ARISTOTELIAN CONCEPT OF GOOD GOVERNANCE

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ABSTRACT

This paper examines Aristotle’s concept of good governance. It holds that lack of good governance is responsible for political instability and societal decay. It highlights the contradictions which impede good governance, and promote political instability. These are lessons for Nigeria to learn from. The paper attempts to subject governance in Nigeria to some critical examination. This critical appraisal is as a result of the seeming conspicuous gap between theoretical demands and the practical realization of good governance. The Aristotelian theory on good governance is applied to the Nigerian situation, with the conclusion that good governance is indispensable for national development, and that to achieve peace and stability, car leaders must be well co-opted in the act of governance. They must spear no effort to ensure adherence to Aristotle’s views, especially on how to achieve good governance and political stability. The same effort is also expected of the citizenry, by ensuring that they abide by the principles of moral virtues and the rule of law, and to ensure that obedience to the demands of good governance and political stability are not compromised.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

For any society to make progress there must be a government to run its affairs. However, citizens would perceive government as a burden when its recurrent expenditure is repeatedly higher than its capital expenditure, which should impact positively on the economy, especially in the areas of employment generation, investment and other activities that induce growth. This is the challenge that stares Nigeria in the face. It is now incontrovertible that the cost of running a democratic government is high in the country. This is aptly demonstrated in 2012 budget. While N2.472trillion is proposed for recurrent expenditure, a figure that accounts for the 72 per cent of the expenditure profile, N1.32 trillion, representing 28 per cent, is proposed for capital projects. Observers believe that this may be due to the fact that political appointees perceive politics as a lucrative career. It is noteworthy that less than one percent of the projected 150 million populations consume the huge sum. The effects of over-bloated political bureaucracies involving the big federal government, 36 state governments and 774 local governments are alarming. There is disquiet among experts who believe that, when recurrent expenditure is high, it may impact negatively on implementation of capital projects and delay the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).