Tuesday, March 27, 2012


As much as I don’t like the Nigerian Police black on black, I still cannot understand how the new uniform will transform the force. Black on black is not the issue, because American Police have Black on Black (just that how it is worn in Nigeria is different) and they make being a policeman totally cool. The Nigerian Police has its peculiarities, the issues with the force is beyond just having them wear a new uniform. Agreed, this is a way to change the way Nigerians see the Police but it should not be a priority right now. Nigerians want a new Police, improved but we firstly want to be safe. After that we can have eyes for the new uniform.
I was thinking……isn’t mindset more important than the uniform? The average Nigerian Police needs total revamp: their outlook on what they job really means, improved welfare, not new uniforms. The acting IG should focus on the psychology of his men, he has to understand why they act the way they do and figure how to improve their work ethics. Focus on how to improve discipline and help them see their work in new light.
Typical of most Nigerians, we will see the new uniforms admire how good it looks but we are not sure how that changes the men inside the uniforms. The welfare of the Police needs to improve; they have to know that while they put their lives on the line, someone looks after their loved ones.

You really try to believe in this country sometimes but then you listen to the news and you wonder if our leaders are on the same page with the masses. We just happen to have different things on our list of priorities. These high and mighty decisions just make you wonder. Some of these decisions with all the supposed good intentions, just does very little to motivate; it leaves you with a sour feeling and reminds you that the “the Nigerian factor” still happens around here. At every point, we want leaders we can believe in, people who can inspire you to believe in this country regardless of the challenges, individuals who will champion change we can see, change we can believe in, not lip service. It reminds me bow Central Bank of Nigeria is championing cashless or cashlite (whichever) and we are still in perpetual darkness: poor electricity! How exactly do you automate a country with no electricity? Nigeria! How can you be willing to spend money to buy a shoe for a man that no leg to walk when all he needs is a wheelchair?
When Nigerians are not safe, the last thing we want to hear now is how the FG has approved new uniforms, when they cannot help reduce the damage this fuel subsidy removal has done. With countries like China dictating the world economy, India rising up, one would expect Nigerian leaders to face the challenge instead of turning deaf ears to top issues. Nothing has changed in Agriculture after they promised to be eating cassava bread……we really have to check our priorities, we are obviously speaking different language.
 In this Nigeria, some people preach that we should believe in Nigeria but their children are schooling abroad, deep down we know they don’t believe in this country. Leaders come and go, they just figure out a way, a programme to siphon our money.
I am really trying to believe and act optimistic but seriously, I refuse to agree with this one…..the new uniform just doesn’t work for me.


No work environment is 100% perfect but things can get better. How can someone spend their active years somewhere and still not feel a lilt sense of human dignity? Playing favourites and using unofficial yardstick to measure how the job is done fosters eye-service and creates unnecessary tension in the work place. Some people do not know how to separate their personal lives from their jobs simply because most of them do not have life outside their jobs. What that means is that they tend to expect people around them to be that workaholic, their job dictates their lives and when people act otherwise, it becomes a problem for their subordinates. You find such people coming to work as early as 7am and still working at 8pm. They are the type of people who will find ways to use up other people’s weekends with things that are unnecessary. People are fired or queried for the least mistakes or something that is totally unofficial. Even when the job suffers, some people refuse to take another person’s opinion because they feel threatened.
People have understood their job functions so that sometimes, work does not suffer. If a person knows that the progress of the job depends on him/her, perhaps it will change their approach to work, instead of roaming around and letting a file lie fallow on their desk.
Our system is still paperwork driven. A lot of people so love hard copies, when they can have soft copies, reduce paperwork and clutter in the office. Our system is plagued with report writing that nobody is reading or even using, seminars and meeting that nobody uses the deliberations and talks that does not go beyond the lips. We are so taken by procedures, talks that yield no result. The pursue of money and profit is at all cost even when people who work to bring the money suffer. Those at the top are huge spenders and when those in the engine room complain of any need, they are swept under the carpet. We need to pay attention to operations, listen to those who actually do the work…let us not be quick to jump at profit. Don’t put people working under conditions; you would never let yourself be in.
It is a shame that sometimes, people flipping burgers have a better sense of human dignity and respect than some big salary-corporate staff. We know these things are not right but it continues. All these things have a way of affecting us generally and who we are as a nation. There are some things that money cannot buy…a little kindness and treating others better can make a whole lot of difference. Treat people with respect; let them know that their input is important. Don’t use your power to suppress others…..remember nobody is perfect. It is all to get the job done. Don’t trample others down because of your ambition to climb; you will meet them on your way down. It is only a job, just one phase in the cycle of life. There is always more to life.
The cycle continues, who knows, it could be your child working tomorrow under someone who has become hardened by this same system.


Is it just me or there are some who would agree with me on this….. “We can do more to improve on our work ethics in Nigeria”. I am sure people will agree with me at this point. Both private and Government, there is something that rubbishes our work ethics and makes it majorly lip service.  This is Nigeria; we have our way of doing things…..maybe we are so used to it now. You listen to people and they seem to be saying the same thing…..it is not just me, if people would just admit. In the end, a lot of things go wrong and work suffers. With all the profit and success on the outside, human dignity is totally eroded and continues to suffer the same fate. While it is true that money is a motivating factor around here, it is understandable because man must survive…..so people have to endure demeaning conditions and procedures to keep body and soul together, as it were.
As a new staff with all their vigour and expectations, you go for training and you are lectured, motivated all round with the goals, rules and regulations of the company, what drives it, then you return to your station and you find your own direct boss breaking that same rule with a straight face. They tell you to do as you are told, not as they do. Anything outside that and you suffer for doing like your superior.
The manner some superior talk down their subordinates leaves little to be desired. It leaves the subordinate feeling disoriented, disorganised and his morale goes flat bottom. Sometimes, unofficial personal errands are used as yardstick to measure loyalty and ultimately leverage for promotion and even sanctioning of officers. You find people coming home late sometimes, tired and feeling totally useless all in a bid of running an unofficial errand. At the end of the day, the guy’s schedule is disrupted, his work suffers…..a lot of people simply do not know what multi tasking means; should it include unofficial errands like baby sitting, going to the market, children pick up from schools, airport pick up and drop off (when you are not a driver?), attending unofficial functions (even at the expense of personal and family life) at most weekends and working when people should be resting. Sharing with other people is great but sometimes, it is like making a register; being present.
A lot of potentially great human minds with the best intentions see themselves diminishing and gradually settling for less because they are in a tight corner between pleasing the boss (keeping the job) and following the rules.

You find colleagues sabotaging themselves to get the boss’s approval, engaging in eye-service at all cost just to buy that favour……the sad thing is that it actually works. The man who practices eye service is the one who seem to get all the favours.
Sometimes, when people display this disturbing and embarrassing behaviour, it comes from people you would not believe would stoop that low as to use eye service to buy favours even at the expense of others. Blackmail, gossiping and all manner of unholy behaviours that does not apply in the work environment happens in places you least expect. We are so used to these things we just have accepted it as one of those things.

While profit is major goal and money motivates, there is a limit to where it can reach…after a while people begin to want more and want better. They become exhausted and work ultimately suffers. People should be treated right both as subordinates and colleagues. People have to feel genuinely appreciated and when somebody does a good job, commend them. Some people never have anything besides complain and complain….funny enough, they cannot do that same job that well. Don’t be the type of a person who champions suffer-head methods of doing things and practice what you preach. Our work ethics in Nigeria is so bad that even those who make the fat salaries still feel some sense of emptiness and some are willing to trade their job for something else because of how things are done in their office.