Misplaced Priorities

Recently, it was reported that the leadership of the National Assembly was making moves to procure “operational vehicles” worth billions of naira, for federal lawmakers.
Misplaced Priorities
Misplaced Priorities

The Guardian reported that meetings in that regard started among presiding officers in the Senate even before the apex legislative body embarked on its eight-week recess, which ended on September 24, 2019.

However, there was an ad hoc Welfare Committee set up by the Senate President, for this same reason. According to the Punch Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, did not recommend the purchase of Sports Utility Vehicles assembled by local firms as official vehicles for members.

Similarly, it was learnt that the panel allegedly rejected suggestions by some members to patronise local automobile firms arguing that they could not guarantee the quality of the vehicles assembled in Nigeria.

But the advocacy group SERAP argued that lawmakers make up a small fraction of the country’s population and their needs should not be placed above the welfare of 200 million Nigerians.

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“The plan to spend N5.550 billion to buy vehicles for principal members of the Senate is a textbook case of a conflict of their personal interests with national interest of fiscal efficiency,” the lawsuit says.

This is indeed a typical example of misplaced priority.

Issues ranging from corruption, poverty, insecurity, infrastructural deficit, increasing mortality rate as a result of poor health facilities, fallen standard of education etc, would have been a thing of the past if our leaders have national priorities set right.

I remember vividly before the 2019 elections when the Academic Staff Union of Universities went on strike because of poor funding and infrastructural deficit predominant in the universities. While the strike lasted, instead of the government to immediately enter into dialogue with the Union with the view to finding a lasting solution to their demands just to move the sector from its distasteful state, they were busy attending functions, and doing political calculations on how to win elections at all cost.

Similarly, during the elections, large chunk of monies were privately allocated to vote buying; bribing people ahead of time in order to get their votes.  If proper priorities were set, all these monies would have been channelled into developing world standard infrastructures, eradication of poverty and proper funding of the universities.

Furthermore, in saner climes, during rainy season, after forecast of flooding is made, the government will allocate funds for the relocation of their citizens from the flood prone areas, to temporary place of settlement. These citizens are well catered for. But the opposite is the case in Nigeria. This is the period when Nigerian leaders deliberate on how they can enact laws that will afford them the opportunity to receive salary for life, as well as how to purchase expensive luxury cars as lawmakers, at the expense of pending issues of national importance.

You see, the case of some governors that owe their civil servants several months salaries can be attributed to misplaced priorities. They prefer to spend monies on frivolities; living a life of extravagance and lavish at the expense of the welfare of its workers.

Countries in the Americas, Europe and Australia continue to develop and never lose ground in their development strides because they have set their priorities right. They know what is more important for the development of their country.

Misplaced Priorities
Misplaced Priorities

For a country to be truly great and totally developed- being a force to be reckoned with, the leaders must be truly leaders who prioritize the welfare of their citizens and national development.

As citizens, never vote or support individuals whose lives are characterized by misplaced priorities. Take time to study them and let’s make the right choice. It all begins with us.

As individuals, you can never succeed in life if you are not a man of priorities. There are things that are expedient and there are things that are less important. However, because life consists of loads of things-important and unimportant, setting priorities is very important.

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First, you need to understand what you want in life, then set activities and goals in the order of importance. Be disciplined and principled enough to stick to important things as against frivolities that won’t contribute to your overall success in life.

Olaoluwa Olajide



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