ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
The personal attributes required of the successful candidate are that he or she
must be a friend of the poor and the less privileged, and must also have a passion
for humanity irrespective of age, race, gender, religion or political ideology.
The Ideal Nigerian President
By Uche Nworah
As a result of the failure of previous and current systems and models such as parliamentarianism, militarianism and the presidential systems and models, and the need to re-position Nigeria and effectively harness her human and material resources for sustainable growth and for the benefits of her citizens. The opportunity has arisen in this oil rich West African country for the pioneering role and position of a President/CEO (chief executive officer).
Reporting directly to the legislative houses of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Nigerian people, the successful candidate must be of Nigerian parenthood although applications from Nigerians in the Diaspora with dual nationalities and citizenships will also be considered.
This position is a high pressure one and not a high pleasure one; the ideal candidate must possess the ability to think on his or her feet, in addition to possessing local knowledge of Nigerias many ethnic regions and their peculiar problems. Knowledge of one or more of Nigerias many languages will be an added advantage. The candidate must also be a good team player, communicator and strategic planner, capable of influencing international opinion through a well orchestrated programme of economic diplomacy. He or she must have a sound knowledge of the workings of the oil sector, and must be committed to a programme of opening up and creating other revenue streams for the country, especially from the agricultural, steel, and other neglected sectors.
The successful candidate must have on top of his or her agenda the provision of basic social amenities for Nigerians, the rebuilding of dilapidated infrastructure, reduction of poverty as well as the improvement of the quality of life of Nigerians. He or she must make it possible for Nigerians to experience the true dividends of democracy.
The minimum educational requirement for this position is a university degree, obtained from a top flight university, although a Masters degree or any other higher qualifications will be an advantage. The degree could be from any discipline but candidates with backgrounds in political science, government, economics, development studies, finance, poverty reduction and globalisation will be preferred.
The personal attributes required of the successful candidate are that he or she must be a friend of the poor and the less privileged, and must also have a passion for humanity irrespective of age, race, gender, religion or political ideology. The ideal candidate should be able to carry all Nigerians along in the formulation and implementation of government policies.
Candidates with previous cases or allegations of corruption against them should not bother applying, likewise candidates who have in one way or the other served as military politicians in the past, this is as a result of the clients (Nigerian citizens) desire to break away completely from past oligarchs, whom they believe ran the countrys economy down, and plundered her treasury.
This position is tenable in the first instance for an initial period of 5 years, after which a contract and term extension may be considered at the polls by the electorates based on performance and achievements.
Candidates should be willing to demonstrate a track record of selfless service, either from years of working in the private or public sectors. Candidates with backgrounds in profligacy and dalliance need not apply, as this position requires a morally and ethically upright personality who should also function as a role model to Nigerians.
There are endless opportunities for the ideal candidate in this position; there is the possibility of writing his or her name in the history books as a true statesman or woman, and as someone who rescued an ailing nation in a time of need. The ideal candidate will also have the opportunities and potentials of claiming his or her rightful position amongst the worlds top leaders, thereby enhancing the attractiveness of Nigeria to foreign investors and tourists. The ideal candidate should exhibit leadership potentials and qualities in the mould of Nelson Mandela, exhibiting great courage in difficulties.
The physical location of the job will be in Aso Rock Villa in Abuja, Nigeria, although there are limitless opportunities for travel around Nigeria and also around the world in government jets, during such visits the candidate will be well taken care of and will be allowed a reasonable retinue of aides. Family members and girlfriends or mistresses will not be sponsored during such trips as is the current practice.
The compensation package for this position is very generous, we are currently in the process of reviewing the package upwards to bring it in line with the scale in other similar positions in well resourced developing countries. Gradually we will move into the stage of reviewing the package to reflect that of a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, this review is being considered so as to discourage any inclinations towards looting government treasury. There will be other benefits linked to performance as well as the achievement of agreed targets; these targets will be agreed with the successful candidate at the start of his or her tenure.
The compensation package will also include the use of a fleet of government cars and limousines, a generous wardrobe allowance, high quality medical care for the successful candidate and members of his immediate family in the Aso rock clinic and other well equipped hospitals in Nigeria. There will also be opportunity for sponsored overseas medical treatments under strict resident surgeons referrals.
As a result of the generous compensation package, this position will therefore demand a high level of commitment, responsibility and accountability from the successful candidate; he or she must be willing to submit to a regime of periodic audits, while also subscribing to a strict code of ethics and charter, of which any breach will lead to a summary dismissal and impeachment by the legislators and the electorates.
Also, the successful candidate will be expected to effectively initiate a process that will lead to the recovery and repatriation of stolen public funds, currently stashed away in local and foreign bank accounts. He or she is also expected to mount a serious campaign for the cancellation of Nigerias remaining odious debts, with the active collaboration of major international sympathisers, while also leveraging on the 60% debt forgiveness totalling over $18 Billion recently announced by the Paris Club.
While we would not normally expect the successful candidate to be anti-big businesses, he or she in addition to creating the right enabling environment for competition and free enterprise to thrive, should also stand up to big businesses and influence them to commit to sound business ethics while maintaining a strict corporate governance culture. The candidate must also be willing to carry on with the corruption fight already initiated by the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
This position is open to males and females, female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply. Nigeria is moving towards being an equal opportunities employer and so candidates from minority ethnic regions are particularly encouraged to apply. Please note that for this position, you will not be expected to have a godfather who will be pushing your case, any attempt at influencing the process or the electorates by any individual or group will lead to the exclusion of the candidate being lobbied for from the consideration list.
Candidates from the age of 30 years and above can apply, while there is no maximum age limit, we would however discourage candidates above 65 years of age from applying, the reason being that we want to give the younger generation of Nigerians a chance, as is obtainable in the developed economies, by this we also hope to discourage the current trend of recycling old politicians and also to dismantle the gerontocratic structures currently in place.
Please send your completed application forms in the form of an electoral manifesto to all Nigerians to reach them before the scheduled 2007 elections. Late applications will not be considered.
Short listed candidates will be informed during the period leading to the elections. The final decision on the selection and appointment of the successful candidate rests with the Nigerian electorates who are expected to let their votes count for real this time around. The successful candidate will be sworn in immediately after the elections around May 2007.
Uche Nworah is a freelance writer and lives in London. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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By Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock market. True wealth has more to do with what’s in your heart than what’s in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America’s shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, “Happy can make you money, but money can’t make you happy.”
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By Niall Ferguson
The rise to global predominance of Western civilization is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five hundred years. All over the world, an astonishing proportion of people now work for Western-style companies, study at Western-style universities, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and even work Western hours. Yet six hundred years ago the petty kingdoms of Western Europe seemed unlikely to achieve much more than perpetual internecine warfare. It was Ming China or Ottoman Turkey that had the look of world civilizations. How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? In Civilization: The West and the Rest, bestselling author Niall Ferguson argues that, beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts that the Rest lacked: competition, science, the rule of law, consumerism, modern medicine, and the work ethic. These were the “killer applications” that allowed the West to leap ahead of the Rest, opening global trade routes, exploiting newly discovered scientific laws, evolving a system of representative government, more than doubling life expectancy, unleashing the Industrial Revolution, and embracing a dynamic work ethic. Civilization shows just how fewer than a dozen Western empires came to control more than half of humanity and four fifths of the world economy.
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 15 December 2011