Nigerian Journal of Legislative Affairs

Year : 2012-01-02

Year: 2012-01-02

Volume: 4

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Legislative oversight is indispensable in checking the excesses of the executive and compelling government to publicly answer critical questions regarding matters of public concern. In practice, however, the environment in which they live and operate often shapes the conduct, attitude and effectiveness of legislators, and their commitments to both the citizens and democratic principles. This study analyses how contextual realities and systemic problems in Nigeria constrain and influence the conduct of legislators as they seek to perform their traditional law making and oversight functions.

This paper examines the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 from the perspective of the concept of separation of powers and the models of inter-government relations that is the product of the distribution legislative, executive and fiscal powers among the three tiers of government: federal, state and local on the one hand; and the relationship between the two main branches of government namely the legislature, and the executive on the other. Using the concepts of executive dominance and legislative deference or compliance, the paper adduced evidence to the effect that although legislative-executive relations in Nigeria since 1999 evolved mainly in the perspective of deference in favour of the executive there appears to be tendency towards greater legislative defiance or non-compliance. The four main areas where this interface is played out include the budget process, foreign policy, agenda setting and national security three sets of variables related to the key actors, the context of democratization and the doctrine of necessity tend to account for the new trend. The paper concluded by recommending that legislative-executive relations in future focus on streamlining the organization of powers, how to convey democratic accountability, and accommodate diversity, in order to minimize conflicts.

In Nigeria, available statistics on women's participation in governance and decision making indicate that the country is lagging far behind in the number of women involved in decision-making. In appointive positions however, women's participation in governance and decision-making has significantly increased since 1999 while in elective positions, they are still very much behind. This has raised thorny debates among scholars and policy analysts on its consequences on economic growth and development. The central arguments of the paper rest on the postulation that women have greater capacity to provide transformational leadership than men do and that developing nations such as Nigeria require transformational leadership style to fillip growth and development. The paper utilized secondary data for analysis. Findings showed that emerging democracies such as South Africa, Rwanda and Liberia with 40 %-50% women's participation in governance are more stable and have experienced appreciable level of economic growth. Consequently, the paper, amongst other things, pointed out the need to raise women's level of confidence by acquiring more knowledge and information about themselves and governance.

After more than a decade of democratic rule in Nigeria, the next stage is to consolidate democracy in order to promote its accessibility and permissibility. Paradoxically, one quandary to democratic consolidation in Nigeria is that its nature has not been determined. Understanding this would bring about good governance, the prism through which development can be viewed. In order to determine the nature of democratic consolidation into four analytical parts with a view to explaining the country’s idiosyncrasy: negative-negative, negative-positive, positive- negative, positive-positive. The classification is done against the background of the relationship that exists between the leaders and the led on their accessibility and permissibility of democracy. The paper concludes that negative-positive peculiarly describes Nigeria’s democratic consolidation. Although there is a connection between the leaders and the led and the two see no alternative to democracy, the ruled who should be the driving force for democratic consolidation by do not have control over it. This negativity affects good governance and hinders development.

The paper examines the challenges of state and local government joint account and its impact on rural development in Nigeria. It adopts descriptive approach using primary and secondary data. The findings of the research show that the allocation to the 36 state governments from the federal government is far greater than the allocations to the 774 local government council, and the allocation to each state is more than the allocations to all local government councils within each state. Despite this, it was discovered that state governments still use the state and local government joint account as a vehicle for deducting, diverting and misapplying the allocations to local government councils, and this has continued to drastically reduce the funds of local government councils meant for development and the provision of essential services to the people at the grassroots. The existence and manipulation of joint account by state governments is partially responsible for the inability of many state governments to conduct local government elections. The paper therefore recommends an increased allocation to local government councils and the annihilation of state and local government joint account through constitutional amendment by granting full financial autonomy to local councils.

From 1999-2012, the Nigerian textile industry which is private sector driven suffers its worst setback in history with closures and redundancies despite aggressive pursuit of liberal economic reforms. The more the reforms, the more textile industries continue to shrink with new investments virtually impossible. An appraisal of the situation through content analysis shows that Nigeria has failed to access its politico-economic and social capabilities or adopt appropriate safe guard measures prior and after ritual pursuit of the liberal reform policies. The fact that liberal reforms have worked elsewhere, does not necessarily imply that these policies must be successful in all country situations. This is because each state possesses its peculiar politico-economic and social nature that frames the degree of reform measures it can successfully pursue: the case of china’s liberal reform strategy is a good lesson for Nigeria. The Nigerian government specifically the legislature needs to intervene beyond the textile development fund intervention of N100 billion by the Bank of Industry. Specifically, government needs to provide effective legislation and oversight on infrastructural development, including re-examination for consideration of import substitution industrialization and provision of access to black, oil, water, electricity. Etc.; through active collaboration with states’ and LGAs’ where textiles industries are located. This should be supported by transparent and accountable export incentives, alongside credible democracy to neutralize the challenges posed by globalization.

  • Okechukwu Oko

  • Christopher Nchor Odock

  • Ladi Hamalai

  • Hakeem Olatunji

  • Ehigiamusoe Uyi Kizito

  • Jumare Fadila