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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The socio-economic and political development of any country depends largely on the ability of its leadership to facilitate, entrench and sustain good governance (Afigbo, 2007). However, when there is a culture of impunity in any society and there is a wide spread of lack of leadership by example to enthrone transparent and qualitative public bureaucracy, a degenerated symptoms of underdevelopment continues to manifest as exemplified particularly in Benue State and Nigeria at large public administration (Onigbide, 2007).
The manifestation of symptoms of underdevelopment does not imply that Benue as a state or Nigeria as a country lacks quality and competent human resources to engender development, but the process of enthroning leaders is bedeviled with crisis and it does not provide room for morally upright, competent, visionary leaders to emerge. In this context, Imhonopi and Ugochukwu (2013) vehemently assert that Nigeria is richly endowed by providence with human and material resources critical for national development and advancement. However, since gaining political independence, Nigeria has continued to meander the path befitting failed, weak and “juvenile” states.
A state that had very great prospects at independence and was touted to lead Africa out of the backwoods of underdevelopment and economic dependency, Nigeria is still stuck in the league of very poor, corrupt, underdeveloped, infrastructurally decaying, crisis riven, morally bankrupt and leadership-deficient countries of the South. Rather than become an exemplar for transformational leadership, modern bureaucracy, national development, national integration and innovation, Nigeria seems to be infamous for whatever is mediocre, corrupt, insanely violent and morally untoward.
According to the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), “Good governance is the process and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised; the process by which governments are selected, held accountable, monitored and replaced; the capacity of governments to manage resources efficiently, and to formulate, implement and enforce sound policies and regulations; and, the respect for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them” (Onigbide, 2007). It also includes both a broad strategy and a particular set of initiatives to strengthen the institutions of civil society with the objective of making government more accountable, more open and transparent and more democratic (Minogue cited in Abe, 2010).
History has shown that no nation in the wide world grew and enjoyed steady development in almost all spheres of its national life without experiencing good and selfless political leadership (Ogbeidi, 2012). This is mainly because qualitative growth and development has constantly been a product of good leadership. Therefore, the undertaking of this study will investigate the relationship between Leadership and the challenges of development in Benue State from 1999-2015.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The frequent cases of bribery, corruption, frauds or embezzlement of funds coupled with other social ills such as nepotism, tribalism and the like are highly worrisome in Benue State. These vices are very rampant and seem to portray that leadership has been myopic and unfruitful on the whole. So far, there seem to be no end in sight in the scheme of things going by the wide-spread poverty, hunger, sickness, unemployment and lack of social cum economic amenities that plaque Benue State.
The problem of leadership and its pervasive bearing on social cum economic development inBenue State and Nigeria is multifaceted. Now, the root cause of underdevelopment in Nigerian problem is attributed to bad leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land, climate, water, air, or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to their responsibility, to the challenge of personal example, which is the hallmark of true leadership.
Political analysts, policy watchers and developmental researchers indicate that Nigeria is fraught of poor leadership, corruption and weak bureaucratic institutions. It is an axiom that since attainment of political independent, Nigeria has never been governed by selfless, truly transformational and intellectually endowed leaders. That is, Nigeria has never selected its best sons to positions of leadership and mediocre leadership can only lead to mediocre government without any meaningful development. It is against this backdrop that this research study seeks to explore the relationship between leadership and the challenges of development in Benue State from 1999-2015 with a special reference to Makurdi Local Government Area.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major objective of this study is to examine the effect leadership on development in Benue State from 1999-2015. Other specific objectives are:
i. To examine the relationship between leadership and development crisis in Benue State.
ii. To investigate the effect of leadership on socio-economic development in Nigeria.
iii. To determine the effect of leadership style on grass-root development in Benue State.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This research work shall be guided by the following research questions:
a) Is there any significant relationship between leadership and development crisis inBenue State?
b) Is there any significant relationship between leadership and socio-economic development in Nigeria?
c) Does leadership style have effect on grass-root development in Benue State?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Benue State is among the states in Nigeria endowed with natural and valuable resources that are capable of improving socio-economic status and living standards of the people.
It conceptual, theoretical and empirical studies will be a furtherance of understanding of salient issues in the parlance of leadership and developmental challenges in Benue State.
The outcomes of the study will also serve as a useful tool for students of the Benue State University, who would want to carry out further research in this domain.
Finally, the outcomes of the investigation would be significant to policy makers and implementers at large, as they would find the result and policy recommendations of this study as a call to action.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study is the research boundary of the study. The scope of the study concerns the thrust of Leadership and Development Crisis in Benue State having Makurdi Local Government Area of the State as its study area.
According to Zindiye (2008) research methodology is the blue print for the collection, measurement, and analysis of data in order to achieve the objectives of the research project. Research methodology is important in a research work because it specifies the sampling design.
1.7.1 RESEARCH DESIGN
According to Asika (2010) research design means the structuring of investigation aimed at identifying variables and their relationships to one another. This is used for the purpose of obtaining hypothesis or answer research questions.
The research study will be carried out using descriptive design. Descriptive research design is best for gathering, organizing, presenting and analyzing data for the purpose of describing the occurrence of an event or phenomenon. It was used since the study attempt at describing and exploring the relationship between leadership and the challenges of development in Benue State from 1999-2015 without any attempt to control or manipulate the outcomes of the study.
1.7.2 POPULATION OF THE STUDY
The population for this study is made up of the entire staff of Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue State. The population is made up of all the staff working presenting in the council.
1.7.3 SAMLE AND SAMPLIG TECHNIQUES
The study will adopt Simple Random Sampling Technique to select 100 respondents in Makurdi Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State comprising both male and female workers in the council.
1.7.4 INSTRUMENTS OF DATA COLLECTION
This study is based on quantitative and qualitative method of data collection. This implies that, in the course of this research, data shall be gathered through primary source by using questionnaire and secondary sources like materials from the internet, relevant textbooks, magazines, newspapers, conference papers, seminar papers, and statements of commentators as concerns the issue at hand. Equally, government documents, white papers, a report of panels of enquire will also be of importance to this research.
1.7.5 DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES
The tool of analysis covers frequency count and simple percentages. Whereas, all stated hypotheses will be tested using inferential statistics of chi-square with the aid of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS 20.0).
1.7.6 LIMITATIONS TO THE METHODOLOGY
It is envisaged that in the course of this research study, a lot of constraints and limitations might be encountered. Collection of qualitative and quantitative data for this study may pose a major constraint, as the researcher has to be on the field personally in all the data collection processes.
Financial constraints will also pose a major limitation during the investigation. The researcher would want to broaden the scope of the study but for financial constraints. Time is another limitation that will be encountered during the course of the study. Balancing this research study with normal academic work is a challenge to the researcher already.
In a whole, it is anticipated that all these limitations will not affect or mar the validity of outcomes of the research study.
1.8 DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS
The following are the operational definition of key terminologies used in the study;
Leadership: Refers to the behavioural pattern which the recognized leader of the group brings to bear on the members for the accomplishment of the corporate objective through encouragement, open decision making process, persuasion, influence, identification with group or otherwise (Ezirim, 2010).
Leadership Style: This can be defined as the general approach or principle adopted by the governing class.
Development: It is the qualitative and qualities, self-improvement of man that applies to whole societies and people. It means the removal of obstacles to the progressive or qualitative transformation of man and such obstacles include hunger, poverty, ignorance, disease, mal-nutrition, unemployment, to mention but a few.
Poverty: this refers to a state of one being unable to meet the basic needs (health care, shelter, food, clothing, etc) of life. It is a state of lack.
Embezzlement: This is said to be the unlawful use of government fund for the purpose of enrichment of self-interests.
Infrastructure: This can be describe as social amenities such as good roads, houses, bridges, hospitals, schools, electricity.
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