This study ―Communication and Good Governance in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State was carried out to examine the context of communication in governance of Ishielu Local Government area of Ebonyi state. The objectives are to validate the impact of communication on governance through regular participatory meetings between leaders and followers in Ishielu L.G.A; to stimulate inclusive governance as a means to empower the citizens and enhance their confidence in the leadership of Ishielu L.G.A; and, to examine how judicious and equitable use of revenue can lead to mutual understanding, cooperation and development in Ishielu L.G.A. Over the years, much emphasis has been on communication use for good governance in the (3rd) Third World Countries and yet so many studies still show that communication has not achieved its potency in the Third World Countries. To balance the gap found in studies consulted, this study therefore; accessed the ideologies of the three categories of people in Ishielu on communication use for good governance in Ishielu. Instruments for data generation include questionnaire, focus group discussion and key informant interview. Data analysis showed that there is no effective structure for communication in Ishielu LGA.
1.1 Background to the study
Communication is the most general form of interpersonal interaction required for decision-making and interpersonal influence in organizations. To this end, the second half of 20th century brought a tradition of communication research and practice geared toward Third World development needs, an area that has come to be known as development communication (Melkote and Steeves, 2011).The objective of development communication professionals is to work with the individuals and communities at the grassroots so that they may eventually enter and participate meaningfully in the political and economic processes in their communities/societies. This calls for grassroots organizing and communicative social action on the part of the poor, women, minorities, and others who have been consistently and increasingly marginalized in the process of social change; all of which result to poverty (Pg.117).
The effect of poverty is obvious as many lives are battered, happiness stifled, creativity destroyed and freedom limited. The consequence of this poverty also includes shortage of income, lack of schools, absence of health facilities, and unavailability of medicines, the subjugation of women, hazardous environmental features, and lack of jobs.
Unfortunately, many governments in developing countries have attributed poverty to lack of wealth rather than misappropriation of wealth by few powerful individuals in the communities. Thus, the government‘s bent on seeking for international donors not minding that in a country like Nigeria with huge talents and mineral resources there is enough to go round if good governance thrives. If good governance requires an inclusive public space based on informed dialogue and debate, a positive relationship between communication and governance seems plausible. However, communication can further poor governance (when used to protect the state rather than serve as a voice for the people, for example, or when subject to elite capture). In addition, it is difficult to establish a clear evidence base to support positive connections between communication and governance. There are also challenges relating to causality where the link between communication and governance is thought to be reciprocal; for example, communication may help to promote good governance, but freer government may also promote participation and communication. The new approaches to good governance bring together the demand and supply sides, so DFID’s definition of good governance, for example, is not just about government, it is also about political parties, parliament, the judiciary, the media, and civil society. It is about how institutions relate to each other in order to make change happen. Good governance requires: state capability – the extent to which leaders and governments are able to get things done; responsiveness – whether public policies and institutions respond to the needs of citizens and uphold their rights; and accountability – the ability of citizens, civil society and the private sector, to scrutinise public institutions and governments, and hold them to account (World Bank 2006). The World Bank defines governance similarly as the processes and institutions through which authority in a country is exercised as: the process by which governments are selected, held accountable, monitored, and replaced; the capacity of government to manage resources and provide services efficiently, and to formulate and implement sound policies and regulations; and the respect for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The core demand of the public shouting slogans was for development. It is pointless now to ask in hindsight why the government communication apparatuses in these countries did not address the element and substance of these slogans before they snowballed into a cause of disagreement between the people and the authorities. However, we can ask a more pertinent question, the answer to which I think will decisively determine the destiny of the Arab region. It’s this: can government communication today with its conceptual, practical and experiential legacy effectively influence the course of events and turn the tide towards a better tomorrow? Let us examine this proposition in light of the lessons gleaned from recent developments. I am not going to analyse events that grabbed global headlines – quite the contrary. Many world events do not catch our sustained attention or get etched in our memories despite their long-term relevance. They vanish from the mind and from the media in no time. This is because they are not given the chance to fester into daunting crises, and are promptly and judiciously settled. Given this premise, these are the very events that justifiably require closer study as they offer us valuable lessons on how to limit or prevent socio-economic maladies. The proper understanding of events that vanish immediately from the media glare are far more significant than those that violently infiltrate our consciousness. The shocking spectacles that grab headlines around the world happen because the issues at their core are left to fester and grow for a long period of time in front of our very eyes.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The study has one objective which is sub-divided into general and specific objective. The general objective is to examine the role of effective communication and good governance. The specific objective are;
- To examine the effect of communication on good governance of Enugu state
- To ascertain if there is any relationship between communication and good governance
- To examine the role of effective communication on democratic governance
- To proffer suggested solutions to the identified problem
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;
- Does communication have any effect on good governance of Enugu state
- Is there any relationship between communication and good governance?
- Does effective communication play any role on democratic governance?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study:
H0: There is no significant relationship between communication and good governance
H1: There is a significant relationship between communication and good governance
H0: Communication does not have an effect on good governance of Enugu state
H0: Communication does have an effect on good governance of Enugu state
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great significance to the ministry of information as the findings will help them in adequate information dissemination and inclusive governance. The study will also be of significance to researchers who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the findings of the study will serve as a reference point to father studies. The study will also be of importance to students, teachers, lecturers, academia’s and the general public as the findings of this study will contribute to the pool of existing literature and also contribute to knowledge on the subject matter.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers communication and good governance in Nigeria. But in the course of the study, there are some factors that limit the scope of the study;
AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Communication is “an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self and other, private and public, and inner thought and outer world
Governance is the way rules, norms and actions are structured, sustained , regulated and held accountable. The degree of formality depends on the internal rules of a given organization and, externally, with its business partners.
In international development, good governance is a way of measuring how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in a preferred way.
1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.