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Help! Mediocrity is Birthing Retrogression in Nigeria

By Dr. Israel Ovirih

When the Righteous, the knowledgeable, the competent and the pure-at heart rule or are in charge, the people rejoices, celebrates and progresses naturally.

In contrast, when the wicked, the ignorant, the mediocres and selfish beareth power in their hands, the people mourn. How do you explain to people of other countries in Africa or elsewhere, when the media reports that Boko Haram and ISWAP flags are being hosted in neighbouring States to the Nigerian Federal Capital – Abuja? Many wonder what’s wrong with Nigerian Policing, Defence system and entire security apparatus.

The competents birthing progress and mediocrity birthing mourning and retrogression is TRUE for all season… Prov 29:2 declares this truth and we KNOW by the reason of knowledge, that this is the SCRIPTURES and the scriptures cannot be broken!

Over the years, mediocrity triumphing over competency has been our case and LOT in Nigeria, Myanmar, DRC and many other underdeveloped countries in the SOUTH. This may explain the reason why Professor Pat Utomi did not mince words to clarify this impasse, as the bane of “internally generated poverty” ravaging Nigeria and indeed most countries in the third world.

This retrogression in leadership especially in Nigeria is worrisome… there seems to be no LIGHT at the end of the tunnel… no doubt, our backsliding into despondency and anarchy is getting worse everyday.

Most of the new appointments into position of authority and responsibilities announced by Garba Shehu and Femi Adeshina recently has been nothing but pain in the ass.

When creators and innovators are stifled in a country like ours on a daily basis and mediocres are heavily rewarded (both in the public and private sectors) then real development and real growth are paralysed unknowingly. I wondered, does the appointer, (pardon my grammar please) and the appointees not realize the damage being done to us all? Can you imagine Regulators in Nigeria stifling Fintech start ups in the name of regulations and killing ingenuity that should naturally deliver financial inclusion – one of the MDGs?

We all saw how Nigerian regulators in trying to protect the fall in the rate of the Naira against other world currencies banned the licensed banks from dealing with Crypto-related businesses. Can the regulator stop the internet? Can the regulators stop the global adoption of Blockchain technology? Blockchain is the exponential technology for record keeping, it’s the sexiest accounting solution in the history of the world and maybe, by providence the end of government as we know it. It began its life by enabling digital currencies! And you know the truth? this technology, like the internet is unstoppable!

Although the Vice President of Nigeria came in handy to do “damage control” to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) gerrymandering, but the truth is that the CBN’s fury can be laid on the doorstep of incompetence in managing our foreign exchange supplies and a dose of ignorance and mediocrity!

When you hear and read appointments being made by Nigerian Presidency lately, you know instantly that there is a godfather or godmother somewhere or ethnic jingoist influencing such appointments; and we all can imagine the subsequent output therefrom. If the DSS is now circulating published handbooks to VVIPs (against kidnappings in top Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government) rather than nip the menace of kidnappings in the bud, and kidnapping activities nationwide is rising everyday, then something is fundamentally wrong somewhere.

It all boils down to ONE thing..mediocrity and ignorance. Everywhere you look, you see round pegs in square holes. A good example is in Nigerian GSM telephony systems in which both data or voice rendition has gotten worse. Today, you can barely make any good call on MTN, Glo or Airtel neither access reliable data services from these Telcos since Ndukwe left and Danbata replaced him as Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). This is so so sad.

May God help us, may competencies thrive over mediocrity in our land.. and may we not build at the end in vain..

Dr. Israel Ovirih, an Investment banker, serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast wrote this piece from East Africa.

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