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How To Save Nigeria From Bankruptcy – Tunji Olaopa



Funding Public Education In Nigeria: Towards An Alternative Financing Model

Amid the nation’s economic crisis and a looming bankruptcy, Dr.Tunji Olaopa, a former Federal Permanent Secretary , and a Professor of Public Administration/Directing Staff at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Plateau State, has stressed the need for the country to embrace restructuring.

Prof. Olaopa spoke at the 2021 Oyo State Productivity and Merit Award Lecture held in Ibadan on Tuesday.

The seasoned civil servant who was the chairman of the occasion said that while the re-professionalisation of the civil service was imperative, more was needed for the development of the nation.

His words: ” I do not hesitate to make the point that meritocracy and excellence in service which requires re-professionalisation to build a new generation of bureaucrats for Nigeria, is core-critical to the future of the public administration profession in the knowledge age. This, more so, as we move into the potentially managerially disruptive Fourth Industrial Revolution that will sure reshape our profession beyond the new normal threshold that Covid-19 pandemic had taken it.”

But according to him, beyond this, and given the rate at which the country exits and re-enters into economic recession on account of growing globally diminishing market for fossil oil, the level of national indebtedness and poor strategic policy intelligence, “we bureaucrats as policy workers should be discerning enough to see that, except radical transformational salvage policy measures are taken in the next eighteen months thereabouts, Nigeria might enter irredeemably into deep bankruptcy. And in spite of the spirited protective commitment of the labour unions to defend the interest of the public sector workforce as the dynamics unfold, Nigeria must deal with the burdensome cost of governance trap that keeps draining the nation’s scarce resources in institutional and structural redundancies .”

READ ALSO: CAFRAD Appoints Tunji Olaopa As Member Of Advisory Board

He noted that the implementation of the Oronsaye report would not be enough to stave the impending crisis.

“Consequently, and beyond the Oronsaye report recommendations, governments at the different levels of our fledging federation, will be required to undertake deep-seated unbundling of the national expenditure structure through rigorous audit, to restructure the capital-recurrent budget fixture, and hence free up resources for real development funding. This will entail implementation of a national productivity paradigm shift that must be grounded on:
a national waste reduction strategy,
a productivity-indexed wage structure,
setting of productivity target for MDAs within framework of long-term sector productivity plans, reprofiling of public-private partnerships through acceleration along its three-levels maturity curve, and new national project management practices with reprofiled maintenance protocols, etc.

“It is clear that the 36 + 1 bureaucratic cost centres resulting from the redundancies created by our unitary overcentralized federal system will continue to fragment developmental and policy efforts making political restructuring all the more a pre-condition for Nigeria’s economic prosperity. It is within a restructured federation that the nation will be in a position to leverage the comparative advantages of the sub-nationals as source of sustainable development, while the cost of governance is automatically downsized to finance real development programs and projects.”

Olaopa who said that he was a National Productivity Order of Merit awardee himself, urged the proud award winners whose celebration was the reason for the occasion to see themselves as role models, mentors and change agents.

” It is therefore your charge forthwith, to be champions of the cherished public service values and to live true, in spirit and in truth, to their tenets.

READ ALSO: God Abeg!

“The onerous task of protection and preservation of the brand civil service that the Adebos of this world laboured to build is therefore on your shoulders. My prayer is that you will not fail the civil service, Oyo State and Nigeria”, he said.

The occasion was also used to share experiences on the content of the key paper that was delivered.

The paper titled ” The Bureaucrat, Partisan Politics and Professionalism: Issues, Challenges, Strategies of Reclaiming the Fading Boundary” was delivered by Fatai Ayinde Aremu, a Professor of Political Science at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies.


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Tinubu Approves N70,000 Minimum Wage



BREAKING: Dogara, Babachir Lead Northern Christians Against Tinubu's Muslim-Muslim Ticket

By John Michael Ojo

The Federal Government on Thursday, pegged the new national minimum wage at N70,000.

This was made known by Mr Bayo Onanuga, a Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, in a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“President Bola Tinubu has approved N70,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers with promise to review the national minimum wage law every three years.

“President Tinubu also promised to find ways to assist the private sector and the sub-nationals to pay the minimum wage.

“President Tinubu announced the decisions at the meeting held with leaders of TUC and NLC on Thursday in Abuja, the second time the parties met in 7 days,” the statement read.

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Olaopa Urges Youths To Shun Japa Syndrome, Prepare For Leadership



Prof. Tunji Olaopa flanked by Hon Abike Dabiri (left )and Prof. Oladapo Afolabi , former Head of Service of the Federation ( right) at the event on Thursday.

The Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, has urged youths to prepare for leadership positions early in life instead of travelling overseas to seek opportunities, a development that is popularly known as the Japa syndrome.

The seasoned bureaucrat and former federal permanent secretary said that opportunities abound for youths but that they could only access them when they begin early .

According to Olaopa who spoke on Thursday during the 2023/2024 graduation of KIA Lakeside Academy in Abuja, these opportunities will elude the youths if they opt to go and wander on the streets of foreign countries. He said : ” In the civil service I am very familiar with, people grow old and retire every day. We need youths to fill such vacancies that the old people leave behind . If all the youths go abroad to be doing menial jobs, do we go to Ghana and other neighbouring countries to employ their youths?

Prof. Tunji Olaopa and Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, former Head of Service of the Federation at the event.

He said that under his leadership of the Federal Civil Service, there is so  much hope for youths to access federal jobs. He said he had decided to maintain a policy of transparency and equity in making jobs in the civil service available for all eligible Nigerian youths through open advertisement.

He said in the area of political leadership, the older generation could not keep on dominating the sector. He said that the youths would be need to replace the old political leaders as they quit the scene.

According to him, the ability to prepare early for leadership goes hand in hand with a clear vision. He said nobody could prepare for anything if there is no clear vision of where they are going or what they want.

He said people who reach great heights in life always have a clear vision of where they are going early in life and they work towards it. He gave the example of former United States President Bill Clinton who as a youth had a clear vision of being his nation’s leader.

According to Olaopa, past and current leaders in Nigeria have had early in their youths clear visions of what they want in life. He said it was this clear visions early in life that made them trailblazers in different areas of life. In politics he cited Chief Obafemi Awolowo , Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and others. He said that these were trailblazers in their youth. He said in business, young people have become trailblazers.

He said that because of the opportunities the current world offers, youths do not need to become old people before reaching great heights in life. According to him, youths have become trailblazers in technology . He mentioned the examples of Zuckerberg of Facebook, Elon Musk and a younger Bill Gates.

Talking about breaking the glass ceiling, Olaopa said that no gender barrier should stop anyone from reaching the summit of life. He said many women in the past and the present have been trailblazers. He mentioned Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. Dora Akunyili,l and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. He said unlike in the past , many bank CEOs in Nigeria are currently women.

However, Olaopa said that nobody could be a trailblazer without preparation. He said this preparation comes in the form of education. He quoted Nelson Mandela who once observed that “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” He said if in the past people we regard as great today could get education despite the huge barriers they were faced with, youths of today have no excuse. He said Awolowo was faced with a huge educational disadvantage which he overcame by studying at home . He said Azikiwe had to find his way overseas where he suffered to educate himself. According to him, one of the greatest lawyers today in Nigeria is Chief Afe Babalola. He said Babalola overcame his challenges by studying at home and that today he owns one of the best universities in the country.

According to him, youths who lack the opportunity of going to formal university classrooms can avail themselves of the opportunities offered by the open university system that the Federal Government supports .

He said that in fact President Bola Tinubu has demonstrated his interest in the education of the less-privileged through his government’s Student loan scheme. He said that youths who desire to acquire university education but have no sponsors can use that scheme.

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Tinubu Appoints Walson-Jack Head Of Service As Yemi-Esan Retires




As the current Head of Service Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR, is due to retire on August 13, 2024, President Bola Tinubu has approved her replacement. She is Mrs. Didi Esther Walson-Jack.

Mrs. Walson-Jack was appointed as Federal Permanent Secretary in 2017 and has served in several Ministries.

While thanking Yemi-Esan  for her stewardship, President Tinubu tasked the incoming Head of Service to discharge her duties with innovative flair, integrity, and stringent adherence to the extant rules and regulations of the Civil Service of the Federation.

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