• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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TINUBUnomics 201: Managing by impulse!

TINUBUnomics 201: Managing by impulse!

By Ik Muo, PhD.

Last week, I introduced the concept of management by impulse and started with the student loan scheme, which is a star-studded case in MBI. However, the students’ loan scheme, which has already been bungled before it started, is not the first policy that was midwifed under the MBI template, though it perfectly exemplifies MBI. The numero-uno in the MBI ‘ecosystem’ is the fuel subsidy quagmire. The president mounted the rostrum to read a formal acceptance speech after a snatch and run electoral victory but was seized by an unusual courage to declare that “subsidy is gone.” Well, today, the subsidy is not only back; it is even alleged that what is being paid is more than what we were paying before. The promise to set up a committee on minimum wage has not yielded any fruit, and even the N35000 wage award was unilaterally stopped to the chagrin of the now disorganised labour. How many of us remember that there was a time when OAU Teaching Hospital, Ife, had three acting chief medical directors, with two of them appointed within a week? These were Prof. O. Adegbehingbe (letter dated June 22, 23), Prof. A. Owojuwigbe (letter dated June 27, 23), and Dr. A. Adekunle, who was appointed before these two.

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I hope we have not forgotten the ‘yo-yo’ dance with the constitution of the CBN board. The first nominee for the South East, Urum Eke, flatly rejected the appointment, saying that he was( and is) fully engaged with his multinational consultancy exploits. The government then announced Dr Rubby Onwudiwe as the replacement, and immediately her nomination was stepped down because, as some prominent APCians protested, she was obviously biassed! I thought the CBN board was for knowledgeable, independent-minded people. Maybe the dynamics have fundamentally changed since Emefiele contested for the APC presidential nomination. However, talking of people with contrary political spirits, BAT appointed Datti’s elder brother as an adviser and the VC of Datti’s university as the Minister of Education. He is currently in bed with Fela Durotoyo, a ‘progressive’ presidential candidate; Michael Achimugu, a top Atiku fellow; and Daniel, who said and wrote lots of unmentionable things about BAT and APC. The point is that the Onwudiwe matter also indicates that there was no proper background check.

 “However, this government has the largest cabinet in history and has even created some new ministries. Why and how did he bloat the public service if he had the intention of miniaturising the same service?”

Talking about CBN issues, the FG arrested Godwin Emefiele, who has turned into an emergency Bible-clutching pastor. In the very beginning, he was accused of 1001 offences, including terrorist financing, gunrunning, and IPOBism. However, when it came to charges, only relatively harmless offences came up. Luckily, the uncommon senator, Saint Godswill Akpabio, explained that the government did not know what to charge him for. “Whether to charge him for putting foam on top of a pail, or to charge him for illegal possession of firearms, or to charge him for printing notes…I don’t know what we’re going to charge him with.’ The government arrested him and locked him up before deciding which offences to charge him with. Quintessential MBI

In February 2024, the government established an Economic Advisory Team’, made up of some federal, state, and private sector operatives. In March, the same government established the EMT Emergency Taskforce. Those in the first group are also on the second committee. I am still wondering whether the second has nullified the first or if both of them are complimentary. We are all aware that we are now on the verge of implementing the 12-year-old Orosonye report. However, this government has the largest cabinet in history and has even created some new ministries. Why and how did he bloat the public service if he had the intention of miniaturising the same service?

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Anyway, just as I started with a dramatic MBI case (student loan scheme), I will also end with another dramatic MBI case. On Sunday, April 7, 2024. The FGN announced Tuesday and Wednesday (9-10/4/24) as public holidays to mark the 2024 Eid-el-Fitr festival. On Tuesday, April 10, 2024, the same FG announced an extra one-day holiday for Thursday, April 11, 2024. Among other things, the announcement reiterated ‘the president’s firm commitment to providing a safe and prosperous Nigeria for all to thrive’! An extra holiday in a country that has the highest number of holidays in the world, so as to make Nigeria safe and prosperous?
Having discussed the conceptual framework, deepened the theory and practice of MBI, and undertaken an extensive empirical review, I will now go on to the discussion of findings. According to Chinua Achebe, ‘eneke-nti-oba’, has decided to fly without perching since the hunters started shooting without aiming. That is in the literary realm! In practice, no hunter shoots without aiming. The hunter identifies the game, positions himself appropriately, aims, and then says, “Bang!” He does not shoot before aiming! Which pilot takes off before ascertaining the fuel level, the destination, the weather conditions, and obtaining the necessary technical and regulatory approvals? It does not happen and will not happen. But that is what this government is doing: shooting without aiming or flying without obtaining the requisite approvals, trying to convince all of us that the country is doing wonderfully well, and hiring some people to ecstatically clap for it!
Franklin Covey, in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, advised in Habit 2 that we should begin with the end in mind so that we should start with a clear understanding of the destination so as to better understand where we are now and ensure we would take steps in the right direction. He did not advise that we should start from the end. I think somebody read it and was confused between starting with the end in mind and starting from the end, and that is what has landed this government and all of us where we are today.

The only person who has advised people to shoot first and aim later is O’Reilly (The Entrepreneurial Instinct, Chapter 2, www.oreilly.com). I don’t know the number of entrepreneurs that have made it big by adopting this weird strategy, and certainly no political CEO has tried or should try this. This appears to be what we are trying to do. Some of us have been accused of criticising without suggestions. This critique does not need any recommendations, but if they do, it is simple: think through, build scenarios, and undertake programme impact analysis before you announce and implement. If there is a spirit from the village that gives the President the false courage to announce what has not been fully articulated, he should please mobilise all the ‘dibias’ from his village (whether in Lagos or Ogun states) to bind that spirit. I have spoken!!!

 

Ik Muo, PhD Department of Business Administration, OOU, Ago-Iwoye. 08033026625