Considering the enormous human and material resources at the government’s disposal since independence in 1960, with the seemingly minimal growth of the nation’s economic, social and political structures, the challenges of good governance for development have become a significant concern in Nigeria.
Over time, the Federal Government of Nigeria has realised massive amounts from crude oil and natural gas but without corresponding development and improved the quality of lives of the citizens. This can be attributed to several reasons, some of which are:
One of the major hindrances to sustainable development in Nigeria Is poor leadership at various facets of governance. Government lacks the capacity to perform, which is rooted in a lack of ability to innovate and harness available resources.
Besides, the government has no regard whatsoever to the principles of good governance- openness, transparency, accountability and the rule of law. Which together form the crucial factors that foster sustainable development in any society. Hence, the lack of an open and accountable government has paved the way for corruption and bad governance where public resources are being misappropriated at the expense of the masses.
Poor management of resources has also been a significant hindrance to enjoying the benefits public enterprises could offer the citizens. This poor management led to the formulation of public policy of commercialisation and privatisation of government enterprises to relieve the government of financial burdens the non-performing enterprises can cause.
With no solid accountability framework, poor management of resources is now rife among public officials. It has drained the country of the needed funds and resources to attain the goals of sustainable development.
Despite the huge reliance on crude oil and natural gas for economic growth, the government has failed to ensure a proper accountability framework for the sector to be accountable in terms of revenue derived.
The implication of poor accountability culture by public officials on the nation’s quest for development is that public resources meant for development are often diverted for individual use, which hinders sustainable development in the country.
This challenge majorly revolves around those heading government institutions who ought to spearhead government policies and programmes for development. However, incompetence has become the order of the day while many see themselves as bigger than the institutions they head, thus going above the law and not being held accountable for their actions.
It is observed that about 70% of the government revenues are spent on the government itself, while only less than 20% of the country’s population benefit significantly from the government’s revenue.
Another related problem is the increasing recurrent expenditure of the national budget yearly. Simultaneously, a decrease is being recorded for capital expenditure which is meant to help improve capital infrastructural development.