Making Governance More Participatory at the Local Level in Nigeria

Femi Popoola


Yearning for good governance in Africa and Nigeria, in particular, has remained a pressing and topical issue. Indeed, governance and development issues are on the front burner in democratizing societies like Nigeria. The crisis of development has been described as a ‘crisis of governance’ by the World Bank (2003). This crisis of governance has adversely affected the quality and quantity of public utilities provided at the local level. Development strategies of government at the federal, state and local levels have not actively enlisted the participation of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) in local governance despite their obvious activities and contributions to development in their communities. The bureaucratic institutions of State Administration have become so centralized with the CBOs largely relegated and made irrelevant. It is believed that if the self-governing capacity of CBOs is harnessed, supported and reinforced by governance structures, socio-economic development will be positively affected and possibly lead to its sustainability. It is against this backdrop that this paper examined the essence of CBOs participation in governance for facilitating and fast-tracking socio-economic development and ensuring accountability and responsiveness among government functionaries. The paper also presented the necessary conditions that must be met for CBOs involvement in governance as well as the expected gains of participatory governance. The paper concluded that participation of CBOs in governance could lead to effective representation and empowerment which would, in turn, enhance democratic dividends at the grassrootsl, especially in the local communities.

Full Text:



Copyright (c)

Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

Copyright © Canadian Center of Science and Education

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.