Nigeria Democracy Without Development: How To Fix It


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There is a paradoxical relationship between democracy and development in Nigeria. In the twenty years of electoral democracy, poverty, inequality, unemployment, underemployment and insecurity have increased. The hopes of citizens that democracy would lead to improved living standards have been dashed. Social justice and inclusive sustainable development have also been elusive. The economy has remained dependent on 2 primary sectors – agriculture and oil – and low value-added services. The aspiration that by 2020, Nigeria would become one of the twenty leading economies in the world has not been achieved, the political elite have captured the state for personal gains and unsurprisingly, Nigeria remains one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

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Dr Omano Edigheji is a scholar and development expert. He holds a PhD in Political Science, with a specialization in the political economy of development, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Currently, he is the Special Adviser, Research and Documentation to Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai of Kaduna State. Dr Edigheji has over twenty years’ experience in government, the academia, not-for-profit development foundations and civil society. He founded and was CEO of Zeezi Oasis Leadership Inspiration Ltd, a consulting and leadership development firm based in Abuja. Dr Edigheji was also the Lead Consultant of the African Higher Education Programme, TrustAfrica. He was also Chief Technical Adviser, Public Service Reform at the Public Service Commission of South Africa. In this capacity, he led the reforms process to build a professional, career and capable public service in South Africa. Prior to that, Dr Edigheji was Research Director at the Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa and headed the Council’s research and policy programme on State and Economic Development. Also, he was Research Manager at the Johannesburg based policy think-tank, Centre for Policy Studies. Dr Edigheji has served as consultant to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the United Nations Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), African Development Bank (AfDB), and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA). Dr Edigheji has convened and facilitated a number of multi-stakeholder forums on issues of human rights, public sector reform, industrial development, economic reform and higher education transformation. He was the Director of the first-ever continental summit on African Higher Education that took place in Dakar, Senegal in March 2015. Dr Edigheji has published extensively, including three books, ‘The Future and Relevance of Nigerian Universities and other Tertiary Institutions’ (co-editor, September 2016); ‘Constructing a Democratic Developmental State in South Africa: Potentials and Challenges (editor, HSRC Press, 2010); and Governance in the New South Africa: The Challenges of Globalization (co-editor, University of Cape Town Press, 2003). Dr Edigheji has lectured at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, both in South Africa.

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Dr Omano Edigheji

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democracy without development: how to fix it

Nigeria Democracy Without Development: How To Fix It


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