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Government and Military

The Nigerian Government: Achievements and Pitfalls

Last Updated on August 12, 2023


The Nigerian Government is a federal republic system with a President as the head of state. It comprises three arms: the executive, legislative, and judiciary. Nigeria obtained independence in 1960 from the British colonial rule.

The government system was modeled after the United States constitution and modified to suit Nigeria’s unique needs.

Despite Nigeria’s vast natural resources, its political history has been plagued by corruption, military interventions, ethnic tensions, economic instability, and poor governance.

The purpose of this blog post is to examine the Nigerian government’s achievements and pitfalls from independence to present-day, giving an insight into how a rich country is still struggling to develop.

In the subsequent chapters, we will analyze the Nigerian Government’s successes and failures, the challenges the country is facing, and what measures the government needs to put in place to make Nigeria a better country.

It is essential to understand the Nigerian government’s achievements and pitfalls to know how we got here and where we need to go.

This blog post will provide an objective analysis of the Nigerian government’s history, with the hope that it will enlighten readers about the country’s political landscape and encourage positive change.

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Achievements of the Nigerian Government

It’s no secret that the Nigerian government has faced a number of challenges over the years. However, there have also been noteworthy successes and achievements. Below are some of the most notable.

Economic growth and development

  1. Creation of the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund with a value of $1 billion USD

  2. Establishment of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company to improve access to housing finance

  3. Successful implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan to stimulate non-oil industrial growth

  4. GDP growth of 2.27% in Q3 2019, the highest growth rate since Q1 2019

Infrastructure development

  1. Construction and rehabilitation of roads, bridges, and airports under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund

  2. Revival of Nigerian Railways with the ongoing construction of Lagos-Ibadan railway and the modernization of the existing railway network

  3. Launch of the National Housing Programme to provide affordable housing for Nigerians

Education and healthcare improvements

  1. Launch of the National Social Investment Program with initiatives such as the School Feeding Program and the N-Power job creation program

  2. Implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund to increase access to primary healthcare

  3. Creation of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund for the provision of funds to public tertiary institutions in Nigeria

Social welfare programs

  1. Establishment of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons to combat human trafficking

  2. Lifting of 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty through various poverty alleviation programs

  3. Free distribution of agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilizers to farmers

Foreign policy successes

  1. Launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement to boost intra-continental trade

  2. Success in securing the release of Nigerian citizens who were held captive by terrorist groups overseas

  3. Strengthening of relationships with China, Russia, and other major world powers

Democratic gains

  1. Conduct of peaceful and successful general elections in 2019

  2. Retrieval of over $2 billion USD in looted funds through cooperation with foreign governments

  3. Amendment of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act to increase government revenue

It’s clear that the Nigerian government has accomplished many things in recent years. However, there is still much work to be done to address the country’s challenges and build on these successes.

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Pitfalls of the Nigerian Government

The Nigerian government has been facing several challenges that have hindered its progress. The following are some of the pitfalls of the Nigerian government:

Corruption and Nepotism

Are prevalent and institutionalized in Nigerian politics. Corruption has become a way of life for Nigerian politicians and government officials.

It has led to the mismanagement of public funds and resources, thereby hindering economic development. Nepotism, on the other hand, affects the distribution of resources and the appointment of government officials based on familial or ethnic affiliations, rather than merit.

Political Instability and Insecurity

Nigeria has experienced political instability, ethnic and religious tensions, and insecurity in various parts of the country.

The Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, banditry in the northwest, and separatist agitations in the southeast and southwest have disrupted the peace and stability of Nigeria.

These challenges have also affected foreign investment and economic growth.

Human Rights Abuses

The Nigerian government has been accused of human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, and torture.

Security agents have been involved in gross human rights violations, especially during elections, anti-government protests, and ethnic and religious conflicts.

The government has also failed to ensure the protection of women and girls from sexual violence and exploitation.

Economic Inequality and Poverty

Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy but also has one of the highest poverty rates in the world.

The gap between the rich and poor continues to widen, and inequality affects all aspects of life, including life expectancy, access to education and healthcare, and standard of living.

The government’s failure to address poverty and inequality has fueled social unrest and insecurity.

Insufficient Social Services

The Nigerian government has failed to provide adequate social services, including healthcare, education, and housing, to its citizens.

The healthcare system is underfunded and understaffed, while education is substandard and inadequate. Most Nigerians live in slums and shantytowns, and the government has not provided enough affordable housing for low-income earners.

Inadequate Justice System

The Nigerian justice system is marred by inefficiency, corruption, and lack of independence.

The judiciary is underfunded and understaffed, while the police force is riddled with corruption and human rights abuses.

The result is a dysfunctional justice system that has failed to protect citizens’ rights and freedoms and ensure the rule of law.

In essence, the Nigerian government faces several pitfalls that hinder its progress and development.

Corruption, nepotism, political instability and insecurity, human rights abuses, economic inequality, insufficient social services, and inadequate justice system are some of the challenges that the Nigerian government needs to address urgently for the country to thrive.

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Factors Contributing to Achievements and Pitfalls

There are several factors that have contributed to the achievements and pitfalls of the Nigerian government. These factors include:

History and Context of the Nigerian Government

  1. Nigeria gained independence from British colonial rule in 1960.

  2. Several military coups and dictatorships led to political instability and economic decline.

  3. The return to democracy in 1999 brought hope for change and development.

Leadership and Governance Approaches

  1. The leadership style of Nigerian politicians has been characterized by corruption and a lack of accountability.

  2. The adoption of federalism and the devolution of power to the states have resulted in a complex and inefficient governance system.

  3. The implementation of policies has been slow and ineffective, leading to frustration among citizens.

Economic and Social Challenges

  1. The Nigerian economy is heavily dependent on oil exports, making it vulnerable to fluctuations in the global market.

  2. The high level of unemployment, poverty, and inequality has resulted in social unrest and insecurity.

  3. The lack of access to basic services such as healthcare and education has further worsened the living conditions of the population.

Ethnic and Religious Diversity

  1. Nigeria is a highly diverse country with over 250 ethnic groups and multiple religions.

  2. This diversity has led to ethnic and religious tensions, often resulting in violence and instability.

  3. The government has struggled to manage these conflicts and to promote unity and integration.

International Support and Pressures

  1. International actors such as the United States, the United Nations, and the World Bank have provided aid and support to Nigeria.

  2. However, this support has often been conditional and tied to specific policies and reforms.

  3. Nigeria has also faced criticism from the international community for human rights abuses, corruption, and poor governance.

In summary, the Nigerian government’s achievements and pitfalls are the result of multiple factors, including the country’s history and context, leadership and governance approaches, economic and social challenges, ethnic and religious diversity, and international support and pressures.

Addressing these factors will be crucial for the government to overcome its challenges and to achieve sustainable development and prosperity for its citizens.

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The Nigerian Government: Achievements and Pitfalls

Public Opinion on Nigerian Government Performance

The Nigerian government has been the subject of much scrutiny over the years, with the public weighing in on its performance.

Polls, surveys, and criticisms from the media and civil society provide a window into the views of citizens on the government’s achievements and pitfalls.

Additionally, comparisons to other African countries offer insights into where Nigeria stands in terms of governance and development.

Polls and surveys on citizens’ views

Various polls and surveys have been conducted to ascertain citizens’ views on the performance of the Nigerian government.

According to a survey conducted by Gallup in 2019, only 26% of Nigerians approved of the country’s leadership, while 50% disapproved. This was a decline from the 2018 poll, where 41% approved of the government’s performance.

Similarly, a survey by Afrobarometer, which measures Africans’ attitudes towards democracy, governance, and the economy, revealed that only 39% of Nigerians trusted the government.

The poll also showed that fewer citizens believed that the government was working for their benefit, with 60% of respondents stating that the authorities were serving the interests of a few.

Criticisms and endorsements by media and civil society

The media and civil society have been vocal in their critiques of the Nigerian government’s performance. The lack of basic amenities such as electricity, water, and quality healthcare has been the subject of numerous criticisms.

The government’s response to various crises, including the insurgency in the northeast and the herdsmen-farmers clashes, has also been widely condemned.

However, there have been some endorsements of the government’s initiatives in addressing the country’s problems.

The launch of the National Social Investment Program (NSIP), which provides funding for poverty alleviation and economic empowerment schemes, has received praise from some quarters.

The government’s focus on improving agriculture and boosting local production has also been commended.

Comparisons to other African countries

Comparisons to other African countries also offer insights into the Nigerian government’s performance. According to the 2020 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, which measures governance quality in African countries, Nigeria ranks 34th out of 54 countries.

While Nigeria’s overall score improved from the previous year, the country’s performance in critical areas such as safety and rule of law declined.

Concerns have also been raised about Nigeria’s economic growth compared to other African countries.

Despite having the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria’s GDP growth has been inconsistent, with some years recording negative growth.

In contrast, countries such as Ethiopia and Rwanda have shown steady growth in recent years.

The public opinion on the Nigerian government’s performance is mixed, with criticisms outweighing endorsements.

Poor governance, insecurity, and economic instability are some of the challenges facing the country. However, initiatives such as the NSIP and efforts to improve agriculture offer some hope for the future.

Nigeria’s rankings on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance and GDP growth compared to other countries demonstrate the need for continued reform. The Nigerian government must focus on addressing the country’s challenges and offering tangible solutions to improve the lives of its citizens.

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The Nigerian government has made progress in various sectors of the economy.

The government’s efforts to promote economic growth, reduce corruption, and improve education and healthcare are commendable. However, there is still room for improvement.

In my opinion, the Nigerian government has been moderately effective in tackling some of the issues facing the nation.

The government needs to do more to address the security challenges facing the country, promote social justice and equity, and strengthen institutions that promote good governance.

For Nigeria to continue to progress, all stakeholders, including the government and citizens, need to work together.

The government should prioritize issues of national security and adequately fund the security agencies. Additionally, there should be more investment in social welfare programs and the provision of basic amenities such as roads, clean water, and electricity.

Furthermore, there needs to be a stronger focus on ensuring transparency and accountability in government operations.

Citizens need to hold government officials accountable for their actions and demand transparency in governance.

Ultimately, Nigeria’s success depends on the collective efforts of all its citizens. The government must prioritize the people’s welfare, promote good governance, and encourage economic growth.

On the other hand, citizens need to participate actively in governance, uphold the rule of law, and work towards promoting unity and peace in the country.

Finally, the Nigerian government has achieved some successes but needs to address its pitfalls. Together, the government and citizens can work towards building a sustainable future for Nigeria.

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