Political Science Project Topics

Challenges of Good Governance and True Democracy in Nigeria




Background of the study

In democratizing societies, the conceptual vehicle that connects the elements of social change described above is democratic practices which the political leadership must spread across the institutional landscape of governance. Thus, democratized governance institutions would mean building institutions and rules that are not just efficient but also fair, and that are developed through a democratic process in which all people have a real political voice. Foremost among these institutions are an independent but dependable electoral system to superintend democratic transition, and the institutionalization of an enduring legislative system to provide the legal framework for democratic good governance. Capacity building and institutional renewal refer to the comprehensive reform of the public service to provide the required institutional support for democratic good governance. The partnership between the state, civil society and the organized private sector seeks to develop a tripartite approach to governance-one that draws on the potential and comparative advantage of the three sectors for sustainable development. Thus, democracy as a form of government prides itself on its capacity to execute good governance – a concept invented by the World Bank in its discourse on development. The consensus arising from this discourse is that good governance should engender an enabling governance environment and furnish the required institutional infrastructure for sustainable development. Democracy involves the opportunity to participate in decision making in the political process. It repudiates arbitrariness and authoritarianism. It extols the consent of the governed and it protects human personality and values (Ake, 1991). Democracy, whether liberal, African or modern, includes equal opportunity for all, fundamental recognition of popular sovereignty, representativeness, majority rule, minority rights, popular consultation, right of choice between alternative programmes, consensus on fundamental issues, as well as essentially periodic elections (Oke, 2005). The concept of democracy confers the opportunity to participate in decision making by all as well as those representing the masses ensure good governance. Good governance is, among other things, participatory, transparent and accountable, effective and equitable, and it promotes the rule of law. It ensures that political, social, and economic priorities are based on broad consensus in society and that the voices of the poorest and the most vulnerable are heard in decision-making over the allocation of development resources.

However, Since the beginning of the Fourth Republic on May 29 1999, Nigeria has continued to struggle with the delivery of democratic governance and the democracy dividend – social welfare, justice, equity, and equal access to resources and power. Often times, it seems as if the transition from military to civilian rule has been simply cosmetic due to the not too impressive scorecard of civil governance, thus prompting scholars to aver that Nigeria is yet to attain the status of a democracy. After a decade of the current epoch, there is a need to identify concrete challenges to democratic governance in Nigeria with a view to contextualizing the core factors that continue to obfuscate democratic governance. While not attempting to approximate all likely denigrating factors,

 Statement of the problem

In Nigeria, sustaining the gains of development through consistent democratic good governance practices remains a challenge that stares the nation in the face. However, seventeen years of unbroken democracy has provided the needed impetus to place Nigeria on the trajectory of sustainable development. Thus, as the nation struts into the end of the second half of two decades of democratic rebirth, there are a host of issues on the development agenda that the government has to contend with. These issues range from the corruption of leaders, poor labour discipline, the lack of entrepreneurial skills, poor planning and incompetent management, inappropriate policies, the stifling of market mechanisms, low levels of technical assistance, limited inflow of foreign capital, environmental issues, social security and gender issues, poverty alleviation and infrastructure development, to the very urgent need to respond adequately to the current security challenge so as to guarantee a secure and healthy environment for growth and development. On account of these social and economic realities in the country, researchers have proposed a democratization process and good governance that is widespread and deep-seated enough to radically improve the political, social, and economic conditions of the masses, which is required for sustainable development. Thus, it is upon this premise that seeks to examine the challenges of good governance and true democracy in Nigeria.

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Objective of the study

The main focus of this study is to examine the challenges of good governance and true true democracy in Nigeria. Specifically the study seek:


1. To examine the nature of Nigeria Democratization

2. To investigate factors challenging democracy in the fourth republic

3. To proffer recommendations towards enhancing democracy and good governance in Nigeria.

Research Hypothesis

H01: There are no known challenges impeding democratic consolidation of Nigeria in the Fourth Republic

H1: Challenges impeding democratic consolidation of Nigeria in the Fourth Republic are known and clear

H02: Democracy in Nigeria Fourth Republic has not witness Good Governance.

H1: Democracy in Nigeria Fourth Republic has  witness Good Governance.

Significance of the study

Findings from the study will be relevant to government and stakeholders in the state. It will enlighten them on the need to adopt an inclusive democratization process in order to foster good governance and sustainable development.It will highlight the need for the incumbent to engage in continued dialogue between government and this critical mass of the population is the needed driver to push for a regime of good governance. This dialogue will create the unity of purpose to confront manifest and potential obstacles to good governance (obstacles such as official corruption, widespread insecurity, youth restiveness, social inequality, gender discrimination.The study will empirically add to the body of knowledge and serve as reference material for other academia in related field of study.

 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study borders on the challenges of good governance and democracy in Nigeria. However the study is delimited to Nigeria’s fourth republic.

Limitation of the study

During the course of this research, the following factors are proposed to be a limitation.

Financial constraints: Financial constraints tend to impede the researcher’s efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research is reduced. However the researcher will give in their best to make this research a success.

Research Methodology

Research methodology is the specific procedures or techniques used to identify, select, process, and analyze information about a topic. To realize the objectives of this study, the paper adopts a methodology that is both descriptive and analytical. This approach relies on official records and a considerable volume of related literature. For the purpose of this study, the researchers adopted historical and descriptive methods. Information was sourced from secondary data collated from journals, articles, library materials and internet sources which are related to the study.

Definition of terms

Good governance:  good governance is a way of measuring how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in a preferred way. Governance is “the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented”. Good governance means that processes and institutions produce results that meet the needs of society while making the best use of resources at their disposal. Accountability is a key requirement of good governance.

Democracy: A democracy means rule by the people. The name is used for different forms of government, where the people can take part in the decisions that affect the way their community is run. It is a  government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.



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