Democracy and Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria
Sustainable national development in the context of this study is intrinsically related to economic development. It is also important at this junture to highlight that economic development in this study also highly relates with economic security, which in the final analysis should be human- centered. It is quite distinct from economic development as represented by growth-figures from the officialdom. Hence, by the problem of economic development may be meant the problem of accounting for the observed pattern, across countries and across time, in levels and rates of growth of per capita income (Lucas, Jr, 1988:3). In this study, per capita income still means a measure of the amount of money that is being earned per person in a certain area (http://www.investopedia.com). However, the twin concepts of poverty and inequality, which in their extreme cases translate to destitution, are more in tune with our methodology. Amaefule (2013:1) quotes the World Bank as announcing that over 100 million Nigerians live in destitution. The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly, said this at the bank’s Country Programme Portfolio Review in Enugu, Nigeria, on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. According to the World Bank boss, the number of Nigerians living in destitution makes up 8.33 per cent of the total number of people living in destitution all over the world. Marie- Nelly also said that although the World Bank was the largest overseas development agency that provided assistance to Nigeria, the contribution of the organization to the country was very small compared to the budgets of the states and the Federal Government. She said if the World Bank’s small assistance could produce so much result because of effective implementation and monitoring, the revenues accruable to the country could do much more if they were similarly utilized (Amaefule, 2013:1). Incidentally, Nigeria’s politico-economic class is not enamored by such distracting suggestions as effective implementation and monitoring of the revenues accruable to the country. They are more in love with letter writing, as tool of governance. Hence, the national concept of business is weird.
In its Doing Business 2014 Economy Profile, the World Bank (2013), ranked Nigeria at the 147th position, out of 189 countries. As a matter of fact, Nigeria dropped by -9 points from her 2013 position of 138 out of 185 countries. Thus, both in it’s literal and metaphoric interpretations, doing business in Nigeria has become traumatic and negates the positive assumptions that might have informed all the extant policy plans in the current democratic dispensations, from NEEDS to every other emotive design. Thus, sustainable national development remains realizable only in the emotive imaginations of policy planners, while destitution increases. Indeed, it is not yet clear and acceptable to the politico-economic class in Nigeria that sustainable national development is more of a product of attitude than blue prints. Truly, sustainable national development is a function of the attitudes of a contented citizenry. It is not a function of some imported artefacts that malfunction perpetually, in the midst of poverty and inequality, leading to endless alibi of insufficient megawatts that lead to unending darkness, in place of electricity.