Since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, lack of good Governance had been the bane of our democracy.
One would ask: What is DEMOCRACY?
DEMOCRACY they say, is Government of the people by the people and for the people. By this definition, one would understand that the citizens of the country are the major stakeholders in the leadership of the country. But question is, are they truly the stakeholders?
The answer is totally no!
The majority of citizens of Nigeria had been sideline in affairs of this nation. It is only few privileged individuals who are benefiting from the system that are enjoying the dividends of democracy. In a country with over 200 million population only about 10% are benefiting from the system. This is one of the reasons while there are a lot of agitations across the country because the leaders have taken the followers for granted for so long.
As Government of the people, how many times have the people been involved in the process of choosing their leaders? The electoral process has not been free of impunity. The general elections has not been free, fair and credible. A country where leaders earn millions of naira as salaries, allowances and leave but refused to pay #30,000 minimum wage. A country where the leaders enjoy the economic resources of the country for free of charge but keep hiking the prices for their followers.
Look at our electricity bill, pump price of fuel etc. All keep rising on daily basis. The country is sitting on a time bombs that if not well managed will explode and cause a very big havock. Our leaders have to make a u turn and put the interest of the citizens at heart.
The interest of the citizens are not too numerous that it cannot been achieved. The citizens need to be involved in the process of governance. What the people need is good Governance. Good Governance entails access to free and quality education, access to good road network, to good health facilities, good power supply, creation of industries, etc. The current administration can keep a track record if they will be able to implement the followings:
- Sign into law the new Electoral act.
- Make INEC to be truly independent where the selection processes of appointing the chairman and commissioners will be devoid of political considerations.
- Sign into law the 2014 national confab reports.
- Reshuffle the security network.
- Creation of employment opportunities for the massive unemployed youths of this country.
- Reduce the rate of taxation.
- Slash the salaries and allowances of political office holders to accommodate the civil servants.
When all these things are put in place, I believe that Nigeria will be better again.
Hon. Edeh J Arinze is a good governance advocate and currently the Director of finance of Enugu based good governance advocate group, Enugu State Citizens Support for Equity and Good Governance (ESCSEG) and write from Enugu.