The return of civil rule to Nigeria in 1999 brought a lot of hope for speedy national development in the country. This was because, unlike under the country’s prolonged military rule, democratization was expected to usher in openness, accountability and, more importantly, fiscal responsibility. However, in the twelve years that the fourth republic has operated, there has been scant regard for fiscal responsibility. This is the crux of the matter in this paper. The paper, in its search for probable causes for this threat to democratic rule and overall development in Nigeria, identified some key factors. These include the artificial beginning of the state, colonial legacies, the abuse of the traditional patrimonial system and, more pungently, the effects of military rule as well as the attendant consequences of the general abuse of official privileges. The research methodology is essentially descriptive and analytical. It adopts and justifies some prominent explanations on the impact of an effective public finance management and administration on the overall development of Nigeria as a country. The framework of analysis shall solely rest on the mutually reinforcing effects of the relationship between an autonomous as well as functional state and the well being of its people especially when state-society relationships are less acrimonious. Recommendations, based on examples of best practices that will be drawn from selected countries, shall also be made at the end of the paper.
Key words: Democratic consolidation, fiscal responsibility, national development, fourth republic, Nigeria.
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