Issues in implementing vision and policy in the developing countries: emphasis on economic policy

By Adetayo Adeniran from Nigeria.


Ideally, it is the dream of every young child to become great and fulfilled in life; enterprises or businesses are targeted towards maximizing profits and minimizing costs to the lowest level; large scale businesses are established with the belief of existing into the unforeseeable future; every family dreams of giving birth and raising fruitful children; every undergraduate student dream of becoming the Overall Best graduating Student (OBS) after their completion of an undergraduate programme presidential aspirants present manifestos which include good governance, transparency, equity and all round development; policy makers intend to achieve a nation’s economy that is projected upward and many other futuristic plans. All the various dreams are future plans targeted towards enhancing a better standard of living and betterment of the society at large.

Moreover, it is quite obvious that there are several indices, ingredients and indicators that will be committed towards the realization of the above listed dreams without which the dreams will become phantasm. Meanwhile, it is unfortunate that many young people transition in life phases until they become old and die without fulfilling their dreams, many businesses go comatose at an early stage, many undergraduate students graduates with second class lower, political office holders disappoint the citizens by not fulfilling their stated manifesto, economic situations in the developing nations are recessing, the majority of the public policies initiated or formulated do not pass through the implementation stage, and so many other issues which can be attributed to lack of committing to the ingredients that will enhance the realization of initial dreams.

Furthermore, this essay is aimed at stressing and establishing the popular quote “Vision without Execution is Just Hallucination” by Henry Ford. In order to understand the quote and properly blend or establish the relationship between the quote and the essay title, the following concepts will be properly defined: Vision; Execution; Hallucination; Policy; and Economic policy.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2012), vision is the manifestation to the senses of something that is immaterial. Also, Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th Edition defines vision as the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2012) defines execution as the process or act or result of performance or achievement. According to the same dictionary, hallucination is the perception of objects (vision) with no reality usually arising from disorder. It is an unfolded or mistaken impression or notion. Policy is the vision, rules, guidelines which can be enforceable by law and must have action plan (time frame) for the betterment of the citizenry. Economic policy is an attempt by government to address national economic issues by instituting laws, regulations, decisions, or actions that are pertinent to the economic problems. As issues arising in different sectors are being addressed and resolved in its policies so also must economic issues be addressed and resolved by economic policy.

From the above introduction, dream is also referred to as vision. Indices, ingredients, and indicators are needed for good performance (execution), in the absence of correct ingredients to realizing the vision; hallucination of vision is inevitable. In the perspective of Adeniran (2016), policy should be an outcome of political process and must satisfy the following criteria;

1. It must be analytically based;

2. It must be politically acceptable;

3. It must be socially credible;

4. It must be economically viable;

5. It must be environmentally suitable; and

6. It must be sustainable.

Economic policy

According to Redmond (2008), economic policies are measures taken by government to influence the behavior of the economy. Some measures, such as the budget, operate over the whole economy and constitute policy in the sphere of macroeconomics; others operate on a specific and limited part of the economy and represent policy in the realm of microeconomics. He also stated that the two kinds of policy impinge on one another, since measures affecting the whole economy necessarily impact the parts, and what affects any part or aspect of the economy registers in the performance of the whole.

Developing countries are referred to as impoverished nations and are currently undergoing economic recession; it is obvious that various economic policies are on the formulation stage with the hope of implementation. During formulation stage, visions are set with hope of execution; meanwhile there are several issues that may hinder the fulfillment or realization of its implementation which might turn the vision into phantasm (hallucination). Among the issues are:

1. Bureaucracy: This is the level of official delay given to issues that should not have taken such a long time to deal with. Issues that would ordinarily take two days officially to treat and pass on the next level of processing would take more than one month to handle.

2. Corrupt tendency or Vested interest by placing wrong persons in policy making meanwhile they go against the wish of public interest and improve their own pocket. They also take bribes and this act is referred to as corruption. According to Adeniran (2016), corruption is not just about a specific act(s), but it is about our very mindsets and deep-seated behaviors. Kofele-Kale (2006) defines corruption as an act of requesting, offering, giving or accepting directly or indirectly a bribe or any other undue advantage or the prospect thereof, which distorts the proper performance of any duty or behavior.

3. Political instability: There is no way any nation will be in a political crisis and expects formulated policy to be implemented. Situation of political crisis results into discontinuity of implementing policy from where previous government stops by the newly elected government.

4. Skills and technical know-how: Lack of trained personnel that have enough skills and technical knowledge about policy will hamper a successful implementation of economic policy.

5. Inadequate funding;

6. Lack of sound economic research and development institute;

7. Interferences from various professionals; and8. Peculiarities of the developing countries.

If all the above issues are present, vision or policy cannot pass through execution or implementation stage but if it passes through execution stage, it cannot stand a test of time. The major ingredients needed to realize execution of policy or visions are persistency, consistency and commitment. In the absence of correct ingredients to realizing the vision; hallucination of vision is inevitable.

Finally, the attainment of diversified economy is being preached in developing countries, therefore it is expedient for individual family to have diversified sources of income before a country will boast to have achieved a diversified economy which is the way out of economic recession. Diversification of family income can be a policy formulated and implemented such that enterprises in the country will be up to 10% of the entire population, this will reduce unemployment rate. Also, harnessing the right resources (man, material, money and machinery) in the correct proportion and efficiently. Generally, to achieve the initial vision, the major ingredients for execution are persistency and consistency in the right or efficient manner. The affirmation of deficient indices or ingredients in the effective or efficient execution of vision results into the confirmation of unrealistic vision.

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