By Emmanuel Onwubiko.
“There will be reason they are not listening so work out what it is.” – Richard Templar; THE RULES OF PEOPLE.
Richard Templar is the pen name of a British author who has written self-development books. He reportedly shares his “path to success” in a series of books, in which 100 simple “ Rules” are presented.
The World’s best known online marketing application Amazon.com said Richard Templar is an astute observer of human behaviour and understands what makes the difference between those of us who effortlessly glide towards success.
As I reflect on some successful leadership qualities in display in the management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) under the current dispensation, the best intellectual hot spot to tap for some guides towards unraveling the strides made institutionally in the administration of the NYSC is therefore the qualitative thoughts of this beloved British author whose 2018 book titled “ the Rules of people” I find Fascinating in this thematic reflection on the imminent resumption of camping by hundreds of thousands of Nigerian University graduates by the National Youth Service Corp as a necessary prelude towards kick starting their year-long service to fatherland Nigeria.
My reading of the works of Richard Templar and other erudite writers on management shows that to pay attention and listen to the pulse of the people under your management is at the core of the qualitative virtues of an effective manager.
Richard Templar puts it succinctly thus: “if someone persistently doesn’t listen – or doesn’t hear what you’re saying –you need to do something different otherwise nothing will change. There will be a reason they‘re not listening, so work out what it is.
Are you undermining their authority, criticizing them, saying something they don’t want to hear, and making them look bad in front of someone else? Whatever the reason, try to accommodate it. Take a different tone, speak to them in private, plan out how to get your point across more succinctly, pick a better time. Show them why what you have to say is worth listening to.”
These indeed constitute the corpus of the ingredients needed for a sustainable and effective management of people and resources institutionally. For the purposes of our reflection, it is tangential to situate these concrete body of evidence at the doorstep of how so well and how so efficiently effective the managers of the National Youth Service Corp have carried on with their onerous task even amidst the shifting nature of the dreaded COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN NIGERIA.
The distinguished citizen named Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim who has a doctorate degree in education is the head of the NYSC and he has over the past few couple of months, since coming on board, manifested the abundant qualities of an effective leader of Youngsters and he uniquely showed the quality of listening when in the hit of the advent of the Coronavirus Pandemic in the first quarter of the year he was quick to ask the participants of the NYSC scheme to leave the camps so measures are adopted to safeguard their lives.
The rapid shut down of camps by the management of NYSC in line with the directives published by the Nigerian government under the auspices of the Presidential Task Force on containment of Covid-19, remains commendable and it is indeed an excellent show of effective leadership.
Writing on the scholarly theme of efficient management versus effective leadership, Emily Rice stated the following: “In most leadership books, you are told that you need to be both in order to be successful; that you need to be both, effective and efficient. Except, when given a choice, we’re likely to choose one over the other. In definition, effective is producing the intended or expected results.”
This management guru further informed us that: “While, efficient is performing the best results in the least about of time and/or effort. In other words, being effective is doing the right things and being efficient is doing things right. Doing the right things isn’t enough anymore. Nor is just doing things right – Laura Stack.
“Therefore, if someone is expected to be both, then it’s about doing the right things, right. Although, both “lenses” encompass a different mindset. Those that align with being effective are impact-oriented, strategic, and relational.
An effective leader focuses on productivity in various layers such as motivation, teamwork, communication and objectives. They encourage innovation and creativity to reach a desired goal. Those who are efficient are task-oriented, impulsive, and project focused.”
The management expert said also thus: “An efficient manager is one who uses limited resources to get the job done in a more professional manner; they want immediate results. Efficiency avoids mistakes and likes to take repeated steps to achieve a goal.
Both efficiency and effectiveness are desirable characteristics in business. Although, one is often attainable only at the expense of the other. While some do a good job of balancing the two, others view one lens more than the other. Depending on the situation, both efficiency and effectiveness can be used, if managers and leaders work together. “
No doubt, the effective leadership of the NYSC was also instrumental to the ability of the institution to very rapidly rise to the occasion and to efficiently put internal measures in place to meet with global best practices and guidelines published by the Nigerian Centre for disease control, presidential task force on Covid -19 and the world Health Organization’s protocols towards the containment of spread of Covid-19 disease.
The media has been awash with the positive story that the management of the NYSC in consultation with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF-COVID-19) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have developed these guidelines to facilitate the safe conduct of the 2020 NYSC orientation camp activities in all NYSC camps across the country.
The management has reportedly put all the necessary logistics and manpower in their proper position to effectively ensure that all Corp members are tested for COVID-19 on arrival. Only those whose test results are negative will proceed to register in the camp.
From information generated by this writer from official channels, the following are the general measures in place: *Additional orientation camps will be provided in each State/FCT to reduce the number of participants in each camp. *This is to ensure the observance of physical distancing.
*As part of usual practice, all orientation camps will be fumigated/decontaminated before the commencement of the orientation exercise. In addition to the fumigation/decontamination of the camps, there will be enforcement of physical distancing, regular hand washing, use of face coverings and proper hygiene in all camps. There will be compulsory temperature screening at every camp entrance.
The use of face masks is compulsory for every Corp member, camp officials and visitors.
Beds in hostels will be re-arranged to allow for two-metres spacing, which will ensure physical distancing as provided for in the COVID-19 safety protocol.
Lectures will be conducted observing physical distancing and will be complemented via e-learning tools.
COVID-19 safety measures will be part of the content of the call-up letters for prospective Corp members. All Corp members are required to fill the COVID-19 testing self-reporting form before they can download their call up letters.
There will be deliberate reduction in the number of participants during each orientation exercise in order to free up spaces in the hostels and make for proper physical distancing and better ventilation.
Also, Camp officials, in addition to the corps members, shall be sensitised fully on the required measures.
There will be Infection Prevention Control reminders and communication materials prominently displayed in every part of the camp. Hand hygiene stations will be set up across strategic locations in the camp.
Assessment tools have been developed to inform baseline situation at the proposed NYSC camp sites. This will ensure adherence to safety protocols before opening of orientation camps and for entire camp duration.
Readiness assessments have been conducted across NYSC camps to ensure that all camps meet the key performance indicators (KPIs) of COVID-19 preventive measures and are ready for safe opening.
These are facts gathered from the NYSC safety protocols for NYSC Corp members just as this document is for all prospective NYSC Corp members to read and sign before resumption at camp. This should be available on the NYSC website.
To visit the NYSC COVID-19 RDT Testing Self-Reporting Form web page, prospective Corp members are asked to click on the appropriate registration buttons in the official portal of the NYSC.
Also, every Corp member will be given an appointment for resumption and they are warned to endeavour to resume camp on the day of their appointment as arrangements will not be available for those that resume earlier than scheduled.
They are to fill a self-reporting form on the dashboard and Download a code and covid-19 testing slip just as this should be presented on arrival in camp for the NCDC officials to be able to conduct your test.
After successfully meeting up these guidelines, President Buhari has therefore permitted the re-opening of NYSC camp after 8 months of closure with mandatory order that full COVID-19 protocols to be enforced in camps to protect corps members.
The Federal Government has approved the reopening of orientation camps for prospective members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Prospective corps members were sent home when camps were closed in March 2020 as part of efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, announced on Thursday, October 15 that camps will reopen on November 18.
“The resumption of the NYSC orientation camp for prospective Youth Corpers has been approved and opens on November 10th 2020. Full COVID-19 Protocols will be enforced,” he said.
Recall that the coronavirus pandemic has swept around the world and infected over 38 million people and killed over one million globally. Nigeria has recorded over 60,000 cases and over 1,000 deaths, but infection rates have dropped over the past few weeks, even though officials are concerned that is due to the drop in testing rate.
Many sectors that were shut down in March have steadily reopened since restrictions started getting relaxed in May.
There is no mass-produced vaccine yet for the novel disease, however Pfizer/BioNTech have just announced that their COVID-19 vaccine is already tested ninety percent effective. The fact that the management of the NYSC successfully met the stringent resumption requirements for the camps to be reopened is a dramatic and constructive demonstration of remarkable leadership acumen which must be applauded. This goes to show the effective observations of the kernel of public policy for public good.
RK SAPRU in his book: ‘Public policy: formulation, implementation and evaluation’ says the following on public policies: “It is first important to understand the concept of public’ fora discussion of public policy. We often use such terms as public interest, public sector public opinion, public health, and so on.
The starting point is that Public Policy’ has to do with those spheres which are so labeled as public’ as opposed to spheres involving the idea of private”. The concept theoretical Perspectives of public policy presupposes that there is an area or domain of life which is not private or purely individual, but held in common. Public dimension is generally referred to public ownership or control for ‘public purpose”
“The public comprises that domain of human activity which is regarded as requiring governmental intervention or common action. However there has always been a conflict between what is public and what is private.
W.F. Baber argues that the public sector has ten key differences from the private sector
i. It faces more complex and ambiguous tasks
ii. It has more problems in implementing its decisions
iii. it employs more people with a wider range of motivations
iv. it is more concerned with securing opportunities or capacities.
v. It is more concerned with compensating for market failure;
vi. It engages in activities with greater symbolic significance,
vii. It is held to stricter standards of commitment and legality and has a greater opportunity to respond to issues of farness
viii. It must operate or appear to operate in the public interest
ix. It must maintain minimal levels of public support above that required in private industry”.
Impressed by these groundswell of preparation for the commencement of camps across Nigeria as made by the NYSC, the DIRECTOR-GENERAL, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC Chikwe hekweazu revealed that no National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, camp will be shut down as a result of one corps member testing positive to COVID-19.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Director Press and Public Relations, NYSC, Adenike Adeyemi.
The NYSC to ensure compliance to the necessary preventive protocols to COVID-19 when the camp reopens, the prospective corp member would undergo COVID-19 test in order to ascertain their health status and in the event of a prospective corp member testing positive, other Corps members should not panic as adequate measures have been put in place in all NYSC camps to manage such case.
He commended the Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier- General Shuaibu Ibrahim, for his passion for youths, exemplified by his tenacity of purpose which facilitated the approval for the Corps to resume normal operations.
He said prospective corps members should exercise caution as coronavirus is still around. Ihekweazu said it has been a trying time for the country, but expressed challenge brought the NYSC and NCDC together to work in partnership tor the common good of the country.
He challenged the participants to be the leaders that the country needs at this critical time.
On his part, General lbrahim praised the NCDC director-general and his team for working tirelessly to safeguard the health of the nation, stating that there will be zero tolerance for risky behaviours that will compromise the health of those at the camps.
He thanked the NCDC chief executive for the donation of personal protection equipment to the NYSC, pledging to put them to good use. Ibrahim appealed to the camp participants to eschew the spreading of fake news and encouraged them to always approach the camp management for clarification on issues of interest.
Another impressive milestone worth noting is the phenomenal directive by President Muhammadu Buhari that henceforth all participants at the NYSC would be enrolled in the National Health Insurance Scheme of the Nigerian public sector.
This single most important directive by President Muhammadu Buhari is indeed salutary and should be pragmatically implemented and without doubt the management of the NYSC under the current dispensation would carry out this instruction vigorously and meticulously.
*Emmanuel Onwubiko is head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA). He blogs @www. huriwanigeria.com, www.thenigerianinsidernews.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Emmanuel Onwubiko and do not necessarily reflect those of The World Satellite. The World Satellite will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”