SOCIAL MEDIA, PARTICIPATORY GOVERNANCE AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
1.1. Background of the study
The media and especially the social media have over the years been recognized as a major aspect of governance especially in the advanced countries. Before the advent of democracy, the frontliners of the adoption of democracy in the Nigeria during the military era anchored the argument on the issue of participatory governance, where government would be run in an all-inclusive fashion instead of and exclusive form of governance where decisions are taken by a microscopic few. The actualization of this form of governance cannot be made p[possible without the media playing a pivotal role in driving this process.
National development and participatory governance runs simultaneously as there will not be development without the masses participating in governance. It is through this participation that the government can adequately identify the needs of the people and work towards alleviating the sufferings of the masses, to this effect, the social media cannot be overlooked in the quest of ensuring adequate development in nations and especially in Nigeria where a lot has been said about the nature of our development not being adequate enough in satisfying at least a reasonable proportion of our populous nation.
In the present day governance, the issue of Good Governance and development has assumed the front burner as an indispensable requirement for social, economic and political developments (World Bank, 1989, UNESCO, 2005; Nanda, 2006; Hout, 2007; Gisserlquit, 2012), yet better governance continues to be a source of worry and a big challenge to most countries including Nigeria. Despite these constitutional provisions, as well as the enormous financial resources, and huge potentials of the country, including the social and economic policies that have been implemented by successive administrations good governance and adequate developments continues to be elusive to Nigeria.
Nigeria’s democracy may be considered nascent when compared to the older democracies of the western world.
In another attempt to enthrone Good Governance in the country, recent democratic administrations, organized Good Governance and developmental tours, where officials of the federal ministry of information alongside Journalists from various media houses, inspect the progress of work on the projects executed by the different agencies of the federal and the state governments and post same on social media platforms like Facebook and twitter. To this effect, it was assumed that it would go a long way in ensuring that the social media is adequately carried along but this has not yielded the desired effect as the social media may be selectively involved in the delivery of good governance to the Nigerian populace.
1.2. Statement of the problem
In Nigeria today, the issue of good governance, adequate development and inclusive participatory governance has remained elusive. Previous has tried to ensure that governance was participatory but their best has not been enough. The constant under performance of our leaders and the gross under development have necessitated this study as the social media in Nigeria may have not been playing the role that is expected of them in ensuring adequate development and participatory governance. The issue of participatory governance where the masses have an input on the policies to be introduced and which projects are not necessary by government has also remain elusive; this has led to the current economic challenges of Nigeria and the current lack of investors. This some school of thought are of the opinion that the social media have not been living up to it when it comes to development while others hold the view that the political class has not tried to create the enabling environment as a result the penchant of blowing of cases out of proportion thereby leading to attacks and in most cases may cost them their political careers.
1.3. Objectives of the study
The main objective of this study is to study the role of the social media in ensuring participatory governance and national development in Nigeria. Other objectives of the study are
1.4. Research Questions
In-order to guide the study and achieve the stated objectives of the study, the following research questions was formulated:
1.5. Research Hypotheses
H0: social media does not influence economic development in Nigeria
H1: social media influences economic development in Nigeria
H0: social media involvement in participatory governance in Nigeria is low.
H1: social media involvement in participatory governance in Nigeria is high.
1.6. Significance of the study
This study would be of immense importance to the media as this would be an opener on the power of the media and their role in ensuring a steady economy and governance in Nigeria. This study would also be of importance to the scholars and researchers who are interested in the impact of the social media in participatory media and national development. This study also seeks to address the problem of poor developmental policies in Nigeria and the need to run an all-inclusive government to enhance development across all tiers of government.
1.7. Scope of the study
This study would be delimited to the impact of the social media on participatory governance and national development in Nigeria.
Limitation of the study
This study had some limitations which include but not limited to;
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8. Definition of terms
Social media: Social media are computer-mediated tools that allow people or companies to create, share, or exchange information, career interests, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks. The variety of stand-alone and built-in social media services currently available introduces challenges of definition; however, there are some common features: social media are Web 2.0 internet-based applications, user-generated content (UGC) is the lifeblood of the social media organism, users create service-specific profiles for the site or app that are designed and maintained by the social media organization, and social media facilitate the development of online social networks by connecting a user's profile with those of other individuals and/or groups. Social media depend on mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content.
Governance:Governance refers to "all of processes of governing, whether undertaken by a government, market or network, whether over a family, tribe, formal or informal organization or territory and whether through the laws, norms, power or language. It relates to "the processes of interaction and decision-making among the actors involved in a collective problem that lead to the creation, reinforcement, or reproduction of social norms and institutions.
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