Esther Nenadi Usman understands like no-one else that no government can function without policy making. Even as far back as the Bible, there are records of political regimes. Moses, David, Joshua, Solomon, Saul, and all the Israeli rulers are examples of this. Closer to home, in Nigeria itself, Nenadi puts forward IBB, Buhari, Sani Abache, the OBJ parts, and so on. All of those had their own regimes, and all of them had some sort of policies and labels that stuck. What all of this means is that, in order for a government to put solutions in place, they have to develop a policy that works first. This policy must demonstrate the problem that is to be addressed, and how it will address that problem. Only in so doing will there be true peace and security in Nigeria.
Esther Nenadi Usman on Nigerian Insecurity
In Nigeria, too many people continue to live in fear, and particularly in fear of vigilantes. Someone could drive from Lagos to Kano after 8pm and find the roads completely deserted. Yet nobody will do that, even if it means they can arrive early for a meeting. Rather, they are afraid of the dark and what will come at them on the abandoned roads. Even on an international level, Nigeria has a bad reputation for security. It is home to the elusive “Nigerian uncle” that has drawn so many people in, sometimes to the point of them being kidnapped. Yet for Nenadi Usman, those are things that should now be left behind, choosing to move forward instead. She points people towards Ghana, Nigeria’s neighbor, where this has been achieved.
One of the ways in which she believes this can be done is by the government showing the people that money is no longer the only and ultimate power source. Rather, money needs to be seen as a means to improve security. She believes money should be used to improve education and access to education, to build better infrastructure, to connect Nigeria to the internet properly, and to promote entrepreneurial spirit. Fair salaries are also vital to that. No longer will law enforcement officials be tempted by briberies if they are paid a fair wage, or will others be able to afford bribes to further their own career, because their salaries are the same.
Nigerians love wealth. This is evident from the palaces those that can afford it have built for themselves, and it is visible in the hundreds of Nigerian movies in which people always live a lavish lifestyle. Esther Nenadi does not want to take away this wealth. Rather, she wants to make sure that new revenues are distributed more evenly. She wants to put policies in place that support specific programs and that have measurable targets and actions that show improvement. This will also stop fraud from occurring and, instead, create opportunities for employment and real enterprise. That, she believes, is where the true future of Nigeria lies as well.