It has often been said that why the Nigerian situation seem to defy development initiatives is not because the country lacks good policies and plans. In fact, it has been variously noted that the country has always had good policies, because they are usually well-intentioned, but the problem has been in the implementation.
Even where strategic policies are initiated to address fundamental challenges, efficiency in implementation has always been an issue. This could largely be situated in the public service proclivity with Processes and Procedures which hamstring efficiency and effectiveness. It has also to do with unbridled corruption which renders policy targets unrealisable.
No matter how well-intentioned policies are, and no matter how well conceived and packaged, if implementation is not given the desired drive, all efforts would amount to little or nothing. And that seems to be the Nigerian story. While the private sector is more focused on Strategy and Results, the public service is more enamoured with Processes and Procedures which has been a critical hindrance factor to immediate achievement of results.
More fundamentally, a critical component that should facilitate good governance and national development has often not been given the desired attention. Communication is a vital aspect of the governance structure, and it is the bridge between policy formulators and policy targets. Apart from the lack of zeal in achieving results, a good number of policy initiatives by government are often received with criticism by stakeholders and scepticism by the public. This probably would be because the public is not usually educated about the benefits and implications of the issues involved.
Oftentimes there would be no open exchange of views between the initiators and those to be affected, which is very critical for re-shaping policy frameworks and fostering a buy-in culture or engendering ownership. And so, without adequate knowledge of the policy prescriptions and its implications, there is bound to be some reactions from stakeholders. Objections and rejections often signal the failure of a policy initiative.
Claims are often made about policies being imposed on the public, without requisite engagements that could enrich the framework and mitigate effects on the target. That is one reason why stakeholders are often critical of public policy initiatives. Policy formulators also claim that critics often attack and dismiss public policies based largely on their primary knowledge and experiences, without considering extant variables that must have guided the framework. Stakeholder engagement, to a large extent, can take care of this kind of conflict.
Therefore, Making Nigeria A Better Place Initiative (MNBP) would be involved in public policy analysis, stakeholder engagements, public lectures etc., from where ideas could be harvested and recommendations made to help in public policy formulation towards ensuring a better tomorrow for Nigerians and the country.