Contemporary debates on democracy, good governance and development are greatly inspired by the significant political transformations that have taken place in Africa. In countries like Nigeria where the democratization process is work-in-progress, the intellectual preoccupation has been to reflect critically on how the prevailing political conditions can foster good governance and sustainable development. This paper offers a perspective on these debates. It observes that the ongoing conversations on the democracy-good governance-development nexus are a consequence of the liberalized political environment that permits dialogue and engagement. However, the bad news is that after almost two decades of democratization, the political leadership of Nigeria is yet to grapple with the development challenge. The paper argues that the democratization process has endured to the extent that the goal of good governance is not too far-fetched. Drawing extensively from available literature and against the backdrop of subsisting reform policies, the paper concludes that the good governance project should be considered as work-in-progress. This work in progress must necessarily crystallize into an approximation of the collective hopes and aspirations of Nigerians. To this end, the paper recommends the social democratic option - one that can set in motion a democratization process that places emphasis on the people’s active participation in the development process.
Key words: Accountability, democracy, development, governance, participation.
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