Values – Evoking a new culture of being.

Last week, I had cause to visit my Alma mater to request a documentation needed in pursuance of further graduate studies. Getting there, i was overwhelmingly impressed by the positive changes that now characterize the institution – potholes free road network, new faculty buildings, ultra-modern school of communication and the university-owned radio station, renovated lecture theatres, ongoing construction works……..the infrastructural development going on there is simply amazing – pretty much impressive than i left it over half decade ago – and that can be attributed to the proactive and visionary leadership of the new Vice Chancellor. Judging from what i saw, in my mind I was hoping that this positive force of leadership would affect the internal administrative processes of the institution and improve its service delivery mandate.
After making all the required payments, i proceeded to submit my application to the office in charge. At the office, the woman who doubles as the administrative officer and receptionist to the “oga at the top” scrutinized my application and the supporting documents trying vainly to point out flaws to no avail. At some point, she requested extra copies of supporting documents beyond what was required; since I’m pretty familiar with the administrative paper-driven environment, i had armed myself with extra copies and she was quite surprised when i handed her the copies she requested. When that episode was over, her countenance became informal and she was asking about my family, work etc after which she now launched into compliments and body language that all boils down to me gratifying[bribing] her. She was not direct in her request but i understood fully well the import of her narratives. Tactfully, i turned her down and beamed her my best smiles wishing her a lovely weekend[it was a Friday] – i could see the grin of disappointment on her face as i stepped out of the office without doing “happy weekend ma”.
Now, all was needed by that office to do was just to acknowledge the receipt of my application and pass it on to the department/unit that would action my request.
A week later, I called my contact at the main department to inquire if my application has gotten to them to which he replied in the negative. So here is my theory – my application is lying hopelessly on that woman’s desk and she has refused to pass on to her oga[boss] because i did not gratify[bribe]her.
This is the scenario that plays out in every public-facing MDAs[ministries, departments, agencies] and parastatals charged with a service delivery mandate. Infamous in the act is the immigration office, vehicle licencing office and driving licencing office. At these public institutions, most of the officials have ‘agents’ stationed outside the office premises who scout for customers who (most of the time) wants “express” service. Express service means higher/(double) cost of procurement, boycott of needless administrative paper-pushing and faster turnaround time which sometimes may be same day or at most one week. On the flip side is the regular or normal service which goes by the official rate and will take [several]months to process before service is finally delivered or at times never delivered.
Now here are my surmisals/hypotheses/thought-provoking questions:
* Why do public officials demand gratification[bribe] before doing or carrying out duties and functions which they are employed and paid to do?
* Why do citizens offer bribes to get services they pay the public officials to deliver through their tax payments?
* Why do citizens offer bribes to public officials to get services the government levies tax on them for? {Double taxation at its best}
* Why is express service almost instant and normal service is over delayed?
* Why are all services/procurement not treated and handled with dispatch like the “express” services?
* Is a bribe-free public service a phantasm or a practicable reality?
* Can visionary leadership improve and sustain corrupt-free service delivery?
* Can we imagine where we would be as a country and our level of national prosperity if every public official carries out his/her duties without expecting a gratification or bribe?
* Can the spirit of true patriotism be engendered for acculturation?
* Is it strong public institutions that the country sorely needs or committed/patriotic workforce?
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To objectively answer these questions, I would be making a case for Values and our collective value system as a country. What informs our values as a people? What norms does our social networks espouse? What is our Identity as a people? Do we have shared identities as a country? What narratives have we imbibed that has impacted our values as a people?
 
I hope to answer these questions in succeeding series.
 
P.S- Pls feel free to include your hypotheses and submissions to the aforelisted and kindly drop comments, insights and analysis that would make for interesting and change-provoking conversations.

6 Days to Christmas 🎅. 6th Reason to be Thankful.

6 Days to Christmas 🎅. 6 Reasons to be thankful.

18/12/2016
09:37 AM

An internalized discovery of Self is what Purpose means and the beginning of its fulfillment.
Over the years, the inclination towards Academics, its Research and application to solving societal problems – the Town and Gown nexus – has been my passion and this Purpose have been given expression in the words and encouragement of acquaintances, friends, colleagues and associates.
In the Spirit of the Christmas Season, I’m aligning my Purpose with the Birth of Christ that my Purpose speaks, births academic/professional excellence, scholarship, creates societal upliftment and produces a rewarding global recognition.

#6DaysToChristmas
6th Reason to be thankful: Postgraduate Studies.
Upon completion of undergraduate studies, every Graduate’s dream is to hit the Industry and start making money. Mine wasn’t different especially having acquired professional caps in between undergrad studies, I just couldn’t wait to start making money and alleviate the burden of training my siblings off my wonderful parents.
And finally the opportunity to do a Postgraduate came and the best part of it was that it was fully paid for.
Dad Adegbeminiyi Abiodun Thomas , thanks Boss for been there as always. Delectable Mum-Aunt Feyi Adeyemi , I know I can always count on you Ma.
I appreciate the divine provision and I’m grateful for it. Thank you Daddy, let us do it again in 2017.

#ThanksBoss #6DaysToChristmas #FeelingGrateful

7 Days to Christmas 🎅. 7 Reasons to be Thankful.

7 Days to Christmas 🎅. 7 Reasons to be thankful.

18/12/2016
12:02 AM

Christmas this year would hold for me a potpourri of mixed feelings – an assortment of nostalgia and euphoria.
The anticipation of Christmas has not been this exciting for me in the past decade and the reason for this is because the past few years of my life have been dedicated to attainment of academic and professional goals which leaves no room for “mundane” and “unproductive” activities like Xmas celebrations and its attendant conviviality.
The Journey to Self-Actualization is still work-in-progress but I feel this sense of fulfillment to be in the threshold of the fourth rung of Abraham Maslow’s Pyramidal Hierarchy of Needs.
The period of prime adulthood has robbed me of the joy and merriment of this beautiful season, but no more as I feel so young again – just like in my preteen and teenage years and Jay-Z’s “Forever Young” is calling encore in my head.
There’s a lot to be thankful for and for that I’ve taken cue from my bestie, Ikpe Kelechi Cindy to countdown to Christmas with a grateful heart.

#7DaysToChristmas
7th Reason to be Thankful: A Lovely Apartment.
One of the checklist towards Manhood is Independence. Chief of which is Financial and Spatial (Housing). By privilege I have spaces I could call my own, but the element of Independence was still lacking; hence the challenge to get a space of my own.
I was able to achieve that with the encouragement and support of my amiable partner and January 2016 got me a lovely apartment of my own.
#JustGrace #7DaysToChristmas #FeelingGrateful