RIBADU BLAMES POOR MANAGERS FOR NATION'S WOES
Against increasing demands for a review of the nation's constitution, the Chairman, Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, yesterday expressed contrary views, as he accused bad managers of robbing the nation of the expected development. He said the country needed management revolution that would address the present challenges which left Nigeria as a near destitute nation.
Ribadu stated this at the 2012 Management Day of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) held at its Management House, Idowu Taylor Street, Victoria Island, Lagos yesterday. The event, which had Deacon Gamaliel Onosode as Chairman, was organised to address the challenges facing the management profession in the country.
The President of the institute, Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, said the choice of Ribadu as the guest speaker was informed by his forthrightness on national issues and his zero-tolerance for the twin-evils of corruption and mismanagement.
Olawale-Cole said the mismanagement of resources has left the nation in a quagmire, adding that the abundant resources in the country have not been properly managed and harnessed for the benefit of the larger society.
'We cannot afford to resign ourselves to mismanagement and its effect on our socio-economic system; we can no longer stand aloof and watch a few people mismanaging the resources with which God has blessed Nigeria with. God planned for Nigeria to be the greatest nation of the world; that lofty height we must attain', Olawale-Cole noted.
Ribadu took up the lamentation further in his 10-page anti-corruption sermon titled, Managing Chaos as Development, where he adduced the several losses inflicted on the nation by bad managers. He said many Nigerians were frustrated about the failure of development in the country.
He asked further, 'Why is our national development effort since independence unable, till date, to support a decent life and a promising future? Why are all the symbols of promised economic growth suddenly stunted and even in reverse gear?'
The former EFCC Chairman argued that the trouble with Nigeria was not the flaws of the constitutional but an appalling deficit in management principles.
Hear him: 'I am not one of those who believe that Nigeria's problem is with its laws. We talk of amendment of constitution and our other laws as if that alone would take us to our destination. I differ. My take is that our problem is largely that of management. Bad managers cannot operate the best of laws, the best of businesses and the best of countries', he said.
He said the country suffered giant setback from 'monumental corruption', the 'phenomenal misuse of oil resources', 'the bitter experience of terrorism on our own homeland', decades of military rule, among others.
While counting the losses suffered by the nation, Ribadu said mismanagement of the country has led to the extinction of institutions of national significance and pride. According to him, aside the colossal failure of Nigerian Airways, national shipping lines, steel rolling mills, car assembly plants, the Super Eagles, which used to be the nation's collective unity and pride, has become 'super chickens'.
He said the oil sector has been so badly managed that some observers now believe that oil was a curse on Nigeria.
Although, he deliberately kept mum when asked to comment on the fuel subsidy removal and other issues on the oil sector, he promised to speak out at the appropriate time.
He said the country needed new breed of leaders that were not 'sectional jingoists,' but those that are honest, compassionate, courageous and great team builders.
'The central challenge of this lecture is to identify how we can all effectively respond to our daunting challenge of mismanagement and development. All we have discussed so far is that development will continue to elude us if we cannot deploy a new generation of managers that will interpret the challenges of our failure as the failure of current management practices,' he said.