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

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

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.


An Open Source Project Nigeria Needs. Hint: Location! Location!! Location!!!

If you want the ONE question that disproves the theory about the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ ask 10 000 Lagos dwelling (and possibly all of Nigeria) Nigerians to enter their postcode in a website.  An incredible majority would uniformly enter 2341. That could not be further from the truth. 234 1 is the international dialing code to call a Lagos telephone number.

Post Codes are an important ingredient in organizing the addressing system in a nation. Like with many thing in Nigeria, the Nigerian post code system is a huge mess and this has gone on to creating complexities in making deliveries, organizing people within areas etc. (It is a wonder how NIPOST has been allowed to steadily rot to practical non existence for the last decade. Not that it was any good before that).

My friend Sanusi has proven the above baseless.

Basically, postcodes could be made more ubiquitous.

But I digress.

In this post I’d like to proffer a quite simple solution to reactivating the postcode system especially as it concerns the eCommerce sector of the economy.


  1. ALL Nigerian eCommerce companies and new age logistics providers especially the big players have to buy into a single solution. They are quite fond of doing things independently and secretly. This solution has to be independent aka open.
  2. NIPOST and government would contribute by giving moral support and getting out of the way.

While initially thinking of this problem, I wanted us to recreate a new postcode or even addressing system for Nigeria. However, it may be easier to  build the existing postcode system first.

Yes, Nigeria has a Post Code System.

I’ll suggest starting with Lagos than proceeding to other states. From the product end, I foresee the following steps in realizing the goal.

  1. Create an easily searchable database/spreadsheet of all the street names, their corresponding post codes, areas, LGAs etc. and of course the corresponding location on a map
  2. Clean up the street name spellings and formats. Is it Awolowo Way, Obafemi Awolowo Way or Chief Obafemi Awolowo Way? Clean up can be continuous, so step 3 is not dependent on the completion of step 2.
  3. Create a simple address plugin that calls that database to for websites that require addresses. The plugin would be used to populate the address fields. The plug in would look like a simple form below
  4. How it would work is, If you put in your postcode only, the street field would have a drop-down of all the streets covered by that postcode. If you do not know your post code, clicking the location button would bring up a map. Selecting your street from the map would pre-populate the fields by guessing their location from a map
  5. A simple but specifically important detail is that while searching for a street name or area name, every part of the word would be searched.  So you do not miss a street by typing Awolowo instead of starting with “Chief “
  6. The big 5 eCommerce companies and top 3 logistics firms would agree to integrate this plugin and require ALL customers to input post codes. This is the most important aspect required for this to work. A system is only useful if it is adopted. Thankfully, this is something the private sector can push without requiring the government to interfere.

So How Do We get This Done?

Without consulting my developer buddies, I know the core of this can be implemented in 20 hours over a weekend. Give me Tim Akinbo, Ope Obembe and Kene Udeze (Along with a carton of STAR, peppered snail and Ribena for Kene) and we’ll do the magic. My job is to share the booze and take glory at the end of it all 🙂

All that we ask in return is the commitment of Konga, Jumia and 3 other big ecommerce companies to implement this and we are good to go. 

Knowing my country people, I will not be surprised if someone is looking for how to send a proposal to those in government and get paid millions to do this.

Not every-time hammer from government. Sometimes help your country to help you 😉

BTW, either of the big lads can easily do this internally. However, the essence of this project is for it to be a collaboration or an independent effort.  We have seen a lot of “my own my own” efforts but those do not get adopted because ulterior movies are usually suspected. Thereby making everyone lose out.


  1. A mobile version of this can be implemented. One button to get the Postcode/Address of any Location you are in.
  2. Nigeria needs to review and update it’s addressing system. Asides Abuja (thanks to El Rufai) navigating addresses is a huge maze. After this is piloted and succeeds, we can then push for the reorganization of our entire addressing system and of course NIPOST.
  3. In another short post (make e be like say I be prolific blogger) , I’ll explain a few non logistics but important usecases for a proper postcode system.

Thanks Ope and Tim for your feedback. 

Remita, TSA and Four Questions Arising

With the full implementation of the TSA policy by the Buhari Administration, SystemSpecs a Nigerian technology company has been accused of swindling the country of billions of Naira using Remita, a product of the company.

The aim of this blog post is to explain Remita’s role in the implementation of the TSA and try to highlight where the issues have come from and ask some pertinent questions.

First, some background information.

TSA, which stands for Treasury Single Account is a policy that intends to consolidate all government revenues in a single account. The idea is, whether you are paying N100 for injection in UBTH (University of Benin Teaching Hospital) or buying crude oil with hundreds of millions of dollars from NNPC, or paying NTA for adverts, all the monies would be domiciled directly into a single account at CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria)

Why is this necessary? This is to avoid situations whereby, administrators of various agencies (UBTH, NNPC and NTA in our examples) from having direct control over the money collected by their agencies. If they need money, they will have to apply to get it from the CBN account. No more dipping hand into the government purse to do “thanks for coming”

Remita, The Chosen One.

Before the TSA implementation, each of the government agencies decided where to open accounts to keep these government revenues and HOW to collect the monies. So the CMD (Chief Medical Director) of UBTH could decide to open 10 bank accounts for UBTH in 5 different banks after a lot of lobbying had been done by branch managers etc, NNPC could have another 20, NTA another 15. This is also where allegations of “fixing money” for interest used to come from.

The implementation of the TSA policy (enshrined in the constitution) was piloted by the Jonathan government. Only a few MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) like the FIRS were chosen to pilot this system.

For the pilot, SystemsSpecs built a product called Remita that could be used to collect and collate money through multiple channels and was chosen to be the software to be used for this collection.

That is the first issue

Sunk Costs and Competition.

There are 2 ways people usually pay for things in Nigeria either with cash deposits at the bank or cashier points, or using a credit/debit card at a POS or online.

BEFORE the TSA implementation, each MDA set up individual systems for collections. Companies like Interswitch, ETranzact, SocketWorks, etc (which primarily do online/digital collection) already spent LOADS of money trying to get the contract to give them the right to collect money on behalf of these agencies. In some cases, they had to build infrastructure in these MDAs (computers, Internet, Generator etc) to make their work easier.

SocketWorks for instance collects money on behalf of Immigration, Interswitch on behalf of many Hospitals and Schools etc, Same with ETranzact. And we are not including “other costs” of doing business in Nigeria. SystemSpecs also had a few customers.

The Buhari then put a deadline for the TSA implementation.

The CBN rationally decided to use the provider and product that had run the pilot system and that was SystemsSpecs’ Remita.

All of a sudden from sharing the spoils of various MDAs, all the other providers lost all those customers and commissions to “one Remita of a somebody”

All their hustle, down the drain.

That is the second issue.

Commissions and Payments

When a person or an entity collects money for you, it is the norm for the person to be paid part of the proceeds to collect and reconcile that money. For online payments, there are many players who share the ~2% fee that is charged the merchant. For cash payments, it is less standardized but it can be up to say 5% of each transaction.

So of the 1000 naira you pay to UBTH via Interswitch’s WebPay or PayDirect, they take ₦20. By the same calculation, if you pay ₦1 Million, they are entitled to ₦20 000. However, there is usually a cap on the amount of commission on each transaction.

Thought Remita transaction charges are capped even on their website, it seems the deal with the federal government is 1% uncapped.

That is the third issue

Double Charging

BEFORE the full implementation of TSA, monies had already been collected. So let us assume UBTH had ₦1 Billion in a Unity Bank account somewhere, they were given a deadline to transfer that money to the TSA domiciled with CBN.

Note that money in Unity Bank was ALREADY less the commissions paid to collectors like Interswitch.

In transferring that money to CBN, it is alleged that the Banks rather than using NIBSS (Nigerian Interbank Settlement System, a company owned by CBN and the Banks) and paying next to nothing, decided to do it through Remita who would take an uncapped 1% (25 million in this example) for doing absolutely nothing.

That is the fourth issue

In summary, here are the questions arising that are causing problems.

  1. How was SystemsSpecs/Remita chosen to be the sole collector for the Federal Government? Was the Procurement Act followed?
  2. What happened to the existing systems that were put in place especially the ones that had long term arrangements and high setup cost?
  3. How monies are ALREADY in the system (bank accounts) be transferred to the CBN account?
  4. As for the collection, what is the commission taken my SystemsSpecs? Is it (un)capped?

Those are the main issues from what I understand from all parties. Of course aw with politics, there people are mixing up issues to sell their agenda.

That Remita stands for Remi Tinubu Ahmed as much as Jega stands for Jonathan Ebele Goodluck Azikiwe.

My Comments.

  1. For once, it is a good thing that an indigenous company is being used for such a project.
  2. It is understandable if the Federal Government decides to use a single provider/system for the collection of taxes and revenue. However, it could be a big risk to have one single entity doing everything from Customs to Schools to FIRS.
  3. There should be a transparent procurement process for the service provision and more than one provider chosen.

Fun facts

People are usually crying that Interswitch is the bully. It is interesting to see Interswitch crying foul.

Remita actually uses Interswitch’s WebPay for the online collections part of the as a middleman for the online payments aspect. As at yesterday when I checked, it was no longer working.



Thanks Boro for reducing the typos.