Nigeria: Power, rail failures blamed on truck owners, generator merchants

Rail tank wagons23 September 2013, Abuja – Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth Development, Dr. Tunji Olaopa, has blamed electricity generator merchants and truck owners over persistent power supply problems and failure of railway project in the country.

Olaopa said this at the weekend during the 45th Annual National Conference of Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, in Abuja.

In a paper he delivered entitled “Reforming the Public Service for Excellence and Ethical Leadership”, the permanent secretary said, “ethical leadership in governance requires moral strength to confront instrumentality in policy failure wherein non-resolution of power supply or railway project is because generator merchants or truck owners are invincible”.

Olaopa pointed out that a public service that recruits mediocre instead of skilled workers cannot help a country to develop and expressed fears that bureaucracy may not work where there are factors like ethnicity and nepotism.

He said: “A public service that cannot confront the structural crisis that fixate it to an incentive structure that can only allow recruitment of 100 mediocre instead of five badly needed highly scarce skills cannot capacitate the state or move on to the excellence trajectory,” adding that “an anti-corruption system which puts so much weight on criminal justice jurisprudence of catching and disgracing corrupt officials, but has no reward for those who are conscientious will make little impact.”

He further noted that where nepotism thrives, all the organisation’s brain power will not be used as there is no appraisal instrument to ensure that the objectively less deserving do not become the boss.

“Then the most talented officers knowing that the system may never reward their talents and contributions resort always to operating with the unwritten rule of wait for your turn. That means the bright officer’s objective is to attain a position where he can be truly himself and give his or her best.

“When a government gets to power through serious compromises, such leadership cannot be clear on what its vision and value proposition are,” he added.

– Daily Trust

About the Author