This common axiom “The Nigerian Factor” is usually on individuals’ lips, especially residents in Nigeria. It’s high time we derived, if not already, and realized the real meaning. Personally, I have witnessed so many situations where this statement has been given different contextual meanings, but they almost point to ‘one’ thing.
In most Nigerian organizations, ‘the Nigerian Factor’ overrules every other laid down principle, unknowingly. With this not being the real intent and vision of the founding fathers, even the current Board, Council and Management of the organization, daily activities of staff tend towards the opposite direction. This factor bears the brunt of blame for almost everything not gotten right in our dear country. Thus, it’s high time we tackled it from the root.
Below are sample opinions from a random vox pop on people’s views and understanding of the word “The Nigerian Factor”:
One said: ‘The Nigerian Factor can mean anything depending on the circumstances…but often times, the phrase is used to depict an act of Nepotism; a situation we call “man know man”…..You have to be WELL connected to get the very best of everything’.
Another expressed: ‘In my humble opinion, this is a vague phrase conjectured to euphemize corruption or the derivatives of corrupt practices…nothing more’.
Yet another alleged: ‘A vague way of handling issues anyway it comes just to have their way(s)’.
The Abstract of the Indiana University Press-published journal article by Femi Omotoso titled Public-Service Ethics and Accountability for Effective Service Delivery in Nigeria reads: “Citizens expect public servants to be accountable and transparent in their actions. Public ethics and accountability are prerequisites to, and underpin, public trust. They are the cornerstones of good governance and development. In Nigeria, public trust in governance is low as a result of many challenges, principally the so-called ‘Nigerian factor’. Lack of transparency affects effective participation of citizens in the governing process. This article highlights the nature of Nigerian public service and draws out the challenges to the public-service delivery functions of government. It concludes that public servants should be ethical and accountable in the discharge of their duties for the betterment of the nation”.
So, you can agree with me that there’s always a problem associated with ‘the Nigerian Factor’. These effects could go as far as: unemployment, acceptance of unethical practices, injustice, inferiority complex, casting down/down-heartedness, demoralization, inculcation of bad trends as habits and norm, warped mindset of the younger generation, examination malpractices, formation and open operation of cult groups, unemployment, poor attitude/nonchalance to work, strike actions, losing of hope in our country, societal acceptance of the wrong life ideologies, promoting of the ‘corruption culture’, embezzlement of public fund, misuse of power, position and authority, ‘godfatherism’ and unfair selection, inefficiency in service delivery to the masses, unavailability of basic infrastructures and needs of man (for instance, instability of electricity), skyrocketed prices of commodities, poverty, war, hunger and recession of the nation’s economy, increase in terrorism, insecurity and other social vices. The former good ethics have been lost.
No one seems to care again. We keep getting it wrong daily. Parents are too busy to sit their ailing children and correct them. Unfortunately, the upcoming generations are watching, observing intently and picking up the bad norms and practices. Today, a youth can comfortably and boldly say that he would want to go into politics in order to get rich, with the mindset that can prompt him to want to embezzle and elope.
In going forward, Nigerians as individuals, Nigerian families, (being the bedrock and basic unit of the society), organizations, social and religious groups, the government and the society as a whole, all have a significant salvaging role to play. Our wholesome norms must be revived and mindsets shaped aright. No matter your position of leadership, capacity or circle of influence, what are you not doing rightly? What unethical practice at your workplace is your ‘conscience’ against? As an individual, how can you promote goodwill, justice and development locally or even nationally? Have the right attitude to people and your work. If we can do our bit and leave others to do theirs individually, the creeping culture and influence of the ‘Nigerian Factor’ will be reduced. Can you for once be selfless enough to put the other person’s concern and needs before yours?
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How has the ‘Nigerian Factor’ affected you personally? Have you got some ways to curb it and/or eliminate its bad effects? Reach out to us.