The ‘I Before You’ Syndrome

A System can be defined as units or parts (sub-systems) that interact with each part or unit to function as a whole. The units or parts are designed in a manner that makes its operations optimal with less grid-lock and distractions or un-necessary overlapping that will create bottle necks or tardiness to function effectively so much so that all the units that make a whole will almost automatically fit into place to give one big system.

A well managed system institutionalized becomes so functional that every body will on entry into the system know what to do and how to do it without relying on brain wave or native intelligence or worst still rely on the ‘thoughts’ of the man on the spot to carry out official functions as was the case with our military detractors, extended by our ‘Mr. know all’ General OBJ even when we claim to be operating a democratic system of government.

Some of the features of a functional system lies in its ability to be self regulatory, detects deviations from set standards which it allows for setting with ease in the first place and setting of further standards, makes planning easy and effective and gives enough room for appraisal of operations and above all brings about efficiency and professionalism because of its effectiveness. A good functional system even allow for accurate projections to be made in all the areas of society’s needs with precision.

System is so central to human activities that no plan no matter how good it may look like can function in a dysfunctional system though a functional system is a result of good planning. So total is a system that it is easy to discern a functional society viding the system in place thus allowing things to done in a particular way with character as the common denominator.

Whether in governance or business or even in our private lives, its none application gives room for dislocations through faulty assumptions that sometimes are very costly and fatal resulting to instability and social vices. A good example is our inability to have a budget on time. Inter and intra governmental conflict in the country is also another sore point of the confused situation we are into.

For a very long while now you see and hear Nigerians lamenting either through write-ups in the newspapers or comments on TV station(s) the break down of system in Nigeria or lack of it claiming that that is why nothing functions here. Often comparison is drawn between Nigeria and Europe and United States of America, places where in their reckoning things work. They are absolutely right except that no one so far has posited why theirs is working and ours is not.

What we have not been able to do like others we often refer to is that we have allowed institutions that should be nurtured and grown into functional systems to be revolved around individuals who are holders of those offices at any point in time. Rather than allow institutions to make persons we allow persons to make the institutions, a direct opposite of what obtains in the places we see and refer to as better than ours.

Bastardization of institutions started with IBB regime when the civil service was dismantled all because one man wants to remain in power at all cost and the rules will not fast track it hence total demolition of all the structures built over time that has given a semblance of system to our governance. Ask Gen. Gowon the usefulness of the civil service and see what a good system it was before IBB and all the rapacious regimes that followed later including Obasanjos’.

Now we today are celebrating the judiciary as the last hope of the common man with some even suggesting rightly too as the only institution or arm of government functioning. The fact is that is about the only institution spared by all the military regimes that has ruled this country even though it is for selfish reasons. The judiciary managed to resist or escape the over-bearing tendencies of the military for reason known to them.

Painfully though is the fact that Nigerians in more than so many ways contributed immensely to the destruction of our institutions through direct collaboration and or complacency. The attitude we exhibited in enthroning ‘me’ instead of ‘we’ that has seen individuals more powerful or relevant than the institution they head is what we are all witnessing in the case of Nuhu Ribadu and the EFCC and the police as institution.

The role of the media on this saga, who was supposed to educate on issues of this nature, is to say the least, is appalling. There is the suggestion going by the write-ups in the media that Ribadu is being given some bad treatment thus insinuating he is bigger than EFCC or that without him there will be no EFCC. And it is a shame that the watch dog role the media is supposed to play in ensuring public office holders account for their stewardship which Nuhu Ribadu has failed to do so far is being questioned shamelessly. We did it during the regimes of IBB, Sani Abacha, even Obasanjo. But they all have left office and Nigeria remains. Some sanity please.

It is my opinion that Ribadu should go and answer to questions being raised over his stewardship at EFCC. He should also realize that he is a police man first before being Chairman of EFCC and most importantly him as a lawyer ought to know and he should know that the police are an institution with its rules and regulation. The police have its own system still functioning. If for any reason he finds it difficult to operate within that system he should honourably bow out. The people urging him on knows this and will deny him soon, very soon.

By the way where is DSP Ogugbuaja?

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INVESTOR SENDS POLICE AFTER STOCKBROKER

Personnel of Integrated Capital Services Limited (ICSL), a financial solution company which also provides stock broking services, have been engaged in a running battle with an investor who is determined to collect promised returns on a N50million investment the company had persuaded him to invest in the stock market. 

ICSL had persuaded the Chief Executive Officer of Tamstel Nigeria Limited to invest the N50million in its stock market focused product, aptly named I-QUITY RANGE INVESTMENT in July 2007. ICSL had given the investor the assurance of a minimum guaranteed return of 100 percent which would amount to a return of N100million at the end of a 12-month period, the agreed tenor of the investment.

Apparently emboldened by the general optimism of that period when the Nigerian stock market was unabashedly bullish, ICSL further offered to a N50million margin line facility to Tamstel with a guaranteed minimum return of 75 percent (net of interest charge). This would amount N37.5million profit to Tamstel at the 12 months maturity of the tenor of the investment.

 

The expectations of the total N137.5million (inclusive of initial investment) return to Tamstel by ICSL could not effected when at the expiration of the investment tenor in September 2008, ICSL could only give excuses for its inability to pay up on schedule.

  

Tamstel insisted, through a letter or payment demand to ICSL, that it could not accept the excuses offered for its refusal to pay its N50million equity participation and the documented returns promised it since the management of the investment portfolio was at its (ICSL) sole discretion without recourse in any way or manner to Tamstel. The client investor, according to the letter of payment demand, alleged that it believed that ICSL made huge and stupendous returns from investing the money in the stock market and specifically accused ICSL of scamming it in what looks like a 419 scheme.  

 

After several disappointing responses to its call for payment, the client investor invited the Police Special anti-fraud Unit (SFU) into the matter. After several stakeouts, the men of the SFU arrested and detained senior management staff of the firm. A schedule of repayment was agreed with the police at SFU.

 

Mr. Adeniyi Elumaro, Managing Director of ICSL confirmed that Tamstel, indeed, invested in ICSL with the promise of returns on the investment but this could not be realized because the stock market witnessed price slides for the most part of this year.

 

“It’s true that Tamstel invested N50million in the stock market through us and we also provided the company a margin line facility, but at maturity of the tenor we could not live up to the promise of returns we made to Tamstel because the stock market turned bearish dashing all our expectations. Though we explained the reasons we could not pay the promised return they refused to understand and thereafter brought in the police who arrested my staff. But we have been able to resolve the matter at the police station.” Mr. Elumaro said.