Connect with us

Boss Picks

Princess Adetutu Kasali Celebrates 50 Years of Remarkable Journey



On 10th September 1973 , in Kainji, Niger State in Nigeria, the world was graced with the arrival of a remarkable individual, Adetutu Omobolanle Kasali.

Today, as we celebrate Princess Adetutu’s 50th birthday, we reflect upon five decades of a life well-lived, filled with incredible experiences, achievements, and enduring relationships.

Early Years and Family

Born into the loving embrace of parents, Queen Adetoro Olufumilayo and *HRM Oba (Engr.) Mufutau Adesanya Kasali, The Moyegeso of Itele Kingdom, Ogun State . Adetutu displayed an inherent curiosity and zest for life from an early age. Growing up in Ikoyi, Lagos, Adetutu was nurtured in an environment that instilled values of resilience, kindness, and determination.

Educational Pursuits and Career

Adetutu’s insatiable thirst for knowledge led her to pursue higher education at University of Lagos, and further obtained a masters degree in Information Science at the University College of London, United Kingdom. This solid foundation paved the way for an illustrious career in Information Technology.

Family and Personal Life

At the heart of Adetutu’s journey is her loving family. She is a devoted mother to her wonderful son Oluwaseyifumitan Moses.

50 Years of Impact

As Adetutu reaches this incredible milestone, we celebrate not only her personal achievements, but also her impact on the lives of those around her. Adetutu is a true sister, friend, mentor, and inspiration to many, always ready with a kind word, a helping hand, or a word of wisdom.

Princess Adetutu’s 50th birthday marks a milestone of wisdom, experience, and continued growth.

So, here’s to Adetutu Omobolanle Kasali, a shining example of a life well-lived, and to many more years of joy, love, and success.

Happy 50th Birthday Slim, as we fundly call her!

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Boss Picks

Meet Olayemi Cardoso, Tinubu’s Nominee for Central Bank Governor




By Eric Elezuo

On Friday, President Bola Tinubu approved the nomination of Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to replace suspended Godwin Emefiele.

According to a press statement by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, Cardoso will serve for a term of five (5) years at the first instance, pending his confirmation by the Nigerian Senate.

A deputy governor of the Bank, Faloshodun Shonubi, has been the acting Governor of the apex bank since the suspension of Emefiele in June this year,

Popularly Cardoso, known as Yemi Cardoso, the nominee is a pioneer Commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos State in 1999 upon return to democratic rule under the government of Tinubu as governor of Lagos State.

In this capacity, he is reported to have written and monitored the implementation of the blueprint which catalysed economic development in the Lagos, better known as world’s sixth largest megacity, including leading to the state’s development of independent tax revenues.

His private sector experience includes an illustrious career with Citibank, Chase and Citizens International Bank.

He has served on the board of several leading companies, including Texaco and Chevron Oil Plc. He is a member of the Belgian-based Cities Alliance Think Tank which aims to shape and influence policy and decision making on urban development in Africa and has strong relationships with key international donor agencies.

Cardoso’s first degree is from the University of Aston, United Kingdom and his second degree from Harvard University, USA.

In 2017, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in business administration by his alma mater, Aston University, in recognition of “his outstanding contributions to business and society”.

Hereunder are four other unique things about the next CBN Governor:

* Dr. Cardoso is a financial and development expert with over 30 years’ experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

* He is a Nigerian banker, chartered stockbroker and public policy maker.

* He is the first Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos State in 1999.

* Cardoso is the founding chairman and co-chair of Ehingbeti Summit, the Lagos State annual economic summit.


  1. Olayemi Cardoso, a Lagosian, grew up in Lagos and attended Corona School Ikoyi and St. Gregory’s College all in Lagos for his primary and secondary education, respectively.
  2. His father, Felix Bankole Cardoso, was the first indigenous Accountant-General of the Federation of Nigeria in 1963; and, the first indigenous Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Barclays Bank of Nigeria shortly after joining the bank in 1972. Under his leadership, Barclays successfully transformed into Union Bank of Nigeria, a wholly-owned Nigerian entity
  3. Yemi Cardoso completed his undergraduate studies upon obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Managerial and Administrative Studies from Aston University in 1980.
  4. He later furthered his education at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, earning a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2005 as a Mason Fellow.
  5. In recognition of his outstanding achievements in the private and public sectors, Cardoso was granted a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) (honoris causa) by Aston University in 2017. He is also esteemed as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers.
  6. Olayemi Michael Cardoso is a Nigerian banker, chartered stockbroker and public policy expert.
  7. He has served for over four decades in the public, private and development sectors as a leader and innovator.
  8. Among his most impactful roles are: Commissioner in the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget; Chairman of the board of the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance and, most recently, Chairman of Citibank Nigeria Ltd for 12 years, until his resignation in 2022.
  9. Cardoso is a dedicated family man. He is married with five children and three grandchildren. His parents were descendants of Brazilian returnees and came from prominent families from Popo Aguda.


Mr Cardoso was the former chairman of Citibank Nigeria, and a distinguished leader in the financial and development sectors with over 30 years’ experience in the private, public and not-for-profit organisations.

With diverse corporate governance experience, Cardoso has also sat on the boards of Nigerian subsidiaries of Texaco and Chevron and chaired the board of EFInA, a financial sector development organisation supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

He served in government as Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget for Lagos State, where he championed the financial reform process which led to the state’s development of independent tax revenues.

In his capacity as a consultant and policy expert, Mr Cardoso has advised and collaborated with major international development organisations including the World Bank, Ford Foundation, UN Habitat, World Health Organisation and the Swedish Development Foundation.

He is the recipient of several awards including an honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration from Aston University, his alma mater, and the Global Distinguished Alumni award from Citi.

Mr Cardoso obtained a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School where he was a Fellow.

Though many has seen the appointment as Mr President’s sustaining trend in rewarding his loyalists, others has however, said that the nominee is a right choice.

Cardoso, who also will be assisted to perform by four nominated deputy governors, will assume full responsibility of the apex bank on confirmation by the Senate.

Continue Reading

Boss Picks

GLOBACOM: Celebrating 20 Years of Market Leadership, Impact




By Eric Elezuo

Hurray! Globacom is 20!

The story of Nigeria’s thriving indigenous telecommunication network, Glo, is a story of doggedness, commitment, dedication and unbroken focus. This is considering the fact that the originator of the brand ventured into a terrain hitherto unknown to Nigerian business, overcoming the harsh business environment, familiar intimidation and huge financial involvement.

It is worthy of note that the first step towards hoisting the Glo network was a herculean task on its own as the overriding fame of Econet and MTN, was already on the ground with experience and huge financial muscle, taking the available space and thriving in all ramifications. It therefore, only required a tough and out of the box business acumen to bring Glo to existence. And this was what the man known by many names including the Bull and Spirit of Africa, Dr. Michael Adenuga, did. He practically crashed the network ego, raising the customer to the kingship level and made him the sole concern of telecom business. This he did by bringing on board the famed per second billing; something nobody believed was possible.

The fact that the brand lost its initial $20 million after emerging as one of the four winners in the bid auction process to operate the just introduced Global System of Mobile telecommunications (GSM) in Nigeria, did not deter it from following the dream to give Nigerians equitable telecom service. The colossal loss may have been a blessing in disguise as it gave the team a leverage to come back smoking with ideas that changed the entire telecom world for good.

The brand is 20 years now, having waded through the murky waters of competition and churning out one great after another to the applaud of global citizens.

In a press statement celebrating the 20 years of impactful existence, and appreciation to Nigerians, the telecom giant lauded the government and people for their support.

The statement recalled that it had been two decades of transforming the telecommunications landscape, fulfilling dreams, and positively affecting the lives of millions of Nigerians.

“Since inception in 2003, Globacom has been true to  its resolve to provide world-class communications and digital services through constant deployment of latest technologies in line with the corporate promise to build a robust ICT network infrastructure that would consistently deliver value to its esteemed customers.

“Glo has been at the forefront of revolutionary changes in the telecommunication sector in Nigeria. It crashed the cost of acquiring SIM cards in the country from about N25,000 to just about N200. The network also disappointed bookmakers as it launched operations on a Per Second Billing platform, a feat others had described as impossible to achieve until another five years.

“Prominent among the innovations Glo pioneered in Nigeria are Blackberry, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), Magic Plus, Glo Direct, Glo Fonepals, Africhat, Glo Mobile Internet, GloFleetmanager, M-Banking and Glo Mobile Office. Glo was also the first to launch 2.5G, 3G and 4G LTE networks. It also singlehandedly built an international submarine cable, Glo 1 to connect West Africa directly to the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. It also connects 12 nations in the West African sub region, including some of them that are landlocked.

“Glo1 is credited with crashing the cost of internet services and is today the preferred cable system by global OTT providers. It connects thousands of kilometres of national fibre to all parts of Nigeria.

“As we celebrate our achievements these past twenty years, we wish to acknowledge that Globacom’s huge success is a result of the support of millions of Nigerians. We wish to thank them for their love and patronage and for the unprecedented confidence they have consistently shown in the company,” the company said.

“While restating its commitment to the provision of world-class communications and digital services in line with its corporate resolve to build a robust communications and technology infrastructure that would consistently deliver value to its esteemed customers at launch, Globacom noted, We will remain a catalyst for socio-economic empowerment not only in Nigeria but also in Africa. We will continue to invest massively in new technologies to exceed customer.”

In a nutshell, the story of the phenomenal impact and market leadership of Glo is better told by Glo itself as captured below:

The story of the rise of indigenous telecommunications company, Globacom, is like a fairytale.

It would be “remember clearly, as if it was yesterday, when its promoter and self-effacing billionaire, Dr Mike Adenuga, appeared to have hit a blank in his attempt to venture into the telecommunications business in 2000.

His company, Communications Investment Limited (CIL), was first issued a conditional licence in 1999 to operate the Global System of Mobile telecommunications (GSM). This followed its emergence as one of four winners of the bid auction process. Adenuga paid the $20 million mandatory deposit. However, in the process of effecting the release of the balance payment of $265 million, the licence was unfairly revoked and he lost the $20 million deposit. It was a colossal loss, but the bullish businessman who is renowned for his tenacity was undeterred. The other three winners, MTN, Airtel (then known as Econet) and M-tel proceeded to roll out services.

Two years later, Adenuga went on to bid for the Second National Operator (SNO) license, and deposited another $20 million. This time, he was lucky. He won the bid in August, 2002, through Globacom Limited. Incidentally, the SNO has a wider range of operations as it gave Globacom the right to operate as a national carrier, operate digital mobile service, serve as international gateway for telecommunications in the country, and operate fixed wireless service.

Globacom was to roll out services a year later, precisely on August 29, 2003. The odds were heavily stacked against Adenuga because by then, the other operators already had a two-year head start over Adenuga’s Glo. Secondly, he was venturing into a completely new terrain. Considering that MTN and Econet both had years of experience in the business in other countries, many expected Globacom to stutter.

However, the doubts soon evaporated. Not only did Globacom stun the industry by launching on per second billing, it also crashed the cost of acquiring a GSM line from N30,000 to N6,999 and later to N200. The older operators who, for two years boasted that it was not possible to launch operations on the billing platform as no operator in the world had done this before, were left playing catch up. Like a rampaging bull (which incidentally is Adenuga’s totem), Globacom embarked on a massive rollout of facilities and operations in several towns and cities across the country, and within nine months amassed over one million subscribers. Consequently, it established a reputation as the fastest growing GSM network in Africa.

Since that remarkable feat by Globacom, it has been one endearing success after another for the Nigerian company. In an industry where it was expected to lag behind the established multinational operators, Glo is not just rubbing shoulders with them, it has, indeed, been the pacesetter. It has come to be regarded as a behemoth in Nigeria’s telecom space.

It was the first operator to launch the 2.5 Generation technology, making the convergence of voice, data and multimedia technologies possible. Hence, Glo was able to launch such value added services as vehicle tracking, mobile internet, mobile banking, multimedia messaging service (MMS), voice SMS, and Text2email before the multinationals who were still running on 2G then.

Globacom also pioneered Blackberry Services in Nigeria, and the device was for a long time the rage among business executives and in social circles.

The introduction of the 3G Plus technology marked the second time that Globacom has been in the forefront of pioneering the latest transmission network in Nigeria. With this technology, Glo was able to carry out a much faster transmission of data, voice, broadband internet and multimedia services over a range of frequencies. It also allowed customers to do video call, video streaming and high-speed mobile internet access, amongst others, from their 3G mobile handsets.

Globacom was not done yet in setting the pace yet as it also become the first network to launch a nationwide 4G-LTE network in Nigeria. The technology offers efficient broadband internet to millions of Nigerians at speeds that are several times faster than the 3G network. Subscribers on the network are able to download ultra-high definition videos in seconds.

But perhaps one of the most audacious projects undertaken by Globacom was the construction of an international submarine cable, Glo 1. Launched in 2010, the project was said to have cost over $800 million. It was the first time a gigantic project of this nature had been undertaken by a single company.

The facility which has brought unprecedented bandwidth from Europe to Nigeria and other West African countries marked the beginning of the crashing of bandwidth costs in Nigeria and the rest of West Africa, thereby facilitating more access to broadband internet. With this intervention by Globacom, almost everyone who can afford a smartphone is able to use data. Also, according to industry sources, Glo 1 is currently providing the much needed connectivity to critical sectors of the economy. Companies in the Oil and gas, manufacturing, banking, commerce, education and health sectors as well as several multinational companies, including telecom operators and internet service providers (ISPs), are said to benefit from Glo 1.

Glo 1 has also played a major role in Nigeria’s broadband penetration which currently stands at 44.5 per cent. The penetration is principally driven by major players in the telecom sector, such as Glo 1. Globacom has also invested generously in the infrastructure to deliver the last mile to end-users, while also breaking the cost barrier by introducing affordable tariffs.

While commenting on the impact of Glo 1, Globacom sources said, “With the 4G expansion to tier 2 and 3 cities, Glo1 acts as the catalyst in propagating broadband penetration in Nigeria and acts as an enabler for enterprise customers to provide world class connectivity to all their offices and factories across Nigeria. Many cloud computing companies who cater to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES) are setting up shop within the Glo partnered data centers. Using Globacom’s robust terrestrial infrastructure, Glo1 has seized this opportunity to backhaul their traffic to other data centers across the world.”

It is remarkable that it is a Nigerian company that has pulled off this ambitious project. One of Adenuga’s close associates said the idea of building a submarine cable berthed when the entrepreneur went on a business trip to Paris, the French capital, sometime around 2008. While there, he found out that telephone calls to Nigeria were epileptic unlike the connection between France and other parts of Europe. When he made enquiries about what could be done to solve the problem, he was told it was to have an international submarine cable. There and then, Dr Adenuga decided to build Glo 1, and the rest is now history. The project is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and foresight of the man behind Globacom.

For those who know Adenuga well, it was not surprising that Glo was able to quickly established itself as the pacesetter in the industry, despite commencing business two years after MTN and Airtel (then called Econet).

Other areas Globacom has effectively set itself apart are customer-empowerment, sustainability and promotion of Nigeria’s arts and cultural heritage.  From 2003 when it commenced operations to date, no company has affected the lives of its subscribers and, indeed, the Nigerian people the way the telecommunications company has done.

Over the years, the company has launched series of promos through which different types of empowerment prizes including millions of naira in cash prizes, luxury cars, tricycles, sewing machines, generators, television sets and grinding machines have been won by Nigerians across the country.

For so many years, it supported the development of Nigerian sports through the sponsorship of the Nigerian Premier League and the national football teams of Nigeria when no other corporate organisation wanted to touch the assets. The company spent billions of naira in developing the Nigerian league and national teams, and this culminated in Enyimba Football Club winning the prestigious Champions League twice in a row, while the Super Eagles won the Nations Cup in 2013. 

Nigeria’s entertainment industry has also received a massive boost from the telecom operator. It has so far brought two of the world’s biggest reality television shows to the country. They are X-Factor, which produced DJ Switch as winner, and the Battle of the Year which was held between October last year and April, this year.

In addition to this, Globacom has over the years also held its own music and comedy shows across different cities and campuses across the country. The shows, including Rock ‘n’ Rule, GloNaija Sings, Laffta Fest, Slide and Bounce concert, and Glo mega Music, were some of the platforms through which Globacom entertained and delighted Nigerians. But more importantly they helped deepen the entertainment industry by giving budding talents in music and comedy and platform to showcase their abilities.

Similarly, the nation’s art and culture have also been positively touched by Globacom. From Ojude Oba in Ijebu-Ode, Ofala in Onitsha, Lisabi in Abeokuta, Imeori in Abriba, Oru – Owerri in Imo state, amongst others, the company has through sponsoring the festivals not only brought theme to international limelight, but has also turned them into major tourist attractions.

There is hardly any aspect of life that has not been positively touched by the telecommunications company.

Looking back at the gigantic milestones it has recorded, one would find it difficult to believe that it is just 19 years old. But would any less be expected from a company founded by Dr Mike Adenuga? He made clear his intention from the beginning with a very bold vision statement, “Building Africa’s biggest and best telecommunications network”. He is known to think and dream big – a very tenacious and dogged entrepreneur who likes to grow his businesses to dominate the sectors he operates in. Globacom has not only matched the multinational operators pound for pound, but it has, indeed, dominated Nigeria’s telecommunications sector these past 19 years.

Glo, As Nigeria’s Empowerment Champion

Globacom has not only transformed the telecoms sector with its technological infrastructure, product innovations and quality service delivery, but it has also shown unparalleled commitment  to improving the lives of its customers. Its empowerment  initiatives cut across Innovation and Affordability, which have given millions of Nigerians access to telephony and allied services, Entertainment, Sports and Promotions, Festivals, among others.

Innovation and Affordability

Glo was the only operator in Africa to launch its operations on the superior 2.5G network which enabled the convergence of voice, data and multimedia technologies.

But more importantly, it launched operations on Per Second Billing, thus ensuring subscribers only pay for actual time spent on a call instead of the practice of billing customers N50 per minute event when the call cuts off at just 2 seconds.  It also crashed the cost of SIM card from N30,000 to N6,999 and later N100, thereby making it possible for low income earners, students and artisans are able to own a GSM line today.

With its massive investments in building over 20,000 kilometres of fibre optic backbone across the country, 4G technology  and Glo1, the first ever individually owned international submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria, Globacom has availed its subscribers the much needed internet bandwidth. This has led to what is called the democratization of data. For instance, with just N500, a Glo subscriber will get 2GB data, with N50 the customer gets 50MB, N100 gives 150MB. For big users on the network, they can get 675GB for N75,000 and 1Tera Byte (TB) for N100,000. The company also gives double data bonus to Glo subscribers. No wonder it is called the grandmasters of data by admirers!

Apart from boosting internet service to end users, Glo 1 is also providing connectivity to essential sectors of the economy such as oil and gas, manufacturing, banking, commerce, education and health, among others.


Globacom has always been associated with the development of the Nigerian music industry, since its inception, from its involvement with Nollywood and leading Nigerian music talents to the sponsorship of music shows such as Rock ‘n’ RuleGloNaija Sings, Laffta Fest, and  the world’s number one music singing talent reality TV show, X Factor. Others are Slide and Bounce concert, an entertainment tour which went round all the Geo-political zones of the country as well as Glo mega Music show, another platform through which Globacom entertains and delights Nigerians.

These programmes are meant to discover and help nurture budding talents. The company also supports the movie industry in Nigeria (Nollywood) and in Ghana (Ghollywood). Many of the actors and actresses in both countries have been chosen as Glo Ambassadors, thus projecting the continent in a refreshing light through African movies.

Globacom brought the world’s biggest dance reality show, Battle of the Year, to Nigeria. The winners in seven different categories went home with mega millions in cash, space wagon , and also bagged an opportunity to represent at the global edition of the competition.

Indeed, no corporate organization has had the kind of assemblage of entertainment heavyweights as it brand ambassadors as Globacom. All through the years, the cream of the country’s musicians, footballers, actors and comedians have either been signed on as brand ambassadors or featured in the company’s television commercials. The long list includes veterans such as late Osita Osadebe, late Oliver d’Coque, King Sunny Ade, Ebenezar Obey, Nelly Uchendu, Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Osaze Odemwingie  and Emmanuel Emenike. Others are MI Abaga, D’Banj, PSquare, Rita Dominic, Ini Edo, Flavour, Wizkid, Davido, Basketmouth, Gordons, I go Dye, Juliet Ibrahim, Matter Ankomah, Joselyn Dumas, Michael Essien, former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Anthony Joshua and track queen, Tobi Amusan

Life-changing Promotions:

One area where Globacom has connected with its subscribers and Nigerians generally is loyalty-reward Promos. Over the years, the company has launched series of promos through which different types of empowerment prizes have been won by Nigerians across the country. From Glo Overload to Glo Allawee, Text4Millions, Made for Life, Recharge to Stardom, 180 cars in 180 days, Glo CAF Award promo, Recharge and Win Big popularly known as My Own Don Beta, Everyday Bonanza, and Joy Unlimited Extravaganza, Nigerians have benefitted massively from Globacom and many have been empowered through the Glo promos.

Between October, 2021, and January, 2022, Globacom held a life-changing promotion called Joy Unlimited Extravaganza. Thousands of Glo subscribers won brand new Kia Rio cars, refrigerators, television sets and generators across the country. Altogether, 500,000 prizes were given out.

Promotion of Nigeria’s Cultural Heritage

Over the years, Glo has partnered with several communities across the country on the sponsorship of major festivals and promotion of culture and traditions.  These include Ojude Oba in Ijebu-Ode, Ofala in Onitsha, Lisabi in Abeokuta, Imeori in Abiriba, Oru – Owerri in Imo state, Afia- Orlu In Nnewi  and Abia –Ugwa in Isialangwa in Abia State. Through these sponsorships, Glo is giving a new lease of life to the festivals as well as empowering some lucky individuals in the communities through various prizes won at special promotions held during the festivals. The company has not only brought these festivals to international limelight, but has also turned them into major tourist attractions. This association has helped build up Globacom as an enviable brand.”

Glo’s phenomenal impact extends to hosting of comedy shows and encouragement of footballers to further their careers, not only in Nigeria, but across the West African suburb

In 2019, the brand’s sponsored comedy show, Bovi Man on Fire, was held in Warri, Delta State. The show was described by many as a perfect way to celebrate Easter. Not only that, the company delighted its subscribers with free tickets to attend the fun-filled event anchored by ace comedian, Bovi Ugboma. Other humour merchants that graced the show were Kelvin Sapp, Young Chief Odogwu, MC Shakara and Mr. Flexy.

In 2023 alone, Glo launched Glo Green Lotto, a service aimed at enhancing the opportunities for its gaming subscribers to play and win; partnered with PalmPay, to launch a new marketing initiative tagged: “PalmPay Bonanza – Recharge Glo and Win,” which offers Nigerians who buy Glo data and airtime bundles via the PalmPay platform, the chance to win fantastic prizes, and sponsored the African Voices Changemakers.

In 20 impactful years, Glo has become a symbol of glory, and epitomizes growth and development.

The company is gearing up to sponsor once again the Ofala Festival in Anambra State.

Continue Reading

Boss Picks

Stephen Oronsaye’s Detailed Speech on Sustaining the Public Service










I am excited to be here, in Benin City, at the kind invitation of His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, for the formal opening of the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA) in honour of the first civilian Governor of our beloved Edo State, Chief John Evboyomwan Kenneth Odigie-Oyegun, who turns 84 years old today, August 12, 2023.

This is my first public outing since a Federal High Court in Abuja discharged and acquitted me of all charges filed against my person as a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation in a matter bordering on financial impropriety. Though the case brought me personal pain and a considerable concern for those who strive for the good of the Fatherland but are rewarded with such treatments, I give all the glory to God Almighty that I have been vindicated.

Furthermore, whilst my visits back home might not be as frequent as I desire, I have always kept abreast of happenings in the Heartbeat of the Nation. Therefore, when my dear friend and brother, His Excellency Mr. Obaseki, extended an invitation to me to speak at this occasion, I could not refuse such an honour, particularly when the academy is a tribute to the pioneer civilian Governor of the State who also stands tall as a Federal Permanent-Secretary-Emeritus.

Chief Oyegun, Sir, I wish you a happy birthday and thank the Governor and the good people of Edo State for choosing to honour you by establishing this institute in your lifetime. Being a former civil servant, I know that you know too well the importance of having a motivated workforce that can provide that tangible link between the government and its people across Nigeria’s three tiers of government.

In setting up this state-of-the-art training centre to boost Human Capital Development in Edo State, in line with the Edo State Civil & Public Service Transformation (EDOSTEP) vision, I am told that the Obaseki Government seeks to continuously upskill the Edo State Civil and Public Service to be agile, dynamic, professional, effective, and efficient to directly create a positive impact on the economy in Edo State. Indeed, reading through the available literature on JOOPSA, I looked back with nostalgia on what my team and I did at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN) when I was privileged to serve as the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation between June 2009 and November 2010.

Now to the business of why we are here.

In my paper today, I will share my thoughts on how the civil and public service in Nigeria, can continue to be relevant now and in the future. To assess where we are currently, I will delve into a brief history of the civil service, touch on experiences that we have witnessed first-hand and proffer suggestions for making the service that “critical delivery engine of government” that will “deliver high-value services to citizens and accelerate other reforms.”

A Brief History of the Public/Civil Service

The history of the public/civil service in Nigeria dates to the colonial era when the British entrenched the philosophy of good governance and transparency through its administrative structures.
Since Nigeria’s independence, various panels have studied and made recommendations for reforming the Civil Service, including the Morgan Commission of 1963, the Adebo Commission of 1971 and the Udoji Commission of 1972-74. The 1988 Civil Service Reorganization Decree 43 had a significant impact on the structure and efficiency of the Civil Service as it abolished the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF). The White Paper on the report of the Ayida Panel of 1997 reinstated the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and made far-reaching decisions to drive a more efficient Civil Service. In 1999, a new constitution was adopted and made specific provisions in Section 171 for appointing the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
This background is to emphasise the critical role that the Civil Service plays in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as the sustenance of governance objectives and goals.
Chapter VI, Part D, Section 169 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria stipulates, under the heading “The Public Service of the Federation”, that “There shall be a civil service of the Federation,” adding in Section 170 that: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Federal Civil Service Commission may, with the approval of the President and subject to such conditions as it may deem fit, delegate any of the powers conferred upon it by this Constitution to any of its members or any officer in the civil service of the Federation.
Part IV (Section 318) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria defines the “civil service of the Federation” as “service of the Federation in a civil capacity as staff of the office of the President, the Vice-President, a ministry or department of the government of the Federation assigned with the responsibility for any business of the Government of the Federation”
Similarly, it defines the “civil service of the state” as “service of the government of a state in a civil capacity as staff of the office of the governor, deputy governor or a ministry or department of the government of the state assigned with the responsibility for any business of the government of the state.”
As aptly noted by Haroun Ayomikun of Learn Nigeria Law, the civil service in Nigeria, like in other climes, is perpetual in nature. The civil service has some characteristics: permanence, anonymity, neutrality, impartiality, bureaucracy, technical know-how and capacity. The civil service works under specific rules, e.g. Code of Conduct. The civil service comprises permanent officials, unlike the government, which changes periodically.
While the history of public service in Nigeria is traceable to the colonial era, that of Edo State was birthed during the tenure of Chief Dennis Osadebey as Premier of the Mid-Western Region in November 1963. Over the years, successive administrations have made the civil service function more optimally.
The Role of the Public/Civil Service
Whether at the State or Federal level, public service plays a crucial role in providing public goods on the exclusive and concurrent lists. In other words, it provides a bond between the government and the people. Hence, we discuss a social contract between the state and its citizens. It follows, therefore, that a capable public service is vital for facilitating the participation of citizens in the governance of their respective states and Nigeria. With the world evolving daily, particularly with the innovations on the Internet, many more citizens are becoming more involved and demanding more from the Government. The End SARS campaign is a significant pointer to the voice of today’s Nigerian citizens.
It is against this background that service delivery by civil/public servants has attained new heights as the Federal and State governments need to respond pragmatically to the demands of a more aware citizenry. As the engine room of government, the civil service serves as the fulcrum of government operations, making it very relevant in governance. Designing and implementing policies, as the Edo State Government anticipated, would require an efficient public service manned by officers capable of predicting and proffering solutions to emerging issues.

Assessing The Public/Civil Service
The general perception among the average knowledgeable citizen is that the public/civil service at the Federal and State levels and the governments they represent are not delivering optimally on the citizens’ expectations. Many stakeholders believe there is a waste of resources across the different tiers and organs of government due to inefficiencies within the ranks. It is a truism that an efficient public service is necessary to transmit government benefits to the socially and economically weaker sections of society who have fewer alternatives to services provided by the government. Public service scholars believe that “the mere allocation of funds for programmes that do not work effectively would be a waste of public funds unless extra efforts are spent on improving government efficiency and sustainability.”
To be relevant in the present, the civil service must be professional in providing required services regarding knowledge, intellect, skill, assurance of upholding the rule of law, integrity, courage and confidence.
Lessons From the Federal Civil Service Experience

I want to share with you, briefly, my story and journey in the Federal Civil Service from when I served as the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. Many parallels and similarities from that experience remain relevant today and offer lessons to improve the existing state of Public Service both at the Federal and State levels.

I was appointed as the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation on June 16, 2009. In accepting the appointment, I set for myself the task of leading a service that is dedicated to achieving the government’s objectives and goals that are responsive to the needs of society at large. This required instituting a Service where integrity, professionalism and merit are entrenched.

My first impression upon my assumption of office was the noticeable challenge of human capacity and competence, which largely accounted for the ineffectiveness and inefficiencies observed across the Federal Civil Service. The dearth of knowledge and skills was further compounded by the attitude and work culture which pervaded the service at the time.

To validate my assessment and to have first-hand feedback on the state of affairs within the service, I engaged the Directorate cadre in the Federal Civil Service in an interactive session to exchange views on the challenges before the Service and how best to tackle the identified problems. The frank comments of officers focused on indiscipline in the Service, loss of morale induced by stagnation, supersession, poor working conditions, and low capacity, among others.

Similarly, to have a more expansive feel and feedback on the strategic direction in which the Service should go, a Forum of Serving and Retired Permanent Secretaries, which Chief Odigie-Oyegun graced, was held in September 2009. Highlights of the communiqué from that forum were:
(i) That the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) should interface with the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) to institute a competency-based Human Resource Management framework to address the problems of perceived inequity and injustice in recruitment, transfer and promotions in the Service, and
(ii) That the OHCSF should collaborate with the FCSC to institute an eight-year tenure policy for Permanent Secretaries and Directors.

Following the conclusion of these two wide consultations, a proposal was made to the government to institute a tenure policy for Permanent Secretaries and Directors in the Public Service. The policy was to reinvigorate the Service, restore the morale of officers and unlock the creative potential of committed staff. The policy, which was widely accepted by well-meaning Nigerians and civil servants that had stagnated for no fault of theirs, sought to ventilate the system, promote efficiency, and strengthen the institutionalisation of due process in career progression.

Sequel to the implementation of the tenure policy, several Permanent Secretaries retired from the Service, and there arose the need to replace them and appoint Permanent Secretaries to existing vacancies. The innovative thing about the appointment of the Permanent Secretaries was that an interactive session followed an integrity and knowledge-based examination conducted by a select panel before being recommended for the President’s approval. In addition, the selection was thrown open to all Directors from the affected states and zones. Following the appointment of the successful candidates and to give them a head start and a feeling of their schedule, a three-day induction course was also conducted for them with all existing Permanent Secretaries in attendance to allow for inter-collegial interaction.

As noted by the Directorate cadre in the Civil Service, civil servants’ competency level was low due largely to the neglect of yesteryear to provide proper and adequate training for officers for effective service delivery. It was, therefore, evident that officers required massive training to keep up with the changing architecture of the 21st-century civil service.

In understanding the capacity challenges that had beset the Federal Civil Service over the years, one must reflect on how we got here. I will outline some of the fundamental issues that brought us here.

1. Abandonment of previous Human Capacity Development structures put in place by our Forebears,
2. The absence of training modules in core Public Service areas and the mismatch between training needs and training attended,
3. To a large extent, training became a route to addressing employee welfare needs,
4. The recruitment process in the Service was also a challenge.
5. Ageing staff population in the Service,
6. Slow adoption and utilisation of available technology in the Service, and
7. Inadequate performance management and consequence management mechanisms, among others.

This situation created a significant deficiency in staff competencies and presented a lot of skills gap, a weak knowledge base, and unethical and unprofessional conduct which were unacceptable and ultimately affected the quality of service delivery across the board.

To frontally address this disorder, a massive training programme was embarked upon to resuscitate the learning abilities of officers and ensure their adaptability to information and communication technology. With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), now SDGs/World Bank Debt relief fund, over 19,125 officers were trained between October 2009 and October 2010. The enthusiasm to learn, as exhibited by the participants, underscored the need for training to become a priority programme for all MDAs so that civil servants can deliver, in a seamless manner, on all government programmes. To sustain this momentum, training modules were produced by the Manpower Development Office (MDO) in collaboration with all the Manpower Development Institutes (MDIs) and other stakeholders, emphasising the development of officers’ managerial abilities.

As we did then in the Federal Civil Service, I believe the service’s potential can be continually unlocked with the right policies and ongoing training, mentoring, proper career management, and a sanctions and reward system.

In essence, in this journey, it is helpful to reflect on the measures which we took to address some of the issues we were confronted with.

We brought back to life the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN) and strengthened other training institutions such as the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) and the Centre for Management Development (CMD). We also developed structured and statutory courses to provide competence and quality service delivery.

Furthermore, we:
a. Established a Content Development Team – the team was set up to develop training modules in all core areas of the public service across all levels i.e. levels 8 – 17. The course contents were assessment based. We complemented with General Training modules in contemporary subjects, including ICT; Report writing/Presentation; Public Speaking; and French.
b. We commenced the initiative to use online as an additional learning tool. We uploaded the course content and training modules developed, so that all civil servants can access the modules at minimal cost to the service. The idea was that civil servants would have to complete specified courses prescribed for various Grade levels as appropriate as benchmark assurance of capacity and “being fit and proper” before the Head of the Civil Service could present them to the Federal Civil Service Commission for promotion examinations.

c. We also collaborated with relevant institutions (Tertiary and Non-Tertiary) within and outside Nigeria for knowledge broadening and exposure to state-of-the-art competencies.
d. In addition, exchange programmes between the private sector and the civil service were also implemented to improve understanding and exposure to the private sector’s operational practices. The idea was to enable appreciation of differences and peculiarities of objectives in both sectors for better partnership and smoother relationships in service delivery.
e. We also made provision for special funds to strengthen some public service institutions for capacity building, namely Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Centre for Management Development (CMD), and the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN).

Despite the merits of our objectives and efforts, there was significant resistance from open and unusual quarters, within and outside the Service.

Another area of concern at the time was the inconsistency of the yardstick for promotion and consequent dangerous overtaking, resulting in low morale, loss of confidence, promotion of lobbying as a way of life over competence and diligence, clogging the senior level positions with the relatively younger workforce that had prevented predictable upward movement and compensation for competence and hard work, etc.

The eight-year tenure policy, which I explained earlier, was our response to this challenge.

Looking back, I must admit that my team and I stepped on many toes and crossed many red lines to make the Federal Civil Service better compete with those from other climes.

I have taken this time to share these with you so you appreciate that what the Edo State Government is doing is not easy. The reforms might even be resisted by persons who are at ease with their current status.

The News Out There
I was enthused by a recent newspaper report that quoted the Edo State Head of Service as saying ongoing reforms in the state’s civil and public service by the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration have repositioned the state’s service as the most digitised in the country.

That report said the government has focused on leveraging technology to improve efficiency, transparency, and service delivery to the Edo people.
It said the government has enhanced productivity and transparency, reduced bureaucracy, and improved overall performance in our civil and public service through innovative reforms and investments in digital infrastructure.
Furthermore, it said the government had introduced the e-governance platform and transitioned from manual to electronic processes in its service. The report also disclosed that the administration had hired a new generation of civil servants who are being trained and equipped with the necessary skills and tools to fully embrace and utilise digital technology in their day-to-day work of delivering effective and efficient service to Edo people.

This is music in my ears and I commend all those who have contributed to the success story. Beyond these, however, you need to tell your own stories to attract the best of hands to the service of the State.

At this Juncture
Before I end this address, let me comment on the John Odigie-Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA). I am Impressed. This has turned out to be a world-class training academy which will offer exceptional opportunities to the Public Servants in Edo State, the Region, and the Nation. Clearly, this will justify the massive investment of resources deployed to this development.

JOOPSA should aim to collaborate with ASCON, PSIN and similar institutions for knowledge sharing and develop certification programs that align with global standards for the benefit of Civil Servants. May I advise that JOOPSA acquire all the necessary accreditations and regulatory permits to give legitimacy to its content.

In due course, the Academy should endeavour to either directly provide accommodation facilities or partner with the private sector for students and trainees to enhance their learning experience and create an enabling environment.

Whilst commending Governor Godwin Obaseki and his team for giving form to the vision of upskilling the machinery of the Edo State Public Service, I urge us all to work in unity in achieving the dreams of the government to make Edo State work for the greater good of the majority of citizens and residents.

I submit that the degree and dimension of the issues raised in this speech will vary from State to State; therefore, I suggest a dedicated retreat to address some of these issues and challenges.

I also wish that this Academy would serve perpetually as the institution where basic and advanced knowledge required for Human Capital Development will be nurtured, germinated, and delivered to public servants as their food and drink.

As a parting advice, I urge the leadership, political or technocrats, to remain focused, committed, courageous and clear-headed in the Business of Public Service Human Capital Development. On this journey, continuity of leadership commitment is sine qua non to sustainability and the long-term relevance of this grand edifice. Indeed, mentorship should be part of the strategy to ensure continuity. At the risk of overemphasis, mentoring of upcoming young officers should be given strong attention.

Performance management should be entrenched for staff accountability, reward and sanction. Rewarding good behaviours and sanctioning bad behaviours must be institutionalised by way of a “name and shame” policy. I also recommend a strong synergy between the Office of the Head of Service and the State Civil Service Commission for continuity of purpose.


Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, in concluding my brief remarks, let me, once again, thank Governor Obaseki for the kind invitation; and the people for their warm reception. I have always believed that Edo State has the potential to achieve great things. Today’s formal opening of the John Odigie-Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPA) is one of such feats. We all cannot be leaders at the same time. Wherever we find ourselves, we must strive to make Edo State more extraordinary than it is. We cannot go wrong if we make God our Helper.

Thank you for your attention.

Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: