One reason I believe people find Change challenging is that it involves hard work. We are set in our ways and our comfort zones; the status quo seems to be working for some of us- why change it? Particularly if the change will undermine our extra-legal sources of income. Sincerely, if by doing less legal productive work, you make economic gains and progress; the incentive to act and change your practices is lost; particularly if that action to change is not universal in the society. Unfortunately, we tend to point accusing fingers at our leaders, overlooking the reality that the practice to inflate contracts, divert budgetary resources and deceive others has become entrenched in our value system. Within our families, associations, institutions and communities, it has become the norm for an individual to increase the cost of an item when asked to purchase something. The extra financial gain made is justified on the grounds of been “a smart economic person”. Unfortunately, everyone grows up thinking this is a right and acceptable practice and when they end up in leadership positions– political, corporate etc, they can’t see anything wrong in continuing the practice, irrespective of the increase in the number of zero’s involved. For change to be real in our society, we all have to take action to stop practices that endanger our collective existence.
If there is another area, we need to take action to change, it is our driving culture. Every Nigerian, irrespective of status, education, religion, profession etc seems to transform into the lord and owner of our roads when driving. We are constantly in a hurry, give no due regard to other road users, break traffic laws at will and easily make disparaging, abusive, uncivil remarks about other road users. Yet we wonder why we keep experiencing traffic gridlocks on our roads; why we are stressed and have other health challenges; why our work productivity is low. Change will require us to take action in this area to bring about the desired socio-economic growth in our society.
A reciprocal action will be required from those in positions of authority. Let’s take action to stop corrupt practices in our value system, take action to implement qualitative effective programmes, take action to consider the future legacy of our nation rather than short-term political gains.