By The Beautiful Day
Nigeria is one of the countries in the world today that has had its fair share of military interruption of democratic and political processes. In all, Nigeria had over 20 years of military rule in its 62 years of independence. There are those who have hanged the blame of Nigeria’s socioeconomic woes on the military, however, in the 62 years of nationhood, there is no doubting the fact that political dispensations have its footprint on Nigeria’s sand of time.
Nigeria has experienced significant economic growth in recent years, thanks in part to a stable political dispensation. The government has made efforts to create a favourable environment for business and investment, which has led to job creation and increased economic activity. The Shehu Shagari administration, for instance, focused on agriculture, industry, housing and transportation sectors. The government as at then in its bid to foster and encourage mechanized farming and increase nationwide farming productivity, distributed seed and fertilizer to farmers.
The Shagari-led administration also took advantage of the revenue from oil to construct the Ajaokuta Steel Mill and completed the Delta Steel Complex while some other three Steel Rolling mills were constructed. Vehicle plants were also created in Anambra, Oyo, Kaduna, Kano and Bauchi states.
Furthermore, the Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan, and Buhari administrations had positive impacts on the economy. Obasanjo’s administration, for instance, was able to settle with the Paris Club on debt forgiveness and initiated series of economic reforms that the successive administration built on. It was also during the fourth republic that Nigeria’s economy grew to be the largest in Africa.
Nigeria has made significant progress in improving its infrastructure, including the construction of new roads, bridges, and airports. This has helped to connect different regions of the country and improve access to services and resources for citizens. The Goodluck Jonathan’s administration started the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge and the Buhari government completed it. The bridge would improve movement and logistics between the South-East and the South-South region of the country. Also, railways are constructed.
On social intervention programs, the government has also implemented various social programs aimed at improving the lives of its citizens, such as the National Health Insurance Scheme and the National Social Safety Net Program. These programs provide access to healthcare and social support for vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and disabled.
However, the political dispensation has also influenced negatively on Nigerians. Unlike the military that tried to instil discipline and anticorruption attitude, politicians encourage corrupt practices. In spite of progress in economic growth and social programs, corruption remains a significant problem in Nigeria’s political dispensation. Corruption has been reported in all areas of government, including the judiciary, police, and military. This has led to a lack of trust in government institutions and has impeded progress in other areas.
The level of corruption has also led to social inequality. While the government has made progress in expanding social programs, inequality remains a significant problem in Nigeria. Many citizens still lack access to basic services such as healthcare and education, and the gap between the rich and poor continues to widen.
In a final analysis, the political dispensation in Nigeria has had both positive and negative impacts on the country and its citizens. While progress has been made in areas such as economic growth and social programs, corruption, inequality, and political instability continue to be significant challenges. It is essential for the government to prioritize stability, transparency, and accountability in order to address these challenges and promote the well-being and prosperity of all Nigerians.
As Bola Ahmed Tinubu assumes office as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, expectations of Nigerians are high on his government, of which he cannot afford to fail.