POLICY, A TYPE OF INFRASTRUCTURE

POLICY, A TYPE OF INFRASTRUCTURE

I choose to bring to the fore, once again, my definition of infrastructure as all provisions, tangible or intangible, provided either by the government(mostly by them), or individuals or association of individuals ,or partnership of both that positively enables dwellers’ activities and also act like lubricant to the dwellers of such of nation there by  making possible for less cost and stress to be incurred within  and outside their dwelling or production compounds and making living easier and its standard higher.

Extracting from the above definition, ‘’a type of intangible infrastructure is policy’’

Laws and policies being enacted are quite similar roads, water, electricity, public buildings and a host of other infrastructural serving amenities being provided for public use. Quite a number of characteristics that reflects or likens the tangible (physical infrastructure e.g road) with the intangible ones (policies) include;

Generality: infrastructures (physical) are in actual fact meant for the general populace.  It is a service for both incumbent, new and third party users because on the scale of the principle of excludability and subtractability, public goods are scored quite low.  Excludability applies when access is denied to those who have not paid for the product while subtractability (or rivalry) applies when one person’s use or consumption of a good or service reduces its availability to others. The word ‘’ infrastructure’’ when in any one’s mind should interpret as public. That is something all inclusive and encompassing of everyone within its jurisdiction. This is same for intangible infrastructure, policies as they are quite generalising, binding and perhaps biting on all.

Equitability: policies, intangible infrastructure, are made to even-up the length and width of actions any individual in a nation is willing to undertake. Policies like the Land Use Act, 1978, was geared towards equitability in the accessibility of land for all although this might be close to zero if one was to evaluate the success of LUA. Policies are meant to pave to the top efficiency, equitability, sustainability just as physical infrastructure should. Infrastructure are made for the bringing together, levelling or perhaps generalising most of human activities as we all have to use roads, water, electricity and so on.

Indispensability: Policies are indispensable in nations. In short, where there is no policy, there is no governance system and there is no nation. Physical infrastructure carries as much weight as what intangible infrastructures do as painted here.  Policies and physical infrastructure have this dominating monopolistic trait inherent in them. Anyone can hardly do without them although most developing countries do try so hard to see this in different way- quite harmful to their citizens.

Bedrock: Polices can be very much likened to the bedrock of most human activities in a nation especially in terms of development. Environmental policies, for instance, targeted to specific areas could create an avenue for off shoots of other developments which could be positive or negative. This phenomenon is what is often referred to in an economist language as externalities (positive and negative). So also, if a new physical infrastructure is established in an area, it similarly attracts new up-springs and branch-offs of development which could be positive or otherwise- Externalities.

 Intensiveness and Extensiveness: These two attributes are a typical nature of physical infrastructure. Intensiveness is a qualitative concept of expressing the degree of resources needed to fulfil a given task under strong requirements of communication, computation, storage or simply data-volume where solutions are time-critical or have a mass impact. Before physical infrastructure are embarked upon, it is of utmost necessity to have an intensive data collection and collation which will be used as a benchmark in determining what type of infrastructure is needed in a particular area, at what level it is need, what best technology is needed to adopted, the cost to benefit ratio and so on. This makes physical infrastructure quite labour intensive, data intensive and capital intensive. While intensiveness often has to deal with the depth of preparation being dug, extensiveness is what is birthed there-from. It deals with the length and breadth of the provided infrastructures which people can see. Extensiveness means covering or extending over a great area, far-reaching, comprehensive and thorough. For example; road networks, communication facilities, electricity etcetera

This concept is quite typically applicable to policies creation. Policies are or should be examined thoroughly through a very powerful microscope capable of weighing the pros and cons with use of pre-collected and collated data which are useful tools in such intensive analysis. Extensiveness on the other hand is the concept that it is spread over a very extensive area like the entire country in most cases and it is comprehensive.

Longevity: After the intensive input and extensive delivery of physical infrastructures, they are made to last long years. Some could last well over a century with adequate maintenance. Policies in the same light last without any form of alteration since the day they are being enacted. Some do undergo reviews in response to changes observed by the government just as infrastructures may be expanded or remodelled to serve the public better.

Revenue: quite a number of tax policies and other revenue generating policies do exist as an avenue of finance for the government. So also do we have infrastructural levies matched against the use of the provided infrastructures like the toll gate for road usage at the Lekki express, PHCN bills for electricity, Water bills for water supply and so on.

In conclusion both tangible and intangible infrastructure on the scale of importance is quite at par and none should be given up for the other. Just like the holy writ ‘In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established’, I hope with this few points of mine, I have been able to convince you by shedding enough light to see without are form of obscurity or confusion and mirror clearly why policies is a type of infrastructure.

Thank you

@yemilluminati

 

 

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