By; ODEYEMI SAMUEL, Akure.
In his inaugural address as the Governor of Ondo State on the 24th of February, 2017, titled “JOURNEY TO REDEMPTION”, Rotimi Akeredolu’s only request from the people of Ondo State, is an attitudinal/behavioural change concept.
An attitudinal change is “a manner of thinking, feeling or behaviour that reflects a state of mind or disposition”. Often times, the attitude of the citizens towards government programmes and policies is key towards the success of such programmes.
He steered the need that the people must have a change of atittude by supporting government’s policies and programmes, while people reads political meanings to good intentions of governments, thereby, causing apathy among the citizenry. ”We need not only to accept such programmes, support it, but also make useful suggestions to ensure the success of such programmes”.
The government on the other hand, he said, must create a feedback mechanism by feeling the pulse/reaction of the people towards such policies and programmes.
Akeredolu said the youths must understand that government can do little in providing ‘white collar’ jobs for them, hence, they must embrace the programmes on agriculture, entrepreneurship and other initiatives of government, to make them self reliance and employers of labour. Any huge addition to the current wage bill will be a serious burden on government.
His words, ”We must change our attitude by performing our civic responsibilities. As it is today, the new government need resources to fund its programmes, the current economic situation in Nigeria will definitely hamper such. We must support the new administration by paying our taxes as at when due. Every taxable individuals, households and companies must make payment of taxes our priority, so that the administration can fulfill most of its electoral promises”.
Part of the civic responsibilities, according to the Governor, is to respect constituted authorities and obedience to rules, laws and regulations. In this regards, citizen can criticize the government, but in doing so, be constructive without undermining the powers of government.
With this, he said “we must also show understanding. Nigeria is in recession, also the states. The funds to implements some of the promises made during campaign are not available. The cost to construct a kilometre of road in 2014 isn’t the same in 2017 due to several factors including inflation, which has gone as high as 18% from 9%,”
The civil service, according to him, must be ready for attitudinal change. No government can succeeds without the support of its civil service. They implements the policies and programmes of the governments. Understandably, morale is very low at the moment, due to irregular payments of salaries. As at today, they are been owed about seven months salary arrears. Those saddled with the responsibilities of generating funds for government should do so with every zeal, commitment and sincerity.