Creating a Qualitative Assessment Sheet for Governance in Nigeria

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

Twitter is breaking coherent thought into a million pieces.

Let the title not mislead you, I have great respect for what twitter has become and the of course the people that have built it and have a few buddies there (this is where I do the  obligatorily ‘famzing’ and link to my picture on the Twitter rooftop). However, its brilliance at broadcasting byte sized information is at the expense of documenting coherent thought.

Let me explain.

In the Nigerian senate, there a review of the constitution going on. Sometime last week, there was a review of a section that defines an adult. What is states basically is that you are not an adult until 18 except a female that is married. The ‘except’ provided a loophole that made it legally ok for Yerima a then 49 year old former governor to marry a 13 year old Egyptian girl. Frightening I tell you.

Anyway, the committee reviewing that section of the constitution voted to amend it. It was all well and good until now Senator Yerima, husband to a now 16 year old bride got a wind of it and ensured the clause was not recommended for amendment.

(Please bear with me, I’m not trying to drag you into Nigerian politics I am going somewhere with this)

So the Nigerian Twitter rebels got wind of the story and hell, or should I say re-tweets, broke loose. That’s not bad it itself but since 140 characters did not allow for articulation of the fact, what was/is being propagated is that “the Nigerian Senate voted to legalize child marriage” instead of “Nigerian Senate did not successfully vote to recommend the removal of a clause that would protect female children from getting married”

The Twitter character limit that did not allow for phrasing the factual situation right has not helped in the discussion of the situation.

To me, there are two aspects to the issue on ground.

  1. One is the culture and right of a parent to give a way their child in marriage that has existed for hundreds of millions since teenage Mary got married to Joseph.

  2. The medical risk borne by barely pubescent girls having sex and/or giving birth. (Note: I did not use the word ‘underage’ since it’s not definite. To me, 13 is definitely underage)

The second aspect to me is medical and deals with health. Therefore, I fully support the overriding of culture. A citizen’s life must be protected except that of children. Just like in the case of killing of twins and burying of kings with freshly cut human heads (Africa sha!!!!!)

For the first part, it is not straightforward. Marriage is a cultural thing that means different things for different people. See the case of the 8 year old boy that got married in South Africa for instance. In South Africa, a girl under 15 and a boy under 18 require special permission to get married.

(Note: barring a really bad choice or timing, I will support whomever my child wants to marry. I will never impose my choice on them.  )

So how the *fuck has all this got anything to do with twitter?

Twitter encourages you to think you have made a thoughtful contribution to debates especially when you spill out a few in series like I did from here.

Another limitation of twitter/feeds is that it’s fleeting. Important stuff gets forgotten 20 tweets later. The beauty of writing in a blog format asides coherence is that is is properly documented and will come up even years later when research is being done.

Storify makes you feel you have your tweets documented like Aunty Oby’s stuff here (do read it if you really want to good overview of the #ChildBride story)

Yesterday, Teju Cole documented his trip from Lagos to Benin Republic by road. A lot of good stuff was written. Sadly, except those that follow him and were looking at Twitter at that moment, all the good stuff will most likely never be of use to anyone that needs it in future. (I just saw a Storify of it now, but still.


I really have none. Blog more maybe? Although I admit that Twitter removes the burden of inertia to publish stuff, we should remember that it limits proper framing, archiving and retrieval of important thought.

*I believe expletives have a role to play in communication. Replace them with euphemisms?

As my man Jay Levanne said – “Euphemisms of bad words are still bad words. Words are not created filthy. We give them meaning. So whenever you say “effing” or “fricking”… you’re missing the fucking point”

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Why The Internet Has To Be Censored And Regulated.

I wrote this during the fight against SOPA. However, like many other posts, I did not get around to publishing it. I recently came across Google’s take action campaign that is against the plot by governments to sign new treaties this December that will regulate the Internet more.

Mind you, I did not say should be but ‘has to be’ from the view of the political class. I certainly do not want the Internet censored or more regulated.

A few thousand years ago, when the first structures of society where being put in place, the deal struck to prevent a physical society with anarchy was to centralize ‘power’ with the state (largest independent political unit) and then have representatives of the people run the state.

Fast forward a few centuries, a couple of wars, commerce, etc and the state became bigger, much bigger. Nations were born. The centralized power became greater. The chance to represent the Nation became smaller and the stakes became higher.

A bigger state meant a massive population which would be harder to control therefore it became necessary to control what they knew and how they could operate. Books, TV, Telephone, Radio, International travel etc came along and tried to scuttle the status quo. But the political class was smart enough to take advantage of it early and used it as a tool to control on a larger scale.

Then the Internet ‘happened’.

It was ignored, then ridiculed and before anyone could say “facebook”, societies of 1 Billion (the third largest in the world, certainly the most diverse) got formed. Information began moving overground (Twitter) and underground (BBM,WhatsApp). Internet companies started knowing more about citizens that the nations who gave them their passports. Transactions and currencies that could not be monitored started springing up

It is ‘obvious’ this new power and control is too dangerous/important to be left to ‘ordinary’ people. The political class have to take it back.

So they’ve come first by passing the laws that will enable them covertly take back power. Countries like North Korea, Iran, China are being straightforward about it. America is  trying to be smarter, they’re waving the copyright flag, child porn flag, the terrorism flag, then they will raise the victory flag.
Shall we let them win?

I know my post might sound incongruous. you may do yourself a favour and read The Fundamentals of Political Philosophy then watch The century of Self

Random prediction: In the next decade, the political structure of society will start changing fundamentally. Corporations will own the state and the national ‘borders’ will become more digital, dynamic and I dare say, collapse. Currency will become much more deregulated

This Internet thing has really fucked things up.

I’m happy 🙂

Please forgive typos…

Could Twitter Have Saved Gaddafi?

Tl;dr: The NATO intervention was made possible by the UN mandate to protect civilians which was as a result of news broadcast by western media and Al Jazeera (Owned by Qatar who is part of the NATO coalition) and public opinion going against the Gaddafi regime.

As the war has carried on, it is clear (my opinion) that the media reports are one directional (Pro NATO/Rebels and Anti – Gaddafi). I am asking if the outcome would have been different had Gaddafi used social media (represented by Twitter in this post) to communicate directly to the world thereby bypassing traditional mass media houses who seem to be against him. Changing public opinion and maybe the war outcome in the process.

My post.

Now let me clarify one thing I do not think Twitter is the second coming of Jesus. Actually, this new line of reasoning came up when I was thinking of how my position on Gladwell was right (the Twitteratti did not claim victory in Gaddafi’s fall like they did in Egypt or Iran’s ‘almost revolution’.

Disclaimer: I am utterly opposed to the destruction of Libya(ns) and the UN endorsement and execution of a selective violent coup in search of ‘freedom’.

Some Points

  • Public opinion is an under estimated extremely powerful force in this world. Using public opinion, world leaders and organizations push their cause. If they do not succeed, they quietly fall into line with public opinion. (Once Mubarak was obviously falling, the US fell in line although they supported him). Maybe the WMD war in Iraq is a clearer example?
  • The foreign press in this Libyan conflict has been at best a PR machine for the NATO–Rebel alliance.
  • The passing of the UN resolution was driven mainly by *public opinion alert* “international outrage” which was created by news reports and unclear YouTube videos. Basically, it was based on “unconfirmed reports”.
  • I am using Twitter to represent new (social) media (Facebook, Blogging, YouTube Google+?). In my opinion, Twitter is the most fluid when it comes to disseminating information and it is seen as a very important source of authentic news. Even Joey Barton’s Twitter account is worthy of a BBC editorial.

So how could Twitter have saved the day?

So let us imagine for a moment Gaddafi had a Twitter account:

  1. We would have known the correct spelling of his name (Yaaay!)
  2. He would have had over 1 million followers (potential re-broadcasters). Which would include EVERY major news source and opinion shaper in the world.
  3. Most importantly, he would have had a shot at getting his own word (spin/truth/propaganda) out which the major news network would have had no choice of reporting and reporting it accurately. When there is a public link to a source, it would be difficult to put any spin on it.
  • What if the Gaddafi regime had it own YouTube clip of people in Benghazi asking to be saved from terrorists taking over Benghazi? Showing ‘proof’ that it was members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group that was behind the uprising?
  • What if instead of ranting broadcasts which would be shown (translated) for about a minute, the Gaddafi’s wrote blogposts stating what was happening was no different from that in Bahrain and Yemen and did not need interference? Or anterior motives for the invasion.
  • If Gaddafi had tweeted he was ready to step down and begin a transition immediately but NATO and colleagues adamantly refused?
  • What of if Gaddafis Tweeted that mass murder scenes were orchestrated by the LFIG’s Tripoli Military Commander? Citing the random execution of blacks as reported by the guardian
  • That 60 countries recognizing the rebels means over 100 countries do not.
  • That NATO and co are killing Libyan soldiers and civilians in defensive positions.

These few points are some of the alternate views I see in comment threads and opinion columns. These alternate positions have failed become main stream news, as the mass media have taken a pro NATO-Rebel position.

But Gaddafi publicly stating (Blogging/Tweeting/Facebook Updating) these positions would FORCE the media to report them thereby bringing those views to the forefront.

I believe although this might not have changed public opinion, it would certainly have divided it. Maybe Russia and China would have been encouraged and used their veto powers to prevent the invasion or try to stop it now it has started.

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera came to prominence during the earlier ‘War of Terror’ and the invasion of Iraq. It was seen as the station where you could watch and get the other perspective. However, this Libyan war the other side only means Qatar’s side. I was surprised for the first time, Al Jazeera sounded no different from CNN only to realize that Qatar was part of the alliance.

Lesson? Do not depend on any entity you do not have direct control of to speak your side of the story .

But there are already several anti-NATO-US-Rebels blogs out there painting a different picture?

Two things going against that line of reasoning are

1. They do not have the audience size an official Gaddafi account would have.

2. More importantly would not have the credibility that information from an Official Gaddafi news source would have that would make it worth a news story.

So why did the Gaddafi regime not do all these?

I am guessing when you have been all powerful for 42 years, you tend to start believing you are a god of some sort. Other than that i have no idea,

What do you think?