Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Systems or Miracles

 Join Oluyemi Adeosun as he speaks on Systems or Miracles  Venue: Food of the Sun Hall, Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.  Time: 10am  Date: Saturday, 8th September 2012  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Making Corruption Unattractive

People generally have the capacity to be good or bad, honest or dishonest based on environmental factors. Very often Nigerians who a few hours ago were orderly and stayed on a queue at London Heathrow airport shunt queue at the Muritala Muhammad Airport in Lagos. What is the difference? Laws and much more importantly Law Enforcement. Corruption, Bribery, Looting, etc is common both in Public and Private sector. In the private sector, officials who handle procurement approval at certain levels sometimes ask for gratification. They can ask you to mark-up the cost to build in their interest or even drop something upfront. These practices end up increasing cost of goods and services. Well, I am more concerned with Public Institutions, which we seldom have limited options and cannot circumvent their services. Take a look at drivers’ license, certificate of occupancy, tax clearance etc. One thing you will notice at the typical drivers’ license office is the unprecedented crowd. To follow through the process yourself you may need to take few days/weeks off work. The first thing that encourages corruption is shortage of service points or officials to handle the processes required to get things done efficiently and effectively. Another factor is ambiguity. For example a Local Government Official can write to a company with a Mast to pay 5 Million Naira knowing fully well that they will call him to negotiate. After such negotiation they can end up paying N500, 000 as official fee and then another N500,000 as bribe. Refusal to cooperate will lead to payment of 5 Million naira. I suggest the following solutions to minimize bribery in the country: • Service Level Agreement (SLA) must be published. We must know turnaround time for each process and activity. There should also be punishment for officials who fall short of such parameters. • Compensation of civil servants must be tied to performance which is benchmarked based on quantitative and qualitative parameters. • Tracking Online Processing: just like we can track progress of shipment by DHL we should embrace technology to ensure customers can track their request. • CCTV should be put in public offices to ensure that bribes cannot be given across the counter. • Officials should also be transferred from time to time to prevent anyone from becoming a cabal • Pricing of services and metrics should be online and payment done strictly at the bank or electronically. We should know how much you pay per square meter of land and what constitute commercial or residential. • Online processing • Reduce layer of interface • Make costing and metrics public • Transparent rules of engagement in procurement, bidding, expression of Interest, sales and acquisition of public properties • Make publicly available and accessible reporting Line to escalate delays to higher authorities • 24/7 Customer Service points for public complaints and resolution • Incentives based on quantity/quality achieved which must be published • Specific requirements that qualify or disqualify must be stated and published