Experts want us to believe there is no development if the lives of the citizens are not changed. But we have a different way of calculating development in this clime. Our President, Goodluck Jonathan last weekend in a political rally did claim Nigeria Poverty index has been reduced by fifty percent.
We have a great way of amusing one another in this great Country. We churn out data after data which affirm the economy is lmproving in a geometrical way. The challenge of such data and why people on the street do not believe them is because their lives have not changed for the better. That is is a discussion for another day. Our focus here today is on the impact of individual, corporate and national integrity on development.
While there are several indices that can help guarantee national development standard measurement, we cannot under value the Impact of integrity. Integrity is cash. Integrity speaks volumes about our value and cultural behaviours. It shows in what we celebrate and condemn. It reflects on individual attitude, what they say and do. In one of our previous articles here, we have established like an expert once said ‘development is not about macro economic abstraction but contain in the stuff of daily life. It is not the responsibility of mega institutions but starts with family. It is not only leaders who can contribute but every average Joe can make an impact. It is not also only adults or workers who can fuel growth but contribution is possible at every life stages. Lastly population is not considered as ‘aggregate growth but considered as the people’.
With this basic understanding, it is easier to see that integrity at every level within a nation or continent is critically essential to growth and development. Integrity cannot be bought at the market. It is a disposition, attitude and it requires strong determination and commitment in this age where we are all encouraged to lower standard of doing things. Integrity is not a gift anyone can bestole/ dash you. It has to be cultivated from within individual , society and national level.
Integrity is the quality of being honest and strong about what you believe to be right. In other words it is being United as one complete thing. It eschews Inconsistency or any form of colouration. When we agreed this Is white it ought to be so with everyone who signs into this. There should be no double standard. This assertion helps external positioning as well as rating.
As Nigerians and Africans, we do have values which we are all accustomed to. It is part of us to protect a name and to cherish this. Individuals or corporate organization’s which stood for this in the past were celebrated so they can become standard others must or should emulate. Unfortunately along the line something happened to this age long value. The family, society and national image were destroyed. It affects capital inflow as trust was damaged In the market.
Being a Nigerian or a link to this Nation and some other African Countries became a curse. Businessmen from outside the countries would have to do a lot of background checks before they agree to roam with you. At the national level, our leaders became excessively corrupt. They stole money in Billions and kept them abroad among others. The traditional system became corrupt also. Chieftancy titles are given without any restraint. The impact of all these effects are here with us today. But Nigeria and Africa need to get their mojo back. We must learn to recast our values so everyone can be on the same page on what is right or what is evil. We must encourage everyone, small and old to stand for what is right and ask questions from whomever violate this. We must learn to celebrate, encourage and elevate individuals and corporate organizations who stood for what is good in the society.
With this said, we must express our heart heartfelt gratitude to President Goodluck Jonathan and the national award team of 2014. National awards are given to outstanding citizens among others who had distinguished themsellves in their trade.trade Aside from this, they are supposed to be persons of integrity. In the past, it is this later clause that was lacking in 85% of the awarded.
Among the awardees of this year, we have noticed four of them who are well deserved of it. This is not because they are rich but for setting and leading an exemplary lives which must serve as role model. These awardees are Mr Taiwo Akinkunmi, the 77 year old designer of Nigeria National flag.
Prior to now many had noticed the wretched life style of this man and called attention of previous government to give a well deserved honour to him. This demand has not enjoyed any positive result. But yesterday, this man was not only given national honour but was placed on a life time salary in the range of Special Assistance to the President.
On the list also is Mr. Imeh Usuah, a taxi (cab)driver who returned Eight Million Naira cash a foreigner he picked at International Airport, Abuja Nigeria forgot in his car in 2007. He is awarded based on integrity despite his low economic status. Also included is Mr. Isaacs Micheal, a cook in the Presidency for over three decades but had no house of his own.
A Police Corporal Solomon, a traffic warden who had distinguished himself at different locations within Abuja was also awarded. In addition to the honour, three of these outstanding Nigerians were also given a three Bedroom each in Abuja. With these done, the Federal Government may not know the import, magnitude of what it has done. This is a silent affirmation to say integrity, patriotism still pay off at long run. Who would have known what some of these people did over five, four or less than a decade ago will still speak for them loudly today? Why is integrity so important to national development?
It raises and confers an expectation: A person of nation of integrity has raised a bar of expectation. In today’s world where integrity is no longer promoted, people who deals with person or nation of integrity have great expectation about the value they can get. This If ten become a social capital that can be traded on.
It attracts, builds quality business and diplomatic relations: we all know value of quality business and diplomatic relations to development. Development may not be achieved in Isolation it takes the support of other relevant partners to make a serious progress. With a great level of integrity, support is easier to gain.
It is a social capital: whatever we say, development needs capital: human, financial capital. Integrity is a social capital to any development activities. It enhances the profile and supports.