Learner’s Submission: Capacity Development in Nigeria

“To build a vibrant society in line with the development vision of a country there is need to have Good Governance in place. It is impossible to achieve this vision where good governance is elusive. To start with, Good Governance, according to UNDP, ‘among other things is participatory, transparent and accountable. It is also effective and equitable. And it promotes the rule of law. Good governance ensures that political, social and economic priorities are based on broad consensus in society and that the voices of the poorest and the most vulnerable are heard in decision-making over the allocation of development.’

Good governance has the following characteristics:

1. It is transparent
2. It is accountable
3. It promotes the Rule of Law
4. It promotes Democracy

To drive home my point, I will attempt to analyse this with special emphasis on Nigeria, my country, hoping that top African leaders adopt these methods and improve the human resource capacity of their nations or organisations, which will inevitably project the economy of the entire continent.

Nigeria is the most populous African country with a variety of ethnic groups and with different religious beliefs spread across the public sector. It follows therefore that recruitment is not carried out on merit. The Federal Government announces several vacancies each year in the power sector, education, finance, etc but religious and ethnic favouritism influences the entire selection process. People get absorbed into positions they have no skill in. Even the top leaders across the nation’s sectors get to their positions via ‘political appointment’, and so capacity development becomes only relevant in the private sector where business owners insist on results.

For the Nigerian system to function effectively, capacity development in the public sector is very crucial. There must be visionary leaders in place who must set goals and pursue the set goals with practical actions until they are actualised. This is because government anywhere will achieve development objectives only when it has competent people at its disposal to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate its policies and strategies in the delivery of public services. This is why the Nigerian government needs to form a strong partnership with the private sector and possibly international organisations. This partnership is important because capacity development in the public sector has been so disappointing that the nation’s workforce seem almost lifeless. In light of this, partnership with the Private Sector will win the people’s conviction and support for government programmes.

In conclusion, when everything else has been put in place, and favouritism of all kinds expunged, training should be organised to help employees develop their personal and organisational skills, knowledge and abilities. Only in this way will capacity development in Nigeria become realistic!” – Elias Ozikpu – Lagos, Nigeria

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