POLITICAL TRANSITION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA: AN ASSESSMENT OF PRESIDENT GOODLUCK AND BUHARI REGIMES
1.1. BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Nigeria has long been a case of interest for the study of political transition and sustainable development. The country is a great example of a developing nation and its developmental history contains very important lessons on the political and economic retardation of the developing world. Nigeria as an entity enjoyed boom in the agricultural production and the mining of mineral resources such as iron ore, tin and coal.
Foreign exchange was earned from the above resources. According to Ezeanyika (2010) he said that the total subordination of colonized nations by foreign power is to “keep the colonized people in complete political subjection, and to explore local human and natural resources”.
As at 1960 when Nigerian obtained her independence, the production of crude oil had changed the dynamics of the Nigerian political economy. While the oil sector remains the sole-economic fulcrum of the Nigerian economy, its contribution to development and improvement of the living standards of Nigerians remain doubtful.
Instead of reinvesting the resources from excess crude oil sale into sustainable development of infrastructure like power, education, health, public transportation, water, housing and national security, among other sectors, what we witnessed is a political class deeply entrenched in corruption.
Nigeria had embarked on various policies and programs directed to socio- economic reforms since independence. These plans moved beyond just economic prescription to address social, human and political goals but in implementation, little was achieved in fundamental restructuring of the national economy Osisioma (2012).
In 1980 – 1988, the structural adjustment program initiated by the Babangida Administration with the purpose of restructuring and diversifying the productive base of the economy so as to reduce dependency on the oil sector, among others.
Abacha Administration initiated Vision 2010 with the objective of securing the lives and property of the citizens, sound economic realizations, an all-inclusive war against corruption, money laundering and advance fee fraud, establishing far-reaching indices for an enduring democracy, and a caring and God-fearing democratic society (Mamza, 2010).
The Obasanjo Administration introduced the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS). The National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS) reform programs rested on four key strategies which were reforming government and institutions, growing the private sector, implementing a social charter and value re-orientation. This included reforms banking and telecommunication sectors.
Another policy reversal was initiated by President Umaru Yar’adua named the 7-Point Agenda as the main agent of transformation of the entire economy. This policy revolved round the nation’s energy, agriculture, education, infrastructure, wealth creation and poverty alleviation, land reforms and security. The 7-Point Agenda was further made to project Nigeria to the rank of one of the 20 most developed countries of the world by the year 2020.
His death terminated the execution of the program. In May 2011, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan promised Nigerians a policy package called the Transformation Agenda. The agenda is based on selected important policies, programs and projects which when implemented are expected to positively transform the Nigerian economy.
It is well-known within development circle that development encompasses a physical reality and a state of mind. Through development process, there must be interaction between social, economic and institutional processes which must be continually sustained to meet up with accumulating future demands in terms of population growth and continuous utilization of natural, human and material resources.
It has been noticed that changes in the combined approach to social, economic and environmental issues have not fully facilitated the developmental goals and objectives in Nigeria. For example, problems of ethnicity, flooding, poverty, environmental pollution corruption, attitudes and lopsided income distribution have been on the increase. A cursory look at the poverty profile in Nigeria showed that in 2004, Nigeria’s relative poverty measurement stood at 54.4%, but increased to 69% in 2010.
In absolute terms, 54.7% of Nigerians were living in poverty in 2004 but this increased to 60.9% (National Bureau of Statistics, 2010). Besides these in the early 1990s Nigerian cities experienced flood hazards have more than doubled in the last ten years (Odermeho, 1993). While in recent times, it was recorded that Nigeria experienced the worst flooding as at the year 2012.
In view of these challenges, it should be recalled that in the year 2009, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted by 189 member countries of the United Nations including Nigeria.
This was with a view to fast track key developmental issues in Nigeria which include increasing the availability of basic life sustaining goods, raising the standard of people’s living as well as expanding the range of economic and social choices.
About eight goals as adopted by the united nations were set to be actualized by 2015 which were to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development
(Todaro and Smith, 2011). In view of these political transition and sustainable development goals, it is pertinent for the Nigerian economy to understand the prospects and underlying principles for achieving these goals as well as sustaining the process of development desired.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The purpose of political transition is that all the reform measures according to Osisioma (2012) would culminate in fulfilling the following: To build a truly great African democratic country, politically united, integrated and stable, economically prosperous, socially organized, with equal opportunity for all, and responsibility from all, to become the catalyst of (African) Renaissance, and making adequate all-embracing contributions, sub-regionally, regionally, and globally.
Sadly, after years of political transition and policy reforms, Nigeria has painfully remained a nation that could be classified among the poorest nations in the world in spite of its huge resource base. This motivated this paper to evaluate the political transition and sustainable development in Nigeria.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine political transition and sustainable development in Nigeria: an assessment of president Goodluck and Buhari regimes. Other specific objectives of the study include;
- To examine political transition and sustainable development in Nigeria.
- To examine the extent to which political transition has helped sustainable development.
- To examine the impact of political transition on sustainable development in Nigeria.
- To examine the challenges of political transition and sustainable development in Nigeria.
- To examine the relationship between political transition and sustainable development in Nigeria.
- To recommend ways in which political transition can lead to sustainable development in Nigeria
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is political transition and sustainable development in Nigeria?
- What is the extent to which political transition has helped sustainable development?
- What is the impact of political transition on sustainable development in Nigeria?
- What are the challenges of political transition and sustainable development in Nigeria?
- What is the relationship between political transition and sustainable development in Nigeria?
- What are the ways in which political transition can lead to sustainable development in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant impact of political transition on sustainable development in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant impact of political transition on sustainable development in Nigeria.
H0: There is no significant relationship between political transition and sustainable development in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant relationship between political transition and sustainable development in Nigeria.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of benefit in educating the present and future leaders in Nigeria on the need for sustainable development and its impact on the country’s welfare at large. The study would also be of immense benefit to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to political transition and sustainable development in Nigeria: an assessment of president Goodluck and Buhari regimes.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends 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)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
Politics: refers to a set of activities associated with the governance of a country, or an area. In modern nation-states, people have formed political parties to represent their ideas. They agree to take the same position on many issues and agree to support the same changes to law and the same leaders.
Sustainability: means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability is not just environmental- ism. Embedded in most definitions of sustainability we also find concerns for social equity and economic development.
Development: Is not purely an economic phenomenon but rather a multi-dimensional process involving reorganization and reorientation of entire economic and social system. Development is process of improving the quality of all human lives with three equally important aspects.
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