• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigerian workers and habitual african time… President Buhari shuts the door!

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In Nigeria, people create,  adopt  annoying  rules, habits, attitudes  that cripples work place activities and business growth and when someone tries to caution them, they will tell you- this is naija style.

People will fix events, meetings for a particular time and attendants will start one hour or even more hours later. You now wonder –why fix the time…why not leave time slot open and allow people to stream in when ever they feel like?

Those who do this kind of stuff during meetings will always use heavy traffic as an excuse as if it was their first time of meeting traffic jam in Nigeria.  Again, if you really  want to keep to time, you are supposed to leave your house quite early to avoid traffic and other unforeseen circumstances.   I meet such people all the time during my meetings and each time it is the same excuse and some times i  tried to be like them  or even keep them waiting so they can feel what it is like to be late for an appointment but, somehow  i couldn’t pull it through.   Just not wired to keep people waiting in meetings and being late to work.

Before  i knew it, i will see myself getting ready 2hours for a meeting scheduled more hours later so i could be there at leat 30mins early. At times, if the route to the place is always jammed with heavy traffic i will make it 1hr early  so i can settle down and de-stress from the stress of being caught up in the traffic.

I said to myself- if i can do this why can’t this man/woman do same?  If i happened to have regular meetings with same persons who have this irritating habit, i will ensure i study them to know why they are always late. Know what? They just wanted to be late….they enjoyed being late and as we call it in Nigeria here, they  are the AFRICAN TIME lovers.

Go to the ministries and make a survey and you will discover how many workers come to work at the same stated opening time.  What is is wrong with Nigerians with keeping time?

Last week, it was in the news that the number one citizen of this country President Buhari locked out majority of Ministers during one of his Executive meetings in Abuja. Did i hear that the Vice President was late also? Ok..maybe something actually happened because i learnt he would always be there before President Buhari during such meetings but on this particular day…..the black cat came out in the mid day and behold….the Vice President got caught up with the old General’s hook.  Am sure  President Buhari must have noticed the habitual late coming of most of his executives that he kept awake the night prior to this meeting thinking of how he would lock out all late comers. He did!! Perfectly too and people like me loved this so much…oh yea…sure i do because if you are someone who do not like to keep others waiting when you have an appointment, it means you have a good heart and very considerate of others.  People who keep to time most times shun  sleep very well so they can wake up early and be on time.  They cringe at the thought of keeping their fellow human beings sitting at a place waiting hours for them to arrive. Now  the late comers give no damn about how many hours others have to sit and wait for them or leave…oh sure…they can wait and that is final! No apologies!

You will be suprised that the Ministers locked out during this Executive meeting were more than those inside, meaning that lateness has been the order for this meeting and the General was unhappy about this. I hope he will continue with this habit of locking the big men of his cabinet out of the meeting when they fail to be on time and i will add- they must pay fine too…good sum of money each time they come late for meetings.

Have you also noticed that same group of people are also the ones who hardly come on time during big events which they are being invited?  At times i wonder  why event organizers must keep thousands of people waiting for hours because one personality have not arrived.  Again i noticed that most big men in this country Nigeria, love this show off  of being acknowledged in an event they were three/four/five hours late .  Is this not a shame?

Now the most annoying part is that both rich and poor people who enjoy going late to work/meeting/events  will be the first to arrive for such  when outside Nigeria.  So this is just a game such people enjoy playing…perfectly in Nigeria but when they are outside here, they buckle up and behave.  What a pity Nigerians…what a pity?   So it appears anyone can pull off any stunt in Nigeria and go free. No one cares…you can talk as  much as you like ..like i am doing right now and the beat still goes on.  Well, since eneke the bird has decided to fly without perching, shooters have learnt to shoot without missing. This is  an igbo proverb i read and loved as a passionate Literature student, years back at school in one of my literature books by Chinua Achebe and i understood  very well what it means.

Abroad, if your employer discovers you are few mins, not hour(s) late to work, no one cares if you were sick, hit by a car, kidnapped ..what ever…all you are demanded of , is to be on your work post exact time you agreed to start work…period!

Here, people go as far as obtaining false sick report just to be late at work….boyyyyy…this country?

You know what Employers? I think you should adopt –pay-as-you-work method.  Pay your workers  the number of hours they worked daily. Oh yea…i think lots of lies about traffic jam and all kinds of stupid excuses will stop. The question now is—what happens if the Employer happens to be the habitual late comer? Damnnnnn!!!! This happens all the time huh?  Oh sure it does!! Who says the boss should not be in the office before his/her employees?  I think this can actually motivate your staff to be early as well. Every diligent employer must never allow his/her boss to be in office before him/her.

My point today?  Those of you who love this African time stuff, get ready this time because luck will run out on you one day and your lies will never help you. Time to turn a new leaf this year and be a better Executive/Employee.

 JACLYN IWU

Jaclyn IWU is a Life/Career/Business Coach

A Stress Management Expert &Conference Speaker

Media Communications Personnel

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