Can Ethics function in Nigeria?

Olasubomi Alli-Balogun Written by Olasubomi Alli-Balogun · 1 min read >

Ethics, what does it means, this is a word that we have heard once in a while for some and others, we hear it all the time; ethics can be referred to a moral principle that governs or influences how a person behaves, it is to ensure one has a life that is fulfilling and worth living. Looking at that definition, any random person you ask will surely want a life of fulfillment but can we follow the ethical principles in other to live a life of fulfillment? 

Let us go back to the topic at hand, judging from the situation of Nigeria, we are a developing country with lots of issues like political instability, unemployment rate, inadequate health sector, poor standard of living, and insecurity. Battling with all these but the most important in this context is the unemployment rate. With the current unemployment rate at 33.3%, can any individual afford to be ethical in any organization? If you meet or know people who are funneling funds or embezzling funds from the organization, joining them seems like the best option. Even though there are fights amongst families, neighbors, and friends, we still depend on each other for help and cannot watch while the other is suffering, this attitude for most is usually towards people they know.

Furthermore, let us look at the politician who came from a humble background, he attended public schools, played in the streets of Nigeria, worked his way up to get to a position of power, made lots of explicit promises but failed to keep up with them, he represented his neighborhood, they voted him in because he/ she knew the type of suffering that his people have gone through and understand their experiences, they can always work, make the neighborhood better, make it safe for the children growing up in that area, create a legacy for yourself but most forget where they came from, after lots of empty promises towards its constituents, is this truly ethical? Making empty promises to get to where you want is not ethical.

In addition, we will be looking at the constituents the politicians are meant to serve which were forgotten, there are topics like service to customers, this explains that there are two different ways of looking at the relationship between customers and business people, it explains the warfare paradigm where businessmen are in business for their interest alone, they will charge ridiculous prices and they do not care about the interest of their customers. The other is the service paradigm which shows that businesses focus on the interest of their customers, the focus is placed on satisfying their needs, most business people or traders in Nigeria use the warfare paradigm, can we blame it on the government or politician that did not keep his/ her promises? I do not think so, ethics is a choice, and choosing to act ethical develops a person, builds virtues like prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance which leads to a life of fulfillment. To some, this is not enough, the focus is on extrinsic goods that provide temporary happiness, but others focus on intrinsic goods like aesthetic experience and knowledge.

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