by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, near Jos, on Monday held an inauguration for a set of “Course 43” Senior Executive Officers.
Speaking at the occasion, the state governor, Simon Lalong, while commending the efforts of the Institute, delved on ‘canker-worms of progress,’ in national development, as stated below:
“Corruption has been described as lack of continuity in government policies, inadequate human and material resources, poor leadership programmes, sectionalism and ethnic biases and lack of Political Will are some of the reasons attributed to the lack of effective policy implementation in Nigeria.
“Such reasons can by no means justify the enormous resources that are wasted and the attendant consequences to the nation. Today, some of the challenges we face – ranging from insecurity, poverty, illiteracy, climate change, poor transportation, inadequate infrastructure, abuse of power, mistrust and intolerance, lack of adherence to rule of law, among others – can be traced to the inability to implement policies enunciated at various times.”
The governor explained that, “In the 50s and 60s, there were policies to administer our forests and their resources where the regions had Ministries of Forestry solely devoted to managing these endowments, but along the line, we lost track and scrapped them such that, today, we no longer have such Ministries to focus on many of our vast forests.
“The result is that, they have become ungoverned spaces where criminals are using as hideouts to terrorize the people; the same story is replicated in various sectors of the economy
“The establishment of the NIPSS here in Plateau State and its steady progress since 1979 remains a great blessing for the State and the nation at large,” he stated.
While commending the choice of the study theme for SEC 43 Executive Course, which is ‘Getting Things Done: Strategies for Policy and Programme Implementation in Nigeria,’ Lalong said “This is one of the crucial topics that the institute will focus on in recent times because of its importance to our national development.
“It is an uncontestable fact that, over the years in Nigeria, numerous brilliant policies have been formulated in different sectors and, by different administrations. However, the paradox is that only a fraction of these numerous policies are implemented with many of them either jettisoned, abysmally carried out or left to gather dust on the shelf,” he noted.
He governor also observed that, “This has led to a lot of distortions in the process of nation-building where many policies have to be re-casted all over again, implemented half-way or entirely abandoned. In the process, the nation incurs enormous losses in terms of wasted resources, manpower and valuable time.
“For us to change this trajectory and get things done, we must make a radical shift where policies with timelines will be faithfully adhered to, no matter who is in-charge.”
Furthermore, the governor stated that, “National aspirations should not be subjected to political, ethnic or religious biases that end up impoverishing all of us; we must look at the larger picture in implementing policies that impact the lives of our people today and in the future.
“In addition to these, we have equally developed a 5-year strategic development plan that is being implemented in line with the aspirations of the State, particularly as it relates to the development of its areas of comparative advantage, which include agriculture, tourism and mining. We have equally set out a roadmap for sustainable peace by establishing the Peace Building Agency, backed by law, and the first of its kind in Nigeria,” he said.
He urged the (Course 43) participants to devote their time to carry out deep research into how the nation can break away from this situation of policy summersault, waste of resources and under-development that is brought about by the lack of faithfulness in policy implementation.
“Our nation has lost a lot of time and resources, which we need to redeem, if we must make any progress in the face of many challenges we face today,” Lalong noted.