Nigeria Needs Competent People To Head Ministries-Dr Joe Abah

The Country Director of DAI, Dr Joe Abah has emphasized the importance of considering competence and capability as against paper qualification in the appointment of leaders and heads of ministries in the country. He decried the protectionist stands of some Nigerians who think that an Engineer should necessarily be the head of the Ministry of Power and Transports in Nigeria.

While addressing questions from our reporter on the ineffectiveness of the ministries in handling the peculiar situation in the country especially the power sector, with some Nigerians pointing accusing fingers on the Minister of Power and Housing in Nigeria, Mr Babatunde Fashola. Breaking down the appropriateness of having Fashola, who is a lawyer, heading the ministry, Dr Joe Abah expressed the fact that Competence and managerial capability are what is required for an effective agency of government.

According to him, “A minister is a chief executive of a ministry which is purely a managerial job, he also supervises the agencies under the ministry which is also purely a managerial job, and therefore you only need someone with the requisite managerial expertise and competence to handle the ministries. Moreover, most of our power sector has been privatized. So you don’t need an engineer, you need a lawyer who would enforce the contract of the privatization.

‘There is really nothing like works anymore because we no longer do public works in Nigeria, so the only technical agency there is Highway which should be under the ministry of transportation. Moreso, in Housing, we don’t build any social housing, the federal government has no lands. All the lands belong to the states, and so what do we need an engineer to do. We can always engage engineers, we can always engage builders but you need the ability to manage people.’

‘I believe the ministries headed by Fashola are infrastructure ministries, so if you have someone who has worked as a governor and delivered infrastructure creditably for 8 years, I don’t see what other qualifications that you need. But people are always protectionist, saying, ‘oh he must be an engineer’. We have a ministry of health that is led by a Professor of Medicine, is he doing any better? That is left for you and I to judge. So we have to get away from this protectionism and relying on paper qualification and look at a person’s ability to be able to deliver the mandate. That is what our focus should be”. 

Report by Victor Alagogooko for IbadanCity Announcer


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