The Effects of the Relationship Between the Executive and the Senate on Good Governance: A Study of the 8th Senate, National Assembly, Abuja (2015-2019)

Abah, Emmanuel Sunday (2020-10)


Over the years, the relationship between the legislature and the executive arms of government has attracted wide range of debates, especially its impact on governance. Both arms are two very important political institutions in presidential democratic regimes and they have a very critical task to play in promoting good governance. The achievement of this task however, is dependent on whether the relationship that exists between these institutions is cordial or conflictual. In Nigeria’s Fourth Republic for example the relationship between the executive and legislature has been characterised more by conflicts, although some scholars have documented a cordial pattern and its impact. This, according to many, has varying degree of effects on the policy making and implementation process, untimely inhibiting good governance. More worrisome is the fact that even after twenty years of democratization in Nigeria, the political players have refused to wean themselves off from the culture of impunity and flagrant disregard to the rule of law, based on the political affiliation and interests protections. These factors and others have remained triggers of political conflicts in Nigeria especially between the executive and legislative arms of government. The study therefore seeks to reveal the effects of an identified relationship (cooperation or conflict) between the legislature and executive using the 8th National Assembly (especially, the Senate) as a case study. Specifically, the research covers the period between 2015 and 2019. The reason for selecting this time is that the period covered tremendous activities that reflect the relationship between the executive and legislative arms of the government. It adopted a primary (survey) method to examine the effect of relationship between the executive and legislative arms in the 8th Senate on good governance. The study reveals that the legislature has not lived to the expectation of Nigerians in terms of making laws that will guarantee good governance. Meanwhile, unhealthy relationship of the executive and its interference on the legislative processes was also identified as one of the hindrances to governance. It recommends that the executive and legislature ought to value and firmly adhere to the tenets of the principles of separation of powers, law-makers should be more accountable and open to their responsibilities and the two institutions of government should base their relationship in trust, mutual respect and understanding which will yield to good governance among others.