Aside leadership failures that have always been cited as reasons for Nigeria’s backwardness among her peers in the journey of nationhood close to 60 years now, institutional failures have also been cited as part of the problems bedeviling the country over the decades.
Stating this during interview with journalists in Abuja, at the weekend, the federal lawmaker representing Igboeze North/ Udenu federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Simon Atigwe, said just as purposeful leadership is required to chart the course for a Nation, so also are strong Institutions.
The two according to him, may seem to be interwoven but strong Institutions are more critical at times in the life of Nation as engine room of driving the entire process of governance .
“With Strong Institutions , a Nation with misfortune of bad leadership may not suffer serious set back in her development – drive but a country with weak or moribund Institutions coupled with bad leadership , will not only be stagnated but backward when compared with others in similar journey as it is the case with Nigeria over the years.
“In all honesty, as a result of the two critical factors , we cannot compared Nigeria with India, Malaysia , Singapore , Brazil or even some African countries like Egypt , South Africa etc , as far as development – driven Nationhood is concerned.
“The indices are there and they clearly show that Nigeria is lagging behind . In the area of Security management alone , while Nigeria has about 370, 000 Policemen to Police about 200million people , Egypt with a population of about 100million people , has 2million Military personnel alone not even Police , with yearly budget of $1.3b ( equivalent to N370.8billion ) as against N100bn budget for the entire Defence outifits in Nigeria for 2020 out of which the Army just has 156,000 personnel ( both officers and men).
“Also look at the energy sector, particularly the power or electricity generation. transmission and distribution component of it . It is also nothing to read home about as a result of weak Institution which has been giving successive Presidents , sleepless nights because without power , rate of unemployment will continue to rise.”
“As it is in both sectors , so it is for Nigeria in other sectoral settings, the fundings are very poor for the various Institutions and the required indepence for them to function ethically , professional and optimally , is not also there , making them to be weak , inefficient and moribund with attendant bad governance,” he said.
Consequently therefore, the lawmaker added, “For Nigeria to get it right , she needs to strengthen her Institutions as the required solid platforms or bedrocks of facilitating development and good governance in the land.”
He lamented further that functional Institutional intervention is what is urgently needed for government at all levels in Nigeria to get things right in terms of making available to the masses, dividends of democracy.
“In my own federal constituency for example, no federal presence in any form , requiring legislative action from me to that effect in few weeks time,” he added.