A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF LEGISLATIVE PROCESS AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA AND UNITED STATES, 1999-2014

A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF LEGISLATIVE PROCESS AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA AND UNITED STATES, 1999-2014

ABSTRACT

This study engaged in a comparative analysis of legislative process and democratic governance in Nigeria and United States. The difference in legislative process between Nigeria and United States which accounts for varying democratic governance in both countries necessitated this study. In order to achieve this onerous task, the research work was guided by the following research questions: does the process of legislation in Nigeria and United States explain the feasibility of democratic governance in these two countries? What are the factors that militates legislative institutions from promoting democratic governance in Nigeria and United States? Methodologically, the research adopted the Structural-Functional Analysis as the theory that best suits the study as well as the Ex-Post Facto research design. The research relied on the secondary sources of data and descriptive method of data analysis. The study revealed that the existence of legislature does not necessarily promote democratic governance. The United States Congress has an efficient committee system that reinforces public confidence and trust in the United States legislative process through robust check on the executive excesses and abuses, which is the hallmark of their democratic governance. This is not fully obtainable in Nigeria’s National Assembly and its democratic practice. The factors in the National Assembly which militates democratic governance in Nigeria include; institutional failures emanating from self-aggrandizement, certificate forgery, inflation of contract sum, bribery and abuse of procedure. Hence, the study recommended the following; national reorientation and civility of attitude among the political class, making popular plight and expectation priority in legislative agenda and functional and robust oversight functioning by the various legislative committee in curtailing executive excesses and abuses.

Keywords: Legislature, Democratic Governance, Nigeria, United States.