Institutions, Good Governance and Economic Development
The Case with Nigeria
Keywords:autochthonous, congruence method, constitution, economic development, federalism and good governance
Stagnant, slow or worse still, declining economic development outcomes, especially in the underdeveloped countries have been problematic to economists of various persuasions. Despite the plethora of theories, hypotheses and proposals, the latest of which is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, development outcomes have been more dismal than expected, the best efforts of national and supranational institutions notwithstanding. Consequently, the author set out to re interrogate the link between institutions (not saints or strong men), good governance and sustainable economic development outcomes especially in a heterogeneous and plural country like Nigeria, with a view to finding the most important institutional determinant of economic development, whether Nigeria has had a sustainable economic development at any epoch and what strategic institutional dynamic that underpinned the structural break. Using the convergence alytical method of George and Bennett (2005) and Blatter and Blume(2008) which is considered appropriate for linking abstract concepts and empirical realities in the context of case studies, the author found that: (1) a legitimate constitution appears to be the most strategic institution; (2) Nigeria recorded a period of sustainable economic development in the period 1954 – 1965 and (3) it was a period of autochthonous and legitimate Regional Constitutions and the practice of true fiscal and political federalism. Having proposed ‘the grundnorm legitimacy hypothesis’, subject to refutation and verification, for sustainable development in a heterogeneous polity under liberal democracy, the author recommends the convocation of a broad based national conference for the crafting of a legitimate constitution as the prelude to good governance and sustainable economic development in Nigeria.