Governance is the art of steering societies and organizations . It involves the interactions among structures, processes and traditions that determines how power is exercised, how decisions are taken, and how citizens or other stakeholders have their say . Fundamentally, it is about power,relationships and accountability. Who has influence,who decide, and how decisions-makers are accountable . The concept may be usefully be applied in different context-Global,national and local.
What is the importance of good Governace , its context and outcomes ?
Good Governance is concerned with how power is exercised among the different sectors or intrests in society such that traditional freedoms may be enjoyed, commerce may occur, the arts and culture may flourish , political and economic institutions formidably erected to improve the living statndards of people.
Governance is important in itself as it provides the context for things which , as history demonstrates , people value enormously: personal liberty and freedom of Assembly, whether for social, commercial ,religious or other purposes,within some kind of overall political-social and economic framework such as the rule of law and a people's constitution . Context matter. Thus" good governance" to a large extent should be the focus of our politicians in respectives of parties affliations. Thus Mahatma Gandi of India, one of the greatest philosophers of our time once said" The things that will destroy us are politics without principle; pleasure without conscience;wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality;science without humanity; and worship without scarifice". This quotation becomes necessary considering the poverty level in the country that urgently need to be addressed.
Now that the dust of political instability in the last couple of months created by the "president ill health" has now be addressed by the national Assembly,sharing the same constitutional views and opinions of Nigeria people to allow the vice-president to act as the president of the country until PresidentYar'Adua is fully recover to continue to govern Nigeria. Nigerians expects Acting president Jonathan Goodluck to intensfying his efforts to bring smile on the faces of the people by providing the necessary infrastructure to boost economic growth which will in turn improve the living standard of the people. On the political front, The post Amnesty issue should be comprehensively and progressively addressed, The Justice Uwais report on our electoral reforms need to bere- visited as it is envisaged that reforms is necessary, if Nigeria is to have a credible elections comes 2011 and beyond.
As Nigeria economy is not immune from global happenings and the present global economic downturns, there is need for the Acting president Jonathan Goodluck PDP administration to diversify the nations economy. Every Nigeria citizen recognises that Nigeria and the Whole world is faced with the collapse of oil prices since two years ago from £145.00 per barrel for bonny light a year ago to today's price hovering just $70.00 per barrel. The prevailing collapse and depression in the oil market have immediate implications for Government budget and implications for medium and long time management of the Nigeria economy and hence, The government should drastically reduce the cost of government operations as reforms is necessary to curb corruption in the country.
The National Assembly should be brave and rise up more to their responsibilities to carry out their oversiight functions in ensuring the implementation of the 2010 budget as it is not in the nation interes to continuing to encourage waste at this period of global economic downturn. it is not only laughable but this development is worrisome and requires political will on the part of our legislature to ensure that budgets are implemented as at when due and not allowing monies to lie idle in the central bank .
More importantly, The central Government must invest heavily by funding Education and educational programmes like research in the country. State Governments must be very prudent in their budgets and invested on infrastructures like power, roads, education and health care systems . This writer argues that the issue of the inter-relationship between the local and state governments should be explicitly address when the constitution is amended. More efficient and effective but equitable cost recovery measures should be introduced by all the three -tie of governments.
The public-private partnership policy of the central Government is commendable as it encourages private sector participation in the ownership and operations of educational, transport, energy , roads and health Institutions which, if implemented transparently, will help in curbing unemployment in the country .and improves the citizenry standard of living. This writer believes that the present political -social -economic climate begets on the Central government to come up with a realistic economic plan of diversification and give priority to Agriculture , address the issue of post Amnesty and carry out reforms in our electoral systems, civil service, local and state Levels. Nigeria as nation needs leaders that are not only accountable but also passionate about leaving an eternal legacy of development, justice and political empowerment of her youths, downtrodden and women with the view that the "Great Nigeria" most of us think we should be and most of us in the diaspora think we deserve is only achievable through the existence of peace, unity and progress of the component nation states that make present Nigeria.
This writer also, believe the country can attain greatness politically and economically through sefless and impartial analysis of character, formulation of mass oriented policies, programmes and positive pronouncements of words and actionsby our political leaders who should create pluralistic society that has clearly defined goals and political will of achieving them. As Nigeria marches uniterrupted democratically under Yar'Adua -Jonathan Goodluck administration, This writer enjoins Nigerian both at home and in the diaspora to work with the Acting president Jonathan Goodluck Government to move the nation forward. God bless Nigeria and her people.
Benjamin Ogbebulu writes from London