Nigeria losing the concept of governance amidst a self serving political class - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Nigeria losing the concept of governance amidst a self serving political class

By Dayo DaSilva

Nigeria, a nation once full of promises and potentials, has tragically lost its way when it comes to good government or governance. 

As we all know, the government of a country refers to the group of people and institutions that make, enforce, and interpret the laws and policies that govern the country. It is the system by which a country is ruled and regulated. 

The Nigerian government typically consists of three branches: 
1. *Legislative*: The branch that makes the laws, often referred to as Parliament, or the National Assembly.
2. *Executive*: The branch that enforces the laws, headed by a presiden. 
3. *Judicial*: The branch that interprets the laws, made up of courts and judges.

The concept of government and governance are related but with distinct ideas. 

While government refers to the formal institutions and structures that exercise authority and control over a society or state and focuses on the machinery of the state, its institutions, and the people who hold power, governance encompasses the broader processes and systems that shape the decisions and actions of government and other stakeholders. It includes the interactions and relationships between government, citizens, civil society, and the private sector, emphasising the rules, norms, and power dynamics that influence decision-making and policy implementation.

In short, government refers to the formal institutions and structures, while governance refers to the broader processes and systems that shape decision-making and policy implementation.

The government's primary responsibilities include, providing public services and infrastructure; Maintaining law and order; Defending the country from external threats; Regulating economic and social activities and representing the country internationally among others. 

Effective governance on the other hand involves, participation and engagement of citizens and stakeholders; transparency and accountability; Responsiveness to the needs of citizens; efficient and effective use of resources; rule of law and respect for human rights

From all these, one would understand that good governance is essential for promoting economic development, social justice, and human well-being.

However, the concept of good government, which encompasses transparency, accountability, and the prioritization of citizens' welfare, has become a distant memory in Nigeria, thus the need to call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, all State governors and all National and State Assembly members to take seriously the welfare of citizens and general well-being now, since it is a major mandate of a good government, before it is too late. 

Corruption, nepotism, and mismanagement have become the hallmarks of Nigeria's governance system. Those in power, whom I often refer to as political opportunists have prioritised personal enrichment over public service, leaving the majority of citizens to suffer. The nation's wealth is squandered on lavish projects and personal indulgences, while basic amenities like healthcare, education, and infrastructure are neglected. 

These political office holders who are expected to serve the people now Lord it over the citizenry. How would you describe Adebayo Adelabu, the minister of power who in an outburst said 'the country will be thrown into darkness if the federal government does not implement the new hike in electricity tariff'? . That is the Nigerian federal government talking to its citizens. 

The will to want to serve for the good of the society has been primarily overtaken by greed and personal aggrandizement to, using political positions for selfish interests. I wonder how the political class move around in that same society where they are producing frustrated and poverty stricken individuals while they live large. 

The APC led Federal government's disconnect from the people is stark. Leaders are out of touch with the realities of everyday Nigerians, who struggle to make ends meet amidst economic hardship and insecurity. The voices of citizens are drowned out by the deafening silence of a government more interested in maintaining its grip on power than serving the people. Sincerely, no government thrives on propaganda but by being responsible to its citizens. 

The recent demolition of the over 250 million dollar Landmark Beach, located on Victoria Island, Lagos to pave  way for the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway leaves much to be desired as the two projects where many Nigerians earn their living and government collects tax can co-exist without destroying one for another. The newly introduced Central Bank of Nigeria cyber security levy of 0.5% on transactions and the existing Electronic money transfer levy are stringent taxes suffocating Nigerians amidst the oil subsidy removal policy which has further impoverished the people. While prices of goods especially food items have continued to soar, there is no power supply to enhance production and many organisations have shut down. One then wonders if a government meant to ensure the general well being of the people would continue to not only reduce the citizens to penury but continue to tax them arbitrarily. 

Institutional decay has set in, with key agencies and departments weakened by political interference and corruption. The judiciary, once a beacon of hope, seems to have been compromised, leaving citizens without recourse for justice.

The Nigerian Government should not be an institution of punishment for the citizens. Governance is not inflicting hardship and pains on the citizenry. We have all put our trust in those opportuned to govern us, hoping that they would make quality decisions to better our lots. However, what we are witnessing presently is a far cry from this expectation. "The Rekindled Hope" is fast turning to hopelessness as the ruling class telling us to persevere live lavishly. 

Nigeria's loss of good government has far-reaching consequences. Investors are wary, and economic growth stagnates. Talent flees abroad, seeking opportunities in countries with functional governments. Social cohesion frays, as ethnic and religious tensions simmer.

To reclaim the concept of good government, Nigeria must embark on a radical transformation, which rests on the leadership. This requires a commitment to transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement. Leaders must prioritize the common good over personal interests and be held accountable for their actions.

Institutional reforms, anti-corruption measures, and electoral reforms are crucial steps towards reclaiming good government. Citizen participation and activism are also essential, as Nigerians must demand better from their leaders and hold them accountable.

Nigeria can rediscover the path to good government, but it requires a collective effort and a willingness to confront the entrenched interests that have hijacked the nation's progress. Only then can the country unlock its full potential and provide a brighter future for its citizens.

Dayo DaSilva is a Media Consultant and Publisher from Ogun State.

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