Nigerians and Their Database Wahala

BY Adeyosoye Adegboyega:

There is the common saying “you can take a horse to the river but cannot force it to drink water”, I think that is the case of some Nigerians. When someone or the government tries to implement a change there will always be uproar in the society. Expressions like “Why do we have to do this?” “They are just trying to make money!” will usually be heard.

First case scenario there was a call to change plate numbers from the old style in an attempt to build a database and monitor vehicles I guess, but trust Nigerians to complain about change. Then the government decides to change the rules and saying it was no longer of necessity to change. While driving on the street the two different styles of number plates are conspicuous, which I cannot understand. I believe all cars in a state should have the same number plate this is just a personal opinion. Correct me if I am wrong, but in most countries there is just one style of number plates.

 plate1 plate2

Then on March 28, 2011 there was a call to individuals to register their mobile sim card. This was done to build a database, monitor and regulate the industry and to assist security agencies resolving crimes. However, as we speak not all mobile numbers are registered and this is 4 years after there was a law passed. Hence MTN being hit with a heavy fine for failing to comply which led to the group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa resigning.

Now we have the curios case of BVN. First of all, the government and regulating bodies agree there is a need for everyone who operates a bank account to have a Bank Verification Number, which serves as an extra layer of security and creating a centralized database. The exercise started in February 2014 with a deadline of October 2015. I believe that is a 20months notice but lo and behold stubborn Nigerians complained; “what is the need” “they want to steal our money” on the deadline day there were uncontrollable queues outside banks causing havoc and our government decides to be pitiful and move the deadline. Even after moving the deadline our stubborn people have still not registered.


I am at crossroads as to whom to blame, is it the institution or the population? Can’t the government synchronize their data bank? Why is there policy change every time, don’t they think things through? Then again is it the people? On my daily commute, on a single carriageway that has four lanes two lanes for cars going in one direction and two lanes for cars going in the opposite direction. One superman that thinks he can’t wait with everybody else and he is very wise will just decide to use the lane for oncoming traffic and more idiots will follow him because he can’t be the only wise one which then leads to a major road block. This would have been avoided if they were just patient and followed the set rules. If it’s not good for me it can’t be good for everybody else mentality but we didn’t all make the same sacrifices so people are always going to have different circumstances and situations than yourself

Most Nigerians are stubborn, impatient and are quick to pass blame and hardly want to take responsibility for their shortcomings,

Bottom-line, there needs to be a stronger arm of governance not one that will be swayed because people start complaining. Individuals in positions of power who believe in their policy and know they are for the right reasons should not be afraid to implement it, people might be hurt but it just has to be done! Let us take a cue from how Tunde Fashola governed Lagos State, he was stern but believed in his policies and we were happy for it, hence why the whole world even The Economist is complaining about Gov Ambode.

In my opinion there are a lot of people who need to be moved out of Lagos for starters because they are not contributing to its development rather they are wasting the limited resources. They can’t even afford to live in Lagos, but I guess because the federal government does not provide any other business hubs outside the established cities in the country it is kind of hard to live anywhere else.

Anyway Rome was not built in a day, so I guess we will finally get there but the pace we are moving at is a bit too slow!

Follow me on Twitter: @Ad340soye
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