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08042018 - Education in free fall! •Sector gets paltry N3.9 trillion out of N55.19 trillion in 10 years


PAGE 44 — SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 8, 2018 Viewpoint By Funsho Ayoola VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF The VP’s simple message ‘And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free’ – John 8:32 Vice President Yemi Osinbajo means different things to different people. As a student, he showed brilliance at every level of education he passed through. At University of Lagos (UNILAG) where he obtained a degree in law, he distinguished himself, bagging second class upper on graduation. That set the stage for a robust teaching career for Osinbajo at his alma mater where his outstanding character got him noticed by then Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola, who took him in as his Special Assistant. That marked his foray into governance. Even if that was under a military dispensation, he must have learnt some rudiments of politics. His second foray into politics came in 1999 when, still based on his brilliant credentials in law, Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu invited him to join his cabinet as Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Lagos State and he did not disappoint. The bulk of the law By Chuks Okocha VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF Controversy over emoluments By Akintola Benson-Oke VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF A lean operational model LAGOS State Civil Service has come a long way in reducing waste while increasing productivity. This is partly the result of the extensive investments in knowledge and skills by the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. For these investments, the state Civil Service remains grateful. The importance of eliminating waste cannot be over-emphasised. Countless studies have shown that, with good and sound processes relating to management of time and resources, one finds that meagre resources can be extended to produce outstanding results. In other words, organisations and individuals can achieve more with less. Indeed, it would be a great achievement if the Lagos State Civil Service is able to import the principles of lean operations from the private sector and apply them, mutatis mutandis, to the operations of the public sector. Osinbajo’s anti-corruption formula But those who do not want to continue to hear the truth about how corruption of the Jonathan administration brought the economy to a point that it nearly collapsed, expectedly, have joined issues with the VP because they don’t want to be reminded of their ugly past reforms that endure today in the state were initiated under that administration. The flawless delivery of the Lagos cabinet job and his deep commitment to the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a platform to lift the nation out of the morass of the past must have recommended the professor of law, among other factors, for his latest assignment in Aso Rock where he is Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. For instance, after the formation of the APC in 2013, Osinbajo was tasked, with other notable Nigerians, to design and produce a manifesto for the new political party. This culminated in the presentation of the ‘Roadmap to a New Nigeria’, a document published by APC as its manifesto if elected to power. The highlights of the Roadmap included a free school meal plan, a conditional cash transfer to the 25 million poorest Nigerians if they enrol their children in school and immunise them. There were also a number of programs designed to create economic opportunities for Nigeria’s massive youth population. With the involvement of the VP in the design and production of the APC, the Buhari administration has, in its wisdom, allowed the implementation of some of the key components to fall under the supervision of the VP. For instance, the school meal and conditional cash transfer components of the APC government manifesto are aggressively being pursued under the Office of the VP with evidence from across the 36 states showing that both programmes are a huge success. There is obviously no better way to describe the situation other than the fact that Osinbajo has acquitted himself very well. The implementation of the anticorruption crusade of the administration is also being carried by relevant MDAs in collaboration with the Office of the VP. This is not a surprise given that Osinbajo has carved a niche for himself as a professor of law. The successes the administration has made on its anti-corruption drive, which is one of the three key electioneering promises of the APC government (the two others being security and economic growth), cannot be celebrated without mentioning the contribution of the VP who has stood solidly behind the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against those who want him out on the grounds of his non-compromising stance to recover huge public funds stolen by past government officials, especially those of the immediate past administration. Meanwhile, the VP is a pastor of one of the fastest growing churches in the coun- Much Ado About Running Cost WITH the declaration by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) that the monthly salary of each senator is N1.06 million, the dust raised in the polity over reports that members of the upper house receive N13.5 million as salary is gradually being laid to rest. What should now agitate the minds of all Nigerians is what is ‘running cost’? Should a senator or indeed any other government official use his monthly salary to run and maintain his office? Is that the standard procedure or the best practice in other climes? Should a Senator or a member of the House of Representative use his monthly salary to run his office? Is that what is obtained in other government agencies or other arms of government? Salaries are defined as money paid to workers be tbey members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), Heads of Government Agencies or any one for the work done at a given period. . It is expected of any man or woman who does a job to be paid as at when due brcause it is often said that a labourer deserves his or her wages. What is not clear is whether the worker. be it a Minister, Senator, Director General or any other person should use his or her salary to maintain the office. A salary is not expected to be retired or accounted for, insofar as the person goes to work as stated in his or her letter of employment. What is not included in the monthly salary is the running cost. An unavoidable question here is : should a worker no matter the category be expected to use his salary to maintain his office?. A specific amount is always budgeted or set aside to be used for the day to day running of any office. A little knowledge of office management shows that there are basic issues that are needed to keep an office running and such money are usually accounted for or retired as at when due with all the relevant receipts. A Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or any other government official for that matter usually has some money budgeted for the day to day running of the office. Much as no mischief is intended, a running cost for a senator shall include but not limited to the cost of photocopying documents, purchase of inks, air tickets, medical bills as well as payment for various consultants who research into the various bills, motions and other legislative duties that usually enhance the work of the parliamentarians. It also include payment of rents to Lagos Civil Service: Doing more with less It has been rightly noted that the lean management and production techniques have their roots in the manufacturing sector. Specifically, the car manufacturer, Toyota, has been singled out as demonstrating the profitability of the techniques over the years. This is why, according to McKinsey & Company, many “businesses have followed Toyota’s lead and undergone a lean transformation. A major European telecommunications company, for example, successfully applied lean techniques to a problem that was leading many of its customers to switch to competitors: the repair of faulty telephone lines. The company found that its call center operators, diagnostics experts, and repair technicians operated as though they actually worked for rival employers. As a result, it took an average of 19 hours to repair a line. Using lean principles, the company realigned its organization and invested in the development of team leaders. In the first few months of its pilot project, productivity increased by 40 percent and recurring failures fell by constituency offices, payment of staff in such offices, fuelling of the vehicles of the parliamentarians when they go on oversight duties. A lawmaker on an oversight duty is not expected to ask his host to provide for his or her transport or even accommodation for himself or herself including supporting staff. The parliamentarian who receives money for running cost is expected to retire such funds with due receipts. The problem here should be when such funds are not accounted for or retired. This again is not limited to lawmakers, as other government officials on such approved journeys do retire such funds whenever they embark on such tours. Basically, the duties of a parliamentarian is not a ‘sit down in office work’. A parliamentarian engages in journeys and research so to enrich the bills and motions that would be passed for the day to day and promotion of good governance In the country. So, what is the hullabaloo or fixation of minds on running costs gor members of the National Assembly? What is so special about this running cost? This is not unusual, it is what is obtained in every democracy. The legislature, the executive and indeed the judiciary, all of them have running cost. If no blackmail is intended, let Nigerians, all If no blackmail is intended, let Nigerians, all civil society groups ask for the running cost of all government official, from the office of the President, Vice President, Ministers, special advisers and all other categories of government officials. civil society groups ask for the running cost of all government official, from the office of the President, Vice President, Ministers, special advisers and all other categories of government officials. Let’s know if they maintain their offices from their salaries. What is the motive behind the hue and cry of the salaries and running cost of members of the National Assembly? In the entire gamut of the national budget, less than two percent is spent on both the Senate and the House of Representatives. In 2017, out of over six trillion naira, the budget of the National Assembly 50 percent. The programme was then rolled out across the company’s national network, where it achieved similar success.1Likewise, a major European bank used lean techniques to reduce the processing time for mortgage applications to 5 days, from 35 days. Because fewer applicants dropped out of the process, the bank’s revenues grew by 5 percent even as processing costs fell by 35 percent.” The question, of course, is whether any of this is relevant to the public sector? As noted, it is not surprising that the concept and language of lean, rooted as they are in manufacturing, spark cynicism among many civil servants. Some feel that their priority should be matters of policy, not operations; others resent the notion that they are somehow part of a production line. Moreover, without the incentive of the profit motive, these government managers may believe they have neither a reason nor the levers to pursue a lean approach. Yet practical experience suggests that they can. A study has shown that in a UK government office processing large volumes of standard documents, lean techniques achieved double-digit productivity gains in the number of documents processed per hour and improved customer service by slashing lead times to fewer than 12 days, from about 40, thus eliminating backlogs. The proportion of documents processed correctly the first time increased by roughly 30 percent; lead times to process incoming mail decreased to 2 days, from 15 days; and the staff occasionally attains the nirvana of an unprecedented zero backlog. Now, I will be the first to acknowledge that, as has been well documented, persuading people to embark on the lean journey, where the last stop may be their own removal or reassignment, is not easy. To succeed, public-sector organizations must find a way to align their growth strategy—providing new and better services at limited cost—with a regard for the interests of their workers. Although lean programmes may cut the number of public-sector jobs over time, the goal is to make the remaining ones more rewarding. Incentives try, the Redeemed Christian Church of God. And it was on that premise that Osinbajo spoke truth to those who will rather that the nation stops talking about the large scale corruption perpetrated by the immediate past administration and which everyone agrees virtually killed the economy. The VP spoke alongside Tinubu at the colloquim to mark the 66th birthday of the APC national leader. Osinbajo, who described corruption as an existential problem for Nigeria, had said, “The corruption of the previous five years destroyed the economy.” “They say don’t talk about it. What should we talk about? If we are not talking about it, what then is the lesson to Nigerians?” Tinubu said. He said that the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party wasted the nation’s resources when production was at maximum. But those who do not want to continue to hear the truth about how corruption of the Jonathan administration brought the economy to a point that it nearly collapsed, expectedly, have joined issues with the VP because they don’t want to be reminded of their ugly past and, by so doing, amend their ways. *Ayoola is a public affairs analyst based in Lagos. was just N150 Billion. This is happening in a country where in less than 34 months, a minister has collected over $800,000 as estacode. Yet no one has condemned the ministers for what they earn. What is good for the goose is equally good for the gander. That is why there is the need for all agencies of government at all levels to disclose what it takes to maintain their offices. A former Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, in his response to Itse Sagay’s position on the salary and running cost of senators, said, “I find the threat by Professor Sagay on allowances and running cost of the leadership of the National Assembly very interesting. It will aid our fight for transparency in public affairs. However, he should not be selective. For us to take him seriously, he should include the details of the running costs of the office of the President, Vice President, Ministers, Special Advisers, heads of government agencies, parastatals and even himself. After all, the salaries, allowances and running costs come from the same public coffers. “He should tell the world how much he is paid, how much he spends on his numerous junketing abroad, his allowances, honoraria and others, including the ones paid for by international donor agencies”. *Okocha is Special Assistant to the Senate President. come from the prospect of more meaningful work, potentially with room for greater autonomy or a chance to develop new skills. If the Lagos State Civil Service is able to perfect the art of lean management and operations, the service will become able to eliminate the socalled “Three Sources of Loss,” which are waste, variability, and inflexibility. A lean operational system will also ensure that the Lagos State Civil Service creates and maintains the beneficial ability to improve itself constantly by bringing problems to the surface and resolving them. In this area, the public sector often finds itself in a weaker starting position when compared to private sector entities, with gaps in skills and entrenched mind-sets. The adoption of a lean operational system will help the Lagos State Civil Service adopt a performance culture. This is because, “when improving long-term performance is the goal, changing the process or the operating system will not suffice. The organization’s culture must also change.” *Benson Oke, Honourable Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions

SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 8, 2018, PAGE 45 Newcastle not yet safe, says Benitez RAFA Benitez has in sisted his team deserved all three points against Leicester City despite being pushed all the way during the 2-1 win at the King Power Stadium. The Foxes set up a nervous finish after Jamie Vardy’s late goal made things uncomfortable for United on a day in which the home side felt they should have had two penalties. Vardy was upended by Mo Diame while Paul Dummett’s tackle on Riyad Mahrez proved to be a close call. After the game, Benitez refused to declare his side were safe from relegation but said they were full value for the three points. He said: “Closer yes, but we are only nearly there. “We want to make sure we have the 40 points.” Newcastle’s win was their first one on the road since January 1, but they showed resolve and unlike the trip to AFC Bournemouth they did not throw away a twogoal lead. Benitez said: “It was important for us to work really hard. “It was a great performance and we deserved to win.” Super Falcons players lament 8-0 bashing by French women SUPER Falcons play ers were shell shocked by the 8-0 drubbing handed them by the French women couterparts in Friday night’s international friendly in Le Mans. It was the first major game for the African Champions and the first outing for new coach Thomas Dennerby with the senior team after he took the B side to the WAFU tournament in Cote d’ Ivoire. This was the third time the Falcons will be suffering a heavy defeat in the hands of European teams. They lost with the same margin to Norway in 1995 and Germany in 2010. According to striker Desire Oparanozie the team was ill-prepared for the POWER POINT... Paul Pogba heads in United back into the game. The first of his two goals against City. United rub salt on City’s injury Manchester United rallied from two goals down to win a pulsating derby 3-2 and deny Manchester City the chance to claim the Premier League title against their local rivals. This defeat for City is coming after their 3-0 thumping by Liverpool in the first leg quarterfinal of the Champions League tie at Anfield. In the first half City looked on course to be crowned PL champions after racing into a twogoal lead courtesy of Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan. But Paul Pogba’s double early in the second half turned the match on its head before Chris Smalling headed in the winner. Kompany headed in from Leroy Sane’s corner on 25 minutes, before Gundogan turned on Raheem Sterling’s pass and prodded in the second. Pogba pulled a goal back on 53 minutes from Ander Herrera’s chested pass, before heading in his second from United’s next attack. Smalling nodded in game. “To be honest, I think we didn’t have adequate preparation going into this game, taking into consideration the fact that we were inactive for as long as we were - 16 months,” France-based Nigeria striker Desire Oparanozie told BBC Sport. “We are the champions of Africa and we can all say it was rightly deserving. However, we can’t deny the fact that while we were out, our opposition have been busy getting stronger. “I admit it might not be a good enough reason for the scoreline but France were bound to put in a better showing than us,” Oparanozie added. Also speaking was goalkeeper, Alaba Jonathan who missed the game. “The team is training together for the first time after we played in Cameroon. The players need more time to work together.” The Falcons will now focus on qualifying for the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations in Ghana as Sanchez’s free-kick, a second assist for the Chilean, and David De Gea denied Sergio Aguero a leveller with a brilliant save. City remain 13 points clear of second-placed United with five matches remaining. “We are not a bad team as people think we are. I’m not a bad manager as people think we are. We have just proved that we are the second best team in the League,” United manager, Jose Mourinho said after the match. they aim to retain their continental title. This year’s Women’s Nations Cup will take on extra significance as it will also decide the continent’s teams for the 2019 Women’s World Cup - in what could be Nigeria’s eighth record appearance at the tournament. Falcons'll bounce back, Pinnick assures NIGERIA Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick has made excuses for Falcons’ humiliating 8-0 loss to France in a friendly on Friday evening, saying the Federation put all of their efforts on the Super Eagles. In a statement released this afternoon, Pinnick pointed out that the Super Falcons are still the best team in Africa and fans should not gloat over the result as it was a friendly that the coaches will use to correct the deficiencies in the team. What’s clear is that defense shambles cost the Super Falcons against the French national team after they conceded eight goals from inside the box, which could have been prevented if they were more organized. ‘’Our Super Falcons team is the best female team in Africa. Our pride in them will never waver. As with any friendly match, the game against France was more for the technical team to look at the players now and see who and what will fit,’’ Pinnick stated. ‘’The result, though very lopsided just shows how much work is in front of us. We concentrated a lot of our efforts on our Super Eagles, but it was unintentional. ‘’Hopefully, we will do them proud as well. So, I would like to just tell Nigerians that I, the Executive Committee and Management of the NFF, are all very proud of our Super Falcons and we know they will make us proud as they usually do. ‘’One bad experimental result does not change a priceless asset; our dear Super Falcons.’ Dalung optimistic despite poor start THE Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solo mon Dalung is confident that Nigeria will surpass its past record at the ongoing Commonwealth Games. Barrister gave the assurance despite the country’s poor start at the Games in Gold Coast which enters Day 3 on Saturday. “The Games have just started and our team has prepared very well. Although the early start has not been quite impressive as we expected, that does not suggest that that’s what we are expecting. We are quite hopeful that we will surpass our records in this Games. We should not be discouraged by the poor start. The team is in high spirit and the officials are dutifully working round the clock. Our aim is to make the country proud.” In boxing on Friday, Millicent Agboegbulem defeated Salte Huni of Tonga 5-0 in the Women’s 75kg Round of 16. The Minister was accompanied by the President, Nigeria Olympic Committee Engr Habu Gumel, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mr Olusade Adesola and the Director Planning, Monitoring and Implementation Mrs Hauwa Kulu Akinyemi to cheer the boxer. D'Tigers lose 67-82 to Canada THE Canadian national basketball team on Saturday defeated the Nigerian national male basketball team, D’Tigers, 82-67 points at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. The Nigerians had lost their first preliminary qualification game against the Tall Blacks of New Zealand on Friday and have now all but crashed out of the tournament. Canada were favourites going into the game, and in the game’s first quarter Canada took a 23-16 points lead, while D’Tigers took a narrow lead of 21-20 in the second period. D’Tigers also rallied to take another slim lead in the third quarter, pipping Canada by 15-14 points, with both leads doing little to peg the North Americans back. It was in the final period, however, that Canada extended their domination, taking 25 points against D’Tigers’ 15. The Nigerian basketball team are now in the bottom of Pool A, having played two matches and lost both. Pool toppers New Zealand and secondplaced Australia played their group’s other game later in the day. Gold Coast is a 'Ghost Town' as business struggle to make money THE Commonwealth Games has failed to de liver on an expected economic boom, frustrating business owners who are struggling amid dwindling sales as the Gold Coast becomes a ‘ghost town’. Compounding the anger is mayor Tom Tate, who said businesses needed to ‘get out there and market’, adding that he ‘never sat still when I ran my business’. Retailers and owners are furious at the mayor’s comments, saying they were ‘pissed off’ at the assumption they weren’t working hard during the Games. Southport coffee shop’s sales have reportedly been slashed from an average of 200 coffees a day to just ten. Commonwealth Games bosses have admitted they frightened visitors off with their overly-negative preview of the event. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszcuk is disappointed in plans which scared people off with fears of traffic chaos, and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Corporation chairman Peter Beattie has admitted it has been a failure. ‘We were worried about the traffic, of course we were. I think we probably did [go too far] and I accept responsibility for that. That’s not the government, that’s me,’ he told the Courier Mail. Ghana women set Hockey dreams high GHANA women were dealt Trans-Tasman baptism of fire to mark global tournament debut, but have hearts to match. “We are here to give the people of Ghana hope and to leave a great mark on the world,” women’s captain Nafisatu Umaru declared before their Commonwealth adventure began on Friday. And even after a 12-0 drubbing by New Zealand there remained hope. Yes, short in stature against the muscled shoulders of the Kiwis, but big in heart. The African media outlet which called the result “humiliating” clearly weren’t present. “I’m proud to play with this team,” Elizabeth Opoku then revealed after their debut on the global stage. “The quickness and movement and the skill level was far ahead of us. They played a continual game. “We don’t give up easily. We play to our game and we still have to fight.”