From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State on Monday attributed the myriad of challenges bedeviling the country to lack of effective policy implementation.
He equally decried that only a fraction of policies enunciated at various levels are implemented, adding that many of them are either jettisoned or abysmally carried out.
Lalong disclosed this at the inauguration of Senior Executive Course 43 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies Kuru, Jos South LGA of the State.
“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 in the shelf.
The Governor maintained that the lack of the aforementioned has led to a lot of distortions in the process of nation-building, as many policies have to be re-casted all over again, implemented half-way or are entirely abandoned.
“In the process, the nation incurs enormous losses in terms of wasted resources, manpower and valuable time”, he lamented.
According to him, “Corruption, lack of continuity in government policies, inadequate human and material resources, poor leadership programme, 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”, he explained.
“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”, he decried.
He said in the 1950s and 60s, there were policies to administer the nation’s forests and its resources where the regions had Ministries of Forestry solely devoted to managing these endowments.
“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”, he further lamented.
Lalong however said, “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.
“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. Examples are all over the world for us to learn from”, the Governor explained.
Speaking on how Plateau State has been able to deviate from the aforementioned challenges, Lalong said, “For us in Plateau State, our Rescue Administration has deviated from the practices of successive administrations who jettisoned projects and programmes they inherited.
“We have decided to implement most of the projects that were abandoned because of the interest of the people and the huge investment of the State. Despite the fact that we took over from a different political party, we have not allowed sentiments to overcome our reasoning in the interest of the public. That is the way to go”, he admonished.
The Governor urge the participants, to devote their time in carrying out deep research into how we 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”, he stressed.