| 16 December 2016
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SERIES: BUHARISM AND THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW
Treatise on Customer-centrism...how to start putting customers first in Nigerian offices, both in the public and the private sectors.
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
- Bill Gates
HOW JESUS CHRIST CAPTURED THE NIGERIAN-AFRICAN MINDSET IN THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS
WHY AFRICA IS POOR
In the parable of the minas, Matt. 25:14-30, the difference is not in the number of the talents given to the three servants by their big boss, but in their attitude.
Before proceeding any further, let us here tarry a while and amuse ourselves as I always do when I want to preach on this parable to audiences, especially trying to give the three servants cultural and racial identity - the one that had five talents (for the purpose of today's investment capital reality, let us say £500, 000xx) and made a 100% profit was a Westerner, representing all Europe and America; the one that had two pounds (£200, 000) and made a profit of £200, 000xx) was an Asian, representing all Asia Minor and Asia Pacific, whilst the third servant, who was given just £1xx (£100, 000xx), who later proved to be the 'wisest', very pompous and the agrressive one and decidded to bury it was an African (particularly, a Nigerian), representing all persons of African ancestry.
The reader must take note of the operating phrase: "...each according to his ability." The big boss to me was in every respect an impartial lender who was very much investment-orientated and being very investment-inclined, the BIG BOSS expected the loan to be invested and was expecting returns on such investments from his three servants.
From the story, whilst it can be deduced that each of us is given different seed money by God, and according to our own abilities, we all, white, black, green, yellow, brown have 24 hours to play around with, or wherein we are expected to labour each day.
Personal experience has shown that in an eye-service orientated cum human-worshipping cultures, such as the African, we tend to give the whole of humanity the impression that we are ever busy, running around, but in reality, doing nothing - constantly under pressure, to make other race think we are a very busy people like the example which Nigerians at the Nigeria High Commission in London offers, but we are a mere 8/5-economy (Monday -Friday), whereas all of Western cultures, and in some parts of Asia are a 24/7-economy (Monday-Sunday).
Thus, by my reckoning, the average person in Africa, particularly in Nigeria should put in 8 hours of work every blessed day of the five identified days (Monday-Friday), and in these 5 days, 40 hours and in a month, 160 hours of work, whereas those in advanced economies ideally and averagely too, put in or work for 168 hours in a week (Monday-Sunday) as against Nigeria's/Africa's mere 40 hours for a whole week. Thus, whilst the Weekly National Hours Input (WNHI) for Western nations is 168, those of Nigeria/Africa is just 40 hours, a difference of 128 hours!
And in a month, whereas the Nigeria/Africa Weekly National/Continental Hours Input is 160 hours (40hrs x 4), in Western nations and in some Asiatic countries it is 672 (168hrs x 4), a difference of 512 hours when compared to that of Nigeria/Africa's 160 per month!
Per calendar year therefore, will be 160 hours x 12-calendar months for Nigeria/Africa, totalling 1,920, whilst those of the West will be 672 x 12, bringing the total hours for 12-calendar months to 8,064, a difference of 6,144!
The above is just the average working hours reality (AWHR) of Nigeria/Africa, but not the actuality of working hours in Africa, particularly in Nigeria that I am well conversant with and and had previously expressed my concerns to the Nigerian authorities under Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Let us say that Nigerian workers in traffic-epidemic ravaged Nigerian cities, such as Abuja and Lagos, workers are expected officially to be on their seats for work at 8 a.m., but due to gross indiscipline, again, let us for the purpose of this exercise blame the traffic, and such workers get to their offices at 12:00!
Already, 4 hours out of the daily official hours of 8 are lost to traffic, the workers are left with just 4 hours! And out of the remainder four hours, immediately on arrival, they would go about greeting their colleagues, telling stories of wetin their eyes see inside traffic/go slow, and it takes them at least 1 hour 15 minutes to do that.
They are now left with 3 hours 45 minutes. Out of these, they spend 45 to make tea/coffee for themselves make their body cool down. We are now left with 3 hours, out of which five of the official 8 hours have been spent doing nothing!
Out of these three hours, they spend at least 15 minutes looking for a particular file, before commencing work, so we are now left with 2 hours 45 minutes. Out of these hours, our 'generous', 'loyal' and 'conscientious' civil servant gives just 45 minutes to work for that day and then thinks of break - this brings the remainder hours to 2!
Out of these two hours, let us say our pious civil servants spent 45 minutes praying and we are left with 1 hour 15 minutes, these they go for break, where they will otherwise take off. This hypothetical manner of working gives the reader the picture of how Nigerian civil servants work, as personally witnessed by me and had reported to Governments in the past. From this hypothetical case, the civil servants had put in for that day, just 45 minutes of work, out of the official 8 hours!
As witnessed by me whilst at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja in 2003 as a member of the Administrative Panel set up by President Olusegun Obasnjo, they are other employees or in this case, civil servants-time corruption activities or if you like: Time-sharp practices activities or better still, time-defrauding activities embark upon by all civil servants of various cadres - from entry level to director-perm sect-minister level - all are guilty.
What about those who start their weekend as from Thursday and never show face again at the secretariat until 12: 00 of a Tuesday of the new week; those receiving endless visitors/relatives; going to pick up children in schools; those feigning sick in collusion with medical doctors; those going on endlesss weddings - professional wedding and burial ceremonies attendees, party hunters/goers; mechandisers, PPPs (private practice practitioners; those living abroad with their families and are still receiving salaries as Government employees back in Nigeria - this set of civil servants enter into a form of arragement with their directors and Accountants for a percentatge of their salaries (In 2005, I met one at a Christian Home Fellowship here in the UK, whom I had to rebuke very sharply telling him, he is a disgrace to Christ); others: office story tellers; office 'reporters' - those civil servants who are out on daily basis to convince their colleagues and their visitors that they are very well versed in current affairs, and so praised to high heavens as more knowledgeable than professional journalists/reporters?
Now let us look at the idea of a person/people putting in just 45 minutes per day working for their Government, conversely, serving the nation for a full month's salary, allowances, perks of office and later eventuating in a full pension on retirement: It then means every week the civil servant in the balance puts in just 3 hours 45 minutes, 15 hours for a whole month for a full month salary (let's just forget temporarily the fact that salaries, whether in the public or private sector don't get paid regularly, but somehow they are later paid) and ridiculously, this our civil servant in question puts in a mere 180 hours for a whole 12-calendar months! Yet Nigerians/Africans, especially the crooks, all severally, who preside over the affairs of their country/continent delude themselves that Africa will some day catch up with Europe, America and the rest of the world!
This to me is a mirage, unless there is a change of heart amongst Africans, particularly Nigerians. Proverbs 6:4-11 is instructive here:
4 Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.
5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
Again, amusing ourselves, the sluggard in Proverbs 6 is Nigeria/Africa and the ant symbolises Europe, all Western and Eastern Europe and those States in Asia that have done battles with poverty and won, together with all those nations in Asia that are currently doing their fiercest ever battles with the poverty disease and appear to be winning.
Proverbs 6 candidly tells Africa, the whole truth and nothing, but the truth. And that is the very fact that whilst the whole Europe - Western and Eastern, worketh 27/7 round the clock, AFRICA SLEEPETH. What is more, our Nigeria sleepeth and snoreth! Yet somebody under this type of attitude is deluding themselves that some day, Africa will arise and shine.
Also, the tragedy of the above hypothesis is that it not only give the world insight into how those in Nigeria's WHITE HALL (the Federal and State Scretariats work, but shows how in this hypothetical case, such civil servants merely put in 45 minutes out of the 8 hours officially expected of them for the day and just 2 hours 15 minutes out of the 40 hours that are officially required of them per week, especially in the case of those civil servants that never turn up for work on Monday until Tuesday from their weekend which usually begins on Thursdays - and in some other cases, 0 hour is put per day, per week and month, yet they are all receiving full salaries each month for virtually doing nothing!
But what is BABA DAURA doing about these time and work place laxity, indolence and corruption?
However, and in spite of this, I personally have a witness in my spirit that one day, with the right type of education - EDUCATION THAT WORKS (training the heart, head and hands - 3Hs Education), together with the re-orientation of the Nigerian/African psyche, the decolonization and de-arabinization of the African mind, Nigeria will arise some day , shine and lead the world.
And in a truer sense, AFRICA WILL ONE DAY ARISE and lead the world once more in all things as our ancestors, through resolute determination in the face of all odds, pioneered civilization as we know it today and became its custodians until that chance encounters, first with the ravaging locusts from the East, I mean the Arabs and later, the plundering hawks from the West, the Europeans.
Both left Africa their religions of Islam and Christianity, which the current foolish generation of Africans are using to kill themselves and impoverishing their people through terrorists activities and the so-called prosperity gospel.
Yes, some day, NIGERIA WILL ARISE AND SHINE, and Africa, even moreso!
Still on the parable above, the third servant - the Nigerian/African, does not understand the fact that his boss is investment-orientated/focused; he does not also realise the fact that time and talents are to be invested and not squandered/buried. What is worse, he does not also realize the fact that in a multi-cultural world, he is a representative of a race, in this wise, AFRICA!
Whilst the Western and Asian servants were rewarded for their due diligence in business, the Nigerian/African 'wise', pompous and arrongant servant was degraded and the only talent that was hitherto given to him was taken away from him by his investment/business conscious boss and added to that of his star-colleage.
Talking jocoseriousely, could this billionaire business man be Donlad Trump?
Seriously speaking, Africans became stupid and foolish because they have everything and because they have refused to utilise these EVERYTHING that abounds in and around them, the people from the West and Asia come to take that which Africa has, but has refused to use - give this EVERYTHING they had stolen, taken from Africa's backyard added value and ship them in their new forms to Afrrica, without paying any export tariffs in the name of globalization and sell them to FOOLISH AFRICANS at exhorbitant prices, hence the Bible in this parable concludes:
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
*To be continued.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Odey Aduma was formely Executive Secretary, Foundry Association of Nigeria; Southern Coordinator of President Muhammadu Buhari's pastoralists NGO - THE PASTORAL RESOLVE; Chairman, Editorial Board of the Daily Times of Nigeria Plc; member, National Committee for the Nigerian Youth Festival, 1993; member, core Committee of the National Tecnology Summit and was the Summit's chairman for two of its sub-committees - Publicity and Exhibition, 1998; member of the Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by President Olusegun Obasanjo to investigate the illegal trade in and smuggling of endagered species of wild fauna and flora into and out of Nigeria, 2003.
He was the Chairman, Planning Committee of the General Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture for two consecutive years, 2001 and 2002 before it attained a Foundation status in 2002, having first been upgraded to that status in 2001. General Murtala Muhammed was one of Nigeria's former Heads of State and was killed in the abortive coup led by the then Colonel Buka Suka Dimka on February 13, 1976.
That same capacity saw Mr Aduma delivering huge succcesses during the Daily Times of Nigeria's 75th Anniversary (in which he raked in N6, 000, 000 into the coffers of the Daily Times of Nigeria Plc) and also, playing a similar role in a similar capacity during Dr Isma'il Babatunde Jose's 75th Birth Day. Dr Jose, doyen of Nigerian journalism was Mr Aduma's personal mentor. That relationship was so close and solid such that whilst Aduma was leaving the shores of Nigeria for Britain in 2003, Dr Jose gave him N10, 000.00.
In 1992, Mr Aduma's contributions to journalism was recognised with the awards of the Nigeria Media Merit Award as the Investigative Reporter of the Year and the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence as the Reporter of the Year, and the British Chevening Scholarship, which saw him studying International Journalism at City University of London in 2003-2004, with specialism in Environment.
He is the author of the inspirational best-seller, THE DIAMONDS ARE HERE and the founder of Vigilance, the World's Leading Security Magazine and Scorpion News Corp, in addition to founding the Nationalists Unity Movement of Nigeria (NUMON).
God bless our Nigeria.
The Voice of One Crying from the Diaspora...
*Proudly leading the NATIONALISTS UNITY MOVEMENT OF NIGERIA (NUMON).