Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, last week, linked Nigeria’s retarded development to the failure of civil servants in effectively implementing government plans and policies over the years.
We also picked two other stories from the seat of power, Aso Rock Villa, for your reading pleasure.
On January 13, Osinbajo, while delivering a lecture at the Leadership Enhancement and Development Programme (LEAD-P), in Abuja, said: “Very often, we hear people say that Nigeria’s problem is not plans and policies, but rather that of a lack of implementation. The subtext of such comments is rather simple: the bureaucracy is the key; if it works, everything works; if it fails, plans and policies are hardly worth the paper they are written on; the bureaucracy literarily holds the future of the nation in its hands.”
Osinbajo’s observation is, arguably, right. The nation’s civil service cannot be absolved from contributing to the sorry state of the country. Interestingly, the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration takes a huge chunk of the blame for its role in the said underdevelopment, having been in power for over 6 years.
Indeed, the Vice President’s observations raise some key posers. Why wait till now to voice out the gaps in the civil service when the regime has only less than 17 months to leave office? What has he, and his Principal, Buhari, done to shape Nigeria’s civil service better in the last 6 years? And, what plans are there to weed out the bad eggs, and implement strategies to make it work productively for the good of the country?
While Osinbajo may be commended for speaking the truth about the nation’s civil service, he should admit that he only succeeded in shooting the Buhari administration, in which he serves as the number two man-in-charge, in the foot.
Two other talking points
Weighing Buhari’s best efforts
President Buhari, on January 14, stated that he has done his best for Nigeria security-wise, and that he would not relent in doing more, saying that God would listen to Nigeria’s prayers to end its security challenges.
Speaking during a visit by Grand Khalifa of the Tijjaniyya Islamic Movement World Wide, Tidjani Ali Bin Arabi, inn Abuja, Buhari was quoted to have said: “We have done our best, and we will continue to do more by pursuing coherent and consistent policies to deal with terrorism. I hope God will listen to our prayers.”
It is doubtful the number of Nigerians who would agree with Mr President that his best efforts had been good enough. Their position would be supported by his woeful performance in protecting lives and property, a major guarantee in the constitution.
This disastrous outing is so distinctively illustrated in Katsina Governor, Aminu Bello Masari’s recent order that residents should take up arms and protect themselves against bandits.
To be taken seriously, Buhari must fulfill his promise to contain banditry and terrorism (looking unlikely) in the last sixteen months of his administration. In the absence of this, history will not judge him kindly.
On January 14, President Buhari admonished leaders, particularly within the West African sub region, to do the best for their people amidst limited resources.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President spoke while receiving the Ambassador of Burkina Faso, His Excellency Piabie Firmin Gregoire N’do, in Abuja. He had said: “Leaders should do the best for their people within the limits of resources.”
Buhari’s farewell speech is not only routine but customary within the foreign service circles. Though a piece of advice, it should serve as a reminder to the President that it is not enough to preach but to also lead by example.
The need for a value reorientation becomes expedient in the face of utter mismanagement of resources in a country once regarded as the giant of Africa.
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