Sunday, 26 January 2020

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


#NegroidHaven on the 6th of January 2020 embarked on a twelve series editorial titled An Appraisal of the CEO in Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State (in collaboration with TDN)

It announced that it would effect an appraisal of the Office of the Governor of Cross River State between May 2015 and to 2020 under two broad themes of leadership and management. It would do so under what it referred to as A Framework for Defining and Evaluating Public Office Holders Performance:

Under the leadership category, it has assessed the Office of the Governor of Cross River State under topical issues like Supervision, Support, Role Model, and Catalyst While TDN has assessed the said public office under Mentorship This present piece is an attempt at appraising the delegating skill of leadership in Gov Ayade. 

Delegation is a style of the Situational Leadership model which also encompasses: directing, coaching and supporting. Delegation lexically implies the act of empowering to act for another. Studies in leadership highlights three basic elements of delegation: authority, responsibility, and accountability. There's also what is referred to as 'rights of delegation' outlined accordingly: 
*the 'right' person, 
*the 'right' task, 
*the 'right' circumstances, 
*the 'right' directions/communication and, 
*the 'right' supervision and evaluation. Again, there's 'steps to delegation': Prepare, Describe and Confirm, Determine a due date, Accept Completed Task, and Follow up. 

What can be gleaned from the last paragraph is that delegation is a serious activity: in that, the act may be seen as an act of benevolence/goodwill from the point man who is delegating to the recipient of the action especially in politics but, immediately the act is formalised, it should be stressed that authority, responsibility and accountability is operative all at once. Again, delegation should be a deliberate activity that must conduce to the dictates of delegating the right person to the right task within the right circumstances under the right direction and communication with right supervision and evaluation. 

In Nigeria's democracy, delegation is seen in presidents appointing ministers, special advisers, special assistants, personal assistants, DGs and members of boards etc. This applies to state governors and LG chairs. This is justified by the provisions of the Constitution of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Amended. This act of delegation is to aid the delegated actualise electoral promises of the principal to the electorates. 

Gov Ben Ayade in his first tenure (2015 and 2019) appointed 28 commissioners (from 12 member cabinet in Gov Liyel Imoke) and thousands of SAs, SSAs and PAs to the tune of over 3,000. For his second tenure, he has appointed 39 commissioners, 90 Special Advisers and 30 board members among others. Obviously, this appointment has just began. 

One observable trend with these appointments is that there have been complaints about no office space, imprest, Terms of Reference ToR and Key Performance Index KPIs etc made available for/to these army of political aides. Doesnt this reality, if true, undermine the authority, responsibility, and accountability —three cardinal features in delegation? 

Again, against what needs assessment, parameters and objectives were these offices created and appointments made? Particularly, why did His Excellency the Governor, Ayade increase the numbers of Commissioners from 12 to 28 (2015 - 2019) and now, 39 in 2020? 

Further still, the appointments that were made by His Excellency did it fulfil the criteria set by the 'rights of delegation' outlined above? Are they the right persons to the right tasks within the right circumstances under the right directions and communications with right supervisions and evaluations? The incumbent Commissioner for Commerce is a graduate of administration, how 'right' is she for this job? The present Commissioner for Sports worked, before his engagement, in Nigeria's banking industry, how right is he for the task? The former Commissioner for Education was a certified nurse. Was this right? The former State Security Adviser SSA wasn't a security expert, was his appointment in the right direction?Finally, was any of the appointees held accountable for any misgivings? Did Ayade sack any of his aides for not meeting the ToR of their office? The occupant of the Department of Technical Matters was responsible for the actualisation of the pet project of the Governor: the 278 (6 lanes) super highway and Bakassi deep seaport. That project is taking an impressive turn on terms of implementation. But, His Excellency appointed the occupant to the role of Senior Special Adviser and it oversees the actualisation of the Obudu International Cargo Airport. What's the justification for this decision? 

Or, could the perceived lacuna in delegation be circumscribed by the phrase —put(ting) food on the table... ? Where these Nigerians delegated to deliver on campaign promises of Ayade or where they place there to 'put food on their tables'? You the reader should be the judge. 

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