Tuesday, 13 October 2015


Barrister Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, CFR
In the next few weeks, Ministers will be resuming their portfolios and they will commence their charge of assisting the President to develop Nigeria in general terms. It is important to let the ministers know that many ministers have been occupying various positions in Nigeria since 1922. When they finished their assignments, other ministers were appointed.

And there will continue to be ministers in the years to come, for as long as Nigeria exists. What is perhaps important to Nigerians is the praxis of their behaviours, which is becoming a point of interest to the global community, especially with the trial of the former petroleum minister for money laundering by the British police after three years of investigation. It is not likely that the British police will lose their case and I do hope that Madam Minister is putting together her team of defence lawyers.

That the president delayed the appointment of ministers is simply a reflection of the cumulative behaviours and praxis of our past ministers. It is gradually becoming clear that the position or office of minister is fast losing its respect in public service. However, there is still every reason to congratulate the new ministers and wish them the very best in their charges of handling the affairs of our dear country Nigeria.

The individuals on the president’s list of ministers can be divided into four broad categories as follows: Drivers, Expressives, Analyticals and Amiables. Every human being belongs to at least one category of this division. It is important to know where you belong and who you are. This is key in respect of the new ministers, especially if the President wants to have optimum value from their services. It will be useful to start with the President himself, and of course, the Vice President. The question is: Who is Buhari? Which of these categories does he belong to?

The President, by nature and according to the Psychometric Test, is a Driver. And who is a Driver? The best attributes one can use to describe a Driver are: Adventurous, Authoritative, Candid, Challenging, Competitive, Assertive, Powerful, Result Oriented, Self Reliant, and Strong-Willed.

So a Driver wants control and results. When under pressure, the Driver’s demands may make them confront others. Drivers focus on issues, they are demanding and assertive. The new ministers must know that this is the type of person they are going to work with and they should be prepared.

Those who possess the same characteristics with the President must be ready to understand that they may be in conflict with him if their positions are not the same with his, particularly on issues where he has made up his mind, such as corruption. Non-Drivers (people in the other categories) will work well with the President, as we shall see shortly.

The President will do well to reduce the number of people with his type of characteristics in the cabinet. The President works well with the Vice President. And why is this so? The Vice President belongs to the category of Amiables. People in this category possess the following characteristics: Accommodating, Appreciative, Agreeable, Diplomatic, Generous, Supportive, Cooperative, Trusting, Understanding and Patient.

The interesting thing here is that the Vice President’s characteristics are completely different from the President’s. So what do Amiables do under pressure? They tend to acquiesce. They will yield to other’s viewpoints and opinions, easily give in or withdraw support. Amiables are active listeners. They like to understand people and they have a participative style. In similar circumstances, Drivers will be fast decision-takers, risk-takers, competitive and bottom-line in approach.

The President and Vice President are a perfect match for efficiency and effectiveness. The mistake to avoid is matching two Drivers. Recall the much celebrated Obasanjo/Atiku crisis. These two men possess characteristics of Drivers! The President must ensure that those who have been nominated as ministers are placed accordingly and that their characteristics match their portfolios.

A Driver may not be good for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as diplomatic issues are not likely to be resolved with an assertive approach. A Driver may be good for the ministries of petroleum and works, but a Driver may not have the desired impact at the ministries of health, commerce or labour. (nationalmirror)
Jimoh Ibrahim writes from the MBA Class of the University of Cambridge

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