The emergence of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration birthed so many expectations as created by the APC manifesto during the build up towards the electioneering period. The highlights of the manifesto includes constitutional amendment, improving national security, waging a war against corruption, conflict resolution, promotion of national unity & social harmony, job creation, modernizing the agricultural sector, promoting industrialization, embarking on several public private partnership(PPP) schemes to the creation of more social infrastructures, improving the health and educational sector, just to mention a few.
I have heard a lot of my friends complain severally about the state of affairs in our clime. They are always full of lamentations about how things fail to work despite the enormous human and natural resource God has bestowed on our country. I don’t blame them because their anger is borne out of the desire to see a great, prosperous and working Nigeria. Most of them, including yours truly, use advanced countries as a point of reference of what an ideal society should look like. Even those who haven’t travelled out of Nigeria aren’t left out of the cacophony of lamenters, as they use the foreign movies they’ve watched as a threshold for comparison.
Fast forward to the present, the current situation of things leaves much to be desired. The economy in a state of recession, the monetary and fiscal policies are not currently in synergy with one another. Double digit unemployment rate, unfavourable inflation and interest rate are few indices to show that we still have a long way to go. A juxtaposition of the pre and post election period shows a wide expectation gap has been created.
World over, it is the responsibility of every government to simplify the existence of its citizenry through the implementation of lofty and life improving policy initiatives.
Citizen and government relationship all the over world has been seen to be more strengthened through leadership by example, showing empathy towards the plight of its citizenry, transparency, and effective communication etc. This expectation gap can be closed if the government shows more leadership by example in line with the pervasive realities through the reworking of its financial and operational activities.
As it is being said in several quarters that some top government officials are too rich to think because they earn more for doing less work. An average senator in Nigeria earns more than his counterpart in other climes. That’s why some politicians go the extra mile just to get themselves elected into public offices.
Being in government should be made less attractive in line with the current economic situation.Transparency is another attribute this government must also exhibit the more which I personally liken to a situation whereby you are peeling groundout for a blind man, you must continue to whistle, it is then that the blind man will know that some of that groundouts are not finding their way into your stomach. The proceeds of recovered assets from convicted corrupt citizen should be properly reinvested into building capital infrastructure with records of amounts collected and spent clearly shown to the citizens. This
information should be made easily accessible to individuals who might be in need of it.
Public officers travelling abroad to treat cold and headaches for instance, is a clear indication and admittance of the poor state our health system. If this wouldn’t be term as wishful thinking, I think every top government functionary should be made to get medical care here in Nigeria. At least, for the time the person is still holding a public office.
Confidence is a vital currency of every government. Effective communication is what breeds it. The government may be making efforts to fulfil its electoral promises but there’s a need for more communication. Those who are responsible for the information management and dissemination of government’s activities should up their game in this regard.
The focus shouldn’t be on the federal government alone as some state governments are still finding it difficult to pay workers’ salaries despite the large sums that were received from the Paris club refund. The search light should also be also beamed towards the local governments too. It was alleged that a state government recently approved the purchase of exotic cars for legislators when there are more capital investments to be made for the benefit of the indigenes living in that state.
Since the year 2019 is around the corner, I’m hopeful that the government will fulfil all its campaign promises as stated in its manifesto. The comfort of tree is the comfort of the bird.
Adeniyi Bamgboye is an advisor on accounting, audit, tax and business. He holds an MBA in financial management and a member of Association of Certified Chartered Accountant (ACCA-UK), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).