Build­ing per­sonal brand with emo­tional in­tel­li­gence

The Punch - - OPINION - Abi­ola Salami

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.

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