Charles Iyore, a partner at DNA Capital, writes from Darenth Kent, England. He can be reached by email at Dioncta@aol.com and +447932945002 (text only)
Families need jobs to eat and live (thrive) and these jobs can and should be tied to their living.
As the unit aggregate of society, the success of the family is what translates to the success of society or state.
These jobs are in what they eat (agriculture), in what they wear (textiles), in where they live (housing), in how they teach and instruct the next generation, as well as, in how they release the values from the wealth buried beneath them and harness that which is around them.
When these processes are not tied to the citizens, they (citizens) are excluded from what happens around them and are reduced to begging, consuming spectators, of the production activities occurring on their land.
The process of tying all these together in retail and wholesale arrangements is what constitutes governance – the subtle act of turning challenges into opportunities.
The instruments for effectively delivering those arrangements are the established ministries, departments and agencies. These establishments are enhanced for good territorial coverage in the administrative set-ups or government units. They must all work together to deliver the tapestry of society. That tapestry will begin to unravel, if they work at cross-purposes and slacks begin to set in.
The guiding principles for delivering a sound tapestry of state are the directive principles of state. (A collective statement of aspirations)
Politics in leadership, in whatever form of origination, even if through violent dictatorship, is about making these arrangements work for the common good and not for the protection of narrow private interests.
State bureaucracies therefore, through self-regulation and external oversight, must ensure that these arrangements are fit for purpose, otherwise their activities will be a betrayal of trust and outright antitrust.
In some societies, conducts of state actors considered inimical to the public good, are regarded as treason and punishable by removal (death penalty).
When that flow diagram of governance has been distorted for long periods, then there will be a need to press the reset button and set the stalls again.
Setting the stalls means regarding governance as an asset management challenge, it should range from the heavy lifting of the public sector, through the shared risk of public, private sector partnerships, to the concessions and other arrangements of private financing initiatives. Governance is not transactions but value creation.
All classes need to be taken together in various mixes, based on the confirmed local capacity to deliver to set expectations. The asset allocation starting from the state budget must set the tone for economic direction and this is often the trigger for domestic production processes. If the budget does not set the tone and the policies are not consistently applied, the outcomes will always fall below expectations. This is when it becomes overwhelming for state actors.
The support framework.
The efficiency of interoperability and the strengths of linkages between the many activities are tied to the currency management, security of life and limb or in general terms, the operating environment.
All of these classes of actions must be governed by a sound regulatory framework, to ensure service delivery to the public is of the right quality and at the appropriate price.
This quality assurance has come to be accepted over time, as best delivered though healthy market competition (trade and exchange).
For the markets to work well, the public accounts must balance. (Fiscal consolidation is imperative)
The dynamics of transforming State fortunes.
The operative words in the transformation of society are “working together”. Working together starts from a sense of belonging which comes from the collective ownership of the concepts or a shared set of aspirations. A deliberate government engagement, based on merit and an effort to upskill the citizens to the merit levels desired. Some have described this as transparency, meritocracy or glasnost (openness).
By whatever choice of description, the purpose must be to create opportunities and enable all to get involved in the economic processes that can guarantee growth, and ensure that growth is always ahead of inflation.
Meritocracy does not cascade from the top down but should be a culture built from the bottom up: Identified in communities, assembled in provinces and pooled together in the centre, based on demonstrated abilities.
As simple and straightforward as that might seem, man always tries to buck the system by denying logic and seeking to lead according to strange whims and caprices. Governments of the people cracking down on them, to impose their will. Opposition to that conduct is what created NADECO.
Ever since 1999, I have always had to ask myself, if those ideals still exist. Has this elite become the civilising influence we hoped for, or have the cohorts of leaders consistently delivered below expectations?
Equity and fairness are the great expectations from the conclusion of the power transfer in 2023. A return to an open system, in which work pays and merit counts – Opportunities Nigeria!
The broad exchange of ideas must start immediately, because we hold so much in our hands not only for our country, but also for the sub-region and indeed the black race.
Tell me it will all be different!
Though it’s 100 days, the review will not start yet.