Saturday, 25 January 2020

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


Recall that January 2020, NegroidHaven and TDN embarked on a twelve series editorial titled: 'An Appraisal of the CEO in Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State': The series would reflect on two fundamental issues, namely, leadership and management. Under leadership, six topical issues would be focused on, to wit, Supervision; Support; Role Model TDN would concentrate on Mentorship and Delegation. 

In this series, efforts will be made to highlight the Catalyst component in the leadership ability of His Excellency the Executive Governor of Cross River State (who incidentally is the subject of this editorial series, the Framework, could be employed on any other public officer as it were other than Gov Ayade). 

By Catalyst, within the context of this Framework, it is meant 'ability to encourage goal achievement'. The implication here is that as the Governor-in-Council (G-in-C) His Excellency should demonstrate leadership by encouraging members of the State Cabinet and other numerous appointees to achieve set goals of the administration —policies-, programmes- and projects-wise. 

Characteristically, a catalyst (wo)man has the following:
1. S/he remains unchanged in the governance process 
2. Is process-specific (in nature) 
3. Does not change the equilibrium when reversing the style of implementation of government programme rather, it helps attain stability in the polity faster.
4. Must not be seen to push for the delivery of impossible policy, programmes and projects 
5. Must be a team player in service delivery. 
Firstly, the catalyst wo/man should be seen to be only playing the part of supervision of his principal aides, not actually doing the implementation of the policy, programme and/or project, this will allow him/her to ensure that the implementation meets the specification of the philosophy underlying the formulation of the policy etc; secondly, the catalyst wo/man must be seen to play specific roles in the actualisation of the briefs of the various ministries, departments and agencies of government; thirdly, in the event where a policy, etc is to be reversed, rejigged or tweaked the catalyst wo/man should ensure that the change process does not upset balance in the body-politic; fourthly, public policy etc must be SMART: simple, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound; and finally, the catalyst (wo)man must be a team player in the delivery of service to the citizenry. With all these, the public officer as catalyst will ensure the speedy facilitation of policy, programme and project across the designated MDAs. 

The important question is: has His Excellency the Executive Governor of Cross River State been the catalyst man in the state between May 2015 and May 2020? Let's take a look at the pet project of Governor Ayade: the 276 Super Highway quantified at N700 billion beginning from Esighi in Akpabuyo to Katsina-Ala in Benue, and the Bakassi Deep Seaport. The best Governor Ayade has achieved after five years for the project is: Outline Business Case, which implies the federal government has formally recognised the Bakassi Deep Sea Port and has given the impetus to go for the full business case —just paper work and it took five years to get!? The super highway which is called the evacuation corridor with a six-lane road infrastructure looks like a hopeless adventure because if the port is not yet concrete, what will the highway be a corridor for/to? On this strength, this editorial is compelled to query how well His Excellency has catalysed the execution of the pet projects which the Department of Technical Matters under Eric Akpo (as Special Adviser) was responsible for. 

Again, His Excellency the Executive Governor seem to want to bequeath industrialisation as a legacy of his government to Nigerians resident in and indigenous to Cross River State. So, we have the industrial drive of His Excellency as itemised thus: 
1. Cross River Garment Factory, 
2. Cross River Toothpick Factory
3. Rice Seed and Seedling Multipliation factory, 
4. Cross River Pharmaceutical Company;
5. Calabar Noodles Factory; 
6. Calabar Chicken Factory, 
7. Cocoa Factory in Ikom,  
8. Rice Mill in Ogoja, 
9. Piles and Pylon factory in Akamkpa;
10. Industrial block industry in Ogoja; 
11. Teacher's Continuing Training Institute in Biase, 
12. British-Canadian styled International College, Obudu. 

So, this editorial will do well to look at the catalyst man of a governor and the facilitation of these projects of the state government. A popular critic of Governor Ayade has asked who owns the Garment Factory and by extension some, if not all of these projects? Are they economically viable —who pays the staff? Are they sustainable corporate entities —will they outlive this administration come 2023 and beyond or will they be another retinue of elephant projects? These and more questions about most of Gov Ayade's programmes/projects are yet to be answered. 

But if you're to rate Ayade with 1, 2 and 3, is he a catalyst man and in what depth? 

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