Chioma Ehiaguina: In Nigeria, Talk is Indeed Cheap!Chioma Ehiaguina 1st July 2019 0 COMMENTS
It is not strange for the average Nigerian to boast about his positions during arguments. An ordinary conversation anywhere at any time could escalate to the point of asking “do you know who I am”. This has made me wonder and ask “who are you?” Drum roll please… This unnecessary arrogance plays out in our society in all temerity.
TALK IS CHEAP
A constant variable about Nigerians is never putting money where their mouth is. Nobody is ever really held accountable for what they said or did. Due to this reason, people tend to promise what they cannot give with no sense of shame. Many glorify their inaction. That is not right. If you make a promise, you must have a plan to fulfill it. The plan, makes way for commitment and effort by which results are inevitable.
I keenly followed the 2016 presidential election of the United States of America. I was one of those who was a 100% sure that Donald Trump was not going to win the race. Everything he said at the campaign seemed wrong to me. Often times, he seemed like a clown. Lately, I have taken a different stance on the man called Donald Trump. He clearly fights for what he believes in. With him, what you see is what you get. The order versus the delivery tallies in toto. From his anticipation to build the wall and have Mexico pay for it, to his catch phrase “Make America Great Again”, his stance on Taxes, NATO, NAFTA, China, Abortion, Immigration. Everything seemed fascinating. In short, his campaign trail was a roller coaster. Then Election Day arrived and boom, Donald Trump happened. I do not hold an American passport, but then, I was certain that he did not deserve it. A few years into the exalted position, I have developed a keen yet subtle admiration towards the man. He talks the talk and walks the walk.
Our Nigerian politicians certainly have a lot to learn from him. Talk should not always be cheap. You should be able to stick your neck out for what you believe in. Honour your word even though you stand alone. This is not to compare and contrast Donald trump’s actions as the President of the United States with those of our Nigerian politicians. Anyone who keenly followed Trump’s campaign will definitely know his principle and stance on various issues. He might not have achieved his Eldorado but he sure is working towards achieving his promises, no matter how absurd they may seem.
For example, abortion is a social issue that raises a lot of sentiments around Americans. Religious and moral beliefs are the core of disagreements on issues surrounding abortion and Planned Parenthood. As a pro-lifer, Donald Trump is making policy changes towards his beliefs. On the 13th of April, 2017, Trump signed a resolution allowing states to withhold federal funding from abortion providers. Also he has proposed a modification for the Title X family planning program, therefore clinics that recommend abortion will not be eligible to receive funds from the Title X programme. There is also the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits foreign and federal funding for international NGO’s that perform abortion or offer related services which he is has proposed.
Another example is the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This trade agreement between the U. S, Canada and Mexico was called a disaster by Trump. He promised to renegotiate this agreement and he has done it. On the 30th of November, 2018, Trump, Trudeau and Nieto signed the U.S, Mexico, and Canada Agreement (USMCA). This agreement must however be ratified by all three countries before taking effect. Some clauses that stand out in the interest of America in the new agreement are:
- That the U.S would have greater access to Canadian diary market.
- 75% of the value of a vehicle would have to be produced in the U.S or Mexico and increased from 62% of NAFTA.
- The deal prevents members from artificially weakening their exchange rate.
On different occasions the Trump administration has imposed tariffs on specific goods coming from countries it could not reach a trade deal with. In September 2018, Trump announced his administration would impose about 10% tariff on nearly all goods coming from China. He also imposed tariff on Steel and Aluminum from EU, Canada and Mexico on the 22nd of November, 2017. Donald Trump has signed the HR 1- The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law. This law lowers tax rates for individuals and corporations. According to the Wall Street Journal “It is the biggest transformation of the U.S tax code in more than 30 years”.
Donald Trump’s principle on immigration is very obvious. Immediately he became Commander –in – Chief, he issued a travel ban on some countries although this move caused a lot of uprising. Earlier in the year the government was shut down over funds for walls at the border. Then there is the international outcry that children are being separated from their parents who want to illegally migrate or seek asylum in the U.S at the border and the proposal to end birthright citizenship. Nigeria too has not been left out of feeling the pang. Nigeria has seen a cancellation of the dropbox for visa renewals and most recently the resolution that social media handles have to be submitted for profiling before visa is granted and a lot more. All of the above show that Donald Trump supports more stringent mechanics to be put in place before entering the U.S no matter the purpose. To him America belongs to Americans and Americans alone. Though a lot of Trump’s policies may not sit well with some main stream media, he is fighting tooth and nail to deliver on his promises. His agenda for America was never hidden, that is what gained him the votes to be where he is the chief pilot of the nation.
In Nigeria the campaign promise is a complete contrast from what the elected personnel works achieve. The inconsistency is abysmal. This author has no intention of criticising a particular administration in Nigeria but is asking for a holistic view of the Nigerian state in the light of the issue discussed thus far. The present administration took over power in 2015 and promised that Nigeria would have 24 hours power supply in six months, a lot of us gullibly believed. This is especially because with power plants built by the last administration, definitely with a bit of augmentation, Nigeria could easily have 18 hours of power supply a day, even though that is poor by international standard. In addition, the fight against corruption is a mirage, restructuring, police reform, investors leaving Nigeria in droves are salient issues that are not being addressed. One can only conclude that in this part of the world, words do not match actions.
TALK IS INDEED CHEAP
Nigeria has been a democratic nation for two decades and we are still at the peripheral of economic advancement. World class infrastructures are lacking. Except for our constant growth in population making us the most populous black nation, we have nothing significant and tangible to compete on the world stage.
Although there are myriads of criticism over some of Donald Trump’s policies and mechanisms, the Nigerian politician and political office holders however still have a lot to learn from him. As a politician, if you promise the change, then give the change at all cost even if your methodologies are the most absurd. Citizens deserve pledges to be kept. Even though Donald Trump is heating up the world polity with his policies both on and off twitter, it will not be a surprise if he is re-elected, after all his stand points on national and international issues are not new to Americans.
Chioma Chinedum Ehiaguina (LLB LLM BL) has 7 years of legal experience in various fields of law and is a research enthusiast.