Good Governance And National Development: The Role of Social Clubs

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President of Business Club Ikeja, Chief Tajudeen Akande presenting a paper at the 40th anniversary of The Mace Club today in Abeokuta

Let me start by congratulating all members of the Mace Club on this important milestone of your 40th Anniversary celebration.
What we are celebrating today is friendship and togetherness. 40 years is not a mean achievement, especially in the life of a group of people with diverse background. Enshrouded in traditional symbolism, the 40th anniversary is known as the Ruby anniversary. Ruby is a gemstone, which symbolizes passion, love and commitment.
I feel highly honoured to be chosen to be the guest speaker.


I am particularly happy that, in celebrating this important occasion, you have included intellectual discourse as part of the programme activities. This I believe will further impact the society by deepening our understanding of topical issues that are relevant to our wellbeing.
The theme of today’s discussion is: Good Governance and National Development – The roles of social clubs. What this says to me is that the Mace Club, being a social club is also alive to its responsibilities to contribute to the development of our community.
To do justice to the topic, it is important that we examine what constitute good governance, what constitute development, and the relationship between good governance and development.


GOOD GOVERNANCE
Good governance refers to a system of managing and governing public and private organizations and resources in a responsible and effective manner. It is about how the affairs are conducted and management of resources in a manner essentially free of abuse and corruption and with due regard for the rule of law.
The success of a country often depends on good governance and sound economic policy.
Good governance is underpinned by certain core principles. They include:
Accountability;
Leadership;
Integrity;
Stewardship;
Transparency;
Participation;
Consensus oriented;
Responsiveness;
Effectiveness and efficiency;
Equity and inclusiveness;
Rule of law.

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
On the other hand, development is a process that creates growth, brings in progress and positive change. It refers to the improvement of a country in all areas, including the political, economic, social, cultural, scientific, and material spheres.
National development is the capacity of the country to raise the standard of living of its residents. It can be achieved by providing individuals with basic livelihood requirements and providing them with employment, security, etc.
Development is measured by considering the social and economic factors that affect the standard of living of people in a country. For example,
Real GDP per capita
Efficient infrastructure
Quality education
Quality and efficient health system
Employment rate
Access to safe water
Political stability and
Security.

How good governance leads to national development?
By promoting accountability, transparency, efficiency, inclusiveness and rule of law at all levels, Good Governance leads to efficient management of human, natural, economic and financial resources for equitable and sustainable development.
With good governance, corruption is reduced and there is high level of participation by the citizens. There is effective leadership and high level of ethical behaviour. These are ingredients for:
Improved infrastructure
Better education
Economic growth
Political stability, and
Security of lives and properties.

HOW DO SOCIAL CLUBS COME IN?
A social club is a broad term describing an organization consisting of members that have a shared interest. These clubs allow people interested in an activity or subject to congregate and interact with one another.
Common examples include: Mace club, Abeokuta Sports Club, Lagos Country Club, Business Club Ikeja, Ikoyi Club, Metropolitan Club, Polo Club.
Most social clubs have common goals of: relaxation, business networking, political influence, philanthropy, etc., and their membership comprises of high net-worth, upwardly mobile individuals.


Economic development is defined as a sustained improvement in material well-being of society. Social clubs play a major role in achieving this through:
Engagement: influence appointments; influence policy decisions and implementation.
Networking: People were meant to trade with each other. Business networking amongst members lead to business expansion.
Community service/ Integration:
Diversity/ Ethnic Tolerance: diverse membership without regard for ethnicity. Ethnic tolerance promotes political stability.
Political stability – without political stability there will not be certainty and businesses require certainty to enable them to plan for the future. A stable political environment is a key factor in determining whether or not businesses are prepared to undertake major investment projects.
Infrastructure: provision of certain infrastructure – recreational facility promotes good health and longevity, which is necessary for productivity.

CONCLUSION
It is so easy to underestimate how much of a role joining a recreation club can play in enriching our lives.
Social clubs gives us the opportunity to build new friendships, explore our personal interests, create excitement in our lives, switch up our routine and develop skills and knowledge valuable for life.
Like culture and art, recreation, leisure and sports activities play an important role in improving the health and well-being of individuals, contributing to the empowerment of individuals, and promoting the development of inclusive communities.
With the personality and status of members, and their being able to have access to policy makers and economic managers, social clubs play an important role in selecting corporate/ political leaders, in shaping policies, and by extension, ensuring good governance and sustainable development.


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