Without doubt, good governance is equivalent to accountability and transparency, as an effective and efficient democratic system relies hugely on transparency and accountability.
In essence, transparent and accountable leadership that will result in good governance is patently absent in Nigeria. Political elites in Nigeria have insatiable cravings for siphoning the country’s commonwealth, leaving the people impoverished. With no recourse to any genuine accountability by the masses, many of the public officials who assumed power through electoral malpractices and the likes have perpetrated series of abuses and amassed public resources for personal gains.
The existence of other government arms that should encourage checks and balances on abuse of power by the executives have over time been inefficient and ineffective due to an unbraided romance between the arms of government. An effective legislative arm contributes largely to good governance. To achieve this, the government’s legislative arm needs to check and oversee the executives, shape the budget and exert other constitutional power.
An effective legislative arm with a relative ability to exercise its oversight function will help achieve the state’s objectives while engendering transparency and accountability, both of which are the bedrock of good governance. Hence, the legislative arm’s failure to carry out her expected functions in Nigeria by providing selfless and purposeful legislative leadership is one of the hindrances to actualising the gains of democracy.
While corruption has been an existing impediment to socioeconomic development, government transparency and accountability are recognised as crucial tools against corruption. The United Nations convention outlined major areas to strengthen transparency and accountability through legislation, development of antigraft bodies, codes of conduct for public officials etc.
In Nigeria, corruption has gotten to an eccentric and ludicrous extent, what a sociologist called “Folklore of corruption”. In a state where corrupt practices are endemic, accountability and transparency would continue to be an illusion. There’s barely any level of government where corruption is not domicile. From crippling the basic healthcare system to the education sector and social infrastructures, illicit and self-serving behaviours of Nigerian political leaders have only continued to be a menace to good governance.
Good governance, which manifests in areas such as transparency, accountability and citizen activism, are essential for national and human development. However, with the poverty of leadership, existing in the decades of democratic government has not only impeded the nation’s development, but continued to threaten its citizens quality of life and peaceful coexistence. While it is generally believed that bad governance is widespread in systems such as oligarchic and autocratic systems, it is no doubt that, in recent time, bad governance exists much more in democratic systems.