, a state that had very good prospects at independence and was touted to lead Africa out of the backwoods of underdevelopment and economic dependency,

is still in the league of very poor, corrupt, underdeveloped, infrastructurally decaying, crisis-ridden, morally bankrupt, and leadership-deficient countries of the South.

Rather than becoming a model for transformative leadership, contemporary bureaucracy, national growth, national integration, and innovation, Nigeria appears to be known for everything mediocre, corrupt, wildly violent, and morally wrong.

According to the World 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” (Onigbi It also contains both a broad approach

and a specific set of measures aimed at strengthening civil society institutions in order to make government more accountable, open, transparent, and democratic (Minogue cited in Abe, 2010).

History has revealed that no nation in the world has grown and developed steadily in practically all aspects of its national life without the presence of good and selfless political leadership (Ogbeidi 2012). This is due mostly to the fact that strong leadership has consistently resulted in qualitative growth and development.

As a result, the purpose of this study is to analyse the relationship between leadership and development issues in Benue State between 1999 and 2015.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Benue State is plagued by numerous incidences of bribery, corruption, fraud, and misappropriation of funds, as well as other social evils such as nepotism, tribalism, and so on. These vices are widespread and appear to demonstrate that leadership has been shortsighted and ineffective on the overall.

So far, there appears to be no end in sight in terms of widespread poverty, hunger, sickness, unemployment, and a lack of social and economic amenities in Benue State.

The issue of leadership and its impact on social and economic development in Benue State and Nigeria is complicated. Poor leadership is now blamed for the core cause of Nigeria’s underdevelopment. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the Nigerian spirit.

There is nothing wrong with Nigerian soil, climate, water, air, or anything else. The Nigerian problem is its leaders’ refusal or incapacity to accept responsibility, to set a personal example, which is the hallmark of good leadership.

Political experts, policy watchers, and developmental academics all agree that Nigeria suffers from bad leadership, corruption, and weak bureaucratic structures. Since gaining political independence, Nigeria has never been governed by altruistic, truly transformational, and intellectually endowed leaders.

That is, Nigeria has never chosen its greatest sons for positions of leadership, and mediocre leadership can only result in mediocre government and no substantial growth.

Against this backdrop, this research project aims to investigate the relationship between leadership and development issues in Benue State from 1999 to 2015, with a focus on the Makurdi Local Government Area.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary goal of this study is to investigate the impact of leadership on development in Benue State from 1999 to 2015. Other specific objectives include:

i. Investigate the relationship between leadership and the development crisis in Benue State.

ii. To explore the impact of leadership on socioeconomic growth in Nigeria.

iii. Determine the impact of leadership style on grassroots development in Benue State.


This research will be directed by the following research questions:

a) Is there any link between leadership and the development crisis in Benue State?

b) Is there a strong link between leadership and socioeconomic development in Nigeria?

b) Does leadership style have an impact on grassroots development in Benue State?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Benue State is one of Nigeria’s states with natural and precious resources that can help people improve their socioeconomic level and living standards.

Its conceptual, theoretical, and empirical investigations will contribute to a better understanding of key topics concerning leadership and developmental concerns in Benue State.

The study’s findings will also be valuable for Benue State University students interested in conducting additional research in this area.

Finally, the findings of the inquiry would be crucial to policymakers and implementers in general, since they would see the study’s results and policy suggestions as a call to action.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study’s scope defines its research boundaries. The study’s scope is focused on the Leadership and Development Crisis in Benue State, specifically the Makurdi Local Government Area.

1.7 Methodology

According to Zindiye (2008), research methodology is the blueprint for data collection, measurement, and analysis in order to meet the research project’s objectives. Research technique is vital in each research project since it describes the sampling design.


According to Asika (2010), research design refers to the structure of an inquiry aimed at discovering variables and their interactions with one another. This is used to obtain hypotheses or answer research questions.

The research will be conducted using a descriptive design. Descriptive research design is ideal for collecting, organising, presenting, and analysing data to describe the occurrence of an event or phenomenon.

It was employed since the study attempted to describe and explore the relationship between leadership and development difficulties in Benue State from 1999 to 2015, with no attempt to control or influence the study’s findings.

1.7.2 Population of the Study

This study’s population consists of the whole personnel of Benue State’s Makurdi Local Government Area. The population consists of all of the council’s presenting staff.


The study would use the Simple Random Sampling Technique to pick 100 respondents from the Makurdi Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State, including both male and female council workers.

1.7.4 Data Collection Instruments

Data for this study was collected using both quantitative and qualitative methods. This means that, during the course of this research, data will be gathered through primary sources such as questionnaires and secondary sources such as internet materials, relevant textbooks, magazines,

newspapers, conference papers, seminar papers, and commentators’ statements on the issue at hand. Similarly, government records, white papers, and a report from inquiry committees will be important to this investigation.

1.7.5 Data Analysis Techniques

The tool for analysis includes frequency counts and basic percentages. All hypotheses will be tested using chi-square inferential statistics and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS 20.0).


A variety of constraints and limits are expected to arise during the course of this research investigation. The gathering of qualitative and quantitative data for this study may be a substantial constraint because the researcher must be present on the field during the data collection process.

Financial restrictions will also be a significant limitation during the inquiry. The researcher would like to widen the scope of the study, but there are funding limits.

Time is another constraint that will be met during the course of the investigation. Balancing this research endeavour with regular academic work presents a problem for the researcher already.

Overall, all of these constraints are expected to have little effect on the validity of the research study’s findings.

1.8 Definition of Terms

The operational definitions of essential terminology utilised in the study are as follows:

Leadership: Refers to the behavioural pattern that the recognised leader of the group imposes on the members in order to achieve the corporate goal through encouragement, open decision making, persuasion, influence, identification with the group, or otherwise (Ezirim 2010).

Leadership Style: This refers to the basic attitude or principle followed by the ruling class.

Development is the qualitative and quantitative improvement of man that applies to entire societies and people. It refers to the removal of obstacles to man’s progressive or qualitative evolution, which include hunger, poverty, ignorance, sickness, malnutrition, and unemployment, to name a few.

Poverty is defined as the inability to meet one’s fundamental necessities (such as health care, shelter, food, and clothing). It is a state of scarcity.

Embezzlement is defined as the criminal use of government funds to profit oneself.

Infrastructure: This refers to societal amenities such good roads, houses, bridges, hospitals, schools, and power.

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