BEYOND BAD GOVERNANCE By Augustine Omilo
Nigeria is one of the countries in the world that has not recovered from the devastating economic effect of COVID-19. The palliatives donated by public spirited individuals and organizations around the world were so poorly managed that only a few helpers can offer again to come to the rescue of the country in her trying period. And this has been compounded by bad governance.
Worst still, it is fast becoming difficult to define bad governance in the Nigerian context. To many, it means the inability of leaders to provide enabling environments for businesses to thrive. Others view the same issue as the continued failing of the nation’s infrastructure like electricity, water, good network of roads, good educational system amongst others.
Beyond the woes occasioned by leadership failure, many daring individuals and companies world-wide have come to understand that non credible performance on the part any government offers opportunities to explore options capable of relieving mankind from economic stagnation.
While many citizens are lamenting the removal of petroleum subsidy without adequate provisions for alternatives and palliatives, some people are already reaping millions of Naira from converting fuel-consuming power-generating sets to those that work on compressed natural gas, CNG or liquefied natural gas, LNG and others.
The poor educational arrangement in the country has led so many people to opt for the acquisition of certificates instead of enduring skill. Schools seldom cover their curriculum syllabuses before the conclusion of the stipulated learning period because of incessant strike actions by lecturers and other staff of tertiary institutions. This has led to the establishment of many private tertiary institutions across the country’ by those that can do so. Parents and guardians that can afford the school fees and other costs of sending their wards to the schools are heavily patronizing them. The zoom technology is gaining more grounds as it offers on-line class participation to students in IT-driven schools.
Motor cycle, as a means of transport was alien to Nigeria until people discovered that it can be used for commercial transport purposes. They are now popularly known as “okada” in some parts of Nigeria. Many persons, especially the wealthy may not like it. But it is putting food on the tables of some persons, especially the poor.
Financial prudence is gradually becoming the order of the day. Only few careless people presently prepare food they cannot consume. It is a common sight to see a big man in Nigeria struggling to gather food left-overs during celebrations for the purpose of collecting food for the domestic dogs.
There are many young and hard-working students who double as vocational apprentices during holidays. These set of people go back to schools with skills that enable them offer services to fellow students and residents of campuses. They thereby make enough money to augment whatever they receive from their parents.
Farming activities are not left out. These were previously left in the hands of peasants in the villages. Today, many city dwellers also make out time for farming in neighboring agrarian communities and their cultivatable “backyards” with a view to “subsidizing” governments’ provisions offering “palliatives” to governments, Pending when they (governments) wake up from their slumber.
Nigeria does not import vegetables. She equally has large quintiles of vitamin, protein and “filtered” energy-giving fruits to complement the nutritious value of vegetables. Those who cannot afford the high cost of orthodox medicine and food supplements have since embraced these freely-given natural consumables from God as items of body nourishments and immunization against sicknesses. And diseases. Even though modern medicine practitioner frowns at it, some of these fruits and vegetables are used for preparing local herbs (agbo) for curing different ailments.
Imagine the speed with which Israel and her American ally responded to the assault by the Palestinian terrorist group, the Hamas! Only organized, focused governments can accomplish the feat. This is why the Nigerian government must not ignore the plight of Nigerians perpetually, with the believe that many are already solving their problems by themselves. The government should study and take advantage of citizens’ willingness to adapt to all situations.
Meanwhile, all the people who are still completely relying on the government to increase salaries and wages for a few Nigerians as a panacea for making progress in their finances must be careful not to slip into a state of irredeemable fantasy. The economy can never be structured to accommodate equality in the distribution of the nation’s wealth. Only those with eyes on appearance of opportunities beyond bad governance stand the chance to excel in the midst of mountainous challenges. According to David Oyedepo; “there is no mountain anywhere; every man’s mountain is his ignorance”.