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He sacked them and so what? by Joshua Ocheja

Source: huhuonline.com

This is indeed a sad epoch in the annals of Nigeria, so sad that I find it most worrisome and indeed compelled to assert that the problem with this country are the elites that dots the nook and crannies of government, industries and most recent the financial landscape. I am among the apostles of change that posit that the problem with Nigeria does not just begin and end in government circles, but other sectors of the economy, have a fair share of the blame, reminiscent of the theory of structural functionalism.

Structural functionalism is a sociological paradigm which addresses what social functions various elements of the social system perform in regard to the entire system. Social structures are stressed and placed at the center of analysis, and social functions are deduced from these structures.

Structural functionalism is built upon twin emphases: application of the scientific method to the objective social world and use of an analogy between the individual organism and society.

The emphasis on scientific method leads to the assertion that one can study the social world in the same ways as one study the physical world. Thus, Functionalists see the social world as "objectively real," as observable with such techniques as social surveys and interviews. They believe that rules and regulations help organize relationships between members of society, while values provide general guidelines for behavior in terms of roles and norms.

These institutions of society such as the family, religion, the economy, the educational and political systems, are major aspects of the social structure. Institutions are made up of interconnected roles or inter-related norms. For example, inter-connected roles in the institution of the family are of wife, mother, husband, father, son, brother, sister and daughter.

This brings us to the recklessness exhibited by the sacked management of five banks. While we may be carefully not roll out the drums in ecstatic celebrations occasioned by the timely intervention of the Sanusi led Apex bank, we must begin to trace the origin of this debacle we have found ourselves.

Just like the Marxists posit, no event happens in a vacuum, but rather events occur as a result of a systemic buildup of contradictions within a system that a little drop of ice is capable of igniting an earthquake.

If you ask me, I will say the system has been compromised for a long time and trust Nigerians we have a way of posing as “James Bond”. The list of casualties has just begun; the EFCC has a daunting task ahead as we have a tsunami waiting to happen in the long run.

I wonder why Charles Soludo is right now, I wonder where he hid those Abracadabra books of his that constantly reminded him that the physical size of banks determines their balance sheets. Its further insults our sensibilities that when major financial institutions in the world are filing up for bankruptcy and seeking bailout, Nigerian super banks did not see the light in joining their Europeans colleagues, not on the strength of hypocrisy, but rather on the strength of the reflects in their balance sheets, these and many more calls to question the sincerity of those saddled with position of authority in this country.

The pertinent question we should all be asking ourselves is what would have happened if Soludo was given a second term? Going down memory lane, when the issue of de- marketing came up with intercontinental bank, it was he that rose to the defense of intercontinental bank on the pages of newspapers, while availing bailout funds through the expanded discount window for intercontinental and other banks, as a sign of “the eagle is watching with keen attention” I must say at this point that Soludo should be traced wherever he is to answer some pertinent questions, not just him but also his lieutenants charged with the role of supervising and monitoring these banks.

The underlying issue is and remains the exhibition of a clear lack of management cum supervisory skills by most bank chiefs in the country. Were the sacked bank chiefs sensible enough to know that the job was tedious and oversight in some cases will not allow for prudent management of resources, noting stops them from appointing lieutenants and decentralizing decision making for the benefit of shareholders, depositors and the bank at large.

The greed in human nature will not allow them do that, the celebrity lifestyle has been entrenched into their consciousness that they will stop at nothing to continue to further entrench themselves by taking unilateral decisions and engaging in unethical acts.

However the blame should not rest on their shoulders alone. Why? There is an organ of government in the Central Bank that acts in a supervisory capacity to ensure that the right practices and procedure are followed in the course of conducting business.

The central bank has a governor and deputy governors, chiefly among them the deputy governor, banks supervision and surveillance. My point here is in as much as these executives were reckless, they had collaborators in the central bank whose principal function is to act as a watch dog, but the reverse was case as these bank executives were seen and regarded as the super fly bride, everyone must befriend in the course of doing business in the murky waters of the Nigerian business environment.

Yours sincerely is not an egg head economist, but I can remember vividly in my university days how I loathe at students of economics because of the brazen display and often use of micro and micro economic theories to explain a simple situation.

My point of argument always was, why use complex language and theories to explain simple situations?

I know some economists will be gearing up for a fight, but it's this simple, there is global financial meltdown, and major financial organizations are taking precautionary measures, to stem the tide, but their Nigerian counterparts are busy using theories to explain how safe the economy is even in the face of near collapse.

This is what I term the highest form of idiocy in high places. Some equally idiotic people are crying foul where non exist, insisting, postulating and suggesting that Sanusi Lamido is playing out a northern script aimed at transferring ownership of these financial institutions to northerners.

I never bought into their unpalatable misgivings, ok fair and fine I might be dead wrong and I might be super right, but what if he was actually playing out a script? I suppose he is not an imbecile that will just wake up and for no reason, without facts and figures sack bank executives.

If my memory serves me right, he highlighted the reasons why these bank executives must go, not just that, he availed a bailout package to these ailing banks in an attempt to protect ordinary depositors like me and you. If what he Sanusi did was a charade, then the list of chronic debtors published should be discarded and thrown into the trash can.

Disguising under the umbrella of concerned Nigerians to pursue ethnic and sectional interest, should be resisted wholly by all and sundry. These five banks were grinded to a halt and nobody saw a crime in that, but there is a crime in taking proactive steps to forestall a systemic crash of the economy. I stand to be corrected, as I earlier said I am not an economist but from a reasonable perspective, I think Sanusi Lamido acted in good faith. At this point, I will plead with Sanusi Lamido to extend his cleansing exercise to the books of microfinance banks too, as their existence is suspect and might constitute a menace to unsuspecting saving public, who throng these banks with life savings. [email protected]

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