I shall be glad if my readers supply answers to the question posed as the title of this piece. Nigeria appears to find its policies difficult to actualize, and our leaders are not helping matters, these policies when tried in other countries see the light of the day but grossly fail to materialize in our dear country. Even our leaders do not also help matters, so that ordinarily we perpetually await developmental policies and agendas which in the end we become sure that they will never manifest or grow beyond the planning level. Mention any policy in Nigeria and majority of the citizens who are familiar with the public policies of the country will tell you to forget it. This is what has gained currency in the country as the “Nigerian factor” The Nigerian factor is a virus.
This virus is not new, it is older than the HIV/AIDS virus, and difficult to describe because scientists are yet to discover the origin of the virus that prevents the workability of policies in the country to the joy of the people. The virus has eaten so deeply in us that with the virus in place, no one expects any good policy to see the light of the day in the country. Identifying the virus is much more difficult than dealing with it. It is the identification of the virus that we need handle if we are to enjoy the good things of life like the citizens of other nations.
The “Nigerian factor” is that virus that swallow back any good plan that the mouth of our leaders have spoken and perfectly ensures that such plans never see the light of the day. I think for Nigeria to move forward, it is high time we started working firstly on the virus called the “Nigerian factor”, which makes the workability of policies in Nigeria practically impossible before we project policies. It is especially disturbing to the people of this country that our government perturbs us with seemingly good policies only to sit tight on it and in the end nothing comes out of it. This problem will not only continue to confront us but will lead us to stagnation so that our dear country will rotate and rotate on a circle till thy kingdom come.
Those of us who are familiar with policy terrain of this country need not expect me to mention some of the finest policies that have emanated from our leaders only to be eaten up by this virus called the Nigerian factor. In fact, as I put together this piece, no probe or panel of enquiry ever set up by any administration in this Nigeria has recorded success, success is when the recommendations of such panels of enquiry or probes are made public, pursued and implemented by our government. When panels are set up, we laugh because we know that it means nothing but merely to assuage the minds of the Nigerian public who must complain if nothing is done at all by the government.
Remember the Elumelu power probe panel which has been successfully consigned to oblivion, Oputa Panel is also resting in the dustbin of history never to be revived; it is very terrible just how our government come up with policies, spend a lot of money on it and in the end jettison same when it matters most to us. The Nigerian populace expected so much from the Elumelu power probe, thinking that something positive would come out of it but how disappointed we are to discover that the probe meant nothing to the government. Unfortunately, our leaders understand the ploys behind this, so when panels are set up, they willingly submit themselves knowing fully well that nothing would come from it. In reality the Nigerian probes tell us that there are no victors no vanguished.
Panels of enquiries set up to probe outbreak of ethnic clashes and religious killings are usually unworkable, it is for this reason that those behind such crisis continue to have sweet time fueling riots to achieve their ambitioous aims of nothingness without getting punished. Some citizens of certain states of the country also take their turns to unleash killings on innocent people who lose their lives and properties to individuals with cynic ambitions that go unpunished. First it was in Jos, Plateau State, now it is in Bauchi, who knows whose turn it is next?
Professor Charles Soludo of the Central Bank of Nigeria once came up with a seeming fine idea of re-decimalizing the naira, the nation’s currency but before the common masses would rejoice, our government killed the idea with a flimsy excuse that will make no sense stating here. All I can authoritatively tell you is that this policy has joined other policies resting in the dustbin of history. Ironically, while this policy has effectively worked in Ghana, the naira has continued to depreciate courtesy of another terrible and impracticable policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Only bad policies work out in the country, early this year the government of Abuja reduced the prizes of petroleum products in the country from N70 to N65 per litter, yet commercial fares were not affected as fare continues to record increase especially in Lagos State. Now our government has come up with the removal of subsidy on petroleum products which the people are verbally protesting. The situation in the country is that the common man hears and reads from newspapers high sounding amounts of money which does not impact on the economy.
Once the South-Eastern geo-political zone with only five states was mandated to propose an additional state for creation, nothing was ever heard of it. In this era, again we became confronted with the issue of constitution review, the exercise has nose-dived courtesy of what I call “clash of authority” from our law-makers when the review of the nation’s law book has not even begun, it is really amazing how this things happen like the Nigerian “home video” What then do we expect from our Honourable law-makers when the exercise flags-off properly?
Flip through any Nigerian newspaper and nothing good will interest you because nothing changes for good. Contents center on panels of enquiries, allegations of corruption, upturning of judicial verdicts that leads to nullifications of governorship positions and promises from state and federal governments, nothing more. Solutions to epileptic power supply in the country have been reduced to mere wishes from the poor people of the country. Living our daily lives has therefore remained our “portion” in the country, and it is just amazing how this can be restored as Scale Businesses in the country have become the worst victims. Yet we hear “grammar, grammar” from our leaders, grammar that even the British do not put to use while speaking. Too many grammar with with less actions increase our untold suffering in the hand of the government.
With judicial verdicts unsitting many of our governors, who are adjudged not to have won the gubernatorial elections in the first place, one wonders what pattern the next election will take in the country. Will there be different electoral dates in some of the different states of the nation? You are left to answer this question yourself. We wonder what service is to the people, comments from INEC chairman that he would not resign and that no one could sack him is nothing but too cheap from a professor who should be in the classroom lecturing students. With the spate with which most of the individuals crowned by him have lost their offices, an intelligent Iwu should have realised that that it was time to willingly vacate his position but this would not be. This resignation of a thing happenes in developed nations of the world and we hear of it. It is unexpected of our leaders to force themselves on us when it is clear that they are no longer needed because they have failed the people. This is a specie of that virus called the Nigerian factor.
We must never relax but tackle this virus whether if the poor masses of this country must stay alive. Let things work in this country because it is our right. Let our government do something today.