Friday, 6 January 2012

Time we considered Outsourcing the Business of Leadership…

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The social contract between ruler and ruled fizzles into a shadowy jurisprudential abstract, in the absence of credible clauses that enforce performance - both ways. Fact. And mind, the contract is not saved if it merely provides one-sided enforcement (In the ‘half bread is better than none’ sense). One sided contracts are judicially ill-perceived for creating unequal bargains.

The fuel subsidy issue crystallizes the absolute convenience of the party wielding the upper hand in an unequal bargain.
Now, supposing Subsidy removal is a vital- if jarring- strategy (Hypothesis!); how have all the parties been carried along? The business approach would involve tonnes of painstakingly prepared (and credibly audited) documents stating exact facts and figures, charts and measurable deliverables. This would be necessarily followed by inquisitorial scrutiny from the other party, and it is only when the latter is won over that the contract is executed- under ‘mutually agreed terms’.  

But what is the scenario here? They simply sent professors to sound out vague intellectual phrases, and you either grasp it adequately to throw your weight behind the idea, or get a migraine trying to figure it out and simply say, to hell! Thus, it becomes yet another avenue for displaying superior intelligence, a mere intellectual debate, while its ravaging effects spread- mercilessly.

If this were a mere oversight on the part of government, it would be pardonable. But it is clearly not. It is yet another rough-shod ride over the governed, buoyed by an ill-woven enforcement environment.
The enforcement environment makes the citizen unable to claim damages when the dividends of civil rule are denied him. They are non-justiciable.  Even his Human rights are qualified to suit public (read, State) interests. RIGHT TO LIFE blinks conspicuously in the books, but does nothing to stave systemic murder.

My view of the Subsidy removal and attendant Beelzebub-ian hike in (all) prices remains absolute: IT IS WANTON AND WICKED. Sadly, my civilian nature has also exposed me to cheap shots from well, fellow civilians. They label my views ‘rants from an arm-chair’. They also condemn my lack of imagination for – failing to proffer alternative solutions to government. I leave the reader to figure out the fine irony in that phrase: proffer alternative solutions to the (Nigerian) government. Like, seriously?

I assure you, if I had licensed guns, I will shoot them wildly to register my protest. But then, the issue is far more grave than interring or exhuming private hatchets. It is a collective battle for survival by an irate, nay, volatile citizenry. And we must all take our sides, firmly.
But then…when the battle is won or lost, how do we move on? Even though the chants of revolution stir in my breast, I have grown to understand that it is not an end in itself. The late Heavy D crooned- “Now that we found love, what are we gonna do…with it?”  
So if the battle is won, or lost, what are the feasible options towards avoiding this recurrent stalemate between ruler and ruled?

And I say, maybe it is time we seriously considered outsourcing the business of leadership. To foreign technocrats.

No, it is not a return to colonialism. The world has outgrown that. Nations now act as joint-watchdogs for one another against racism.  

Call it a Diplomatic Doctrine of Necessity (DDN). Our leaders have failed us, roundly and repeatedly. But we need not make a sorrow-tale out of that. So we would invite these foreigners to operate every policy corner (Federal and state) in their stead.
We do not have less learned nationals of course, but the lure of cash and the fear of the system have proven acutely overwhelming.  In the light of this, once the technocrats are invited, they will be shielded with a modified version of the immunity clause, tagged- Freedom from Government Interference (FGI).

Their contract tenures will be contained in collectively agreed agreement, and they will be mandated to function according to laid down Standard Levels. Thus, their remuneration will only be accessed upon performance to certain measurable indices of the contract.
If they under-perform, their contracts will not be renewed, and they will leave our shores. If they engage in any criminality, the Immunity clause does not avail them and they will face the Law’s full brunt. Otherwise, their contracts are renewed for another term.

This will not preclude our normal rulers from being elected to office. Nah, are we not an Independent state?  By all means they can claim the glory of the technocrats’ successes. But then, their salaries will be payable out of the ‘profits’ from the technocrats’ operations, after the national/social needs are adequately met.  Nevertheless, let the politicians look on the bright side. It will free them to iron more pressing issues…their agbada for instance.

Going forward, when the needed transformation is achieved in the nation’s critical sectors (in line with specific timelines); the outsourcing contracts will be reviewed to cover management and maintenance. And so on.

This may be a dim-witted view, but I had scratched my head vigorously to come up with a more nationalistic approach and my brain could only swim in circles. At least, I will not be accused of being a blockhead.


PS: I am playing Eminem’s MOSH as I write. Readying for tomorrow’s great march. Bite me!

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