NECO GCE 2023 GOVERNMENT ESSAYS
INSTRUCTIONS: ANSWER FIVE QUESTIONS IN ALL, TWO FROM SECTION A AND THREE FROM SECTION B
SECTION A (1-4)
PICK TWO ANSWERS
Government, as an institution, refers to a formal and organized system or entity that holds the authority to establish and enforce laws, regulations, and policies within a specific geographic area or over a particular group of people.
(PICK ANY FIVE)
(i) Maintaining law and order: Governments make and enforce laws to ensure public safety and maintain order in society.
(ii) Providing public goods and services: Governments provide essential services like education, healthcare, transportation, and infrastructure for the benefit of the people.
(iii) Managing the economy: Governments play a role in regulating and overseeing economic activities, such as setting monetary policies and promoting economic growth.
(iv) Protecting the environment: Governments implement policies and regulations to protect the environment and ensure sustainable development.
(v) Safeguarding national security: Governments are responsible for protecting the nation from external threats and maintaining a strong defense system.
(vi) Promoting social welfare: Governments work to improve the well-being of their citizens by providing social programs, welfare assistance, and support for vulnerable populations.
(vii) Representing the people: Governments act as representatives of the people, making decisions on their behalf and ensuring their voices are heard through democratic processes.
(PICK ANY SIX)
(i) Purpose: Public corporations are established to provide specific goods or services to the public, such as transportation or utilities, while the civil service is the administrative body responsible for implementing government policies and delivering public services.
(ii) Ownership: Public corporations are owned by the government or the public, either fully or partially. On the other hand, the civil service is a government entity itself and is not privately or publicly owned.
(iii) Structure: Public corporations have a more business-like structure, with a board of directors and management, while the civil service operates within a hierarchical structure with various departments and positions.
(iv) Funding: Public corporations are usually financially self-sufficient, generating revenue through their operations or receiving subsidies from the government. The civil service, on the other hand, is funded by the government through taxes and other sources of public revenue.
(v) Accountability: Public corporations are accountable to their shareholders, the government, and the public. They are expected to operate efficiently and effectively. The civil service, on the other hand, is accountable to the government and is responsible for implementing government policies and serving the public interest.
(vi) Employment: Public corporations often have more flexibility in hiring and firing employees, and they may offer different employment terms and conditions compared to the civil service, which typically follows standardized rules and regulations for employment.
(vii) Profit Motive: Public corporations are driven by a profit motive and aim to generate revenue, while the civil service is primarily focused on providing public services and implementing government policies, without a profit motive.
(viii) Governance: Public corporations have their own governance structure, including a board of directors and management, which makes decisions and oversees operations. The civil service operates under the governance of the government, which sets policies and provides guidance.
(i) Red-tapism: Red-tapism refers to excessive bureaucracy and administrative procedures that can slow down decision-making and hinder efficiency. It often involves a rigid adherence to rules and regulations, resulting in delays and inefficiencies in government processes. Red-tapism can be frustrating for individuals and businesses seeking government services or approvals.
(ii) Devolution of powers: Devolution of powers is the transfer of certain powers and responsibilities from a central government to regional or local governments. It aims to decentralize authority and give more decision-making power to lower levels of government. Devolution can help promote local governance, enhance regional autonomy, and address specific regional needs and interests.
(iii) Gerrymandering: Gerrymandering is the manipulation of electoral boundaries for political gain. It involves redrawing district boundaries in a way that gives an advantage to a particular political party or group. Gerrymandering can be done by concentrating or dispersing voters of a certain party in specific districts to influence election outcomes. It is often criticized for undermining the principles of fair representation and democratic elections.
(iv) Checks and balances: Checks and balances refer to the system of controls and safeguards in a government that prevents any one branch or individual from having too much power. It ensures a separation of powers and allows each branch of government to monitor and limit the actions of the other branches. For example, in a democratic system, the executive branch may be checked by the legislative branch through the power to pass laws and the judicial branch through the power of judicial review. This system helps maintain accountability, prevent abuse of power, and protect the rights and interests of the people.
Adult suffrage, also known as universal suffrage, is a principle that grants the right to vote to all adult citizens of a country, without any discrimination based on factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or socio-economic status.
(PICK ANY FIVE)
(i) Citizenship: Usually, one must be a citizen of the country in which they wish to vote. This requirement ensures that only individuals with a stake in the country’s affairs have the right to participate in the electoral process.
(ii) Age: There is typically a minimum age requirement to vote, which is usually 18 years old. This ensures that individuals have reached a certain level of maturity and understanding to make informed decisions.
(iii) Registration: In many democratic states, individuals must register themselves as voters before they can participate in elections. This helps maintain accurate voter rolls and prevents any fraudulent voting.
(iv) Residency: Most countries require individuals to be residents of a particular electoral district or constituency in order to vote in that area. This ensures that voters have a connection to the local community and are familiar with the issues affecting that area.
(v) Mental Capacity: In some cases, individuals must have the mental capacity to understand the significance of voting and make informed choices. This requirement is in place to protect individuals who may be vulnerable or easily manipulated.
(vi) Criminal Record: In certain democratic states, individuals with certain criminal convictions may be disqualified from voting. However, this can vary depending on the country and the severity of the offense.
(vii) Absence of Electoral Disqualification: In a democratic state, individuals should not be disqualified from voting based on factors such as race, gender, religion, or socioeconomic status. The principle of equal suffrage ensures that all eligible citizens have an equal right to vote.
SECTION B (5-10)
PICK THREE ANSWERS
(PICK ANY SIX)
(i) Authoritarianism: Military regimes in Nigeria tended to be characterized by centralized and autocratic control. Decisions were often made by a small group of military leaders, with limited input from civilian institutions or the public.
(ii) Suspension of the Constitution: Military rulers typically suspended the existing constitution, dissolved democratic institutions, and often disbanded the legislature. This allowed them to govern without the constraints of democratic principles.
(iii) Restriction of Civil Liberties: Military rule often resulted in the curtailment of civil liberties and human rights. Restrictions on freedom of speech, assembly, and association were common, and political opposition was suppressed.
(iv) State Control of Media: The military often took control of the media, limiting freedom of the press and using state-controlled outlets to disseminate information favorable to the regime while suppressing dissenting voices.
(v) Corruption and Nepotism: Military regimes in Nigeria were often criticized for corruption and favoritism. Military leaders sometimes engaged in corrupt practices, and appointments to key positions were frequently based on loyalty rather than merit.
(vi) Economic Mismanagement: Military rulers sometimes struggled with economic management, leading to issues such as inflation, stagnation, and misallocation of resources. Economic policies were often driven by short-term military objectives rather than long-term development.
(vii) Suppression of Political Opposition: Political parties were usually banned or severely restricted under military rule. Opposition figures faced harassment, imprisonment, or exile, and dissenting voices were silenced to maintain regime stability.
(viii) Social Unrest: Military rule in Nigeria often led to social unrest and dissatisfaction among the civilian population. Economic hardships, political repression, and the lack of popular representation fueled protests and demonstrations against military rule.
(PICK ANY SIX)
(i) Strengthen electoral laws and regulations: Introduce strict legislation that clearly defines electoral malpractices, imposes stringent penalties, and strengthens the independence of electoral institutions. This will serve as a deterrent and ensure impartiality in the electoral process.
(ii) Implement biometric voter registration and identification system: By using biometric technology, such as fingerprint scanning or iris recognition, it becomes more difficult for individuals to engage in multiple voting or impersonation, reducing the potential for electoral malpractice.
(iii) Enhance security measures during elections: Improve security presence at polling stations and electoral offices to prevent and deter acts of violence, voter intimidation, and ballot stuffing. This will help create a safe and secure environment for voters to exercise their rights.
(iv) Increase transparency and accountability: Ensure that all electoral processes, such as voter registration, vote counting, and result collation, are conducted in a transparent and accountable manner. This can be achieved through the use of technology, such as electronic voting machines and online result declaration, as well as independent observers and monitors.
(v) Promote civic education and voter awareness: Educate citizens about their rights and responsibilities in the electoral process, including the importance of fair and free elections. This can be done through public campaigns, workshops, and educational programs to ensure voters are informed and can make informed decisions.
(iv) Strengthen electoral monitoring and oversight: Enhance the role and capacity of independent electoral monitoring bodies, such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and civil society organizations, to effectively oversee the electoral process. This includes conducting regular audits, investigating complaints, and providing transparent feedback on electoral activities.
(vii) Encourage citizen participation and engagement: Foster a culture of active citizenship by encouraging citizens to participate in elections, join political parties, and engage in civic activities. Increased citizen involvement reduces the chances of electoral malpractice as citizens become more invested in the democratic process.
(PICK ANY SIX)
(i) Strengthening regional economic integration: ECOWAS member states can promote free trade and eliminate trade barriers among themselves, thus encouraging cross-border investments and facilitating economic growth.
(ii) Implementing effective monetary policies: ECOWAS member states need to coordinate their monetary policies to ensure stability and reduce inflation. This can be achieved through the establishment of a common currency or by coordinating exchange rate policies.
(iii) Promoting regional cooperation in key sectors: ECOWAS member states can collaborate in areas such as agriculture, energy, and manufacturing to enhance regional productivity and competitiveness.
(iv) Enhancing access to finance: Member states should work towards building inclusive financial systems that promote access to credit, savings, and insurance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individuals to stimulate entrepreneurship and economic growth.
(v) Improving regional governance: ECOWAS member states should strengthen their institutions and governance structures to ensure transparency, accountability, and the efficient implementation of policies that support economic development.
(vi) Investing in human capital development: Member states should prioritize investments in education, healthcare, and skills training to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of their workforce, thereby driving economic growth.
(vii) Promoting sustainable development: ECOWAS member states should prioritize sustainable practices in areas such as agriculture, energy, and natural resource management to ensure long-term economic growth while safeguarding the environment for future generations.
(PICK ANY SIX)
(i) Traditional rulers in pre-colonial Yoruba society held significant political power. They were the ultimate authority in their respective territories and had the responsibility of making decisions and implementing laws to maintain peace and order.
(ii) Traditional rulers acted as judges and arbitrators to resolve disputes and administer justice. They would hear cases, listen to testimonies, and make decisions based on customary laws and traditions.
(iii) Traditional rulers also played a crucial role in the spiritual and religious life of the Yoruba people. They were often considered as intermediaries between the people and the deities, responsible for performing religious rituals, conducting sacrifices, and maintaining a connection with the spiritual realm.
(iv) Traditional rulers were the custodians of Yoruba culture, tradition, and history. They were responsible for preserving and promoting Yoruba cultural practices, languages, and heritage. They played a key role in maintaining Yoruba identity and ensuring the preservation of cultural values and norms.
(v) Traditional rulers had a role in managing the economic affairs of their territories. They oversaw trade activities, collected taxes, regulated markets, and facilitated economic development. They often held control over land ownership and could allocate it for agriculture, settlements, or other purposes.
(vi) Traditional rulers acted as mediators in conflicts and disputes between individuals, families, or communities. They would use their authority and wisdom to find common ground and facilitate reconciliation, promoting harmonious relationships within their territories.
(vii) Traditional rulers had a responsibility to ensure social welfare within their communities. They would provide protection and security for their subjects, oversee the well-being of their people, and intervene in times of crisis or emergencies. They were expected to care for the vulnerable, resolve social issues, and maintain social cohesion.
Colonialism refers to the practice of establishing and maintaining colonies by a nation or empire in territories outside its borders. It is an extension of a nation’s power and control over territories and populations that are typically located far away from its ownterritory. Colonialism often involved the exploitation of resources, labor, and markets in the colonies for the benefit of the colonizing power.
(PICK ANY FIVE)
(i) Political administration: The governor general served as the head of the colonial government and was responsible for establishing and maintaining political control over the colony. This involved making and enforcing laws, overseeing the functioning of local governments, and resolving disputes.
(ii) Defense and security: The governor general played a crucial role in ensuring the security and defense of the colony. They were responsible for maintaining an army or police force, implementing military strategies, and protecting the colony from any internal or external threats.
(iii) Economic control: The governor general held authority over the economic aspects of the colony. They were responsible for implementing economic policies that benefited the colonizing country, such as promoting the extraction of resources, establishing trade routes, and managing taxation and revenue collection.
(iv) Diplomacy: The governor general acted as the representative of the colonizing country and was involved in diplomatic relations with other colonial powers, indigenous leaders, and neighboring colonies. They negotiated treaties, managed conflicts, and maintained alliances or rivalries with other nations.
(v) Social control: The governor general maintained social control over the colony by promoting policies and practices that aligned with the interests and values of the colonizing country. They often sought to assimilate the local population into the culture, language, and social norms of the colonizers.
(vi) Symbolic representation: The governor general served as a symbol of the colonizing authority and power. They legitimized the colonizer’s control over the colony and acted as a source of authority and guidance for both the colonizers and the colonized.
(PICK ANY SIX)
(i) Colonial Oppression: The oppressive policies of British colonial rule in Nigeria sparked a sense of unity and resistance among the Nigerian people. The exploitation of resources and imposition of indirect rule fueled nationalist sentiments as people sought to regain control over their own affairs.
(ii) Emergence of Intellectuals: The rise of educated Nigerians, who had been exposed to Western ideas and concepts, played a crucial role in shaping the nationalist movement. These intellectuals, such as Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo, used their knowledge and skills to galvanize the masses and advocate for Nigeria’s independence.
(iii) Pan-Africanism: The ideas of Pan-Africanism, which emphasized solidarity and unity among African nations, greatly influenced the nationalist movement in Nigeria. Leaders like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya inspired Nigerians to fight for independence and work towards establishing a united and independent Africa.
(iv) Economic Factors: The economic disparities between Nigerians and the British colonial rulers fueled nationalist sentiments. Nigerians witnessed their resources being exploited by the British, while they remained impoverished. This economic inequality served as a catalyst for the nationalist movement, as people sought to gain control over their resources and improve their living conditions.
(v) Religious and Ethnic Unity: Despite Nigeria being a diverse nation with numerous ethnic and religious groups, the nationalist movement managed to unite people across these divides. Common goals of independence and self-determination fostered a sense of unity and cooperation among Nigerians, transcending their ethnic and religious differences.
(vi) Formation of Political Parties: The establishment of political parties, such as the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) and the Action Group, provided a platform for Nigerians to organize and rally behind nationalist ideals. These parties mobilized support and advocated for independence through mass movements, protests, and political campaigns.
(vii) International Support: The nationalist movement in Nigeria received support from international organizations, such as the United Nations and the Commonwealth, who were advocating for decolonization across the world. The solidarity and support from the international community boosted the morale of Nigerian nationalists and helped legitimize their struggle for independence.