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End SARS: It’s Time to Elect a “Professor”

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ENDSARS: It's Time to Elect a Professor

Over the weekend, I finished watching the last available season of Money Heist……..

Money Heist also known as “La Casa De Papel” in Spanish is a crime-drama television series on strategic leadership and management by Alex Pina. We see the inception of an organization with a director, people hired, financial resources invested/expended, a clear vision, and detailed strategy development and implementation.  By 2018, the series became  the most-watched non-English language series and one of the most-watched series globally  on Netflix.

 Readers would be amused with the title of this article especially with the word “PROFESSOR”. Questions like why I should vote for a Professor – what makes a Professor different from an average  Nigerian might come to mind. Well, I am referring not to the Professor in a University – who’s has a Ph.D, but the character “El Professor” in the very popular Netflix show “ Money Heist”. 

The professor depicted deep analytical skills as he was able to conduct thorough research on each plan before execution; he never left a single detail hanging. From a planning perspective, he assembled his team members with all diverse but necessary skillset and was strong in scenario planning; he always had an alternative plan for a priority move. He never depended on his team; he seldom listened to advise and involved non-team members at different stages to achieve his team’s goal.

Now, I am sure you would be thinking of how this correlates with Nigeria’s present situation. Well, I can tell you that there is a link from a strategic and leadership perspective because these qualities are deficient in our leaders.  

We watched with heightened trepidation how our fellow Nigerians protested on social media and in several locations across the country. All this as a result of leadership failure from the government to restructure the police several promises in the last five years. This adds to the evidence that Nigerian leaders lack visionary leadership which has eroded quality and performance in the public service.  The events of the past weeks have further triggered a need for a deeper and structured national conversation about the future of our youths and the leadership that would help us achieve this goal

As many economists have argued, Nigeria earnestly needs a proper economic and institutional restructuring. The youths constitute the bridge to the future, and their future is the future of a New Nigeria.

The House of Paper showed a profound illustration by the Professor on fundamentals of leading, leading nimble change, inspiring vision, purpose, and human bond. It shows the essential value of managerial leadership, implementing a strategy, and managing the inevitable challenge. He has the support of his team members as they have great trust in his plans and decision-making ability.

This is apparent when the team chooses to respect the protocol of waiting for 24 hours for his phone telephone call before activating ‘Plan Chernobyl’, despite clear evidence on the television of his impending imprisonment a few hours before the deadline. They do this as they have immense respect for his intellect and believe he will do everything in his power to save the team from any crisis. All these are qualities Nigeria would love to have in her “Professor”  so that we can build the New Nigeria.

Let me admit that the road ahead is going to be a challenging one, as there will be no easy solutions. Just as Money Heist  has shown that there will challenges both great and small before the goal is accomplished. Oil has been the main source of government revenue but both output and price have collapsed, and with debt service gulping more than 50% of federal government revenue. In some sense, the FGN is technically insolvent at a time when every sector needs and demands a significant increase in wages and government spending. 

Managing Nigeria’s transition to a post-oil economy in the context of its tendentious fault-lines and fractured institutions as well as existing objective conditions of high youth unemployment and poverty will require rigorous strategic thinking. Nigeria is estimated to be home to about 70% of its total population who are youths under age 30 years unfortunately without a credible plan for their future, in a post-oil world, and the 4th industrial revolution.

Our leaders need to be people who serve the populace unlike what is presently obtainable where they are perceived as egotistical chasing after selfish desires. We need leaders who truly set visions and goals,  to which they attain and not like the past goals which were unevenly achieved such as Vision2020, ERGP of 2017, etc. Instead, our leaders need to undertake long-term strategic planning to develop policies oriented to the needs of Nigeria’s next generation. The President should request that government ministries, civil society, and the business community collaborate on a long-term strategic planning exercise to explore ‘next generation’ policy options, in a process that gives a powerful voice to young people themselves

Just like Sergio “El Professor”, Nigeria needs a strategist in every tactical public position –  from the Local government chairman to the President, who can calculate and carefully consider every move before deciding. This unique quality in this set of people will ensure a constitution that the people of Nigeria can hand over power to people that are accountable, transparent, and responsible to the citizens. Therefore, it is necessary that henceforth we make sure we vote and wait to take count of votes as we work together to elect a “Professor” in every electable level of government.

O Bella Ciao, Bella Ciao

Mayowa Oyatogun is a Strategy Analyst with years of experience in strategy development, strategy implementation, process improvement, financial analysis and modelling. 

Mayowa is a graduate of Economics from Babcock University, Post-Graduate Diploma of Finance & Management from University of Essex and obtained his Master’s degree in Accounting & Finance from University of Salford. He’s also an associate member of UK’s Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment.

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Private Sector Key To Realising Sustainability Agenda In Africa – UN

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The United Nation Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed is asking African governments to leverage capital, technology, and manpower from industry to hasten realisation of sustainability agenda and pandemic recovery in the continent.

She made this call on Thursday during a virtual summit to discuss the role of business in the attainment of key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) like poverty eradication, health, and gender parity in Africa.

Mohammed, in her remarks, emphasised that targeted investments from Africa’s indigenous businesses are required to catalyse inclusive growth in the continent amid COVID-19 linked economic shocks.

“The private sector in Africa should seize the opportunity to invest sustainably and create a peaceful, prosperous continent that is also resilient to the shocks triggered by the pandemic,” said Mohamed.

More than 2,000 delegates including policymakers, donors, and grassroots campaigners participated in the day-long virtual summit dubbed “Uniting Business for the Africa We Want: Decade of Action and Opportunities”.

The summit that was organised by the UN Global Compact in collaboration with local private sector networks in Africa, discussed market-led interventions that can revitalise the sustainability agenda in the continent.

The UN Deputy Secretary-General said that Africa requires private sector investments to address chronic underdevelopment, inequality, youth unemployment, and the public health crisis created by COVID-19.

“The business sector should be on the frontline of efforts to re-energise African economies and enhance their resilience to the pandemic by tapping into innovations,” said Mohammed.

She said that robust policies should be enacted to foster the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and tackle Africa’s gaping youth unemployment.

Hanna Tetteh, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to the AU said that businesses should embrace sustainability principles across their key operations in order to strengthen the response to the climate crisis, pandemics, and civil disruptions in Africa.

“We should utilise the energy, innovation, and creativity of African entrepreneurs to boost recovery from the pandemic, create decent jobs for the youth and strengthen cohesion,” said Tetteh.

Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director of UN Global Compact, on her part pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a reawakening among African businesses on the need to invest in programmes that transform local communities.

“African businesses have been working hand in hand with governments to help defeat the pandemic by providing communities with sanitizers, clean water, and protective gear,” said Ojiambo.

“These businesses are providing local solutions to the challenge of poverty, hunger, lack of clean water, and disease.

“Those actions have ensured the continent is closer to realising the UN 2030 goals and Agenda 2063,” she added.

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UK Sends Troops To Mali On Peacekeeping

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The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sent the first of 300 British troops to Mali to join the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and bolster the organisation’s peacekeeping in the West African country.

The first of the British troops have already arrived in Mali, with the rest due to follow within a week.

The UK’s defence ministry says the force will join 14,000 peacekeepers from 50 nations, to protect Mali’s population from growing Islamist violence.

The British troops will provide MINUSMA with a dedicated long-range ground reconnaissance capability that has been lacking since soldiers from the Dutch 11 Air Mobile Brigade completed their last patrol in April 2019.

Most of the British troops are drawn from the Light Dragoons and Anglian Regiments who will be supported by a detachment from 32 Regiment Royal Artillery, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) unit.

More than 5,000 French troops have underpinned the operation, but President Emmanuel Macron is under pressure to reduce his forces.

The mission to the Sahel region of Africa has been described as the world’s most dangerous peacekeeping deployment.

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Ethiopia, UN Strike Deal for Unimpeded Humanitarian Access To Tigray

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The United Nation on Friday announced that an agreement has been reached with the Ethiopian Government to allow “unimpeded, sustained and secure access” for humanitarian supplies to reach those in need across areas now under its control in Tigray.

The UN Headquarters in New York confirmed the details of the deal through its spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

Dujarric said that the safe passage of aid supplies and staff also extends to the Ethiopian regions of Amhara and Afar, bordering Tigray, where fighting between federal and regional forces, has impacted around six million people during the past month.

A UN statement said until now, no supplies have been allowed into the conflict zone, which has displaced thousands, many across the border into Sudan.

UN humanitarian coordination office (OCHA) spokesperson based in Nairobi, Saviano Abreu, said earlier that the first mission to carry out a needs assessment would begin on Wednesday.

He added that the UN was committed to engaging with “all parties to the conflict” and ensuring that aid was distributed “strictly based on needs”.

Dujarric said that all aid distribution would be carried out “in compliance with the globally-agreed principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality. This includes working to ensure that people impacted by the conflict are assisted without distinction of any kind other than the urgency of their needs”.

Many Ethiopians have also been internally displaced from Tigray, seeking refuge in Afar and Amhara, and the UN needs assessment would aim to reach those affected by the conflict, added Mr. Dujarric.

On Monday, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) appealed to Ethiopia for urgent access to assist around 96,000 Eritrean refugees in Tigray camps, who it was estimated had essentially run out of food.

Spokesperson in Geneva, Babar Baloch, said concerns were growing “by the hour, with hunger and malnutrition a real danger”.

Communications to the Tigray region continue to be severed, along with transportation routes, and the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has reportedly rejected dialogue with Tigray’s regional leaders who are said to be on the run, after the regional capital was entered by federal forces last weekend.

The UN estimates that some two million are now in need of assistance in and around Tigray and some one million have been displaced by the fighting, including more than 45,000 who have fled across the border into Sudan.

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