Senile National Conflagration (SNC)

Nigerians, like normal humans have national pastimes that keep us preoccupied. The British focus on the weather as a topic of discussion, Americans love their politics, celebrities and sports. Nigerians on the other hand is chock-full of political analysis and what my friends on Twitter like to call National Distractions. The latest of such discussions is the Sovereign National Conference which I have taken the liberty to christen the Senile National Conflagration. Senile because the idea seems to echo more among old(er) politicians who have fallen out of favour with the current Government. A conflagration because the idea has reached fever pitch and is spoken about with a burning passion. Proponents of the SNC say this is the conference to end all conferences!

So What Exactly is a Sovereign National Conference?

The proponents say it will be a conference to “sit down and discuss” our existence as a nation. What exactly does this mean? It means every nationality will get a chance to air their grievances with the Nigerian nation akin to the Conference Nationales held in Francophone countries, Benin, Togo and Zaire. SNCs are meant to introduce sweeping constitutional changes and placate aggrieved parties after a civil war or other internal strife. Admittedly, the Nigerian state is an amalgam of diverse peoples which previously existed as distinct nations. With ink in hand, the Southern and Northern protectorates were joined at the hip by Lord Lugard in 1914 and named Nigeria from the concatenation of “Niger” and “Area” by Flora Shaw. Nigeria was born out of the need for administrative efficiency by the colonial administration. The SNC is billed as solution to the problems of ethnicity & religious divides, resource allocation and a faulty 1999 Constitution bequeathed by the Military Regime of Gen Sani Abacha.

Several constitutions have been written in the past to give the natives of the former Southern and Northern protectorates a sense of belonging to the nation. The Clifford Constitution (1922) introduced Legislative Houses for the first time. The Richards Constitution (1946) expanded the Legislative Council to cover more of Nigeria while the McPherson Constitution (1951) included more Nigerians and was a step towards true Federalism. By 1954, power had been devolved to the three regions (North, East and West) and Lagos. While many feel that the regional system of Government engendered mutual suspicion and animosity, it was perhaps the closest Nigeria has been to true Federalism. Sir James Robertson in 1961 remarked that 47 years is a very short time to weld the many different people of Nigeria into a nation. Is 98 years enough?

Even after Independence, attempts were made in 1963, 1979, 1993 and 1999 to give Nigerians a Constitution that will serve the interests of majority of Nigerians and keep the loose amalgamation of nations united. So far, Nigeria isn’t working for majority of its people with 61% living in abject poverty. So the call for a Sovereign National Conference is another step in our history of trying to solve our problems through Constitutional means. On the other hand, Nigeria as currently constituted is working extremely well for those in power. Weak institutions, heightened insecurity, failed infrastructure, extreme poverty, endemic corruption and no distinction between the coffers of the state and personal accounts. So as far as the brigands are concerned, there is nothing to fix!

Is There a Formula for SNCs?

There is no universally accepted formula for convening such a conference neither is anyone bound by the outcome. The most common system is for representatives of various political parties to work out formulas for sharing power and resources. Another method is for elections to take place at the Ward, LGA, State and Regional levels to choose delegates to represent every Nigerian at the Conference. Every issue plaguing Nigeria will be discussed and solutions acceptable to all Nigerians will be proposed. This way, the interests of every Nigerian are protected.

Those who once enjoyed the trappings of office and those who aspire to siphon public funds as well are calling for the convening of a conference to solve the aforementioned challenges. If I understand this correctly, the current beneficiaries of the quasi-unitary state will willingly surrender their rights to their “chop I chop” prebend under a modified Nigerian state. As expected, those in power at the moment and their apologists say the SNC will lead to a break up of Nigeria. Those arguing in favour say Nigeria is not working and a Constitutional change is required to solve all our problems.

Will Convening a Sovereign National Conference be a Panacea for a Faulty and Failing Nation?

Only those benefiting from the current kleptocracy would deny that Nigeria is beset by a myriad of issues. But I make bold to say that ethnicity is not Nigeria’s biggest problem. When Gen Gowon decided to walk away from the agreement to run regional Governments reached at Aburi, Ghana it wasn’t because of the inherent hatred for Southerners. It was because he saw the potential loss of Petroleum revenues from the newly discovered Oil fields of the Niger Delta. Subsequent claims of domination by one ethnic group or the other belie the fact that every ethnic group in Nigeria has stolen money from the Nigerian state and corruptly enriched themselves and their cronies. Ethnicity is merely smoke and mirrors designed to keep the masses spilling each other’s blood. When obscene allowances are shared at the National Assembly, nobody cares where you are from. When contracts are inflated and billions stolen, the Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ijaw, Idoma, Chibok, Berom, Fulani, Tiv and Junkun will close ranks and take their own share of our collective wealth.

Will my Local Government Chairman suddenly start fixing my road after a successful SNC? Will the $16 billion unaccounted for in pursuit of stable power supply be returned and blackouts become a thing of the past? Will a bloated $30billion 2012 budget designed to line the pockets of a few people be trimmed to acceptable levels? Will the scam called Nigeria cease to be simply an avenue for the enrichment of a view at the expense of many? If the problem with Nigeria is merely constitutional, would amendments to the 1999 Constitution be the end of all our problems? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Nigeria’s problem is not ethnicity or religion. Neither is it merely constitutional. The current Constitution is flawed and should be amended as the Americans have done successively to theirs over the years. In my humble opinion, corruption is a bigger problem than ethnicity. Let us prosecute everyone who has stolen from this nation or exile them to Vanuatu with just enough for a plane ticket. Make stealing a shameful and punishable act. Start a process of changing the value system of a people for whom stealing is second nature. Let young people know that taking what does not belong to you is wrong.

The convening of a Sovereign National Conference will not solve all Nigeria’s problems. Nigerians will solve Nigeria’s problems. Do your own part. 160 million Nigerians doing the right thing trumps a few thousand delegates sharing power and money under the guise of “deciding our future”. Maybe I just don’t see it, but a SNC is not the answer.

Follow me on Twitter @okshorty1 to continue the conversation.

Additional research material provided @miss_jayla

419 Reasons to Like Nigeria

For too long, Nigeria and Nigerians have been readily associated with the online scams, financial crime and impersonation – termed ‘419’. However, beyond the unfortunate stereotyping, there are several positive characteristics and cogent intriguing traits of the
country, Nigeria and its people, some of which are highlighted below as part of the ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ campaign which enlisted 100 volunteers and bloggers to share reasons why they like Nigeria. These reasons echo the voices of Nigerians, with resonating similar themes. The campaign is being facilitated in partnership with ‘The 419Positive Project’. 

The full list of ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ is available here (www.419Positive.org)
The list of contributors to ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ is available here
If you would like to say something positive about Nigerians and Nigeria, please do so here.

NIGERIA – THE LAND OF POTENTIAL AND OPPORTUNITY

  • I like Nigeria because it is a land of endless opportunities and possibilities. Nigeria is one country I believe the world is yet to experience it true potentials. I believe Nigerians are sharp, brilliant and accommodating people. Giving the right enabling environment the world will marvel at what Nigeria will become.
  • Nigeria is the most populous black nation – and a buying one at that. From a capitalist point of view, this makes for a great investment opportunities.
  • The fact that Nigeria currently lags behind so much – in infrastructure and developmental terms – hints at the size of the potential for innovation and transformation, and at the huge number of vacancies that exist for ‘transformers’. What I think this means is that the world will be hearing a lot about Nigeria and high-achieving Nigerians (in the public and private sectors) in the near future.

NIGERIA – THE COUNTRY

  • The Nigerian Green and White flag is a notable national symbol. The green color symbolises agriculture, seeing that the country is endowed with masses of arable land, while the white colour signifies unity and peace. Other national symbols include the Nigerian Coat of Arms, which depicts an eagle on a black shield, tri-sected by two wavy silver bands, and supported on either side by two chargers. The national motto underlies the coat-of -arms: “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.” Her national symbols convey great meaning to its people.
  • The Nigerian accent is currently ranked by CNN Global Experiences as the 5th sexiest accent in the world.
  • Nigeria is home to Nollywood, one of the world’s biggest film industries.

NIGERIA – THE CULTURE, THE FOOD, THE WAY OF LIFE

  • Something great to like about Nigeria is our cultural diversity. A strong affinity exists, despite our differences. Learning about other ethnic cultures in my country really helped me personally relate to other cultures when abroad.
  • I think the food is tastier in Nigeria than that I have found in other countries.
  • Nigerians live a communal life style. The extended family is part of the immediate family in a Nigerian home.

NIGERIA – THE MUSIC, THE MOVIES, THE DANCE, THE ART

  • Nigeria has produced many world class musicians. A notable mention in this regard is Fela Anikulapo Kuti. A Broadway show titled ‘FELA!’ was produced in 2009 depicting the life and times of the Afrobeat musician.
  • Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, is reputedly the 3rd largest film industry after Hollywood and Bollywood, and has grown gradually into a $250 million industry in more than 10 years.
  • Nigerian indigenous musical instruments are unique, soulful and rhythmic. They comprise the popular Talking Drum, producing proverbial and storytelling sounds, the Shaker (shekere), the Udu drum, the Lute, the leg and arm Rattle, the Omele, the Ogene (Gong originating in Eastern Nigeria), the Ekwe drum and the Kakaki (A 4m metal trumpet popular in Northern Nigeria). Many of these instruments have been incorporated in South American music over the years

NIGERIA – GEOGRAPHY and NATURAL RESOURCES

  • Nigeria is a nation blessed with rich human and natural resources. As the 8th largest exporter of Oil in the world, with the 10th largest proven reserves, our blessings cannot be overemphasised. No earthquakes, no tsunamis, no droughts, an evergreen land. The rest of the world should live here.
  • The beauty of the Nigerian state cannot but leave one in awe. Blessed with captivating physical features and abundant wild life. From the rolling hills to the vast plains in the North Central Nigeria and the forests in the South, the beautiful scenery of the country is more than breathtaking and with the wildlife spread all over the country; Nigeria is surely a beauty to behold and a tourist’s delight all year round.
  • Nigeria is blessed with tremendous agricultural resources. Cotton in the North, Cocoa & Oil palm in the south amongst many others. The flag is green for a reason

NIGERIA – WEST AFRICA, AFRICA and THE WORLD

  • Nigeria has the largest population of any country in Africa. Approximately 1 out of every 2 West Africans, 1 out of every 4 Africans, and 1 out of every 5 persons of African origin is a Nigerian.
  • Nigeria is the largest contributor of troops to the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) and by extension, is the largest force for peace and stability in West Africa.
  • A Nigerian will stand out anywhere you find him/her, from Libya to London, Tokyo to Timbuktu. Well known examples include Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets, USA), Olumide Oyedeji (Seattle Sonics), Tunde Baiyewu (Lighthouse Family), Sunday Adelaja (Ukraine), Chris Aire (US), etc.

NIGERIA – INDUSTRIOUS, INNOVATIVE and ENTERPRISING, with ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Nigerians are intelligent, brilliant minds who have proven their mettle in various fields – Wole Soyinka was the first African to win the much coveted Nobel Prize for literature in 1986. Chinua Achebe’s classic novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ was ranked as number 14 in a list of top 100 books in the world by Newsdesk in 2009. Others include Cyprian Ekwensi, Mabel Segun, Chimamanda Adichie and Helon Habila whose literary works have won both international and local awards at various times.
  • We have budding fashion designers. Yes! It’s a line every Bunmi, Amaka and Amina has decided to tow but to disregard the effort and originality of our Fashion Designers would be disrespectful. Tiffany Amber, Lanre Da Silva and Deola Sagoe are building world renowned brands, not to mention the legacy developed by the likes of Abba Folawiyo, Maureen Onigbanjo, Remi Lagos and Zizzi Cardow.
  • Nigerians have excelled in the fields of economics and finance, managing well established global bodies. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the current Minister of Finance, was until recently a Managing Director at The World Bank. Obiageli Ezekwisili is currently the Vice President for Africa at The World Bank. Mr Adebayo Ogunlesi is a first class graduate of Oxford, and Managing Partner of Global infrastructure Partner (GIP), a concessionaire of London’s Gatwick International Airport.
  • We take technology and expand it in ways those who created it could not have imagined. For instance, take the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) which allows you to send broadcast messages to all addresses on your contacts list; Nigerians recently found a unique way of advertising the different businesses they do. Someone started a message highlighting the fact that many people in Nigeria are entrepreneurs or provide a service and included his BB PIN in the message and sent to all his contacts with the charge that they state the service they provide, include their PIN and send on to all their contacts too. This seemingly small campaign has gone “viral” with whole lists of entrepreneurs and their BB PINs being passed from phone to phone. This is a clear sign of the ingenuity of Nigerians!

NIGERIA – GREAT PEOPLE

  • Nigeria is the 7th most populous nation in the world (over 160 million) and most populous in Africa – a gold mine of energetic, determined and talented people in each and every field. From Lagos to Aba to Kano, the Nigerian business spirit and desire to succeed is visible. It requires just proper harnessing of these human resources before Nigeria becomes the super power she was meant to be.
  • Nigerians are passionate, friendly, welcoming, hospitable, and well cultured people. The average Nigerian reflects a combination of vivacity, intelligence, energy, talent, and resolution.
  • We are a nation of people that can hardly hide their excitement at seeing family and friends. Some misconstrue this thinking we are loud but let’s just say we are EXPRESSIVE! If you see us on the streets of New York making a big ruckus and hugging? No sweat. We are just happy to see each other.

NIGERIA – THE RESILIENT SPIRIT

  • The Giant of Africa: Not ignoring the current challenges, eventually, when we get our acts right, we will reign supreme on the global scene. We have the potential and as is much touted by the Warri people – “Naija no dey carry last”
  • The ‘survivor-mentality’ hard-wired into the DNA of Nigeria’s people. The fact that against all the odds (and there are many of them), Nigerians continue to live, hustle and seek to triumph. It is not by mistake that Nigeria is regarded as one of the “happiest” countries in the world, despite its challenging economic and social conditions.
  • We are hardy. The average Nigerian does business under circumstances that are unimaginable to people from other parts. In a place where there is no power, no credit, and scant regulation, people do business and do very well for themselves too. If you can make it in Nigeria, you can make it anywhere in the world.

NIGERIA – TOURISM and SPORTS

  • Nigeria is an amazing tourist haven and is home to the Obudu Cattle Ranch, located in Calabar. It is only 45 miles from the Cameroon border. The Obudu Plateau is spread over 40 sq. miles and is 5,200 feet above sea level. The Obudu resort features a Gorilla Camp where tourists may observe gorillas in their natural habitat.
  • Nigeria has two UNESCO world heritage sites, the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove and the Sukur Cultural Landscape in Adamawa. UNESCO world heritage sites are places designated as being of cultural significance.
  • Nigeria has produced great footballers like Teslim “Thunder” Balogun (the first Nigerian to play for an English Club – QPR), Segun Odegbami, Muda Lawal, Stephen Keshi, Rashidi Yekini (who scored Nigeria’s first ever goal at the World Cup), Nwankwo Kanu, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, John Mikel Obi, Osaze Odemwingie, to mention but a few.
  • Nigeria has excelled in athletics over the years, still holding continental records in the 100m men and women, 4x100m men and women, 400m men and women, among others. Over 100 skilled Nigerian professional footballers played in First Division leagues in different countries all over Europe in the 2010/2011 season, 9 in England; 8 each in Finland, Norway; 10 in Ukraine and 7 in Sweden.

NIGERIA – UNITY in DIVERSITY

  • Nigerians, despite our diversity are a united people who always strive to help one another. With 774 local government areas, multi religious and ethnic affiliations, 36 States, and population of over 160 million, we still stand undeterred to move forward together.
  • Even outside the country, Nigerians remain united. This gives a quiet assurance somewhat that you can get on a plane and go to any country of the world and find a Nigerian there who will not only make you feel welcome but will go out of their way to be of really good help. I have experienced this several times on my travels and each time it amazes me how all I need to be is a Nigerian, not Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa and once I run into another Nigerian, I will immediately feel at home.
  • Our greatest strength lies in our diversity.

The ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ Campaign is in partnership with ‘The 419Positive Project’.

Developing A National Crime Database

Recent security incidents in Nigeria have exposed a fundamental weakness in the ability of our security forces to identify and classify criminals and their activities. When you have to make a statement at a Police Station, you are given a sheet of foolscap paper and a biro. Many Police Stations operate without a functioning computer even at the Divisional level. Our entire security apparatus is manual, fragmented and archaic. Individuals can commit crimes in one state and move to another state to join the Police Force.

I once joked to a friend that you can murder someone in Nigeria and leave your hair sample, finger prints and even your clothing and the Police would be none the wiser for it. An essential part of criminology is data gathering and management. The US operates several criminal databases at the Local, State and Federal levels. Before 1966, this information was not readily available to individuals. This changed with the promulgation of the Freedom of Information Act. Anybody with an internet connection can search for an individual’s name and recall their criminal history.

It is time for Nigeria to begin to work towards a National Crime Database (NCD). This may seem far-fetched but the tools to make this happen are already available. Most Nigerians have some data with at least one level of Government. Between the Register of births and deaths, census data, vehicle registration, income tax filing and voter registration most people have been photographed and fingerprinted by the Government. This data can be the starting point for an integrated NCD. The NCD can be hosted in a central sever at the Force HQ in Abuja with mirror servers hosted in every geographical zone or state. A few terabytes of server space should be able to store data on 80-90% of Nigerians. Additional data can be obtained from the Immigration authorities and from the recent SIM card registration undertaken by GSM operators.

Collating, analysing and storing this data will take a few years and the cooperation of the State Security Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, National Bureau of StatisticsNational Population Commission and the Nigerian Police Force. The previous attempt at National ID card which was fraught with irregularities and corruption allegations will need to be revisited. Perhaps some data can be obtained from here as well.

If an individual commits a crime or is accused but acquitted, these details should be recorded against the individual’s name. Retrieval of criminal records from the NCD could be via specialised terminals/PCs at major police commands and Stations, SMS or web based. The SMS or web based option will also enable Policemen crosscheck an individual’s criminal record at the point of arrest. The Police will need to be trained to use computers and any specialised terminals.

A pilot programme covering major cosmopolitan areas could be undertaken to test the storage and retrieval capabilities of the NCD. This idea may seem outlandish for a developing nation like Nigeria but great ideas start as a flicker and metamorphose into workable solutions through a firm commitment and the cooperation of all.

This project is within the purview of the new Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, so I will attempt to sell the idea to the Honourable Minister, Omobola Johnson.

Rich Man, Poor Country

Business Insider published a list of the wealthiest people in 35 countries on September 13th, 2011. Included on the list was Aliko Dangote, the world’s wealthiest Nigerian, African and black person. There was an interesting conversation on my Twitter timeline about whether his wealth was made honestly and why a poor country like Nigeria can be capable of producing such stupendous wealth. I decided to do a quick comparison of the GDP per capita of each country with each individual’s networth. The results are interesting.

A comparison of networth and GDP per capita

The table compares each billionaire’s net worth with with his country’s GDP per capita. I then ranked the resultant ratio to produce what I call an “equality ratio” (I just made that up). At the top of the list are the OECD countries of Denmark, Austria and Switzerland while India, Nigeria and Mexico are at the bottom of the list. The ranking shows how wealthy each individual is compared to the rest of his countrymen. The billionaires at the top of the list are wealthy in relatively well off countries while those at the bottom of the list are wealthy in relatively poor countries. The lower on the list you are, the more inequality there is in your country. So Lakshmi Mittal and Carlos Slim Helu can be said to also be rich men in poor countries just like Aliko Dangote.

I have conveniently made this as simple as possible and assert that there are limitations with this approach. Make of it what you will!

The original article can be found here http://j.mp/rdWCVa

(Source: GDP per capita (Nominal) Wikipedia

Presidential Media Chat of Sept 12th, 2011 – My Verdict? Slightly Above Average

We finally got to listen to President Goodluck Jonathan speak to Nigerians via a media chat with selected journalists. The event was prerecorded and the questions likely known beforehand. My overall assessment is that he performed slightly above average. Our President is not exactly naturally charismatic so I wasn’t expecting any rousing speeches ala Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States of America. He is also not a strong and imposing figure like former President Obasanjo. So instead of listening to him to get inspired, I was looking for concrete plans and programmes.

A lot of people probably watched the media chat so I won’t bother with the specifics, rather I will rate his answers on key areas.

Corruption: I expected tough talk and a reading of the proverbial Riot Act and not platitudes. He needs to prosecute some high-profile cases within the rule of law. He should make a scapegoat of just one big fish such as a corrupt former Governor to send a strong message to other corrupt individuals. Score: 4/10

Power: I have confidence that the current efforts at privatization will produce some improvements but the effects may not be felt until 2015. While he focuses on improving generation through new power plants, he also needs to pay attention to monetizing and correctly pricing gas resources, localized generation and distribution, market rules for operators, reduction of energy theft and transmission losses and improvement of billing. Privatization is a step in the right direction. Score: 8/10

Agriculture: He correctly diagnosed the issues but was unable to offer concrete plans. He’s expecting a lot from the Minister of Agriculture who has successfully transformed other nations’ agricultural practices. I expect an agricultural master plan with a focus on research into modern farming methods and adaptation of technology, cultivation of seedlings, land use reform and consolidation, irrigation, local fertilizer production, credit for farmers, establishment of processing facilities and improvement of roads for transporting inputs and produce. Score: 6/10

Security: Not much was said about this perhaps for fear of angering Boko Haram. Score: 3/10

Foreign Policy: Excellent responses to the Libyan crisis and Nigeria’s role in peace keeping operations in Africa. However, he correctly admitted that we don’t seem to have benefited much from playing Big Brother. We should have been entrenched in the Liberian and Sierra Leonean economies by now. No country loves another country to its own detriment. Score: 8/10

Single Tenure: Vague rationale for introducing the idea. Still unclear what benefits Nigerians will get from a single tenure over the current system. Score: 5/10

Judiciary: He admitted the challenge but avoided referring to the removal of Justice Ayo Salami by the NJC. The advice to the Judiciary to reform itself was non-committal and vague. Score: 4/10

Overall Score: 5.5/10

I have no doubts that he has good intentions and means well for Nigeria. I do have doubts about his appreciation for the enormity of the problems of the nation. He is an outsider who has had to rely on the political clout of the PDP cabal to ascend to power. However, he needs to understand that he is now the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the FRN and the nation’s number one citizen. While he cannot solve our problems alone, he has the power to galvanise everyone to action.

He cut the figure of a man who needs help. He needs help because he can’t do it alone. He’s our President so we should wish him well and criticize constructively when needed. On Social Media, there are two distinct camps of people who applaud his every move and those who blindly criticise him. Whichever camp you belong to, we need to agree that we all love Nigeria and if the President succeeds, Nigeria succeeds.

A Scorecard For President Goodluck Jonathan

I read the recently published achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan. The list of achievements include creating new institutions (Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NEBT) Plc), formulating new plans (machinery to establish 37 Skills Acquisition Centers) and a few “tangible” improvements (claims of improvement in power supply). There has been a backlash on popular news sites and Social Media questioning how tangible these achievements.

My first impression is that the list has far too many items, many of which are plans, policies and programmes. While I appreciate the list was published to coincide with the administration’s first 100 days in office, I don’t think the items on the list are weighty enough to be celebrated. When you are cooking soup, you don’t announce to the world that it will be the tastiest treat that has ever titillated their taste buds. Let people decide if the soup is actually worth all the noise.

A preferred approach to indicating progress or otherwise would be to select a few Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on a national vision and key objectives. In management parlance, this is called a Scorecard. Many multinational companies measure their performance using Total Return To Shareholders (TRS). This indicator shows if the company has added value to its shareholders through capital appreciation and dividend payments. Of course there are other KPIs tied to it but everyone watches just this one number. The lower level KPIs managed by the Leadership Team are often less than 10.

The Government would best be served if a few measurable KPIs are developed which show if a nation is developing or not. The average person doesn’t care about many of the achievements on that list. He is more concerned about food on the table. I suggest a short list of less than 15 items which tell of the current state of things and projects what they will be at the end of this administration. For example, a KPI could be school enrolments in 2011-25%, 2015-55%. This way, all eyes will focus on outcomes and not just activities and plans. These KPIs should have measurable targets against which to assess performance regularly, say quarterly.

The scorecard may contain the usual economic indicators such as GDP, External Debt, Interest and Exchange rates, Capital and Money market efficiency. KPIs could also cover infrastructure e.g kilometres of tarred roads, corruption, poverty, health, education etc.

My top KPIs would be as follows

  1. Hours a day without light
  2. Number of people who can afford Western standard healthcare with less than N5,000 a year
  3. Days without a major security incident
  4. Ability to feed a family with N1000 a week
  5. Time taken to drive from Kano to Lagos

Behind each of these KPIs will be a number of plans and programmes but if these things have not changed by 2015 then we will consider the administration a failure.

In addition, some of the more traditional measures could be included.

  1. Absolute and per Capita GDP Growth
  2. External Debt Levels
  3. Interest Rates
  4. Exchange Rates
  5. Power Generation (and % of generation that actually gets to consumers)
  6. Kilometres of Tarred Roads
  7. % of Nigerians below the poverty line

I believe adopting this transparent approach will give the Government focus especially if visually displayed at Government offices and shared with all Nigerians. If you were to measure the effectiveness of Government, what KPIs would you choose and how would you measure them?