ASSESSING NIGERIA’S PERFORMANCE IN DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION, CSO ENABLING ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT EFFECTIVENESS

By David Tola Winjobi (PhD), Principal Coordinator, CAFSO-WRAG FOR DEVELOPMENT (NIGERIA)

This paper tries to analyze the challenges facing Nigeria in its developmental process in the global arena through three indices: development cooperation, the enabling environment for CSOs, and their development effectiveness. Each of these thematic areas is considered within the purview of some country-specific indices of performance such as the legal and regulatory framework, the political environment, the governance, and the socio-economic context.

The paper scores the federal government of Nigeria high in terms of ratification of international instruments and churning out legal and regulatory frameworks in relation to its socio-economic and political operation including its development cooperation. Unfortunately, the paper argues, all these frameworks are mere beautiful paper policy documents as government lacks the political will to walk the talk. Nigeria’s malaise is leadership failure. This explains why there is so much sleaze in the system permeating government ministries, department and agencies and reaching the fabric of the leadership including the cronies and allies of government while the leadership seems helpless.

The author considers some specific issues making Nigeria political environment unconducive not only for politicians themselves but also for the minority, the youth, the poor, the women, and invariably to international investors. The paper tries to identify contentious separation of powers, internal conflict, impunity, media clamp downs, systemic corruption, unemployment, menace of Boko Haram, among others, as a threat to Nigeria’s development and economic prospects.

Of grave concern is the Nigeria’s dwindling economy whose pangs Nigerians are feeling already as over 70 per cent of population is living in poverty, including many unemployed young Nigerians whereas the executive and the parliamentarians are living in opulence. The paper decries Nigeria’s economy managers’ lack of foresight which poses some challenges to the Nigerian economy which include, falling oil prices reaching as low as $73 per barrel, declines in foreign exchange earnings, and devaluation of the Naira from N155 to N168 to a dollar as at December 2014. Case studies are provided for a better understanding of the situation.

Concluding, the paper clamours for a consistent fight against corruption and impunity which would consolidate democratic gains. It challenges government to focus on restructuring both human and infrastructural capital, considered the potent instrument of development, while civil society should be involved in development cooperation in the spirit and letters of Accra Agenda for Action, and the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.

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