In sane climes and in sensible democracies, every citizen is protected by law. Every citizen is considered a national asset that should be nurtured and safeguarded.
Indeed, citizen welfare is the very basis and foundation of government. The citizen is the basic building block of a country and without him, there is no nation! Without the citizen, there is no country. That is why every great nation is great because its citizens are accorded priority and thus nurtured into greatness.
The greatest capital in the known world is human capital which some progressive countries pursue through aggressive and all inclusive education of the citizenry thus equipping the populace to become the drivers of national growth and process.
Indeed, citizen welfare expenditure is an investment rather than an expense. It is an investment in current and future wellbeing of a nation through securing the happiness, the patriotism and the health of the citizenry.
For instance, you cannot speak of a robust armed forces without having a pool of robust and well educated populace to draw from. You cannot talk of advances in science and technology in a nation if that nation is not spending to provide world-class education and training for its peoples!
Citizen welfare and happiness is the incontrovertible bedrock of a nation’s prestige and respect in the comity of nations. The growth and stability of nations is not a happenstance. It is not by accident. The growth of nations is the fallout of well-designed policies aimed at producing fine stock of healthy humanity, properly educated, well motivated and enhanced men and women who in turn contribute to the development of the next generation.
Many examples abound worldwide of the viability and practicality of putting citizen welfare before any other consideration. The major difference between a growing third world country and a stagnating one is the ratio of a nation’s budget which goes to serve the citizen.
The difference between Rwanda and Nigeria can not only be found in the
leadership ethos but in the ratio of budget dedicated to citizen welfare. In terms if ratio, Rwanda outspends Nigeria in every area other than the ratio that goes to cost of government and corruption!
Sweden, Belguim, Denmark, these countries are the evidence of the thesis that citizen welfare leads to national wellbeing. These countries under review are shutting down prisons while countries like Nigeria are struggling to build new prisons in order to accommodate the overwhelming population of the criminally minded.
Sociology tells us that crime and deviant behaviour are usually an outcrop of unequal, unfair and un-nurturing social systems. We have seen our young people who are considered failures here, we have seen them thrive abroad where the system is geared towards human development and welfare.
We have seen our athletes who were denied facilities become world class on getting abroad. We have seen our students who had to study in schools without chairs suddenly become top scholars when they moved abroad all because the environment abroad is tune to human capital development!
Unless and until our governments understand that the citizen is the purpose of government, so long will we be condemned to remain at the bottom of human development index. No nation can grow if that nation is not investing in the future of its citizens. No nation can be great indeed when its leaders are not ashamed of sending their kids abroad to school while neglecting their own country’s education infrastructure.
How do you have patriotic citizens when the leaders themselves often have dual citizenship? How can you have a work force that is committed when the workers are often underpaid or unpaid?
How will the nation have thriving industry when there is no citizen purchasing power? How can industry thrive when importation is the order of the day? How can local construction industry grow when all meaningful jobs are contracted out to foreigners? How can the auto industry grow when government neglects local industry while importing thousands of cars annually?
Unless and until charity begins at home, growth will not be at home.
– Aluta Continua!