Governance

GEJ: What’s The Target for 2011-2015?

Nigeria as a country needs to be run like a proper business venture in order to move forward. And so I do truly and really believe that for Nigeria Bank (our beloved country) to meet the expectations of the millions of its Shareholders (Nigerians) in terms of dividend payment (social and economical development) the bank needs to change its old ways of doing business from an old generation to a new generation bank.

That change can and will only be achieved by appointing the right people to fill the appropriate positions as senior management staff. The bank needs to restructure and clean up its balance sheet with the sole objective of creating more quality risk assets and developing new products (that meets the needs of the bank’s consumers and customers) that would aid the sustainability of the bank’s profitability if and when it becomes profitable venture.

Thankfully after the long and speculative wait Mr. President eventually presented his choice of management staff to the shareholders (Nigerians) through the representatives of Nigeria Bank Shareholders Association (Senators) and subsequently they were sworn-in as Senior Management staffs (Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria).

The first question that comes to mind immediately is: does the Bank’s MD thinks that the appointment of the world renowned, one-time very impressive Treasury Manager in the same dying Nigeria Bank, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Wahala into his cabinet enough to give credibility to his comatose bank?

Even though one is happy about the appointment of ‘mama trouble maker’ as Okonjo-Wahala used to be known during her first stint as the Treasury Manager because some of us believe she will help turn things around by managing the assets and liabilities of the bank over the next four years (that is if she is given the opportunity to serve out her term), the next question that begs for answer is that don’t we have many other competent and serious-minded business managers who are like Okonjo-Wahala other than some comedians that the MD has decided to gamble with?

Some will be very quick to say “people are never satisfied”. No, I am not always satisfied unless I know all available avenues and resources have been exhausted. And in this case the answer is obviously NO! Please permit me to digress from our bank analogy to drive home a point. I remember reading in the media that Mr. President dropped Mr. Tonye Cole from his list of ministerial nominees while Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina walked out of the SSS screening process (I understand he left because his skills and competent didn’t align with the cabinet post being offered). Aren’t these two qualified or competent enough? I leave you to be the judge of that.

One would have thought the MD would take the opportunity to employ a General Manager who specialises in Agriculture (such as Dr. Adesina) to develop and possibly generate more revenues yielding better dividends to the shareholders.  However, it is so unfortunate that it is only in this bank named Nigeria that people continue to do same thing same way over and over again with the expectation to get different results. Common sense I have long realised is indeed not common especially in my country.

It is time we entrench serious corporate governance in Nigeria Bank where the business managers comprising of the MD, senior management and staff (government officials and workers) are accountable to their Shareholders (taxpayers) wherein government understand that they are only performing fiduciary duties and would be expected to give stewardship report at some point.

If the Nigerian government understands and agrees that they are mere managers of our common wealth we can then go further to set reasonable and achievable targets for them with a view of conducting performance reviews. One would expect this Nigeria Bank management to have Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with which the people can do a continuous assessment of the GEJ administration.

In the banking sector there is something called Monthly Performance Review (MPR) wherein every staff comes to justify why he or she should be paid salary for the job done that month especially when you compare performance against the budgeted target. Perhaps if these ministers understand that they are being assessed and judged accordingly they would sit up and do what is expected of them all.

Perhaps the time has come for this kind of practice to be adopted in the public sector too. One hopes that Mr. President understands that as the Managing Director of Nigeria Bank the performance of his administration would be judged based on the quality of dividend paid back to the shareholders at the end of the day. Only then will the shareholders be willing and happy to identify with New Nigeria President Jonathan promised on May 29, 2011.

May God Bless Nigeria!!!

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