His Excellency ‘Yemi Osinbajo remained excellent and scholarly


by Dr. Israel Ovirih

When the righteous, the knowledgeable, the competent and the pure-at-heart rule, or are in charge, the people rejoice, celebrate and progress, naturally. In contrast, when the wicked, the ignorant, the mediocre and selfish have power in their hands, the people mourn.

How do you explain, to people of other African countries or elsewhere, the media reports that Boko Haram and ISWAP flags are being hoisted in states adjacent to the Nigerian federal capital territory, Abuja? Many wonder what might be wrong with Nigeria’s policing and defence systems and, in fact, the entire security apparatus.

The fact that competent people birth progress, but mediocrity births mourning and retrogression, is TRUE for all seasons….Proverbs 29:2 declares this truth and we know by the reason of knowledge, that this is the SCRIPTURE and the scripture cannot be broken!

Over the years, mediocrity triumphing over competency has been the case and our lot in Nigeria, Myanmar, DRC and many other underdeveloped countries in the South. This may explain the reason why Professor Pat Utomi did not mince words to clarify the impasse as the bane of ‘internally generated poverty’ ravaging Nigeria and, indeed, most countries in the third world.

This retrogression in leadership, especially in Nigeria, is worrisome, as there seems to be no LIGHT at the end of the tunnel…. no doubt, our backsliding into despondency and anarchy is getting WORSE every day.

Most of the new appointments into positions of authority and responsibility announced by Garba Shehu and Femi Adeshina (both media aides to the president), recently, have been nothing, but a PAIN in the ass.

When creators and innovators are stifled in a country like ours on a daily basis and the mediocre are heavily rewarded (both in the public and private sectors), then real development and real growth are unknowingly paralyzed. I wonder, do the appointer (pardon my grammar please) and the appointees not realize the damage being done to us ALL?

Can you imagine regulators in Nigeria stifling fintech startups in the name of regulations and thereby killing the ingenuity that should naturally deliver financial inclusion (which is one of the SDGs)?

We all saw how Nigerian regulators, in trying to protect the fall in the rate of the Naira against other world currencies, banned licensed Banks from dealing with Crypto-related businesses. Can the regulators stop the internet? Can the regulators stop the global adoption of Blockchain technology? Blockchain is the exponential technology for record-keeping. It is the sexiest accounting solution in the history of the world and maybe, by providence, the end of government as we know it. It began its life by enabling digital currencies! And do you know the truth? This technology, like the internet, is unstoppable!

Although the Vice President of Nigeria — an erudite professor of Law and jurisprudence remaining excellent and scholarly as always, came in handy to do some ‘damage control’ to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) gerrymandering. The truth is that CBN’s fury can only be laid on the doorstep of incompetence in managing our foreign exchange supplies and a dose of ignorance and mediocrity!

When you hear and read appointments made by the presidency lately, you know instantly that there is a godfather or godmother somewhere, or an ethnic jingoist, influencing such appointments. We all can imagine the subsequent output therefrom.

If the DSS is now circulating published handbooks to VVIPs (against kidnappings in top Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government), rather than NIPPING the menace of kidnappings and banditry in the BUD and while kidnapping activities are rising nationwide, every day, then something is fundamentally wrong somewhere.

It all boils down to TWO things…MEDIOCRITY and IGNORANCE, everywhere you look… round pegs in square holes. A good example is in the Nigerian GSM telephony system, in which the quality of both data and voice has become worse. Today, neither can you barely make any good call on MTN, Glo, 9mobile, or Airtel nor can you access reliable data services from these telcos, since Ndukwe left and Danbata replaced him as chief executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). This is so sad.

May God help us, may competencies thrive over mediocrity in our land… and may we not build in vain, at the end.

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Dr. Israel Ovirih, Investment banker, serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast wrote this piece from East Africa.



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Dr. Israel Ovirih

Dr. Israel Ovirih

Dr. Israel Ovirih is Lagos-based investment banker, serial entrepreneur and tech-evangelist. He can be contacted vide Israel.ovirih@banklinkafrica.com