Building personal brand with emotional intelligence
January 5, 2020
unless the President himself approves more trips.
The decision is well-intentioned, but all it achieves is make the SGF and the Head of Service more powerful, and the ministers more distant from the president. And it means that favouritism will play a key role in a government already floundering under the weight of the General’s well-known nepotism.
Still, two trips per quarter mean a minister can travel eight times per year, or a minimum of 344 for the entire cabinet, which is a lot. But while the new rule may confine a minister to Abuja, it does not mean he would work more. And work ought to be the defining justification for a minister’s trip in the country or beyond.
But let us talk about cost-cutting for a moment. Everyone knows that the consumption and waste questions are baked into the psyche of Nigerian public office, and that few Nigerian officials really bother with the public interest. It is why this new measure, were it serious, should have been with the participation of the other arms of the government as well as the states.
It is why even anti-corruption “warriors” abhor accountability, and why—for instance— Nigerian government leaders never read the annual report of the Auditor-general. If there is anyone who claims to have read one such report since Buhari took office, for instance, he ought to resign and be prosecuted for lying. Because nobody can read those reports and not weep in public.
But I suspect Buhari wants respect. Where to begin is to stop going to sit on the floor in another country when he should be standing upright in his own. Apart from the inferiority complex which it spells, no world leader respects another who is content to spread himself before foreign doctors and nurses, including under anesthesia.
In 2020, stopping all medical tourism by all officials would be a respectable restart.