Natural disasters and food security: The role of technology management

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Technology significantly affects human ability to control and adapt to their natural environments and has affected society and its surroundings in several ways. While we cannot totally prevent the consequences of climate change, scientific knowledge and technical know-how can be applied to adapt to its impacts. Climate change impacts have the potential to transform the pattern of crop productivity, livestock and fishery systems, and reconfigure food distribution, markets and access in Nigeria. The primary objective of this paper is to examine the technology management options to address climate change and food security challenges in Nigeria.

Understanding climate change

A.   Natural causes

Many studies have ascribed natural, human activities or both as causative factors of climate change. For instance, naturally the climate goes through different cycles of variable duration, alternating between cold and hot periods. The earth has gone through several phases of warming and cooling over the last 700,000 years, at an average frequency of 100,000 years per cycle (Denhez, 2007). The warm period undoubtedly affected the development of agriculture and animal husbandry. Nevertheless, the consensus among many scientists in the last few years ascribed the cause of major global warming to human interference with the climate system.

B.   Human causes

It is how widely agreed that the main cause of the present climate change is the emission of green house gases mostly carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide in large quantities by human activities. These activities include agricultural production, industrialisation, burning of fuels and deforestation, wetland degradation, among others (Stern 2007). These gases react with the ozone layer which protects the earth from the sun radiation. Reports showed that agriculture contributes 10percent and deforestation accounts for almost 20percent of green house gas emissions to climate change. These green house gas emissions are sequestrated in oceans, forest … Read More...

Getting Recruitment, Selection and Placement Right

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Recruitment and selection costs time and money. It costs a lot of money especially when it is outsourced to recruitment agencies. There are lots of recruitment agencies out there; some are exceptional in the discharge of their duties while others are not. This can also be said of Human Resource departments of organizations that carry out their recruitment and selection exercises by themselves. I strongly believe that the bar can be raised to effectively justify the amounts of money and time spent on recruitment and selection.

Recruitment, selection and placement are strategic activities aimed at staffing any organization with people with the right blend of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) that are instrumental to the achievement of the objectives of the organization.

Other than times when organizations have to headhunt, it is important to recruit rightly (internally or externally) by tactically attracting a large pool and probably the best crop of applicants. Recruiting internally (before throwing the recruitment net in the public domain) is very essential because it communicates the importance that organizations place on the career advancement of their staff. If they are eligible and come highly recommended, give them the chance. This will boost their commitment and ultimately strengthen employee retention. If no staff is eligible to fill the vacant role(s), make the job opening public.

It is important that recruitment adverts be balanced and detailed enough to enable applicants make informed and wise decisions. Well, I am not oblivious to the fact that some ineligible applicants send in their applications despite clearly spelt out criteria. As regards recruitment adverts that are balanced, it is crucial I mention an aspect of recruitment that is usually overlooked. This aspect is called realistic job preview (RJP).

Michael Aamodt in his book titled ‘Industrial/Organizational Psychology: An Applied … Read More...

Laying the markers for a new Imo

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It may seem early in the day but the signs are good; very good indeed. It is such an exhilarating feeling to observe all the good behaviours and best practices one had written about and wished for in the last three decades unfold before one’s eyes.

It is not only that it is happening in one’s lifetime, but the fact that one is a participant-observer. Not a better feeling in a long time, one must confess. Again, the natural reaction is to argue that it’s too early to call, but then, it is said that morning tells the day. And as the Igbo say, a good farmer can tell a ripened corn by sight. You need not pinch the sheaf to know it’s ready for harvest.

The blitzkrieg of activities of last week finally left me with no doubt that Imo is on to a big deal this time.

First, an extraordinary Executive Council (ExCo) meeting which had in attendance, paramount monarchs of Imo, industry leaders and heads of all the banks in the state was convened.

Purpose of this expanded (and extended) ExCo is to intimate critical stakeholders about Executive Order 005. This implies that Imo State henceforth adopts the Single Treasury Account (TSA). Apart from the Federal Government, Kaduna is the only other state in Nigeria which has adopted a similitude of the TSA.

Hitherto, Imo was akin to an economic and financial gangland where the fastest to draw the gun kills the other. There were over 250 bank accounts purportedly operated by the state government: every ministry, department, agency and even individuals opened multiple and parallel accounts on behalf of government.

State revenue was a bazaar with a plethora of collection contractors. It was largely collect and keep; finders-keepers. While Government House, aka … Read More...

Nigeria Last Week

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Nigeria’s victory over S/Africa that buried tribalism

Last Wednesday in faraway Egypt at the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the Super Eagles shot Nigeria into semi-final with 2-1 against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa at the Cairo International Stadium.

Today, Nigeria will be taking on Desert Foxes of Algeria, seeking a place in the finals. One thing about the exploits of the Super Eagles in the competition is that it has helped Nigerians back home to forget their sorrows, albeit momentarily.

The zest with which Nigerians, home and abroad celebrated the victory last Wednesday attested to what Nigeria can become if the political governance side of the country is working well. Regardless of who scored the goal and notwithstanding the part of the country such a person comes from, all that Nigerians are looking for and what they celebrate is “Victory for Nigeria.”

For peace to reign in our country, let the goals continue to pour; for as long as the competition endures and as long as the Super Eagles continue in their winning streak, our unity will remain sacrosanct as Nigerians hurdle in viewing centres across the country to catch a glimpse of the fiesta, without as much as remembering who is Hausa, Igbo, Efik or Yoruba.

The finger-pointing at the Senate committee

That Senator Elisha Abbo from Adamawa State assaulted a married woman and mother at a shop in Abuja is no more news; that he has since been arraigned by the Nigeria Police and granted N5million bail is also not news; what appears to be news and remains on the lips of many Nigerians, including Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), is why Senate, the highest institution that makes law in Nigeria should sit in … Read More...

Leaky big four accounting firms: Heal yourselves

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It is not yet a revolution but stakeholders are chafing against the spate of audit inefficiency especially by the world ‘Big Four’ Accounting Firms (Deloitte, PwC, KPMG and EY). In 2018, they had a combined revenue of approximately one hundred and forty-eight billion US dollars and over one million staff across the globe. Over the years, a long list of scandals has battered the image and sense of value of the Big Four. It has been a case of moral and ethical famine such that discussions about the future of the Big Four are no longer one of intense fascination but of despair and frustration. As the leaky bucket of integrity drips, it seems only a few stakeholders still maintain an optimistic view of the future of the Big Four- those who believe that things will get better and those who maintain bright outlook because the non-Big Four firms do not offer any viable alternatives worth considering. But for the majority of stakeholders, there is nothing good anymore to be expected from Nazareth of the audit profession.

The question, really is, are the so-called ‘the Big Four’ accounting firms really ‘big’ in the classical sense of the word? Are they not actually networks of local firms in various jurisdictions that have a claim to a common brand and exploiting that brand status to be of some disservice to the public interest? No wonder, some stakeholders are of the view that it is becoming evident that it might be better having small excellent firms than big mediocre ones in the audit market.

There is no organization righteous in the earth that keeps doing right things and does not sin. But, where supposedly renowned audit firms are leaky in quality and guilty of other serious malfeasances, then … Read More...