There is a popular clamour going on now in my beloved country, Nigeria.
It is a call for restructuring.
For some, this is a great thing. Something we should have even done before now.
For some others, the issue is not to restructure but how do we restructure?
This seems to be their own fear. They fear how the restructuring will be done, as with many things being done in our country.
Others fear being marginalized even with the restructuring!!
Please pardon my country people.
Well, i am not a politician, neither one that is vast in the Nigerian history to be taking about how the country lacks restructuring in the first place.
I am writing this because of a recent experience i had with the civil service just last week in my attempt to get registered for the new national ID card, something that seems to be the next most important thing right now in the Nigeria’s means of identification lists; considering the announcement by the Nigerian Immigration Service not to issue the international passport to anyone without an identification number effective from January 2018.
And as usual, this information is already being used to fatten up the bellies of many who are supposed to make it faster and easier for the citizens to get identified.
Too bad for Nigeria.
If you have ever witnessed being at any government office to do one thing or another, then you will have an idea of what i am talking about.
There is this aura being carried by the people who are supposed to be our civil “servers,” that i think we ought to bring to limelight for correction; else we may never really be able to make anything work in this country because if we think about it really, these are the people that implement the government policies. And it is the reason they are being called civil servants.
If you are not a patient person, especially one who can at least “pretend” to manage some very annoying and mediocre stuffs, then you might have to steer away from going to a civil service office here in Lagos (well, please note that i haven’t really experienced all part of Nigeria, so i might not know if this is a nation-wide trend but going by how Nigeria operates, it could be so in other states too).
Here I was at about few minutes before 7AM in the morning (having been told as I arrived that I had come late, being at number 69 on the list by this time!)
We had gathered for the simple purpose of registering ourselves for the national ID card currently being done across the nation. Something that we would have been encouraged to participate in by the government, if ours was at least to some extent, a sane society.
But here we were and as at past 9 AM, our “ogas” had not come despite some claims by my fellow “sitters” of having arrived there at the local council as early as 4AM to write down names and then go home to resume with the sleep that had been interrupted. Huh??
Imagine me getting up at 4 AM to the local council whose staff may resume five hours later to provide the service for which I am to go there for? Abeg, na who I epp?
When the job to get us registered finally started that day, it became like a herculean task or so it seemed. It was being carried out like something never done before!
You know, in this country, we know how to make very simple mundane things look so tough! Well, It’s actually an “act,” so that you get frustrated and sort for your way out (you know how this works nah!)
I left that place annoyingly at past 12 PM and believe me, that by then, not even the number five on the list had been attended to. And you know the closing time for civil servants here. So I just respected myself and left before someone would announce by 2 PM that I should come back the next day!! I announced it to myself anyways!
My point is not to complain about this situation, no, far from that. We already know the problems.
Now, back to my question…
I asked if you wanted to restructure Nigeria?
So this is really where the heart of the matter is.
There are calls everywhere to change Nigeria. It’s like even the devil himself has joined in the movement. This makes it difficult to identify the “spoilers” of Nigeria (since everyone wants a restructure, who com dey spoil am?)
My curious mind will always think it another way!! Never mind.
You see, if you really want to change Nigeria, or restructure as it may seem more like it now, you don’t need any magician on how to go about. You need only to do your work well without the show of so much arrogance like you are doing someone a favour.
The truth is, if all of us will see the other who’s in need of a service, as the Nigeria that needs help; and we happen to be the one in the position to render that service, all you need do as part of the restructurers, is to do the work well and not make the fella suffer so much hardship just to “prove” the power you have in that position as the case may be.
I noticed that as Africans, we love power. Oh yes, we do! That’s why you will want to see the manager of an organisation and the secretary will “show” you by fire and every force within her that she’s in charge. She would make you know that she’s the way to the boss even if you had showed ignorant to it by the way you might have addressed her initially. Pathetic!
Our problems may seem almost insurmountable now as a nation, truth however remains that it is actually easier than we realized. And I think the people at the helm of power know that too. The reason they may not want it working is because having things in order here would “reduce” the power some people seem to have in oppressing others.
If we create a system of service where one person cannot just by his own emotions stop every other things from working for someone else without being punished or sued, just because he is in a position to render that service, then we may have solved more than 80% of the Nigerian problem.
Our major issue lies in the way we have given so much powers to an individual rather than a system.
I mean it’s terrible and can be suicidal at times, especially if you already had a bad day before your encounter with a supposed government official. Not nice at all.
Fellow Nigerian, just do your work. We know you are the boss of your office, no need trying to prove it with so much efforts at someone who only came to enjoy what service you have to render.
Just do your job. And do it considering the other person as being yourself and treat her with dignity. It’s time we started placing value on people in this country. We shouldn’t derive joy in making life unnecessarily difficult for any Nigerian. It’s unfair and very inhuman.
Do your job. You’re being paid after all. And if by any reason, you are fed up with the job, please by all means, kindly resign than vent your frustrations on your customer, because the beneficiary of your service is actually your customer. That’s how we can start to really change this Nigeria.
Start with you.
You are the restructuring Nigeria needs.
_Your fellow Nigerian