Most actions of government are directly or indirectly towards destination marketing. But when the actions are reactive rather than proactive, as the case of Okada proscription, they are always costly to business. Daniel Obi writes
There is heavier cost usually associated with policy inconsistency. Also, more damages are often incurred when government is reactive rather than being proactive.
Experts have linked these two factors as major constraints to economic growth. These factors often frighten investors in any society. Typically, being reactive is when events dictate the agenda.
Often times, government officials in many states have allowed motorists to commit offences before arresting them or other individuals to build multi-million Naira houses on pathways, only to turn around to demolish them. Many of such instances occur with heavy losses.
Customarily, every government supposed to be proactive in its governance, set up and implements policies for the citizens to allow smooth administration. But when it is reactive perhaps due to lack of initiative, this becomes costly and pushes the citizens to criticize and react violently.
Read also: On Okada bans and protection from government
Analysts agree that “The problem we have is that for quite some time, we have not really been very consistent in our policies. The repeated changes in government policies in Nigeria have posed a number of threats to the country’s development economically and socio politically”
The recent proscription of the use of okada for commercial transportation across several parts of Lagos State is seen as either policy inconsistency or reactive measure which has “worsened the country’s reputation as a difficult environment for business for small and medium enterprises”, says Olanrewaju Rufai in his comment in BusinessDay.
Over the years, Lagos State has, due to political, economic considerations or unwittingly allowed influx of okada riders from Mali, Niger, Chad and all parts of Nigeria to the state without formal registration only to suddenly realize that they constitute nuisance.
Within this period, investors such as Gokada, Opay, Max.ng and Oride and others raised multi-million Naira to provide okada commercial transportation services towards augmenting movement in Lagos. In the process, they employed many people who will now be laid off due to policy somersault.
A marketing communication expert who prefers anonymity said the blanket proscription of the use of okada amounts to policy inconsistency and a reactive measure. “Government should have checkmated the entry of okada for commercial transportation through strict registration, but it opened the doors only to turn around to proscribe them”, he said.
He warned that such policy inconsistency and reactive measures by government do not favour investors who have committed or want to commit huge sums of fund in such environment. The marketer was however in support of any move to enhance destination marketing but said that such moves must be proactively taken.
According to him, it is right for any government to take steps towards good governance but said government needs to be proactive because shifting goal post when the match is on is always costly and creates confusion to players.