Nigerian South African Chamber of Commerce

Members Directory


Posted on: 06 Nov 2017

Society has people and people have problems. There are those that can be solved immediately at private level and those that can be  solved collectively. Those problems of the society became the reason one want to solve the problems. The basic rule exists in order to improve the welfare of the people and citizens.

Government triggers off the process of making decisions ensuring that those decisions are implemented or not implemented. The concept of government resolves around the governing and the governed.

Former Minister of Education and former Vice-President World Bank (Africa Region), Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili asserted that building institutions was key to the advancement and development of any nation in the globe.

She shared this as the keynote speaker at the October, 2017 breakfast meeting of the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting in Lagos, which focused on the theme “Building Great Institutions…Governance, Succession and Service”.

Ezekwesili described good governance as a critical component in the socio-economic development of nations, believing it is a major factor in driving the competitiveness of a nation.

She also mentioned acute adherence to legislations, rule of law, constitutions, equity and efficiency and participatory distribution in the eco system as a methodology that can enhance development in the society.

The former Vice-President World Bank (Africa Region) listed accountability and transparency as the major characteristics of good governance.

She noted that the bedrock for good governance was the rule of law. She stressed that the constitution was the best guide for ensuring an equitable society.

Emphasizing the value of robust institutions, Dr. Ezekwesili said public institutions were agencies of transformation and collaboration, and nations who had such, performed better in socio-economic reforms and human development indices.

Looking at the private sector, she acknowledged the fact that it plays a strong role in building institutions, through corporate governance. According to her “There is a nexus between good governance and corporate governance”.

Assessing Nigeria, the public policy analyst decried the fact that the nation was made indolent by the commodity called crude oil. Ezekwesili was concerned with the fact that Africa’s largest economy has not been consistent in strengthening market economy reforms through its institutions. She advised others to think outside the box and should not be limited by the issue of the crude oil in Nigeria.

Giving a comparative analysis between Nigerian and China, she said the latter has been consistently pushing institutional market reforms which has uplifted millions from poverty, while Nigeria since 1999 (4th democracy era) failed in sustaining far-reaching market and socio-economic reforms.

She advised the Federal Government to review its economic policy direction, and encourage private sector participation and market based economic reforms. She made a strong case for the independence of institutions in the country like the Central Bank.

According to her, Succession planning is a process for identifying and developing new leaders, who can replace old leaders when they leave, retire or die. … In business, succession planning entails developing internal people with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the company.

There are fundamental factors that underpinned succession plan in the fourth industrial revolution e.g., knowledge management, acute display of competency, Technology, regular training, acquaintance with international best practices, familiarity with new business models and integrity.

On the direction of the business environment, there is need for significant shift to the Era of Corporate Leaders which signified the need to focus on the long term health of the Company as against Shareholders wealthy nature.

The concept of sustainability, succession plan cannot be discussed without good governance. It is the legislation of how things are done.

She added that when the individual that personalised the institutions is fading away, will that institutions continue to succeed? There is urgent need to build up the competency character that can drive on the organisation.

Sustainability is about ensuring that the legacy secures the new and emerging trend in the global business world.

Value creation: Do we as a country recruit on the basis of value creation? Or on the systemic favouritism /tribal approach, in that level of arrangement, productivity will be a utopian issue. Other factors like Gross Domestic product per capital of a country, Knowledge base economy/knowledge quotient of a society and life expectancy can tell you the story of the legitimacy of government.

Therefore, Institution building is not an event but a process. It is correlated to the successful steps that the individual take. This is enormously engineered by the normative values. Without growth no country can move forward.

Ezekwesili while speaking on the state of the nation, called for shared values that will move the country forward.

Considering the fact that the breakfast meeting was sponsored by Phillips Consulting Limited, a leading professional services firm, Dr. Ezekwesili commended the organization for 25 years of excellent service.

She extolled the qualities of Mr Foluso Phillips, the Chairman of Phillips Consulting Limited, and described him as a quintessential leader who from the private sector has driven “Policy Entrepreneurship”.

Finally, Dr. Oba Otudeko  (CFR), Chairman, Honeywell Group and Life Patron, Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce commended the guest speaker for her insightful presentation.