Technocrats: assets or liabilities?

With these constraints, how can we raise capitals for budget deficit financing and for infrastructure development? The latter is complicated by the lack of reforms in the key sectors and the “need to open up” the economy to private investments, both local and foreign, and it is the professionals, who will know what to do.

I know pundits have always argued that Nigeria’s economy is largely driven by “informal activities” and that it requires more than “book wisdom.” Yes it is true, but the modern professionals are conscious of this and they can adapt fast to learn “what Harvard Business School doesn’t teach” which is “street smartness.” To survive and succeed in business also require that the professionals have high adversity quotients, especially in a tough business environment like ours or “the dog eats dog corporate world.”

Therefore, without the political, moral or ethical constraints, the professionals must be able to learn fast, adapt fast and perform for national benefits. Without fear, they should be able to explain their objectives, the desired outcomes, the paradigm to take us out of the woods, the journey so far and what we should expect next. With candor, they should be able to tell us, where we are on the ladder and the next step to take. These are the communication gaps or the confidence building required by the foreign direct investors and international communities before they can come into the country, if I hear them correctly.

Although I am not a fan of Donald Trump, the presidential candidate for the Republican Party, he was on point by promising to pull out the best guys from Wall Street to renegotiate all the trade deals with Chinese and to correct the balance of trade between America and China, if he becomes president. We must also appreciate the opportunities given to professionals to serve in various governments in Nigeria by leaders such as Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Bola Tinubu, Mr RaufAregbesola, and so on. The Donald Trump example underscores the fact that such application must be in key economic sectors and with the goals spelt out.

However, the working environment largely defined by the “leader” must be right for the professionals to perform and it must be conducive for them to do their jobs and at the same time, being held responsible for their actions. The “leader” must provide the political shield to protect the professionals, while the professionals work behind the scene, most of the time. The professionals will have to form themselves into a “team” so as not to work at cross purpose and to get result, the leader must ensure without suspicion that they work together, in his best interest. Unfortunately, in choosing its entire cabinet, the leader must ensure, ab initio, that they are the “types that can gel,” especially the ones that will be assigned the key functions of government. They must be round pegs in round holes, the key members especially in charge of economy must be able to “conspire positively” for the “goodness” of the leader and they must be “sold or conscripted completely” to the vision and goal of their leader. In the military parlance, their loyalties to the leader must be total, if the leader speaks once, they must hear him twice! However, to benefit from the skills, contacts and passion of the professionals, the leader must create an environment that is devoid of “fears” and “suspicions”. There must be freedom and liberty for robust deliberations of policies, while superior argument prevails.


PDP’s musical chair

Did I not say I was getting into a stand-off with politics? But what do you do when the major actors in the depressing politicking around us, would end up calling the major shots in the desired revival of the equally-depressing economy. Aren’t they also the hirers (permit my neologism) of the technocrats, whether in asset or liability form? I also didn’t condemn politics but the extremism of its players. The polity is currently running over with them in the ruling APC. PDP or mega-whatever that emerges from it, would surely come with dozens too, but maybe with little wisdom as a take-away from APC’s struggles.

Suddenly the ashes of PDP are shimmering again, simply because the ruling party is eclipsing itself. The doom of yesterday is booming again. But the grain of wisdom doesn’t seem to have a place in the former ruling party’s firmament. Disparate arguments, suppositions and contentions for group gains and alliances founded solely on power-grab, have been everywhere in the struggle for control of the coming mega opposition, except in the realm of reasonableness and sensitivity. When you listen to those struggling to lead the new opposition camp with the aim of wrestling power in 2019, the current lyrics of “change the change” would likely obstruct the airway of an average concerned person, despite being desirous of a new melody “change” song.

If I appear to be running a circus, it is because the opposition elements are not making more sense that those in power who are currently dulling our sensitivity. I have heard about coming merger. A mega-whatever to chase Muhammadu Buhari out in another three years. PDP is expected to lead the charge, alongside other smaller groupings and APC dissidents. I learnt that those dissidents are heavyweights whose exit would make Buhari and his CPC wing of APC wool-weights in the 2019 contest. While writing off this administration now could be a little hasty, a stirring for a new thing to come won’t be out of place for a populace already yawning, while the Buhari race is supposedly starting. But is there anything truly new in what is coming? Do the elements at the front row of the biggest opposition party suggest such? Do those struggling to lead the next “government-in-waiting” inspire newness? If PDP wants Nigerians to stop seeing comedy in all its supposed critical actions, it should advise some of those currently running to run it, particularly as national chairman, to quietly withdraw from the race. Its next face should be completely credible. Someone should be spell it to its leaders.