Corruption remains the bane of good governance in Nigeria. Poor governance has impoverished the Nigerian masses, created a gulf between the haves and have-nots, and completely eroded the provision of basic social services including education, healthcare, and economic infrastructure. State and local governments that are responsible for the provision of these services are neither equipped nor prepared to carry out their responsibilities. Citizens lack the capacity to articulate their needs or hold their government accountable. Modalities for disbursement of funds and the management of such funds are not standardized across states and local governments. All these leave a wide gap in fiscal transparency thereby enriching corrupt government officials.
To address these issues, USAID/Nigeria created a strategy to increase access to quality social services. The strategy called for engagement with state and local governments, civil society, and the private sector. Approaches included:
The goal of the LEAD project was to improve local governance by working with state and local governments to:
The LEAD project’s development hypothesis was that by addressing both the demand and supply side of local government service, accountability and development will be strengthened, which made the system work more effectively through partnership building.