Nothing makes things work like work. The quality of the workforce determines the quality of the product and service. Every enterprise or empire takes on the complexion of the prevailing character or altitude of her workforce. The physical state of things in our nation Nigeria tells tales of the quality of humans manning public service. Someone once said that if our civil services should take charge of America and the Americans Nigeria, the reverse will become the case in both nations.
The Nigerian state can be likened to a bakery having all the factors needed to bake bread for 160 million consumers, but ends up producing nothing at the end of every day. Every year, trillions are budgeted for salaries and allowances to pay unproductive workers in the public sector. Poor service or no service at all is what the tax payers get in return. Our once vibrant public schools are dead. I don’t want to talk about power supply or our highways that are nothing but highways to the grave. Things are not working because our public servants are not working. If at all they are at work stealing the nation blind.
It is bad enough that our people are unproductive, but to add daylight stealing to it makes it worse. A lazy man one can endure, but a slothful and brazen thief for a servant is not acceptable.
It is an open secret that the civil service is the bastion of corruption and a cesspit of everything wrong with this country. Civil servants are always active or passive actors in all the major corruption scandal since independence. Politicians, elected or appointed cannot loot without being aided by some equally corrupt civil servants.
The fallout of the police pension fund scam would no doubt make many a legislator green with envy, if not red with anger. How else can you describe the discovery of N2billion cash in the house of a single civil servant? In Nigeria, our civil servants are all evil; there is nothing civil about them. A proclivity to loot has taken the place of civility in public service. Greed and stealing with impunity is the order of the day. Civil servants in Nigeria live larger than King Solomon in all his glory. They live in palaces, drive the best of cars, send their children and relations to the best of schools and dress like Maldivian emperors. Forget getting any contract at all tiers of government if you are not ready to share your profit 50-50 or 40-60 with some civil servant or politician. I don’t envy them, I pity them.
I am ashamed of the generations of our fathers, for theirs is a culture of corruption. I would to God that civil servants would imbibe the doctrine of contentment that provides that godliness with contentment is great gain. The doctrine of contentment is the wisdom of God which usually runs counter to the wisdom of this world. It is human to steal all you can, can all you can and store all you can. Only if these evil men will remember that we came into this world naked and naked would we return into the grave. I am also reminded that you cannot sleep in more than one room at a time, or drive in more than one car at a time.
There is enough to meet our needs as a nation but for the greed of a corrupt few. I know in my knowing that anyone whose desire and enterprise is towards corrupt gains would be cut off from among us. For I see a new nation raising under God were things would work like any civilized nation. The days of the wicked are numbered, shame and reproach shall be upon the head of all evil civil servants.
Sunday Ogidigbo is the Lead Pastor @Holyhill Church, Abuja. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.