Tuesday, 21 January 2020

The power to delegate: An Appraisal of the CEO in Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State

17th January 2020 


We shall continue our appraisal of the governor's ability to man the helms of affairs of the Governance of Cross River State as its Chief Executive Officer with a focus on his power to delegate authority  and responsibilities to subordinates within his cabinet

True leaders are exceptional and the bulk of the work as well as the success and failure of any organization is a function of leadership. Most times the man at helms of affairs is submerged with enormous responsibilities. The fear of others not doing it correctly have made many leaders not to delegate responsibilities to subordinates. To be a great leader, you have to learn art of delegating responsibilities, the benefit of doing so, can not be overemphasized. The difference between an effective leader and a super-sized individual contributor with a leader's title is painfully evident in lack of ability to delegate responsibilities. 

Delegating, makes a leader more productive and less busy, makes you more essential and less involved. Great leaders world over are more essential and less involved. Your involvement is a mix of the opportunities, mandates, and choices you make regarding the work you do. How ancillary or essential you are to the success of that portfolio depends on how decisively and wisely you activate those around you.

This means shaping the thoughts and ideas of others instead of dictating their plans, having a sought-after perspective but not being a required pass-through, and seeing your own priorities come to life through the inspired actions of others.

Narrowing our discuss on the object of this series which is the Executive Governor of Cross River State, can any member of the governor's cabinet boast that the governor should be graded an "A" for being an effective leader who delegates authority? 

In answering this question, let's look at Jesse Sostrin's model for determining  leaders who lack or have the ability to delegate authority. 

"To know if you're guilty of holding on to too much, answer this simple question: If you had to take an unexpected week off work, would your initiatives and priorities advance in your absence?

An attempt to domesticate the question, will rephrase it thus: How well or how effective will Ayade's initiatives and priorities advance in his absence? 

Furthermore, how often does he involve members of his cabinet in executing his projects and ideologies? 

How often do members of the state Executive council represent the governor in events? 

According to section 148 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, The president (governor) may, in his discretion, assign to the Vice-President (deputy governor) or any Minister (commissioners) of the Government of the Federation (state) the responsibility for any business of the Government, including the administration of any department of government."

It is also pertinent to reproduce Section 190(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), which states that, "Whenever the Governor is proceeding on vacation or is otherwise unable to discharge the function of his office, he shall transmit a written declaration to the Speaker of the House of Assembly to that effect, and until he transmits to the Speaker of the House of Assembly a written declaration to the contrary, the Deputy Governor shall perform the functions of the governor as Acting Governor.

The literal, grammatical and commonsensical reading of Section 190 (1) and the true meaning of the said provisions does not leave any room for ambiguity or debate as to the actual intention of the writers of the Constitution. Cambridge English Dictionary, makes it clear that the word  whenever means ''every or any time''. The same dictionary also defines vacation as ''a time when someone does not go to work or school but is free to do what they want, such as travel or relax''.

It is clear from these two provisions that
Governor Ayade does not have the discretion or prerogative to embark or proceed on his numerous overseas journeys outside the mandatory constitutional framework of Section 190(1) of the Constitution. 

In fact sub section 2 of section 190 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria needed to be applied and enforced on the governor by the state house of Assembly long ego. 

Section reads thus: 
"In the event that the Governor is unable or fails to transmit the written declaration mentioned in sub-section 1 of this section within 14 days, the House of Assembly shall by a resolution made by a simple majority of the vote of the House mandate the Deputy Governor to perform the functions of the office of the Governor, as Acting Governor, until the Governor transmits a letter to the Speaker, that he is now available to resume his functions as Governor."

 The question now is, has governor Ben Ayade traveled on a vacation without transferring power to his deputy in accordance with the provisions of the constitution? 

The answer is an outright yes because, the Governor in his wisdom as in the past 5 years has only transmitted power to his deputy just once when he went on a vacation about two years ago. But there have been several overseas trip embarked upon by the governor in the name of signing of Memorandum of Understandings. 

In fact Cross Riverians are weary of those signings because they are yet to see the evidence of those numerous MoUs. Cross Riverians believe the governor used the privilege his office as the governor of the state including tax payers monies to tour the world in the name of Signing of MoUs. And in none of those visit did the governor transmit power to his deputy. 

Remember this is a 12 article series aimed at appraising the CEO status of governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State. 
Other articles could be read through these links:

How well has Gov. Ayade mentored members of his cabinet for productivity: An Appraisal of the CEO in Gov Ben Ayade of Cross River State

An Appraisal of the CEO in Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State: Supervision in Focus