Drunk with power, having quality authority, and staying in the corridors of power; the old-fashioned and handkerchief-headed leaders in Nigeria display notoriety, court worship and embrace praise-singing from loyalists, masses and political-jobbers. It has been the same from 1960 till today with little adjustments and foreboding overalls. Nigeria has witnessed the same crop of leaders from the military era to the return of democracy in 1999. The primary goal of most political leaders in Nigeria as soon as they are sworn in is to amass wealth prior to the next election by buying votes, bribing electoral officers, paying lawyers and getting the judges over to their demands. That system has championed and encouraged only waste and consumption. The little progress made by any previous leader is always sabotaged and trampled upon due to the fact that they do not offer sincere governance rather they loot and amass wealth.
Besides, the dwindling Nigerian economic fortunes were caused purely by wasteful governance. The GDP and income per capita in Nigeria keep decreasing continuously showing that there is a wasteful pattern of governance. Waste and consumption significantly impact the stability, competitiveness and growth of any economy. Do we need statistics or call names to show that governance in Nigeria is wasteful and consumption-driven either as budget padding, supplementary budget, undue contract approval, policies and decisions? Nigeria at the moment is on a spending spree and wisdom does not condemn us if we would compare Nigeria with progressive sister nations.
However, the wish of Nigerians has the intimation of something unique that would address various challenges facing the social life and national economy. The UN in her Sustainable Development Goals addressed responsible consumption and production patterns to achieve sustainable development. Political leaders do not only operate a consuming economy but equally waste the scarce resources that will make the land liveable and prosperous. The oil boom that would have led to massive infrastructural development inspired and instigated looting, nepotism and favouritism. In the past, there were strides in Agriculture like the Green Revolution, Go Back To Land etc. which the pattern of governance could not sustain.
Recently, what could have happened to the 84 million hectares of arable land in Nigeria? Why have terrorists and bandits taken over the expanse of land for farming in the North? What has become the fate of the basket food of the nation? Why is there hunger and food insecurity in Nigeria? Why do many manufacturing industries, and factories fold up and close operations? The facetious remarks and comments on poverty, economy and politics reveal the nature of leaders and their mission while in office. Nigerians do not have leaders but they have a set of people that gather, agree and share the commonwealth of all. This is not just consumption; it is waste. Having a bloated cabinet, floating the naira, practising fiscal activism, and running a deficit budget while there is an increase in the price of fuel, gas, electricity, education, internet services etc. is not just a waste but a high level of leadership abuse and indiscipline.
Seriously, visionary leadership or governance will take the citizenry out of poverty and hardship. The vision of governance in Nigeria is to selfishly grow rich from the public fund and continuously live a life of luxury through the public fund by making sure that the transitory nature of power does not affect or influence their lifestyle. Our political leaders feel ensconced and increase entropy in the system which rarely affects them. This wasteful lifestyle and body language produces decay and disorder making the government less functional in addressing the needs of the masses. There can never be success without suffering and there cannot be hard work without discipline. The wealth of the nation is being lavished and spent like evil money, or blood money and not according to the tenets of public finance and management. The central bank, which is the banker’s bank, has put pressure and stress on the commercial banks due to high inflation, depleting the foreign reserve, and making the masses lose hard-earned money from multiple charges. Economic fluctuations, inflation, interest rate changes, and the global economic environment affected the performance of commercial banks.
Furthermore, wasteful is using or expending something of value carelessly or for no purpose. Political leaders in Nigeria do not just waste money but the time and energy of the populace. They are not going anywhere and they do not intend to take the citizens to any desired horizon. Wasteful spending on unnecessary projects or excessive bureaucracy can strain government budgets, leading to higher taxes or government debts. Presently, the executive flaunts dollars on targeted dignitaries, and officers in a bid to achieve a purpose or score cheap points thereby devaluing the naira. Wasteful governance creates opportunities for corruption. When people perceive their government as wasteful, it erodes trust in public institutions and can lead to disillusionment among citizens. Wasteful policies can harm the environment, as they may not prioritize sustainability or conservation efforts. The effects of wasteful governance can be felt for years, as it may hinder economic growth and social development.
In addition, a focus on consumption without sustainable practices can deplete finite resources, leading to shortages and increased competition for essential commodities. Consumption-driven governance can benefit the wealthier segments of society more than the less privileged, exacerbating income inequality. Policies geared toward consumption can prioritize immediate gains over long-term stability, inhibiting sustainable development and planning. Ministries, Departments and Agencies have budgetary allocations that are never supervised nor monitored making governance ineffective. If borrowing should be a crime, then, borrowing for luxury, consumption and pleasure should be first-degree murder in criminal justice.
Finally, Nigeria can never get better unless there is a New Nigeria. What is old, outdated, counterproductive and inefficient must be done away with to make room for development and growth. The economy of any nation or wealth of nations does not translate to an ocean of wealth which remains unchanged despite variables and miscalculations. Nigerians want to take back their country but the forces of waste and debauchery have held the country bound. The efforts to reduce wasteful governance include transparency, accountability measures, and responsible budgeting to mitigate these negative outcomes. Efficient resource management involves adopting sustainable development goals, regulations that encourage responsible consumption and production, and policies that prioritize social and environmental well-being alongside economic growth.