Sustainable Democracy: A Dependent Variable to National Development

SUSTAINABLE DEMOCRACY: A DEPENDENT VARIABLE TO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (A CASE STUDY OFANAMBRA STATE FROM 2007 – 2009) MR. PETER OBI’S ADMINISTRATION.

So many authors have tried to write some literature concerning national development and sustainable democracy. The review was presented under the following headings:

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–       Concept of national development

–       Indices of national development

–       Strategies or national development

–       Concept of democracy and sustainable democracy

–       Factors military against sustainable democracy

–       Solutions to the problems of democracy

–       National development in Anambra State.

2.1 CONCEPT OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

National development encompasses all the ‘sectoral development”.

National development is an organized effort by government geared towards advancement in the economy, polity and society at large. In simple term, national development is the creation for the attainment of basic human needs.

Ngwu (1983:120) sees national development as the shared aspirations of state who are member of a functional institution.

Ademolekun (1986:92) true national development resides in the development of man-a process by which man’s personality is enhanced and that it is that enhanced personality creative, organized and disciplined which is the moving force behind social economic transformation of any society. He further argued that a developed society is one that is capable of borrowing from other societies, without becoming merely initiative thereby loosing its own soul of identity.

 

2.2 INDICES OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

        Economist and development experts are generally agreed in what factors should constitute indices for national level. However, wed have adopted a comprehensive approach by broadly categorizing indices or indicators of national development into economic, political, social and technical/technology.

 

  • Economic indicators
    1. Gross National Product (GNP) Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The gross national product is one of the classical indicators of economic development. GNP is a term used to describe the total annual flow of goods and services in the economy of a nation.
    2. Per capital income: It is the rate showing the amount of money received by individuals for their own use per capital income is also know as “income per total” and it is calculated by dividend total output with total population.
    3. Capital Accumulations/saving: capital here consist of all types of assets fixed and current. It believed that the move capital accumulated by a country, the higher the rate of saving and higher the rate of investment, which will in turn lead to a higher rate economic development and income, national development.
    4. Agriculture: Agriculture has a direct relationship with development in general and industrialized in particular. It is also important because it makes food available for a country population and employment opportunities.
    5. Industrialization: Ordinarily, Industrialization is a condition marked by increase in the importance of industry to an economy
  • Political indicators
    1. Independent Judiciary: this means a situation whereby the Judiciary should carryout their duties with fear or favour from the other arms.
    2. Political Stability: Political Instability is one of the major problems of developing countries. In Nigeria for instance, we have had a least seven military camp. These

 

  1. Good Government: Good government will bring national development. This is because it will encompass all the economic sector which will facilitate to development.

 

iii)    Social Indicator

  1. Self Sufficiency in Food Production: A country that is during towards national development must be able to feed her citizens. America for instance, despite that only 10% of her population engage in agriculture, yet they are able to feed themselves and even export surplus.
  2. Health Care Delivery: This is one of the indicators of social development which, was brought about by the provision of curative and preventive service. The resultant effect is fall in mortality increase in productivity of the labour force and increase in life expectancy of the people.
  3. Education and Development of Human Resources: Education is an important indictor of national development. No meaningful development will take when the population is not educated. It is education that enhances the efficiency of labour and makes modernity possible.
  4. Adequate Housing Facilities: Adequate housing facilities reflect in the standard of living and the general condition of the society. No society for example can be regarded as developed without the provision of adequate housing facilities to its citizens.
  5. Infrastructural Facilities: These facilities includes good transport system, energy, water, communication, network etc. which are essential for modernization and national development.
  6. Security: National development entails that a nation of its citizens. Insecurity sis inimical to development. A nation is expected to have a story army, well equipped police force and intelligent security service in order to ensure it is protected against attack from without or subversion from within.
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  1. iv) TECHNOLOGY INDICATORS
  2. Information and Means Communication: Availability and access to information and effective means of communication are development. Information is needed for planning.
  3. Mode of Production: National development require high level of automated mode of production designed to extend the capacity of machines to perform certain tasks formerly done by humans, and to control sequences or operation without human intervention when this is present in a nation, it indicates development.
  4. Technical Progress: Advancement in technology is a necessary requirement for national development technology has always been a major means of creating new physical and human environment. 20th Century technology, spread from Europe and the United State to other major nations.

 

2.3  STRATEGIES OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Here, we are going to use Nigeria as our case study. Since the independent, Nigeria has adopted many strategies to bring about national development. These strategies include the following.                 

  1. Import Substitution: This strategy attempt by Government, particularly in the developing comities to adopt policies of favouring domestic products over imported goods in order to create favourable conditions for domestic industries to grow and to achieve technology progress.
  2. Export Substitution: Export substitution is the export of non traditional products, semi-manufactures, and manufactured goods in substitution for the tradition exports to tends have more linkage to agriculture when it involves the processing of primary products.
  • Structural Adjustment Programmes: Adjustment programmes; otherwise known as SAP, is an economic development strategy created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to ease economic down turn in developing countries. It is stabilization program aimed at controlling inflation and correcting balance of payment imbalance. SAP was adopted in Nigeria in 1998, during the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.

 

2.4  CONCEPT OF DEMOCRACY AND SUSTAINABLE DEMOCRACY

Democracy, the term democracy is derived from Greek words Demo and Krates which means people rule. In Ancient Greece, every adult male citizen participation in the process of reading at decisions for the government of the community. The practice then was called direct democracy which implied that every adult male citizen must be physically present to participate in taking decision over things affect him and his community.

Democracy has many definitions by many authors in their field of endevour, it could be defined as government in accordance with the principles of popular sovereignty, political quality popular consultation and majority rule. It can also be defined as a system of government where people exercise power of governing periodically elected by the people themselves.

Abraham Lincoln, a one-time president of the USA, defined democracy as “Government of the People, by the people and for the people”. The definition is simplistic and emphasizes popular participation by the people in the process of government.

According to B.C Nwankwo (1992: 27) democracy is a system which gives periodic opportunities for the masses to choose their leaders.

On the view of P.K. Okoye (2004: 4) democracy is a system of government that recognizes the equality and dignity of all persons regardless of race, sex religion or social status.

According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (6th edition), democracy is a system of government by all the people of a country usually through representatives who they elect.

In a Layman’s definition, it is the government of the people by the people and for the people.

Sustainable Democracy

According to Lorimer et al (1995), sustainable democracy means continued reasonably high and stable level of democracy. It is the policy for government by the people in the 21st century.

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2.5  FACTORS MILITATING AGAINST SUSTAINABLE DEMOCRACY 

There are many factors that hinder the effective functioning of democracy government among which are:

  1. Corruption: The representatives when corrupt will rig elections to their own advantage thereby working against the democratic feature which says that elections should be free and fair. The right people will not be elected and the wrong people will be selected by the God – fathers.
  2. Dependency of the Judiciary: Even when a democratic government is claimed to be operating, the judiciary that ought to be independence still dances the tune of both the executive and the judiciary. They are being bribed in the discharge of their duty militating against sustainable democracy.
  3. Inequality before the Law: In Nigeria, equality before the law as a characteristics of democracy is practiced only in paper and practical. Some top government officials break the laws on daily basis, yet go scot free. The above the law and Linder the effective functioning of sustainable democracy.
  4. Inadequate freedom of press: The press is not free to let loose some information that will be of paramount importance to the public due to fear of say, by so doing sustainable democracy cannot be achieved.
  5. Ignorance: This is the part of the citizens most of the population are ignorant and doubt even knows their rights and they are trampled upon.
  6. Religious Crisis: In Nigeria, religious crisis have been on the increase especially between the two major religious groups – Moslems and Christians. People are being exempted from being on certain posts just because they are not Moslems. There has been destruction of lives and properties are seen in the Jos carnage on Friday, September 7, 2001. The services of all types of local weapons were employed: Swouls, Spears, Matchets, Guns, Charms, bow and arrows, during this incidence, democracy was thrown away. According to the World Council of Churches (Bankole, 2001), Nigeria has the highest number of Churches than any where else in the world but the irony of it is that Nigeria at the same time is rated as one of the most corrupt country in the global village.

 

2.6  SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEMS OF DEMOCRACY

In a case of religious crisis, religion should be practiced under the checks and balances of “Shastra” or an authentic scripture, an “acarya” or exemplary anti-material mentor and “sadhu” or hold man/woman to create a cohesive force that is conducive for sustainable democracy and national development .

  1. Cultural Transformation: When the activities of mudane culture are transformed into redic culture (God conscious oriented culture), sustainable democracy with all its benefits and national development are evoked. Nigeria needs this cultural transformation to emancipate her from incessant religious crisis, economic woes and political impasse. The study proffers that if we unalloyed love on the supreme personality of Godhead, automatically religious crisis becomes historical remains and sustainable democracy and national development will thrive.
  2. Re-Orientation of our Leaders: This will help fight corruption, God fatherism, sectionalism, favouritism, ethnicity and unit the country towards achieving sustainable democracy and national development.

iii.    Independence of the Judiciary: The judiciary should be independent to some extent so that they will be able to discharge their duty effectively without fear or favour. There should be non-interference of the either the executive or legislature.

  1. Everybody should be seen as being equal before the law and fundamental human rights should be entrenched in the constitution.
  2. There should be periodic election and the masses should be given the opportunity to vote and choose their leaders.

 

2.7  NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN ANAMBRA STATE

Below are some of the developments adopted by Obi’s administration, through the help of Anambra Integrated Development Strategy, all is to achieve sustainable democracy in the state.

 

  1. MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
  2. Tractorization Scheme: The state government (through ANIDS) produced 22 Brand new tractors which accompanying implements to boost farm mechanization in the state at the cost of N71,365,365.00 (Seventy one million, three hundred and sixty-five naira only).
  3. Fertilizer Procurement and Distribution: For the first time in the recent past, the State Government was able to satisfy the fertilizer needs of the farmers. The state government in line with her policy thrust of creating enabling environment for Agricultural procured and distributed a total of 2,937.3 metric tones of fertilizer in 2006/2007 farming season valued at N171,468,000 (One hundred and seventy-one million, four hundred and sixty-eight thousand naira only) to farmers at a subsidized rate of N2,200 per bag of NPK and N2,400 per bag of area. The state government spent a total sum of N17,947,000 (Seventeen million, nine hundred and forty-seven thousand naira only) on fertilizer subsidy in 2006 and 2007 farming seasons.
  4. Micro Credit Scheme: The state government during period under review accessed the sum of N150 million (One hundred and fifty million naira only) to the rural farmers to alleviate the problem of funding militating against agricultural production in the state 2339 (Two thousand three hundred and thirty-nine naira only) farmers benefited from the micro-credit.
  5. Government Counterpart Cash Contributions (GCCC): As part of the effort to create enabling environment for agricultural production in the state, the state government has released various sum of money as the state’s counterpart cash contribution to the federal government and international agencies.
  6. Rice Project: The sum of 12.5 million (Twelve million, five hundred thousand naira only) was committed by present administration for infrastructural development and relaction of the state college of Agriculture from Igbariam to Mgbakwu. The former college site taken by the State University. The state government is planning to commence further development of infrastructure at the new site of the state college of Agriculture as contain in the work plan for last quarter of the year.
  7. College of Agriculture, Mgbakwu: The sum of N12.5 million (Twelve million, five hundred thousand naira only) was committed by the present administration for infrastructural development and relocation of the state college of Agriculture from Igbariam to Mgbakwu.
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  1. HEALTH SECTOR
  2. ANIDS has secured the accreditation of Onitsha General Hospital after massive rehabilitation and provision of equipment. It came after many years the state had no accredited hospital.
  3. Secured the accreditation of some of the state health institutions such as school of Nursing, Nkpor School of Midwifery Nkpor and School of Health Technology Obosi after massive rehabilitation.

iii.    Completed the building of Cardio Thoraic/Renal Kidney Dialysis and Breast Cancer Centers at the Onitsha General Hospital.

  1. Provide Ambulance to some hospitals before Obi came into power, no hospitals had an Ambulance.
  2. The building of Umueri General Hospital started from the scratch, it is almost completed.
  3. The massive rehabilitation of Amaku General Hospital, Awka.
  • Male, Female and Children wards, consulting block, pharmacy stores had completed.
  • Grant of millions of naira to missionary health institutions to help them rehabilitees their institution and gain accreditation.
  1. Provision of 50 incinerators for immunization to 21 local government areas.
  2. Completion of an Auditorium at the college of health Technology Obosi.
  3. Provided male and female wards at school of Psychiatric Nursing Hospital, Nawfia.
  • Purchase of additional ambulances to cover all the three senatorial zones.
  • Purchase and equipping of 500 First Aid Boxes for 500 pilot primary and secondary schools.

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