Tuesday, 14 January 2020

An Appraisal of the CEO in Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State: Support in Focus


This is the second edition of the editorial series titled: An Appraisal of the CEO in Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State and embarked upon by NEGROIDHAVEN and TheDailyNewsNG. On the 9th of January, the former had done the first edition which brought the supervisory capacity of His Excellency the Executive Governor of Cross River State, Sen. Prof. Benedict Ayade into Focus. Thus the subtitle was: 'Supervision in Focus'. The Second Edition is tilted How Well has Gov. Ayade Mentored Members of his Cabinet for Productivity: An Appraisal of the CEO in Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State https://m.facebook.com/story.phpstory_fbid=1741038049359689&id=1014037398726428. This third edition is tagged: 'Support in Focus'. The title for this edition is already suggesting what this piece will be addressing. 

An Appraisal of the CEO in Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State: Supervision in Focus. It should be emphasised that this is not just an evaluation of the Ben Ayade administration, but a framework for assessing any public office holder as it were especially in Nigeria. The framework of our valuation is published here —https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d1O33KnEX6U4D8fab17Bk0fWkjW5q0NTEj0AJQI0JFXZ8/edit?usp=drivesdk. And it's called A Framework for Defining and Assessing Public Office Holder's Performance.

It should be recalled that, the point had been made that this editorial series will be assessing the CEO status of His Excellency the Executive Governor of Cross River under such broad themes as —leadership and management. 

Under the category —leadership, the third feature of assessment is —Support. Meanwhile, by leadership it is meant 'how well a public office holder can build interpersonal influence and how they influence the behavior of others to enhance individual and collective performance'. On the other hand, 'Supportive' measures ability to provide recognition and support. 

So, the question is —how well has Governor Ben Ayade demonstrated leadership by playing supportive roles to/for Commissioners of Ministries, Special Advisers/Senior Special Assistants/Special Assistants of Departments and Executive Chairpersons/Director Generals of Agencies/Commissions? Asked differently, what idea(l)/act(ion) of the CEO-Governor between 2015 and 2019 shows that he believes those aides are  good/acceptable for their respective roles? With what ideal/idea and/or act/action as governor has His Excellency ensured that his aides must succeed in respect of the mandate devolved upon them respectively by reason of appointment into public office? 

To begin with, the CEO-Governor between 2015 and 2019 appointed into his cabinet young persons who constituted a large chunk of the State Executive Council SEC. We had Dr Inyang Asibong the then Commissioner for Health who was in her thirties. There was Asuquo Ekepenyong Jnr the Commissioner for Finance who was in his late twenties even according to sources. There's Dr Betta Edu the pioneer DG of the state Primary Health Care agency (Commissioner for Health) that was equally in her early thirties. Membership of Boards, Commissions, SAs, SSAs, PAs etc were predominantly young people. This form of support for youthful involvement public service is quite commendable. 

There is another dimension of support: the idea of having a very large cache of public officers or appointees. As at the last count, in his first term as governor, over 3, 000 Cross Riverians had been appointed into one capacity or the other by Ayade. This may be seen as a form of encouraging citizenry participation in governance. 

However, Jude Egbas writing in Pulse.ng on 28th May 2017 disclosed that "Governor Ayade calls Frank the 'co-Governor of Cross River". Egbas added:
'During State functions, Frank is often seen strutting alongside his elder sibling, like you would the deputy Governor of any other State in the country.' (https://www.pulse.ng/news/local/ben-ayade-the-joke-that-is-cross-river-governor/zvcj57s). Is it not contradicting to say that Ayade is supportive of his aides but still refers to his biological brother as 'co-Governor' with all the trappings of a public officer? With such an appellation, does the so-called co-Governor interfere in the activities of His Excellency the Deputy Governor of the state? Or, does it not get into the day-to-day activities of government? I cannot tell. But the tag renders certain things already suspect. 

Now, ideally inferring, the extant question can be fine-tuned to: what policy trust —financial and otherwise, between May 2015 and May 2019 has Ayade crafted, which serves as a catalyst for helping his aides translate words to action to the overall benefit of Nigerians resident and indigenous to Cross River, and against which the official activities of his aides can be objectively measured? Beginning with the financial policy/appropriation laws, in 2016 it was Budget of Deep Vision (N350 billion), while in 2017 we'd Budget of Infinite Transposition (N707 billion). In 2018 it's Budget of Kinetic Crystallisation (N1.3 trillion), as 2019 was Budget of Quabalistic Densification (N1.O43 trillion); while in 2020 it's Budget of Olympotic Meristemasis (N1. 1 trillion). To what extent were these budgets implemented? Has our economy been bolstered? Are we fairing any better economically? Are we a prosperous sub national? The answers are yours to decipher? If these economic projections are only imaginary, a mere utopia; and whereas there were ministries, departments and agencies/ commissions who had sub-heads in the budget to implement, it stands to reason that the appointed leaders in the various MDAs failed to translate elements in the economic blueprints into concrete realities. Could they have been credibly supported by His Excellency and they couldn't articulate the Budget? Doesn't this undermine the supportive genius in Ayade the CEO-Governor?

Practically inferring, between 2015 and 2019, Governor Ayade was reported to have engaged in globe-trotting the universe signing illusory MoUs looking for pariah investors that would never show up. In fact, at a point he was said to have stayed more outside the state than he did within the geographical boundary of the state he was elected to govern. According to reliable information, between 29 May 2015 and 16 August 2016, Ayade had travelled to over 30 countries searching for investors within one year and yet no investor no investment! https://m.facebook.com/story.phpstory_fbid=10210562692133740&id=1539365606.

Cross Riverians had heard so many talks and were equally inundated with the notion of 'intellectual money' from His Excellency and his aides. To the extent to which the state is not more prosperous than it was before 2015, then the intellectual money is still 'intellectual', that is immaterial, it is not yet material. Recently, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation said it is now 'GMoney'. I guess he is referring to a transition to the second tenure.

Finally, looking at the dwindling security situation in the State capital and the overall state which is the first responsibility of government, within which political environment will the aides of the governor render authentic and credible service to Cross Riverians? 

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