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Policy development – The futuristic approach for inclusive economic sustainability

Policy development – The futuristic approach for inclusive economic sustainability

Policy development with a people-centric approach is a form of regression testing that guarantees its sustainability. Whether you analyse it from a people and culture perspective or from an operational efficiency angle, the level of attention given to strengthening people, processes, and productivity are the core functions that will define the success or failure of corporate governance in an organisation.

Policies have become a strategic tool in organisations to promote healthier employee engagement and set the tone for the company’s culture. Benefits such as birthday off-work, life insurance, discounted meals, gym memberships, paid leave, and employee referral bonuses subconsciously reflect an organisation’s commitment to employee wellness and its impact on overall performance. These policies help to create a more cohesive and efficient organisation.

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If we want to look at it from a governmental regulatory perspective, there have been policies that have had both a positive and negative impact on the social and economic development of the nation.

From a finance perspective The Central Bank of Nigeria announced changes to the way the country’s foreign exchange market works. Foreign currencies can now be bought and sold at rates determined by the market and not by the central bank. This signals the intention of the current administration to allow market forces to determine the value of the naira in an attempt to close the gap between official and unofficial rates.

Social welfare policies penalize sexual harassment as a criminal offense, both verbal and non-verbal. However, discrimination related to diversity, equality, and inclusion, including gender, ageism, religious motivation, general harassment, and victimisation, lacks specific laws or policies regulating their legal sanction. Employers have the discretion to discipline such actions using their own company policies and processes, leaving it at an employer’s discretion.

We are in a time where businesses are leveraging policies, both old and new, to restructure their models to meet the new demands of the economy. Not only from a regulatory perspective but as a means of survival to stay afloat in a turbulent market that is being attacked by inflation, lack of human capacity development, misappropriation of resources, and disfigured GDP supply chains, to name a few.

Governance is more than just policy design and implementation; it’s about curating organisational culture and guiding short- and long-term visions and objectives. However, the question remains: what policies currently reflect the vision, have they been modified to global best practices, and how will they be measured for effectiveness beyond tangible indicators like revenue generation or debt reduction?

There is a cry for the adoption of modern policy development with an emphasis on using globally accepted methodologies. This can be localised to suit the business and governmental climate, but the primary objective is to establish policies that foster growth, cement international private-public partnerships, affirm government relations, and rekindle global trade and investment supply chains.

Nigeria, a country with immense potential, not only supplies talented professionals to bolster the economic strength of other nations but also stands as a fertile ground for Africa’s future based on its natural resources. In academia, professional expertise, and entrepreneurship, Nigerian indigenes rank within the top 5, to put it mildly.

What is setting Nigeria back is the fact that the nation is its own worst enemy and hindrance. We only appreciate what we have until it has received the stamp of approval and validation from foreign counterparts. The policies created do not favour the demographic of its population, who are in their prime and demonstrate the expertise to make great innovative transformational strides. If you unpack the legal and regulatory entities of some of the governing policies, the initiatives are aimed at targeted progression, but the requirements for work productivity within the framework are rigid.

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This means that, as a professional or an organisation, the policies curated have been designed for failure from the onset.

Policies need to find an alignment between the empowerment of the nation it has been created to serve and protect and the strategies to sustain its economy without making the other a sacrificial lamb.

How can we pave forward?

Nigeria requires an independent agency or consultancy with cross-functional experts to conduct a comprehensive analysis of policies, governing laws, and implementation frameworks. The office’s mandate is to define current aspirations with a strategic approach, aligning with the country’s climate, and implement active, measurable initiatives to prepare for predictive trends using previous trends as a foundation for development.

The fate of Nigeria lies in the hands of policymakers and their influence. To create a positive and innovative ripple effect, transformational agendas driven by unconventional visionaries with innovative mandates are needed. This will reshape Nigeria and regain momentum and credibility it has lost over the years.

 

Oyelade is a EMEA talent acquisition and employability leader with an extensive career spanning across Europe, Middle East, North America, and sub-Saharan Africa. She works with organisations on bespoke projects which include talent strategy, diversity & inclusion, people & culture design and organisation transformation.