THE IMPACT OF EDUCATION ON GOOD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
Over the years, governance has become a key concept in international development. Governance assessments vary according to the interests, needs and culture of the researchers. Some focus mostly on public sector corruption; others take a broader approach, which can include elements of human rights and democracy examined across civil society, the private sector, the judiciary and government institutions. Many studies have shown that a nation’s economic growth and quality of governance is enhanced by having leaders who are well-read, competent with the right leadership skills, exposure and behaviour. Furthermore, it is a general belief that a well-educated leadership is a competitive advantage for any nation and there is a correlation between good governance and leaders’ level of education. It seems this theory is not working in Nigeria. So what went wrong? Is it the quality of the academic qualifications? Is it the system? Has having more educated leaders resulted in the current sophistication of corruption in Nigeria? It is known that most of Nigeria’s current leaders attended the best schools in or outside the country. And the laws, codes of conduct and regulations in the Nigerian governmental system are modest enough to guide those in power. So, what could be responsible for poor governance style by our leaders? This writer is of the view that the “strange” character of an average Nigerian politician (which is not learned in school) could be responsible.
The absence of an appreciable level of good governance in Nigeria despite the high educational level of its leaders is a strong indication that leadership’s array of certificates doesn’t matter, but the individual character and behaviours. For instance, a professor who teaches basic knowledge in school, when given a political position behaves like a motor park tout. With such situation, one can say leadership is not all about academics but character, because past leaders in Nigeria with lower educational level have proven to be more competent and were able to conceptualize sensible ideas which enhanced all-round national development.
They also governed with broader focus on public interest than the current leaders who have higher educational qualifications. Some educationists have observed that political leaders, who possess high educational qualifications and misbehave, did not earn such qualifications scholarly. Hence, they display disgraceful character in positions of political leadership. Other people have also summed up the reason for the lack of good governance to the fact that most individuals in leadership positions in Nigeria are never prepared for the job. Furthermore, the political system is so corrupted that the easy way to secure an elective office is to have the right godfather; belong to the political party in power whether at the centre or in State and during electioneering campaign all that is needed of one is to climb to the podium, rain abuses on the opponents, shout the name of your political party and dance. Such system would never produce good leadership.
Notwithstanding the array of reasons for the absence of good governance in Nigeria, the highly educated Nigerian leadership is still not performing as expected of well-read leaders with global mindset, because everything in the polity is ascribed to politics. When politicking overtakes policies, leadership degenerates- and this is the disease affecting the average Nigerian political leader. The politics we are referring to is when a political office becomes an opportunity for self enrichment and it is associated with pride, arrogance and larger than life attitude. Another factor that leads to the bad governance in Nigeria is; the society sometimes encourages national leaders to transform into to regional, ethnic or religious champion after serving at the centre. In addition, some members of the Nigerian society expect their people in power to have or to do certain things even if they are wrong; just because one person did have or did it before.
Despite the established fact that highly educated leaders develop good policies for economic growth in their countries, they influence international public opinion towards their countries and easily attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to their countries, including separating their personal interest from the public good, it is puzzling that the more highly educated Nigerians ascend to political power the more the country experiences bad governance. The average Nigerian leader can be helped to mend his character “there is a popular saying that positive character traits can be both taught and learned. The society needs to disapprove the arrogance, pride, self enrichment and larger than life attitude associated with public office. The Nigerian society should celebrate leaders who put more energy into feasible economic objectives and provision of public good and infrastructure. And not celebrate leadership that concentrates on mundane politicking and narrow personal interests which tend to have adverse effects on the provision good governance. There is no doubt, the educational level of whoever aspires for a public office in Nigeria matters, but individual good character and behaviours are essential for listening and servant leadership.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In recent years, the discourse on the relationship between good governance and education has attracted huge academic interest. Many of the discussions on good governance are concentrated on the desired objective of nations’ political development though the basic issues and principles of good governance, however, are not new. The most prevalent aspect of good governance debate is on anti-corruption which often assesses the capacity of government to be accountable, just, fair, effective, efficient, participatory, transparent, responsive, consensus-oriented, and equitable. These are the major characteristics of good governance as outlined by the United Nations. However, the researcher tends to identify the prevailing factors in education that determine good governance in Nigeria.
1.3 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) what are the factors that influence education on good governance in Nigeria?
ii) what is the prevalence of education on good governance in Nigeria?
iii) what are the reasons for the influence of education on good governance in Nigeria?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate the causes, effects and solutions to economic recession in Nigeria among small, medium and large scale entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
The specific objectives are: to;
i) to know the factors that influence education on good governance in Nigeria
ii) to assess out the prevalence of education on good governance in Nigeria
iii) to determine the reasons for the influence of education on good governance in Nigeria
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The research hypotheses to be tested include:
i) there will be no significant relationship between education and good governance
ii) there will be no significant influence of education on good governance
iii) there will be no significant relationship between education and good governance
1.6 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study is to benefit both the research and readers, for it makes for a very interesting and educational reading, since the study will attempt to make everything in detail which will attract readers and researchers. The research hypotheses and data analysis will also enable the researcher to determine whether or not there is a relationship between education and good governance.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study covered respondents like political office holders and seekers and youths in Nigeria. Variables of interest were education and good governance. While education is independent variable, good governance is the dependent variable.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The study focused on investigating the basic issues in education and good governance. However, the researcher was faced with the constraint of getting adequate information from political office holders and seekers and youths in Nigeria due to the fact that most of them were not willing to reveal adequate information about them.
1.9 Definitions of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Education: This is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research.
Good Governance: This refers to the processes for making and implementing decisions. It is not about making correct decisions, but about the best possible process for making those decisions.
Amanchukwu, Rose N. (2011). The Challenges of Quality Education and Good Governance
in Developing Economy. African Journal of Education and Technology, Volume 1 Number 3 (2011), pp. 103-110