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Nigeria: Governance and Policy Making

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Sam Goldman

on 19 April 2011

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Transcript of Nigeria: Governance and Policy Making

The Executive Other State Institutions Policy Making Process Organization of the state Nigeria: Governance and Policy Making "Unfinished Nigerian State" Massive corruption
Unable govern on a basic level
However- high public expectation for progress The National Question and Constitutional Governance Question: How should a country with such great diversity be governed? How can people work in harmony?

Leaders aren't too sure
Military Rule
Hybrids?
Anglo-American Models (democracy+constitutionalism)
Many constitutions (9); however, no constitutionalism They have tried... Five constitution attempts under colonial rule (1922, 1946, 1951, 1954, and 1960)

Four after independence (1963 Republican Constitution, 1979 Constitution of the Second Republic, 1989 Constitution for the Third Republic, and the 1999 Constitution (current) Even though there wasn't a constitution, national elections were held in 1998 and 1999 Nigerian Constitutions have not earned much respect from military or civilian leaders.
These people tend to be against legal restrictions The current constitution was revised as recently as 2005
Obasanjo created a National Political Reform Conference
However, it lacked legitimacy because of appointing Federalism and State Structure First Republic Parliamentary model
executive chosen by legislators
relatively decentralized, political power located in Northern, Eastern, and Western regions Second Republic US style

Strong executive with checks and balances Fourth Republic Continues presidential model
bicameral legislature
independent judicial branch that can interpret the constitution Similar to the United States Federal structure with states (36)
Local governments (744)
All are capable of creating laws that do not interfere with federal law
Judicial system contains local, district, and state level courts Different From the United States States only have power on paper
Entire budget of sub-federal governments comes from a predetermined share of the oil revenues
Under Military Rule Seven military leaders= Many leadership styles General Gowon ('66-'75)
Council of officers make decisions
Relied on small group of advisors

Muhammad and Obasanjo
Rule with expanded institutions
Executive power increases

Buhari
Gets rid of second republic
Stern authoritarian control Babangida ('85-'93)
More repressive govt.


Abacha ('93-'98)
Harsh autocratic rule


Abubakar
Relaxes political control
Rapid democratization program Only two to actually give power to an elected government Heads of State would appoint people to be top government officials
No legislature
A lot of patron-client relationships The Obasanjo Administration Marked by reforming the armed forces, revitalizing the economy, addressing public welfare, and improving standards of governance Proposed an anticorruption commission with a lot of power (had little impact)
A second one created in 2003 (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission)
EFCC was more successful
Set up Peace and Reconciliation Commission in response to civil society groups PDP itself impeded reform
Basically a collection of "Big Men"

"Big Men" helped Obasanjo win in 1999-he rewards them
Eventually impeached Special attention was given to the Niger Delta
Started by being non-hostile- met with local leaders
Soon caused problems because he refused to negotiate oil revenue terms
Proposes NDDC (Niger Delta Development Commission)
Ends with thievery and massacre
In 2003, violence caused parts of the state to temporarily stop exporting 2003 elections caused PDP to lose legitimacy
Created a precedent for "Big Men" to gain power however they wanted
Obasanjo Publically admits to a governor election being rigged by "Big Men" The Bureaucracy As the government was more controlled by the colonized (rather than the colonizers) the bureaucracy was used as a reward system
Individuals appointed based on patronage, ethnic group, regional origin
Not based on merit
Not based on need

Went from 72,000 in 1960's to 1 million in 1980's
Half of government expenditures Para-statals
(State owned enterprises) Created for specific commercial and social welfare services

Somewhere between private and government Board of directors politically appointed

Answerable to government

They can act as utility facilities (water, power, ports, etc.)

Can accelerate economic development Usually end up being a drain on the economy

Instruments of patronage

Privatizing para-statals could have positive effects (Obasanjo's strategy) The Judiciary Used to be somewhat autonomous
Military governments (Babangida & Abacha) disliked a judiciary
Undermined its autonomy & integrity Executive appoints judges & controls funds
Judiciary been undermined due to poor legal training and bribery
Jurist terrorism in 1993 - supreme court created a military position that had immunity to any judicial moves State & Local Subordinate to Federal Court of Appeal and Supreme court
Some Northern state courts follow shari'a (large muslim population)
States in the Middle Belt and south have courts based on customary law
All other courts are based on the English common law tradidtion Application of shari'a law has been debated for decades
Some Northerners want to spread it and make it the law of the land
Before 4th republic, shari'a only applied to Muslim civil proceedings
In 1999, it became enacted for use with criminal offenses

Frightens Christian minorities in the north State & Local Government Constant want for more subdivision in order to increase wealth
Babangida and Abacha doubled the number of states and tripled local governments
Called it "answering the national question" but it actually increased the power of the central government
Some states added local governments even though they don't have the constitutional authority State governments are weak and depend on the federal government
90% of state incomes are from the federal govt.
% of oil income based on population
Weak tax base Nigerians share an unwillingness to have to pay taxes

Government is untrustworthy and lacks legitimacy

Communities resort to self-help measures
Start of democracy causes State/Federal conflicts
"governor forums" since 1999
Southern governors advocate for greater control of state resources
Many states have created vigilante army groups to provide security/intimidate opponents Based on top-down directives because of a history of military rule Originally based on "loyalty pyramids"
Men at the top ("big men") gain wealth which is passed along to gain support
Tend to be ethnically based
Basis of "prebendalism"
The most successful ones had connections in the buraucracy & businesses
Personal goals eventually became the defining characteristics of the regime Loyalty pyramids still exist after democracy is instituted
Promises of government jobs, contracts
The VP, PDP party leaders, many ministers, some National assembly leaders are all "Big Men"

Obasanjo was not a "big man", but big men helped get him the presidency Big men play a large role (sometimes the only role) in policy-making
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