The Nigeria Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has explained why Nigerian governments underperforms. He says ethnic consideration in appointments into public offices is one of the major reasons Nigerian governments and the country as a whole typically underperform.
Speaking in Delta state earlier in the week, Osinbajo assured Nigerians that the Muhammadu Buhari administration was working hard to stem the tide, stated five reasons why governments underperform.
ETHNICITY OVER MERIT
He said “government must stand for something, some high values, there must be a moral platform”.
“Western liberal democracy upheld the ideas of merit, hard-work and sometimes that would be described as a puritanical work ethic and it’s my view that our own elite, political elite, religious elite and business elite must have some consensus on the important of values in our society.
“Let’s just take an example of those values, let’s just take merit as an example. If our choice is based on merit, it ensures it can guarantee the best performance.
“However, it appears that in matters concerning government and governance and the matters of even allocation of public resources, we prioritize ethnicity or even religion and political affiliation over merit.
“Merit always comes last in our considerations, this is why we underperform, and why we cannot perform well in matters of government and in the allocation of public resources.”
LACK OF RELEVANT EDUCATION
“Relevant education is probably the most important catalyst for growth, not natural resources. But knowledge is the key to prosperity.
“The competitions for development among the people and individuals of the world today will depend on education.”
The professor of law also called for digital literacy, as part of relevant education.
TRUST DEFICIT: POLITICIANS ARE SEEN AS LIARS
“There is a huge deficit of trust between leaders and the led especially after years of betrayal of trust. And the truth of the matter is that, we cannot truly lead people especially in difficult economic times where we are projecting an economic future purely based on trust.
“If the people cannot trust the leadership, trust deficit creates a problem and we have seen that the trust deficit has increased because by and large, the politicians in government have enabled people to believe that whenever a politician speaks, or someone in government, they must be telling a lie.”
FG NOT TRUSTED WITH LOANS
Osinabjo said “business moves faster when parties can trust each other,” adding that “credit is priced and given to countries and businesses even on trust,” revealing that the government cannot get low interest loans due to trust.
“I was speaking to a large entrepreneur in our country, who’s between a number of very massive projects in various parts of the country, and the projects were over 2 billion dollars and one of the questions I asked was ‘how he was able to source the finances?
“He was able to get loan from some of the financial institutions on four percent interest! Even the Federal Government cannot get a 4 percent loan.
“He was able to get that loan obviously because bankers believed that he was trustworthy enough and that he will deliver on the projects that he said that he will deliver on.
“So, trust plays critical role but the trust is built over time. Where there is trust, government policies, even tough ones will be accepted by the people, because they trust their leaders.”
“Some have said that what we need is strong institutions and I agreed completely that we need very strong institutions because with all the great plans that we have, without strong institutions, institutions that know what to do and that are able to deliver,
“We are always going to have difficulties and l will just take one example of how weak institutions can affect economic development.”
OSINBAJO’S MESSAGE OF HOPE: NIGERIA WILL PROSPER
“Today all of us recognise that we are in the worst economic crisis in the history of our nation. We are aware of the facts and figures of the fall in oil prices, oil production which stood at about 2.2 million barrels per day dropped to under 1.2 million barrels per day. A drop of almost a million barrels for every single day means that the country is earning 60 percent less than it was earning even less than one year ago.
“Vandalisation of pipelines and gas in Forcados in Warri has led to a 60 percent even more drop in gas production- (used to power plants).
“As of February 2016 for the first time in the history of Nigeria, we were producing 5000 Mega Watts. About a month ago we were even about half of that, 2,500 for an economy this size, one hundred and seventy million people. 2000 MW of power don’t even begin to make any sense.
“But we must accept that a lot of problems we are experiencing that has led to difficulty in Foreign Exchange. We need enough Foreign Exchange to be able to service that (forex) market.
“Inflation has also affected manufacturing; our GDP has affected practically everything. But I want to say that the good part of the problem lies in our hands to solve.
“I know that with the continuous engagement with the militants am sure we will be able to move along. But everything else that we are confronted with are problems that we can solve.
“I believe very strongly that with the kind of focus we have and the kind of dedication that we have, there will be a turnaround and that this country will prosper.”