DIFFICULTIES OF POLICY ENFORCEMENT IN NIGERIA
1.1 Historical Context of the Study
Every community must have its share of issues. These issues may arise in the realms of politics, business, education, agriculture, communication, housing, transportation, and health, among others. The government is always observed adopting policies in reaction to these challenges and in relation to the goals of growth, national development, and the well-being of the citizens in order to address them at any given time. This is vital because if efforts are not made to address these problems as they arise, they may degenerate into uncontrollable stages, endangering the social and economic growth and development of the society (Okoli and Onah, 2002). In developing nations with a very weak private sector, such as Nigeria, the scope and impacts of governmental policy are typically extremely ubiquitous and dominant (Ikelegbe 2006, Abah, 2010). The formulation and implementation of public policies determine, for example, the level of social service provision, the availability of financial services for economic activities, the level of industrialization, the level of employment opportunities, the level of social or economic inequality, the availability of health facilities, the level of social security, the rate of educational development, etc. A public policy is, at its core, a government activity or proposed action aimed at achieving specific desired goals or objectives (Ikelegbe, 2006). In light of a specific social issue, public policy guides and determines present and future public decisions as well as private individual or commercial institution activities, decisions, and conduct. Essentially, a public policy determines the operations of government and specific private entities in regard to the provision of services intended to solve a given problem. Typically, the legislative branch of the federal, state, or municipal government makes or formulates policies, while the public bureaucracy or designated private entities carry out their implementation. In the majority of instances, however, policy execution falls to the public bureaucracy. Indeed, in practically every nation on earth, public policies are implemented primarily by the public bureaucracy and, more particularly, by bureaucrats or career civil servants (Ezeani, 2006). Therefore, the government’s role in development is, to a very considerable measure, the responsibility of the public bureaucracy (Abah, 2010). The public bureaucracy fulfills this function through the efficient implementation of government policies, projects, and programs targeted at accomplishing development objectives and aims. Most frequently in Nigeria, however, policies are carefully and wonderfully formulated, but bureaucracy implementation is poor (Obodoechi, 2009; Ikelegbe, 2006). This results in the failure of public policies to achieve their intended goals and objectives and, eventually, to address the issues for which they were intended. As a result of inefficient implementation in nearly all sectors of public administration in Nigeria, there are typically significant gaps between policy objectives and their actual achievement (Ozor, 2004; Mankinde, 2005). Initially, policy studies literature placed greater focus on the policy development stage. In modern times, however, the focus has switched to policy implementation due to the knowledge that good policy implementation is not automatic (Egonmwan, 1984; Ikelegbe, 2006; Nweke, 2006). In developing nations like Nigeria, where citizens are increasingly reliant on the government to effectively implement development projects and programmes, and where, conversely, ineffective implementation of policies has become extremely critical and worrisome, policy implementation has become of greater concern than its formulation. In light of this, and in accordance with the argument of Ugo and Ukpere (2011) that an adequate solution to the problem of effective policy implementation failures in Nigeria must stem logically from a rigorous examination and analysis of its causes, the purpose of this study is to examine policy implementation as a major stage of the policy process, to highlight the need and role of public bureaucracy in the effective implementation of policies, and to investigate the obstacles that impede the implementation of policies.
1.2 Description of the Problem
Most government programs and reforms in Nigeria have failed to accomplish their intended goals due to unbalanced execution or a failure to realize the policy or reform’s intent. Public officials in Nigeria have expressed doubts about the government’s sincerity in implementing the monetization program to its logical conclusion. The reform initiative is anticipated to reduce the huge waste, misuse, abuse, and fraud that characterized the distribution of fringe benefits to public employees. The reform will encourage public servants to own their own homes, allow them to plan for a more pleasant service life, minimize capital costs, and decrease rent payments, as the bulk of tenants in metropolitan areas would be public servants who have built their own homes. The achievement of these benefits would depend on the efficacy of the reform’s implementation. The reform process imposes unique stresses on the public service, which must undergo significant adjustment, which may create uncertainty and decrease morale throughout the transition phase. The government intends to reduce its personnel by 30,056 (The Guardian, Sunday, September 4, 2005, p.1), of which about 90 percent will be the lowest cadre of public servants in the poverty category, particularly those without minimum entry requirements for the roles they hold. This will have a negative impact on people impacted and exacerbate the unemployment crisis in the nation. The exercise is so elitist in both design and execution. Those in the administration will receive a greater proportion of their allowances in cash. There is a very small chance that junior employees will acquire their housing through the bidding process. Therefore, the goal of providing housing and alleviating the poverty of public personnel will not be met, especially given that more than half of government employees are entry-level employees.
1.3 Objectives of the Research
1. Determine the obstacles to policy implementation in Nigeria
2. Analyze the impact of these obstacles on the Nigerian economy
3. Examine the reasons affecting these difficulties
4. Provide answers to the difficulties
1.4 Investigative Questions
Following are the research questions that will guide this study:
What are the obstacles to the execution of policies in Nigeria?
2. Do these obstacles have any substantial impact on Nigeria’s economy?
What are the causes driving these obstacles?
4. What remedy can be proposed for the problems?
1.5 Scientific Hypothesis
False: These obstacles have no substantial impact on the Nigerian economy
These obstacles have a substantial impact on the Nigerian economy.
1.6 Importance of the research
The essence of these conceptions of public policy is that it is a response to environmental challenges or stimuli. Monetization strategy is consequently a course of action; a plan intended at reviving the country’s ailing economy by redirecting funds spent on providing incentives to government employees to the funding of social initiatives.
DIFFICULTIES OF POLICY ENFORCEMENT IN NIGERIA