Prof.Siyan Peter


By Prof. Peter Siyan FCILG, FDBM. Presentation At 2019 CILG Leadership Conference, Induction and Award; On 28th November 2019 Merit House Maitama Abuja.


  • Just like a heavy-laden driver, Organizations depend largely upon capable leadership to guide through unprecedented changes. The turmoil many organizations go through has close relationship with their leadership effectiveness or ineffectiveness. Leadership could be in the corporate, political, religious, sphere. Its importance however goes well beyond any academic debate.

According to North (1990).

Effective institutions determine economic, social and political interactions in a sustainable and predictable manner.

As a Continent, leadership has undoubtedly been the bane of our under-development as Africa.

This informed many multilateral institutions like.

World Bank

Department for International Development (DFID

International Monetary Fund (IMF) among others

spending heavily to strengthen public sector institutions across the globe having realized the importance of institutional reforms.

Our Focus.

Let’s go through the roles of leadership as a critical driver in the strategic institutional reforms for sustainable development.

We shall focus on steering the direction of leadership and public institutions towards sustainable development.

Now, let’s examine basic concepts of this presentation.

Conceptual Clarifications

Leadership: Let’s watch this briefly

Jacob & Jacques (1990) also termed leadership as a process of giving purpose to collective effort and causing willing effort to be expended to achieve collective purpose.

Leadership entails

  1. Envisioning a desirable future,
  2. Promoting a clear purpose or mission, supportive values and intelligent strategies, and
  3. Empowering and engaging all those concerned.
  4. As a Leader, your task is to help people to succeed and you are successful if and only if these people are successful.

With this, can you really call yourself a Leader?

We can deduce that, the led/followers may be ignorant or not knowing the way, or by extension, they are “blind’’ which is not a big deal,but

it becomes a problem when a Leader whose eyes followers wish to use in seeing is also blurred or totally blind, now let’s extend this to Organizations and Institutions at large.

This takes us to the next point Leadership and Institutional Reform

In developing countries such like Nigeria, these two concepts enjoy debate because they both have direct bearing on the well-being of the people, especially, the poor masses.

In a Nation like Nigeria, where we have what Azikwe called ‘affluent society’.

An affluent society where there are few very rich and very many very poor.

When the FEW RICH are doing good, the Nation Economy is tagged Developing against VERY MANY POOR vice versa

How can the leadership of Nigeria (Institution) help to create an abundant society characterized with?

Abundant food,

Abundant shelter,

Abundant clothing

Abundant amenities, and

Abundant necessities of life.

within a reasonable cost and within the reach of many?

This necessitated the call for Institutional Reform in order to bring about Sustainable Development.

Let’s briefly outline these five theoretical insights that bother on institutional approaches:

1: Rational choice theories

2: Historical institutionalism,

3: Evolutionary theories

4: Political institutionalism, and

5: Sociological institutionalism

Rational choice theories.

Rational choice theories emphasize institutional change as a result of the implementation of property rights and the modification in incentives attached to institutions (e.g., relative changes of prices for labor and land). That is, change in resource use patterns and the institutions governing these resources.

Historical Institutionalism.

The key idea in historical institutionalism is that of path dependence, whereby actions and decisions at critical junctures determine the change pathway.

For instance, in the theory of North (1990), historical decisions on property rights and incentives induce path-dependent economic development.

Evolutionary Theories

Evolutionary theories build on Darwin’s ideas such as selection, fitness, mutation, and evolutionary drift.

In this sense, a decision for or against change toward sustainable development is a result of debates about the best solutions for a certain societal, cultural, economic, or technological context.

Political Institutionalism

This analyses how macro level political decisions and state policies often affect institutions, which in turn shape politics and political actors. Political institutionalism examines how new incentives, specialized programs, and changes in state policies in the social sphere facilitate institutional change over time (Amenta & Ramsey 2010).

Sociological Institutionalism.

This believes institutions evolve to reproduce common cultural, cognitive, or normative principles that define what is an appropriate form of political organization (so-called logic of appropriateness), and for achieving certain policy goals (Scott, 2014).

In conclusion, there might be no specific requirements of different leadership styles, but it is an established fact that strategic leaders are strategic forces to the attainment of sustainable development.


There is need for strategic reforms of Nigeria public institutions through effective and efficient leadership. This economic reform actually started in 1986 with the SAP which was based or built on weak institution.


  • Improving the quality of data on civil service performance in all areas of governance where standardized indicators were neither developed nor operationalized for monitoring and evaluation. Building infrastructure – overview of power sector reform by increasing generation, transmission, distribution and collection efforts. Less emphasis on technocratic reforms which were hitherto assumed that introduction of formal rules would be enough to change behavior without looking at how participatory processes could help nurture reform constituencies in public life. Balancing fiscal choices with labour market realities to focus (for example) on budget scenarios without also looking at how salary levels could affect projected demand for civil service jobs. Reform public enterprises: reform the financial sector and public services to check gross ineffectiveness and inefficiency. Reform the manufacturing sector – review non-oil to promote export collection efficiency. Reform the financial sector by deregulation and reformation of financial sector. Reform our trade policy – Tariff reform and currency devaluation and exchange rate policy. Siyan Peter say THANK YOU FOR