Functions of government includes law making, maintenance of law and orders, defense of the government and the state, maintenance of international relations, ensuring the general welfare of citizens and the social and economic development of the people.
Initiation of Policies and Law Making:
The legislative arm of government is saddled with the responsibility of making laws for the country. Law making is an important function of government. The executive initiates policies or bills to be passed into law.
All arms of government make rules in the performance of their function. The main duty of the legislative arm of government is law making for the welfare of the people. Government also enforces those laws through laid down procedures, institution and sanctions.
Maintenance of law and Order:
Maintenance of law and order by the government seems to be the heaviest function the government is facing. The enforcement of laws and orders, stabilize government, enthrone order and protect the welfare of the people.
The law made by the legislature and policies of the executive and the judiciary have to be enforced by the law enforcement agents. The manner of enforcement, the strictness and non discriminatory practices are important.
In Nigeria like many African countries, our burden hinges on non-enforcement of laws and orders or discrimination in the enforcement of the laws. The police and other security agents have the duty to enforce the laws and order in the country.
Defense of Government:
One the major function of the government is to defend the country against internal secession, opposition and external aggression. They also defend its policies and properties of the citizens against enemies.
Maintenance of international Relation:
It is the duty of the government to maintain external relation with other foreign countries of the world. Nigeria belongs to and plays prominent roles in a number of international organizations like African Union, Economic Community of West African States and Common Wealth of Nations, United Nation Organizations, Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries, Non Aligned Nations etc. Nigeria maintains relations with foreign countries and international agencies.
Nigeria also has Nigeria High Commission in many countries of the world for sole purpose of maintaining international relation.
Maintenance of General Welfare and Education:
It is the duty of the government to provide essential services for the people such service include, portable water, good road, health care, affordable housing, electricity, recreational parks, markets, post office, schools, staff quarters – both for senior and junior staffs.
Government carryout these functions in order to better the livelihood of the citizens. Without the efforts of the government the citizens may not enjoy all the social benefits they ought to.
Promotion of Economic and Social Activities:
Government provides the enabling environment for economic and social development or economic and social growth. Government creates standard for economic and social development.
It is the function of the government to create economic policies and provide certain economic enterprises in manufacturing, mining, steel rolling etc.
The economic trapping of government depends on its economic programmes and level of enterprise. The level of and standard of government interests in the economic areas are essential for the running of government.
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