Nigeria has experienced serious vicissitudes through its socio political history. Unfortunately, after over 50 years of political independence, Nigeria still toddles behind the comity of nations in terms of development. With the basic development indices lacking in a country, in spite of the abundant human and natural by providence, there has been a serialized enquires to unveil the causes, magnitude and dimensions of the paradox of underdevelopment in Nigeria which has left over 140 million people in an enclave of backwardness. This assignment examines the underdevelopment of Nigeria: who is to be blame: failure of leadership or its political economy. It highlights the features of underdevelopment in Nigeria. These range from, high rate of unemployment, in egalitarian distribution of income and wealth, high level of insecurity, increase level of absolute poverty low level of social and political consciousness, to an increase in illiteracy rate, poor health services, housing condition and government services to mention but a few. It concludes that the underdevelopment in Nigeria is caused by the politico economic system she adopts. This is anchored on the following reasons; first, in Nigeria what determines a person status is the amount of wealth he is able to accumulate. Second, is that in Nigeria it is possible and indeed easy for people to cheat the entire society and get away with it. This is because we don’t ask questions about people’s wealth, but we revere them. To salvage the situation is to recommend, a new politico-economic system characterize by the followings- A people oriented government, respect for the dignity of labour, respect for the rule of law, a well spelt-out and religiously pursed national objectives of self-reliance, a social security to mention but a few.
Here are the 5 known causes of underdevelopment in Nigeria that have haunted the Nation and have made it remain stagnant for the past 50years.
1. LACK OF DEDICATED LEADERSHIP
For a country to develop there must be a determined will to march in progress on the part of all citizens the rulers and the ruled alike. It requires a sense of dedication to the course of progress. Determination and dedication form the bedrock of progress and any country that lacks this is doomed. Here lies our (Nigeria) major problem and obstacle to progress. We have not had the luck of having leaders who are completely committed to the course of nation building. We have not had men and women who are rather prepared to render if possible selfless service to the country. This is why our leaders can often afford to spend huge amount of money in buying obsolete machines for our use just because they are assured of 10% as a bribe. This is why appointment into post is made on the basis of man-no-man as the slang goes in Nigeria. This is why key industries are to be located not in places best suited for them but rather in the place that best suite those in power. This why contracts are awarded not to those who can most effectively execute their assignment but to those who have something to offer, everyone is only out to see a way of getting his own share of the ‘ NATIONAL CAKE’ even when he has not contributed to the baking and does not even know where that cake is being baked. The moment we have the right people in power is the moment much of our problems are solved. For one thing, dedicated and enlightened leadership will lead to a better combination of the scarce resources for the development of the country.
2. POLITICAL INSTABILITY
One of the reason why industrial revolution started in Britain is that Britain was able to have a stable political system before most other nations. Stability connotes progress because progress is not a concomitant of chaos and conductive to progress since the creative nature of man is more easily harnessed in such a situation. At least experience shows that a man who isconstantly form by strife, internal and external, is not the best suited for experimentation and invention. In like manner a country that is constantly torn by strife cannot be expected to perform wonders, development wise. For one thing is sure, there is always a feeling of insecurity in such a place, investors are scared away and people because they are not sure of what happens next, will rather chose to enjoy with the immediate instead of postponing it with the hope of a greater tomorrow. For a country like Nigeria that has just come out of a civil war and the present situation does not give much hope that there will not be a repeat performance even in the immediate future despite the hard lesson that appear to have been learnt. The situation in the country is not really a happy one even though one may look at it as a transitory stage in both the political and economic development of the country; creative minds are needed to formulate new political structures that will usher in a new atmosphere that can guarantee continued progress in the country.
3. LACK OF ADEQUATE POWER SUPPLY:
Nigeria as a country has not got adequate power supply. This is a handicap to industrialization in particular and development in general. Revolution in power supply has been one of the greatest phenomena that really geared the world economy and the onward direction. The importance of power supply, need not to be over emphasized. Rural areas are being deserted and cannot industries are being attracted mainly because these rural areas have not got any supply of electricity. It is because people have recognized the importance of power supply in any development process that there is an incessant call for rural electrification as a developmental strategy, the supply of electric light to the rural areas will help mass exodus from these rural area, attract industries to live in well lighted rooms is an aspect of development.
4. POLITICAL CORRUPTION
In broad terms, political corruption is when government official use their governmental power for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for purposes, like repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption, illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the government is not considered political corruption either. Illegal acts by office holders constitute political corruption only if they are directly related to their official duties. All forms of government are susceptible to political corruption, forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft and embezzlement while corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering and trafficking. In some countries (Nigeria) corruption is so common that is expected when ordinary business or citizen interact with Government officials. The end point of a political corruption is a kleptocracy, literally ‘rule by thieves’. In some countries (Nigeria) government officials have broad or not well defined powers and the line between what is legal and illegal can be difficult to draw.
5. ECONOMIC INJUSTICE
Economic injustice involves the state’s failure to provide individuals with basic necessities of life, such as access to adequate food and housing, and its maintenance of huge discrepancies in wealth. In the most extreme cases of misdistribution, some individuals suffer from poverty while elite of that society live in relative luxury. Such injustice can stem from unfair hiring procedures, lack of available jobs and education and insufficient health care all of these conditions may lead individuals to believe that they have not received a fair share of the benefits and resources available in the society. Tellitmore!!