OoTheNigerian

sometimes, I make a lot of sense.

Creating a Qualitative Assessment Sheet for Governance in Nigeria

29 May 2016 by Oo Nwoye

First of all, there is a backstory to why this post exists. Actually three.

  1. In a political group I belong to, I stated that Oshiomohle has been a very poor governor of Edo State. I was digitally slammed by a person who has worked with him in the capacity of an adviser. He came to Oshio’s defence by stating the random road and building projects Adams executed. I retorted by saying road contracts can be automated and are not necessarily evidence of good governance.  
  2. On Twitter, I stated with an air of authority and finality that “when it comes to government administration, El Rufai has no peer in Nigeria. The “gatherbrushing” I received there was quite vehement. They insisted El Rufai is not above average. A few dozen tweets later, there was no agreement forthcoming.
  3. It has been one year since the Federal Government and most State Governments began their tenures. There will be a lot of debate about their achievements. 

A question I asked myself and sought an answer to: is there a way to objectively assess the quality of governance especially as it is progressing? Can we objectively view the level of governance by governments?

This post is my personal attempt to articulate how I intend to assess governance. In addition, I hope to create a framework whereby any two governments can be compared and assessed. 

This post is also serves as a prelude to my response to the “digital gatherbrushers” I spoke of in 1 & 2 above. 

Influenced by the popular Business Model Canvas, I created something I’m calling the Governance Assessment Sheet.

Introducing my Qualitative Governance Assessment Sheet for Nigeria

A Governance Assessment Sheet

First of all I have to point out that this a Version 1 of A PERSONAL idea. It is NOT fact, it is not comprehensive and most of all, it needs tons of improvement.

Secondly, this is meant to be a qualitative assessment. I.e., I want a way to lay out information, and allow for analysis. To each their own interpretation of the information.

Finally, no two states are different. No two circumstances the same.

How the Assessment Sheet Works

The first column is the sector column. This is subdivided across all the sectors of the territory. From Security to Education, to Finance, Agriculture, etc.  All these together make the state function just like the parts of the body.

The next three columns track the projects as they are implemented across all the sectors.  Both physical (construction, supplies) and  strategic (policy, laws) projects will be taken into the account.

The fifth column, goals, subdivided across sectors indicate the high level aims to be achieved in each of the sectors.

The sixth column, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are the objective indicators required to note the level at which the projects have met the goals for each sector or not.

The seventh and last column cuts across all sectors. It is the overall vision of the person governing the political entity. It a summation of all the goals of each sector if they all go according to plan.

The bottom row cuts across all columns. This are key standardized economic indicators that show the health of the state. e.g GDP, Unemployment, Life Expectancy rate etc. 

Filling the Assessment Sheet

In an ideal scenario, this is aimed to be a self assessment sheet for each governor at the beginning of his/her term. 

The first parts to be filled are the factual aspects. e.g GDP, State Population, Life Expectancy. These will adjust depending on the impact of governance. 

The most important input in that sheet should be the overall vision of the state and should look about 10 years ahead. An example of a state’s vision can be El Rufai’s “to be the Manchester of Nigeria/West Africa.(i.e., the center of manufacturing in Nigeria/West Africa.)

Next is the listing of the key sectors that will be important in achieving the overall vision. Katsina might not take tourism s important as Cross River.

After listing the sectors, the goals to be achieved in each sector should be next. A goal is a specific objective intended to be achieved. For example, under the Health sector, “reduce infant mortality by xx%” might be a goal.

The KPI is there to objectively know if you are achieving your set goal. If present mortality is 50/1000 children dying before age 5. You now have a number to measure against. 

After filling up the overall vision of a state and goals you want to achieve, the projects come next. So EVERY project should have a rationale. Why are you building that road? How will it allow you achieve the goals and the vision?

The preceding paragraph is why I am hardly impressed with governors that “donate” books, tar random roads or refurbish random buildings. I am hard press to understand how it fits in any grand picture or if there is any grand picture.

All intended projects FOR EACH sector are put into the “to do column” and moved to “doing” and “done” accordingly. 

How the Assessment Sheet is to be read Read

This assessment sheet should be updated monthly or quarterly.

Like I said, the intention of the assessment sheet is for self assessment and to give a consistent basis for comparison. The scoring is also qualitative. 

So for instance if you have no idea of your favorite governor’s vision, there is a problem. If all the projects are perpetually on “to do,” there is a problem. If a governor’s education project cuts illiteracy by 50% and another’s project hopes “donating 1000 books will help the illiteracy of one million kids under him, it would be clear for all to see.

For instance, it is the view of many people including myself that Fashola did nothing in his second term. With this assessment sheet, it would have shown the BRT, LASTMA, IPP projects were all done in his first term and the to do > doing > done would be practically idle for his second term.

It may be able to show that while Aregbesola tarred many roads in his state, he may have overlooked various sectors in in the state. 

Next Steps

My favorite governor BY FAR is Nasir El Rufai. I intend to use this template to assess his governance of Kaduna in the past one year.  My hope is that people can use the same sheet to compare his performance with that of their favorite governor.

The idea is that the layout of the facts could then be a better ways of basing the arguments or discourse.  If a person wins “Governor of the Year” it can be asked that this could be used to SHOW why.

More importantly, I hope to get feedback and improve this sheet. I have been asked if I can make it quantitative. Any ideas on that would be helpful.

Here is a link to the sheet. You can download and modify as you wish.

 

 

Thanks Banke for your feedback before publishing

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Here’s Why Uber Debits Nigerian Accounts Up To Twice the Quoted Fare.

02 March 2016 by Oo Nwoye

Yesterday,  my account was debited twice the quoted Uber fare amount of  ₦ 1150. I was excitedly spoiling for a fight then sadly Uber refunded my account the complete trip fare.

This over debiting is not a new phenomenon.

From my interaction with the very polite C Jennie, the internal reason being given (and perhaps understood) for this discrepancy is “International Bank Charges” so I decided to reply and give what I know to be the main issue.

Here’s an excerpt from the Uber support email (I will not include my previous exchanges but I’ll say this “Oo, you could do with reducing the benin boy in you”)

Hi Oo,

Sorry for the confusion here. Happy to explain.

Given Uber’s international structure – our merchant account, Uber BV, is based in the Netherlands, and therefore certain banks will add an international transaction fee when their cardholder makes a purchase from Uber BV. Uber has no control over whether your bank chooses to add such a fee. While this isn’t an optimal experience, you may be able to lower or avoid these fees by using a different credit card.

I have gone ahead applied NGN 2300 credit to your Uber account which will automatically apply to your next ride.

Please know that we have no control over these additional charges and only charge what you see in your Uber receipt.

If you check your trip receipt, you’ll notice we have a disclaimer at the bottom that reads: “Fare does not include fees that may be charged by your bank. Please contact your bank directly for inquiries.” Our intent is to be as transparent as possible and make it easy for you to pay for your Uber requests.

Hope this clarifies things. Let me know if there’s anything else.

Being one never to let a chance for me to explain something pass, here is my response which explains the issue and why the overcharging it is Uber’s fault  responsibility.

Thanks for your response and the refund.

I work in tech and understand what’s happening, so I may be in a better position to explain to you and will cos you were kind enough to sort this out 🙂
It’s not bank fees but an exchange rate issue. 
In Nigeria today, there are 2 exchange rates for the Dollar. The official one is $1 = ₦ 200 the black market is $1 = ₦400
When a Nigerian buys a domain name for $10, his bank deducts ₦4000 because the banks operate with the black market rate (getting dollars at the official rate is hard). The customer does not complain though. Why? because it was $10 that was charged and knows there are 2 prices for $10. ₦2000 if you buy it officially and ₦4000 from the black market
Here is where and WHY Uber is at fault.
When Uber wants to charge you ₦2000, Uber displays ₦2000. That is all the customer sees and knows.  However at Uber’s backend, Uber asks that $10 be charged (because Uber ASSUMES it is the dollar equivalent). So both Uber BV and the Bank see $10. And what does the Nigerian bank do, they charge at the black market rate thereby removing ₦4000 from the customer’s account.
How can Uber (and other Nigeria based merchants using foreign processors) solve this? 
The only way to solve this is to send the processor the charge Nigerian denominated bank cards in  Naira and not in Dollars. For this, Uber will need to open a Merchant account denominated in Naira. I think it is only in Nigeria you can get such. 
Payment processors you could yous are Paystack, Interswitch, Paga (you guys have an arrangement).
This issue affects anyone using a foreign processor  in Nigeria.  Harsh but true is the fact that it is not the customer’s business  what processor you are using. You cannot say something costs x amount and 2x will get deducted. It’s that simple.
As for Uber, the only way to escape this extra deduction is to use cash. Before you place your Uber order, click the Card symbol and change it to cash.  If you are yet to download your Uber, you can do so here and get $15 credit. I’m sure if it’s a naira fare, it would be exchanged at ₦200.
Criminal Banks!
PS: This of course this opens another topic about global payments in a globally connected commercial world.  I’m still a long way from understanding how the block chain (awon Stellar, Bitcoin etc) would impact this.

 

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The Wedding Opportunity. A Match Made in Tech

21 February 2016 by Oo Nwoye

WeddingPackagesng.com
Finally!  Someone gets the wedding business opportunity when prospective couples can answer the question
“How Much Will The Wedding Cost?”
From crowdfunding from friends & family, to making weekly/monthly payments towards a wedding happening in X weeks time, to other things; the opportunities are endless once both planner and couple have that answer on lockdown.
 
If you throw in tech the right way, and proper execution, we have a company that can actually do hundreds of wedding events weekly in half a decade. Of course, economies of scale will only make weddings more affordable.
 
If that is not a Unicorn in waiting, tell me what is.
 
The clarity of the opportunity excites me especially as I have over the years, tried to get various people tackle this opportunity.
 
(Since I know the co founder of this, I will not be detailing how I see this being executed. But execution is all that matters though)
 
The end game for me has always been coordinating product development at a technology incubator I co run. And seeing this reminds me more and more MASSIVE opportunities are out there.

Anyway, if you are planning to get married soon, check out Wedding Packages. Focus on your marriage let someone else sweat the details of a one time event.

PS: If you already run an offline business and you’re looking at how tech can be applied to scale it,  hit me up if you need suggestions.  I can give you 30 mins of my time. It’s on the house.

PPS: Mummy & Nneka, don’t get carried away. I was not researching wedding details online. I just happened upon this. Be patient 😛

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Nigerian Payments, Solved.

08 February 2016 by Oo Nwoye

Paystack is the easiest way to accept one-off and recurring payments online. We’ve figured it all out for you, from start to finish. No set up costs, no token, no redirects, no commitments.

Source: Paystack Blog

Oh my, I have waited to write this post for years! The title was ready 3 years ago.

For quite a long time, I and many others kept on lamenting about the dire state of Nigerian payments especially as it involved digital payments. It led me to write a blogpost where I lamented life as a second class citizen of the web saying

Don’t fucking worry about bridging the digital divide, just level the playing ground!

Of course I perpetually predicted payments solved every other year. and ranted when I had the opportunity .

Of course I am not including the times I shamelessly pleaded fro Stripe to “come to Nigeria” (Hey, don’t come now, we’re good) and my compatriots launched a petition to bring Paypal to Nigeria.

So what were the main issues?

it is practically IMPOSSIBLE to build an Internet company without the ability to collect money easily and store the cards securely to charge again.

Almost none of the YC companies would be viable without it. Same as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon etc.

Anyway, it’s all sorted now. A little boy in Jigawa can quietly build his SaaS company and get paid for it. A little girl in Ebonyi can easily sell goods digitally and sell to the world.

Take it from me, Paystack is a big deal and it is 100% Nigerian made for the make benefit of Nigerians and Africa. The recognition of its importance will be apparent soon

Shola, you did it man. Congratulations to you and your team. The real work begins now.

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