Costly tardiness on cabinet appointments

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The Muhammadu Buhari Presidency is taking Nigeria on a familiar but unpleasant journey in the matter of delay in the selection of a cabinet. Two months into his second tenure, President Buhari has yet to form a cabinet or even give indications of establishing one. The consequences have ranged from the sad to the ridiculous.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu was forced to issue disclaimers when some media organs unveiled a list of ministers. He suffered severe backlash on Twitter as many respondents ridiculed his statement.

The Senate taunted the Presidency on July 9 saying it would go on its vacation at the end of July whether or not they get the nominations for ministers. Senate spokesman Senator Adedayo Adeyeye stated, “It is the prerogative of the President to send his ministerial nominee list to the Senate and when he does that we will consider it.That is our constitutional mandate. It is not even within our powers to even advise. We will wait until the matter is transmitted to us.The executive is aware of the timetable of the Senate. There is a particular time the Senate will go on recess. That being in mind, they should be mindful of when they carry out this constitutional responsibility.”

The matter goes beyond the optics. A similar delay in 2015 by about six months contributed to economic stagnation followed by a descent into recession. Every reasonable expectation was that such a situation would not arise again.

Since May 29, 2019, President Buhari has operated as the sole administrator of Nigeria. A single administrator is ultravires the provisions of the constitution that stipulates that the President would run the business of the country with a cabinet of ministers appointed to reflect national … Read More...

Beyond the unnecessary rejections at embassies, dear citizen, leadership, check your conduct

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Gone are the days when you were confident of a visa after going to America for the first time on the B1/B2 platform because, your next need for a visa is in two years and you do not need to appear.  Today, the case is different, fellow citizen, you must show up!

Show up to defend your need for a long planned vacation, show up to explain why you think you need to go to ‘God’s own country’ and most recently, show up to be refused ‘the’ visa.

A woman got her baby’s US passport few hours after delivery but took the same baby weeks to get a Nigerian visa. The said woman had to reschedule her flight 3 times…Oh beloveth nation, who hast beleaguered thee for so long?

Several people who have genuinely travelled to America easily for years and have returned and not overstayed, are now conveniently being denied by the American embassy. How do you get treated unethically in your own country because you want to visit another?

A director in a reputable firm, who has travelled to America consistently for the past 10 years, got refused visa recently and his wife and children were given. Dear Consulate, they were meant to go on a holiday…without daddy? How? Why?

We complain of being treated dishonourably at some foreign embassies in Nigeria but what could be more disheartening than the way fellow countrymen in other countries find it convenient to treat their fellow country mates badly. For instance, it has become a norm that it takes months to get a Nigerian passport or a renewal abroad. It is so bad that Nigerians abroad prefer to fly to Nigeria to renew their passports.

Nigeria seems to be stuck in a circle of ineptitude and … Read More...

As Ihedioha tackles the challenge of “rebuilding Imo”

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Brave words, openness and optimism suffused the inaugural address of Imo State Governor Emeka Ihedioha. The former high-ranking legislator also came in on the wings of tremendous goodwill. How soon and how much that goodwill subsists and will carry him depends on what he does in the early days, as citizens count down to the end of the first month of Ihedioha in Douglas House, Owerri.

The Imo State governor confirmed to Imo citizens that their state is broken, “and the climb out of the depths of despair will be steep, arduous and tortuous”. He then declared famously, “There is nothing wrong with Imo which cannot be cured by all that is right in Imo.”

Ihedioha defined a mission to “rebuild, reposition and transform Imo into a modern ecosystem”. His ambitious scope of work encompasses education, agriculture, industry, tourism, and culture. Other areas are sports, entertainment, human capital development, science and technology and exploration of natural resources.

Ihedioha’s opening address incorporated his manifesto and reads like the Goodness Script that would change Imo State. As all change managers know, however, each declaration of intent must have strong backing of execution capacity and capability. It must also contend with resistance to change by sundry stakeholders, including the eventual beneficiaries.

A commendable first step is the determination to incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations as a framework for development in Imo State. Many advantages should attend the adoption of the SDGs, including global benchmarking, assistance and partnerships with international development agencies. The state should quickly work out the framework and implementation modalities.

Another positive is the prioritisation of “good governance, democracy and the rule of law” with the promise of civil service reforms, due process and compliance with laws. The Ihedioha government intends to … Read More...

Stop this regular national stain over players’ bonuses

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While the world celebrated outstanding displays of skill and technical depth in the game of football, Nigeria was left to contend with the continual stain on her reputation over the management of funds between administrators and players. The female national team, the Super Falcons, refused to leave their hotel on Sunday, June 23. They insisted on the payment of bonuses and claims stretching over two years. They finally left after the intervention of FIFA and missing their initial scheduled flight.

Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) officials wore a straight, boldface in disclaimers. They asserted that there was no cause for the uproar. The explanation ranged from a denial of any outstanding bonuses to the players, to claims of a changed payment structure for it. FIFA intervened on Sunday, June 23, by warning that it would surcharge Nigeria for any additional costs incurred over the refusal of our ladies to leave camp.

Many issues arise from the post-defeat action of the team and their performance in the Women’s World Cup, France 2019.

Integrity. Accountability. Credibility. Absence of trust.

Underlining the action of the players are matters of the absence of trust and failure in communication. Lack of confidence creates channel noise that leads to communication failures. The players no longer trusted the words of their officials and acted to draw global attention to the issue; they extracted a firm commitment to the resolution of the problems once they arrive in Nigeria.

The Super Falcons told the world press NFF owed them bonuses from two games, against Gambia and Senegal, dating two years back. The amount involved is a miserly N2million (approximately US$5600) out of which they claim NFF paid half. They also want five days of daily allowance at the World Cup yet to be paid and … Read More...

Imperative of having capable regulatory bodies

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The Federal Government inaugurated on June 3 the boards of five regulatory agencies in the health sector. Seventy two persons took oath to serve diligently on the boards of the Community Health Practitioners Registration Board of Nigeria (CHPRBN), Health Records Officers Registration Board of Nigeria (HRORBN), Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), Medical Rehabilitation Therapists (Reg) Board of Nigeria (MRTBN) and Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Registration Board of Nigeria (ODORBN). Their appointments come at a time when decisions of regulators underscore their significance and highlight the imperative of having competent regulatory bodies in the country.

Regulatory bodies are some of the often-overlooked institutions within the panoply of government but with outsize importance to the economy and society. They carry out their function in the background. They manifest only when the situation demands. When they do, they take decisions whose impact reverberates across personal, corporate and institutional lives for many years. The implications of such decisions could range from the financial to the personal and professional.

Breach of an innocuous rule by MTN and the dynamics of the season led the Nigerian Communications Commission to impose a humungous fine on MTN Nigeria Communications that threatened the existence of that leading foreign investor and trade relations between Nigeria and South Africa. It delayed the listing of MTN on the bourse as well as sent signals that may not be positive to other investors. Regulatory action.

Regulatory action is currently at the heart of the matter of Oando Nigeria Plc and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. A leading indigenous oil and gas firm, Oando has raised issues about the approach of the Securities and Exchange Commission, its fairness and the appropriateness of the strictures the regulator imposed on it. It is playing out in the courts, of law … Read More...