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  1. 1. LEADERSHIP: TIMES AND CHALLENGES By Dr. Usman Kabir, BSc, MSc, PhD, Cert Ed, PGCE, TDLB, MBA Presented at the ALL ADMINISTRATORS NATIONAL CONFERENCE 2013 organized by Chartered Institute of Administrators Thursday, 4th and Friday, 5th July 2013 At the International Conference Centre, Abuja
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION The rapid environmental changes have presented incessant challenges for leadership in Nigeria with the attendant effects of the good, the bad and the ugly situations. According to Epia (2007); Leadership exits not only in human kingdom but as well as in animal kingdom. He opined that in the animal kingdom leadership belongs to the strong and valiant, to the daring and courageous, but behind these attributes is always the need to protect the weak of the clan, to hold and defend territory, to feed and train the young and to promote discipline and well being among the herd. Whereas in the human society the burden of leadership naturally falls upon a charismatic, selfless and service driven individual whose power is rooted in the transparent determination to use individual strength and wisdom, unity of purpose and the entrenchment of group order for the benefit of human race. The human being has impacted negatively or positively on this social balance by the manner in which he applies his innate endowments to his environment. A wicked and roguish disposition produces despots and tyrants. A sensible, compassionate and judicious inclination yields the charismatic type of leader and cultivates a loyal and loving following. An inept, lack-lustre and passive leader erodes confidence and elicits ridicule and opprobrium.
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION (cont’d.) The gregarious nature of man underscores the constant interplay of human forces and interests in the unending search to fill leadership roles. Leadership is therefore not anything anyone is born with nor anything thrust upon anyone. Authentic leadership in the human society is not anything to be obtained through conquest or by the use of all available instruments of coercion. Authentic leadership is something to merit and earn, something that carries with it certain basic qualities accruing from latent and discernible abilities. The good leader bears an acute sense of sacrifice and always shows a bias for the care and concern of the people. The good leader has an uncanny sensitivity to people's needs and a veteran's ability to manage the people's resources. In time of crisis the good leader is an agent of reconciliation, one who shows unlimited commitment to reconciling disparate and contradictory forces. The good leader does not demand loyalty but is one whose charisma, candour and moral standing attract popular acclaim. A good leader does not predicate his reputation on propaganda nor on the patronising efforts of sycophants and hirelings. What is then leadership?
  4. 4. WHAT IS LEADERSHIP? Leadership has a range of definitions, but at its simplest it is concerned with the ability to influence others to achieve goals. The process and attributes required to effectively influence others are central to an understanding of leadership. The personal attributes of leaders including having a big picture vision that is effectively shared and decision making that is clear and decisive based on assessment of available information. Leaders have a commitment to capacity building and empowering others, are respectful and consultative but willing to make tough decisions when required. At the core of leadership is the attribute of credibility, usually earned by demonstrated ethical and transparent approaches to practice. (Huges 2009). Leaders take calculated risks when required, speak out against the status quo and step forward to take responsibility and show initiative when needed. This type of behaviour in practice requires good strategic thinking, interpersonal communication skills and emotional intelligence. In reality we all show and need leadership skills to be effective in our daily practice, whether that be in academia, communities or organisations. We all work to influence others to achieve our objectives, irrespective of the level at which we operate in society. Leadership is not confined to the top of the decision-making tree, but instead is often required at lower-down levels to ‘shake the branches’.
  5. 5. THE CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP Leadership constantly presents challenges, being a leader is in itself a challenge. Things change; change brings challenge, and no matter how good a leader is, no leader can stop that from happening. Some challenges come in the form of people or problems that present obstacles to reaching a goal. Far more come from within the leader himself or from the situation of simply being a leader. Every leader must face many of them and learn to deal with them in some way. It may seem like "challenges" is another word for "problems," but that's not necessarily true. Sometimes positive situations present the greatest challenges, testing how well you can use your opportunities. A challenge is an invitation to rise to another level, to test yourself and improve in the process, to show that you can accomplish something that may seem difficult, or even impossible. It is important to appreciate that there are very few born leaders, almost all leaders are made by recognizing, learning from, and rising to the challenges of leadership. The challenges of leadership are really of three kinds: external, coming from people and situations; internal, stemming from within the leader himself; and those arising from the nature of the leadership role.
  6. 6. THE CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP (cont’d.) (I) External challenges It's almost impossible to imagine a situation where a leader doesn't have to cope with external challenges. In an organization, such issues as lack of funding and other resources, opposition from forces in the community, and competitors often rear their heads. Social, economic, and political forces in the larger world can affect the organization as well. To some extent, the measure of any leader is how well he can deal with the constant succession of crises and minor annoyances that threaten the mission of his group. If he is able to solve problems, take advantage of opportunities, and resolve conflict with an air of calm and a minimum of fuss, most of the external issues are hardly noticeable to anyone else. If the leader doesn't handle external challenges well, the organization probably won't, either. We have all seen examples of this, in organizations where everyone, from the director to the custodian, has a constantly worried look, and news is passed in whispers. When people feel that leaders are stressed or unsure, they themselves become stressed or unsure as well, and the emphasis of the group moves from its mission to the current worrisome situation. The work of the group suffers.
  7. 7. Some common external situations that call for leaders to use their resources include: Public criticism, especially uninformed criticism of your team or mission. Flare-ups of others' interpersonal issues, especially outside the organisation. Crises, which could be tied to finances, program, politics, public relations (scandals), legal concerns (lawsuits), even spiritual issues (loss of enthusiasm, low morale). Disasters which are different from crises, in that, in a crisis, something important (usually negative, but not always) seems to be happening, and you are trying to control the situation. In a disaster, the worst has already happened, and you are trying to deal with that in some way. Opposition and/or hostility from powerful forces (business groups, government, an influential organization, etc.) A financial or political windfall - Sometimes an unexpected benefit can be harder to handle than a calamity. Collaboration with another group or organization may call upon a leader to define clearly the boundaries within which he can operate, and to balance the needs of his own group with those of the collaborative initiative as a whole. THE CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP (cont’d.)
  8. 8. (II) Internal challenges While leadership presents to each of us the opportunity to demonstrate the best of what we are, it also exposes our limitations. In many cases, good leaders have to overcome those limitations in order to transmit and follow their vision. Fear, lack of confidence, insecurity, impatience and intolerance all can act as barriers to leadership. At the same time, acknowledging and overcoming them can turn a mediocre leader into a great one. It is often very difficult for people, especially those who see themselves as leaders, to admit that they might have personality traits or personal characteristics that interfere with their ability to reach their goals. Part of good leadership is learning to accept the reality of those traits, and working to change them so they don't get in the way. Sometimes, what seems to be an advantage may present a challenge as well. A leader who’s extremely decisive may alienate followers by never consulting them, or by consistently ignoring their advice. A leader who’s terrific at developing relationships with others in the organization may be unable to tell someone when he is not doing his job. Some characteristics can be double – edged swords, positive in some circumstances and negative in others. The real challenge is in knowing the difference and adapting your behaviour accordingly. THE CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP (cont’d.)
  9. 9. Leaders are human. That's hardly news, but it means that they come with all the same problems and failings as everyone else. One of the greatest challenges of leadership is facing your own personal issues, and making sure they don't prevent you from exercising leadership. Acknowledging the attitudes and tendencies that get in your way, and working to overcome them, is absolutely necessary if you're to become an effective leader. Among the most common personal traits that good leaders have to overcome or keep in check are: Insecurity. Many people feel, at least some of the time, that they're not up to the tasks they face. They may even believe that they're fooling people with their air of competence, when they know they're really not very capable at all. Insecurity of that sort keeps them from being proactive, from following their vision, from feeling like leaders. It can be crippling to both a leader and her group or organization. Defensiveness. Also born of insecurity, defensiveness shows up most often as an inability to take criticism (other people might catch on to the fact that you're as incompetent as you know you are), and continuing hostility to anyone, even an ally, who voices it. Defensiveness often also includes a stubborn resistance to change ideas, plans, or assumptions, even if they've been shown to be ineffective. THE CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP (cont’d.)
  10. 10. Lack of decisiveness. Sometimes it's hard to make a decision. The reality is that leaders are called on to make decisions all the time, often with very little time to consider them. It is important to have as much information as possible, but at some point, you just have to make the decision and live with it. Some decisions are reversible, and some are not, but in either case, it's important to learn to make a decision when necessary and understand that living with the consequences is part of being a leader. Inability to be direct when there's a problem. Many people want so badly to be liked, or are so afraid of hurting others, that they find it difficult to say anything negative. They may be reluctant to tell someone he's not doing his job adequately, for instance, or to address an interpersonal problem. Unfortunately, by letting these things go, they only make them worse, which makes them still harder to address. It's essential to learn when firmness is necessary, and to learn how to exercise it. THE CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP (cont’d.)
  11. 11. Inability to be objective. Neither looking at situations through rose-colored glasses nor being always on the edge of hysteria is conducive to effective leadership. Just as objectivity is important in dealing with external issues, it's important to monitor your own objectivity in general. There's a difference between being an optimistic individual and being unable to see disaster looming because it's too painful to contemplate. By the same token, seeing the possible negatives in an apparently positive situation are not the same as being paralyzed by the assumption that calamity lurks around every corner. The inability to accurately identify the positive and negative in any situation and react appropriately can create serious problems. Impatience - with others and with situations. It may seem, given the importance of decisiveness and firmness, that patience is not a virtue a leader needs. In fact, it is perhaps the most important trait to develop. Situations do not resolve themselves instantly, and anyone who's ever been involved in an organization knows that everything takes longer than you think it will. Leaders who are impatient may make rush decisions, may alienate staff members or volunteers or allies, and can often make situations worse rather than better. It's hard to be patient, but it's worth the effort. THE CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP (cont’d.)
  12. 12. (III)Challenges Arising From Leadership Itself Real leadership makes great demands on people. As a leader, you are responsible for your group's vision and mission, for upholding a standard, often for being the group's representative to the rest of the world and its protector as well. These responsibilities might be shared, but in most organizations, one person takes the largest part of the burden. In addition to its responsibilities, leadership brings such challenges as motivating people. Leaders also have to motivate themselves, and not just to seem, but actually to be, enthusiastic about what they're doing. Leaders can be looked on as authority figures, as saviours, as fixers of things that are broken, as spiritual guides, as mentors, as models, as inspirers, as teachers as well. This in itself carries a set of challenges, in addition to those posed by what all leaders indeed have to do in order to keep things going. Some of the issues that leaders have to cope with specifically because they're leaders are: Keeping an eye on, and communicating, the vision. As the guardian of a group's vision, it's up to the leader to remind everyone of what that vision is, to keep it in mind in everything the organization does, to protect it from funders or others who would try to change it and to make sure it does change, if necessary, with changes in circumstances, the needs of the target population, or the available information. That means not being distracted from the bigger picture by day-to-day issues as well as not substituting another, lesser goal that may be contrary to the true vision of the organization. THE CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP (cont’d.)
  13. 13. Keeping the everyday under control while you continue to pursue the vision. You can't maintain the vision without making sure that there's paper in the printer, that you understand the legal implications of an action you plan to take, that people know what they're supposed to be doing on a given day, that there's enough cash in the bank to meet payroll, and that there's someone there to answer the phone, to pay the bills, and to look for funding. These aren't necessarily all things a leader has to do himself but he's responsible for making sure they get done, and that things run smoothly. No matter how transformative he is, no leader can accomplish much if the infrastructure doesn't work. Setting an example. If you want others in the group to show mutual respect, to work hard, to embrace the vision and mission of the organization, to include everyone in their thinking and decisions, you have to start by doing those things yourself, and behaving in the ways you want others to behave. A leader who yells at people, consults no one, and assumes his word is law will intentionally or unintentionally train everyone else in the group to be the same way. A leader who acts collaboratively and inclusively will create an organization that functions similarly. THE CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP (cont’d.)
  14. 14. Maintaining effectiveness over time. One of the hardest lessons of leadership is that you're never done. No matter how well things go, no matter how successful your group or organization or initiative is - unless it's aimed at accomplishing a very specific, time-limited goal - you have to keep at it forever. Maintaining effectiveness is a matter both of monitoring what you do and working to improve it, and of keeping up enthusiasm for the work within the group. Avoiding burnout. This is a challenge not only for leaders, because a burned out leader can affect the workings of a whole organization. Leader burnout is a product of being overwhelmed by the workload, the frustrations, the stress, and the time demands of the position, multiplied by the number of years spent in it. It's crucial that leaders learn to recognize the signs of burnout and - depending on where they are in their lives and a number of other factors - either find ways to renew their commitment or leave. THE CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP (cont’d.)
  15. 15. OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES (a) How to Cope With External Challenges Be proactive. Regardless of the situation, it's important for leaders to do something. Waiting is occasionally the right strategy, but even when it is, it makes a group nervous to see its leader apparently not exercising some control. Be creative. Try to think "outside the box," i.e. in unexpected but effective ways. Don't just look at the obvious, but consider a situation from all perspectives, and search for unusual ways to make things work. Face conflict squarely. This doesn't mean come out fighting, but rather identify and acknowledge the conflict, and work to resolve it. This is true both for conflict within your group, and conflict between the group and others outside it. Far too many people, leaders included, act as if conflict doesn't exist, because they find it difficult or frightening to deal with. As a result, it only grows worse, and by the time it erupts, it may be nearly impossible to resolve. If it's faced early, nearly any conflict can be resolved in a way that is beneficial for everyone involved. It's a function of leadership to have the courage to name the conflict and work on it.
  16. 16. OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES (cont’d.) Always look for common ground. If there's opposition to what you're doing, it may only be to one specific part of it, or may be based on misunderstanding. There are few groups or individuals who don't have some common interests. If you can find those, you may have a basis for solving problems and making it possible for people to work together. Retain your objectivity. If you're mediating a conflict within the organization, don't take sides, even if you think you know one side is right. That will come out if you mediate objectively and well. Look for opportunities to collaborate. This is important both within and outside your group or organization. Within the group, involve as many people as possible in decisions, and make sure they have control over what they do. The more they own their jobs and the organization, the more enthusiastic they'll be, the more effective the organization will be, and the more effective you'll be as a leader. Outside the organization, try to forge ties with other organizations. Let them know what you're doing, get and give support, and work with them to the extent you can. Make common cause with other groups that have similar interests. In numbers, there is strength, and you'll be stronger as an alliance of groups than any one of you could be individually.
  17. 17. (b) Coping with Internal Challenges Listen. Listen to people's responses to your ideas, plans, and opinions. Listen more than you talk. Listen to a broad range of people, not just to those who agree with you. Probe to find out why they think or feel the way they do. If they're about things you do that you can change, you might give it a try. Ask for 360-degree feedback and use it. This is feedback (people's views of you) from everyone around you and other stakeholders to the organisation. As with listening, if you hear the same thing from a lot of different sources, it's probably true and then act on it. All the feedback in the world won't do you any good unless you do something with it. Look at what's going on around you. Are you the centre of controversy and chaos? Or do calm and good feeling seem to reside wherever you go? The chances are that the answer lies somewhere in between these extremes, but it probably should be closer to the calm and good feeling side. Even if you're involved in a battle with the forces of evil, you can foster calm in yourself and those you work with. Another question to ask is whether the people you work with are happy and enthusiastic. Taking a look around will tell you a lot about what - and how - you're doing as a leader. OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES (cont’d.)
  18. 18. Reach out for help in facing internal challenges. Most of us find it difficult to change entirely on our own. A psychotherapist, a good friend, a perceptive colleague, or a trusted clergyman might be able to help you gain perspective on issues that you find hard to face. Many people find meditation or some form of self-discovery helpful in understanding themselves and in getting through change. Don't feel you have to do it all on your own. (C) Coping with Challenges Stemming From the Nature of the Leadership Role These are some of the things you can do to retain both your sanity and your competency. Create mechanisms to revisit your vision. Hold occasional meetings and at-least-yearly retreats to discuss vision and renew commitment. These will serve both to review the vision to see if it still resonates (and to rework it if necessary), and to renew your and others' purpose and pursuit of it. They'll help to remind you of why you're doing this in the first place, give you an opportunity to work on group solidarity, and - ideally - leave you feeling refreshed and ready to carry on. OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES (cont’d.)
  19. 19. Share the burden. Surround yourself with good people who share your vision. If you can find others who are competent and committed to whom you can delegate some of the tasks of leadership, it will both remove pressure from you, and make your group stronger. One of the greatest mistakes a leader can make is to be threatened by others' abilities. In fact, sharing responsibility with capable people makes all of you more effective, and strengthens your leadership. Find an individual or group with whom you can discuss the realities of leadership. In many organisations, the heads meet on a regular basis to talk about the difficulties and rewards of their situations with others who truly understand. Some such arrangement can be a valuable hedge against burnout, and can also help you gain insight into how you function as a leader. Make sure you have personal time. In order to maintain perspective and to keep yourself fresh, you need to take time away from being a leader, and away from your organization or initiative. It's important to have an activity that gets you away from your daily concerns, and to take days off from time to time. Some people meditate every day, others play music regularly, and others participate in sports or fitness activities. It may be as simple as taking a walk with your kids for an hour every evening - whatever it is that relaxes your mind and feeds your soul. Rather than detracting from your effectiveness, your time off will increase it. OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES (cont’d.)
  20. 20. LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES The challenging period of leadership is “all the time," but in fact some times are more likely than others. Leadership is usually the most difficult when the situation is changing or unstable. Some particular times when challenges may arise are: When something new is about to start. When you're beginning a new intervention, trying something different in a program that's been running for a while, stepping up to another stage in your initiative, or hiring a new leader, no one is quite sure what's going to happen. Systems and relationships can break down, and it's often a matter of leadership as to whether the new situation is successful or otherwise. When something is about to end. When something is coming to an end and things are, by definition, about to change - times get difficult. That may be because of a big push to get finished, or because it's tough to tell what's coming next. Whatever the reason, it often takes leadership skills to make sure that the project ends successfully, and everyone moves on to the next phase, whatever that is.
  21. 21. When times are tough. If there's not enough funding, or an organization or group is being publicly criticized, for instance, its leader usually has to try to solve the problem in some way: find money, reduce expenses, and defuse the attacks. Leaders are tested when times are difficult. During transitions. There are many ways in which a group can be in transition. It may go - because of a grant or because of other circumstances - from a loosely organized, grass roots collective to a much more formally structured organization. It might grow quickly, even too quickly. It might be losing some key people, or changing leaders. One of the most difficult tasks a leader faces is trying to keep a group stable through a period of change. The challenges of leadership are ongoing and occur daily. Knowing when the greatest challenges are likely to arise, however, can prepare you to meet them successfully. In Nigeria, the challenges of our time include: (i) The Challenge of Corruption Nigeria requires an all-out war against this number one enemy of our nation, and not some token gestures that are simply meant to appease friends in the international community, or even to punish political opponents. But the next generation of Nigerian leaders shall have to make the war against corruption a number one priority if it is to carve an enviable place for itself in the history of this nation. Public officers and politicians in Nigeria must begin to reject the politics of the belly, and be prepared to make the necessary sacrifices towards building a new Nigeria. The situation in our country today calls for a communal cleansing, or more appropriately, a communal exorcism to get rid of the demon of greed and avarice whose offsprings are a legion. LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES (cont’d.)
  22. 22. Strategies for Fighting the War against Corruption We need a multi-pronged, multi-faceted, multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional approach to the fight against corruption in Nigeria since the disease itself comes in many shapes and forms. The following strategies are hereby proposed: Strengthening of our democratic structures - Nigerians must work hard to strengthen democratic structures in the country, for our fight against corruption will not succeed under the present system that is only one step away from military dictatorship. The general public, particularly the civil society must be on the alert to ensure that our elected representatives operate with the highest standards, accountability and stewardship. Observing the Criminal Code - Nigerians should get familiar with the provisions of the Criminal Code against the various shades of corruption, especially those involving public servants. The government and the agencies responsible should ensure that these provisions are rigorously applied to all and sundry without fear or favour. LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES (cont’d.)
  23. 23. Obedience of the rule of law - The judicial system must be strengthened and the rule of law must be entrenched. We cannot make progress with the fight against corruption as long as there is so much impunity in the land, with many seemingly operating above the law. Restructuring of law enforcement Agencies - The law enforcement agencies must be thoroughly cleansed, re-structured, re-orientated and highly motivated to make them more efficient in detecting, investigating and prosecuting cases of corruption. Unlimited Access to information - We must insist that the Freedom of Information Bill be signed into law, no society can truly fight corruption when there is very limited access to information, and when whistle blowers are not protected by law. Adequate salaries and wages to workers - Employers of labour should be constantly encouraged to pay adequate salaries and wages to workers, and make provision for their retirement benefits. Workers should not be paid such slave wage as to make them easily susceptible temptation. Government and corporate organisations should do more towards making Nigeria a welfare state where basic infrastructures are in place that will make life tolerable for even the least paid worker and his family. LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES (cont’d.)
  24. 24. Code of Conduct - Nigerians need to insist that the declaration of assets by public officers should be a public thing. The present practice of secret declaration of assets is of no use in our fight against corruption. Removal of immunity clause - - The section 308 of the 1999 Constitution which guarantees immunity from prosecution for our President, Vice President, Governors and their Deputies, even on account of criminal charges, must be expunged from our law books, if we are serious about the fight against corruption. Unexamined ethnic loyalty - This is an obstacle on our way to a truly transparent society with accountable leadership. Right thinking Nigerian individuals and groups must work hard against that form of ethnic bigotry by which acts of corruption are condoned or tolerated if committed by an individual from one’s ethnic group. Corrupt officials have often used the ethnic card when their atrocities are exposed, and in many instances their kith and kin have rallied round to defend them. Religious Bodies - Religious bodies should see it as their principal role to inculcate the fear of God and the values of honesty, probity, hard work, accountability and concern for the common good in their members. Nigerians are notorious for their religiosity, and no religion encourages corruption, so religious leaders must demonstrate to their members that vibrant religiosity and rampant corruption cannot exist side by side. LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES (cont’d.)
  25. 25. Traditional Rulers – Our traditional rulers should help identify the many faces of corruption in the society. They should exercise utmost caution in conferring honours on people, because such people automatically become role models for the younger generation. (ii) Nigeria’s Security Challenges No nation is free of security challenges. These challenges also vary from one country to the other. Threats/challenges to a country’s security may range from low level civil disorder, large scale violence, even armed insurgency or terrorism. These threats may be directed against citizens or the organs and infrastructure of the state itself. The current security challenges facing Nigeria as a nation include the following: Terrorism No doubt, the most predominant security challenge in the country today is terrorism. The Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lida’awatih wal- Jihad, a religious group popularly known as Boko-Haram is the harbinger of terrorism in Nigeria today. The sect, which is predominantly based in the North Eastern part of the country, has an ideology that is averse to western education and anything it represents. They have bombed their way to the police headquarters, Abuja; the United Nations building, Abuja and made a mincemeat of persons who were relaxing at a spot in Mogadishu cantonment in Abuja in December 2010; on Christmas day 2011 went to Saint Theresa’s Catholic Church Madala, Niger state, where they killed over 40 worshipers. It has become an unending assault on the sovereignty of the country. ( Dasuki; 2013) LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES (cont’d.)
  26. 26. They carried out routine raids on defenceless communities, killing scores and hundreds in Southern Kaduna, Plateau, Adamawa, Gombe and other vulnerable places in the North. They also carried out many deadly attacks in Kano before they returned to lay permanent siege in the entire Northeast where life has become brutish and short for the citizens. The recent killings in Baga and Bama towns in Borno state remain the most audacious affront to the sovereignty of Nigeria. However, Mr. President’s strategy for dealing with the Boko Haram threat is based on a multi- dimensional approach involving all elements of national power. While security forces operations dominate the media headlines, government has also embarked on other activities spanning across legal reforms, de-radicalization programme and strategic public communications. Additionally, the Federal Government, in conjunction with State Governments, is making efforts to tackle the issue of unemployment in the affected states as joblessness has been identified as one of the drivers fuelling terrorism in the country. Also, Federal Government inaugurated committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North (also known as Amnesty committee) that comprise twenty-five eminent Nigerians in an effort to find solution to this unsavoury development. The most recent being the declaration of state of emergency in three northern eastern states namely Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe while the committee subsists. LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES (cont’d.)
  27. 27. (b) Maritime Security Another major challenge is the insecurity in Nigeria’s maritime environment. This occurs in many forms, such as, piracy, illegal oil bunkering, oil theft, illegal fishing and hijacking. It has caused the Government loss of revenue and making our ports unattractive to foreign shipping lines. Efforts are being made by government to put a stop to various maritime security challenges. The Nigerian Navy has statutory responsibility for security in Nigeria’s maritime environment. Interestingly, the Navy is being strengthened through training, capacity building and purchase of new platforms to adequately cope with the tasks of policing Nigeria’s maritime environment. The Nigerian Maritime Security and Safety Administration (NIMASA) is another body set up by the government to deal with problems of safety and security in Nigeria’s harbours and coastal area. Recently, NIMASA entered into agreement with Global West, a private security company to ensure security of Nigeria’s coastal waters and prevent piracy and illegal oil bunkering. At the sub-regional level, Nigeria is partnering with other countries in the West African sub- region, through the auspices of ECOWAS to forge collaboration, security and legislative efforts to combat piracy and other illegal maritime activities. LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES (cont’d.)
  28. 28. (c) Porous Borders One of the main security challenges in the country is the wide expanse of Nigeria’s porous borders with contiguous countries. Many border communities have over time, out of practice, come to depend on the proceeds of smuggling and consequently, have come to see such practices as a way of life. Porosity of the borders has many implications, apart from revenue lost to smuggling, small arms and light weapons are brought into the country in large numbers. To avoid this frightening possibility, the government has taken steps to firm up border security, by opening up more border posts and increasing the manpower of the various security agencies at the borders. Nigeria has also signed joint border patrol agreements with some of the contiguous countries having land borders with Nigeria. There is now provision for aerial surveillance of the border with helicopters and planes, as well as electronically aided security checkpoints to capture biometric data of those coming in and exiting the country through the land borders. These measures when firmly in place will go a long way to help secure Nigeria’s land borders. LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES (cont’d.)
  29. 29. (d) Niger Delta Militancy At the peak of the militancy in the Niger Delta, crude oil production which is the mainstay of the country went as low as 700,000 bpd against over 2million bpd. This adversely affected Nigeria’s economy as the revenue accruable from oil dwindled. However, with the granting of amnesty to the Niger Delta militants, threats posed by the militants to oil production and oil facilities have virtually disappeared (Dasuki; 2013). However, there are still some residual threats being posed by those claiming to be remnants of the Niger Delta militants seeking to benefit from the FG Amnesty Programme. They seek to be included in the third phase Amnesty Programme. On a number of times they disrupted peace and tranquillity in Abuja and other cities in the Niger Delta. (e) Kidnapping Kidnapping started initially as part of methods used by Niger Delta militants to attract attention of oil companies and the government to their struggle for resource control. However, with the FG Amnesty Programme in place, Niger Delta militants have abandoned the crime but criminal elements, especially in the South-Eastern part- of the -country, have adopted the kidnapping strategy, .believing that kidnapping is a less risky and more lucrative venture than armed robbery. LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES (cont’d.)
  30. 30. Currently, cases of kidnapping that are concentrated and frequent in the South-East, have gradually spread to other parts of the country and the phenomenon is now regarded as one of the main security challenges confronting the country. Prominent Nigerians, lawmakers and traditional rulers have fallen victims. Kidnapping gives the impression that lives of oil workers, prominent citizens and ordinary Nigerians are not safe and consequently portrays Nigeria as insecure, with attendant consequences. (f) Illegal Bunkering Nigeria has long been confronted with challenges of illegal bunkering and oil theft during which both crude and refined products are stolen on a regular basis. This development not only creates serious economic problems for the country in terms of loss of revenue, it also gives the impression that the main foreign exchange earner on which the country depends cannot be effectively secured. (g) Pipeline Vandalisation Pipeline vandalisation is closely related to illegal bunkering, though not the same. Nigeria loses about N105 billion (one hundred and five billion naira) to pipeline vandalisation annually. Most of the vandals puncture or blow up pipelines to siphon crude or finished products while some others cause damage so as to get oil companies to engage them in the repairs of such damaged pipelines or engage them for the security of the pipelines. They both constitute a big drain to the country’s revenue. LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES (cont’d.)
  31. 31. Huge sums of money are also spent in repairing damaged pipelines. Loss of lives and environmental degradation are other negative impacts. The Arepo pipeline vandalisation in Ogun state which has become a constant phenomenon is instructive. (h) Armed Robbery Armed robbery has been a long standing security issue in Nigeria, especially after the 1967-70 Civil War, when arms became widely available in the country. It has persisted despite many efforts to tackle the root causes of this particular security challenge. It is generally believed that youth unemployment, and the culture of get-rich-quick based on greed, which pervades our society today are responsible. Proliferation of small arms and light weapons as well as inadequate policing of our borders and maritime environment are other inducing factors. (i) Youth Unemployment Unemployment is one socio-security challenge that successive governments over the years have identified and acknowledged. Unfortunately, government’s efforts appear not to be making the desired positive impact. The engagement of these unemployed into criminality is a matter of concern for the government. In Nigeria, on many occasions many youths have been used as thugs during political campaigns and in time of crisis. LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES (cont’d.)
  32. 32. Government is very concerned about this problem and had taken several steps in the past, and currently, to train youths in relevant skills in order to generate employment. (j) Communal Crashes Since the advent of civilian regime, the rate of communal violence among communities has been on the increase. This perhaps suggests that so many things were wrong during the military regime that was forcefully suppressed by the military. Democracy gives some level of freedom, therefore serves as an opportunity for people to address the hitherto silent issue and more often than not leads to unsavoury situation. The cases of Jos and Nasarawa are good examples. (k) Climate Change With the depletion of the ozone layer and the resultant consequences of global warming, there has been significant climate change, which is now a major problem for many parts of the world. The recent heavy rains and associated flooding in many parts of the country has brought the issue of climate change as a security threat to the fore. Efforts are being made to study the pattern of climate change in a comprehensive way so as to predict weather patterns. All the relevant security and environmental agencies have been summoned for a comprehensive assessment of the problem, as it pertains to Nigeria, towards advising the government on the best approach at minimizing the effect of climate change and other natural disasters. This will allow government to provide early warning to farmers and those living in flood-prone areas. LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES (cont’d.)
  33. 33. To overcome the security challenges facing Nigeria and Nigerians is for the country to re-double its efforts at nation-building, take a critical look at the root causes of the problems that lead us to the current situation and possibly find lasting solutions. The following are some of the measures that may be adopted to alleviate the effects of the security challenges we are currently facing: Establishment of Data Base: A comprehensive of data base to capture relevant data which would aid documentation and monitoring of the population is essential requirement in addressing security issues in any country. Nigeria, as it is in other countries, must have a computerized data base, not only of criminals but of everybody within the country, including visiting foreigners. The data base, ideally, need to capture the date of birth, death certificate, photograph, finger- print, car registration data, travelling passport number, tax identification number, and other important details, such as house address, details of owners of each house located in any local government area, records of building approval, and other details necessary for planning, monitoring and development. Such data base needs not to be in one single place, it could be established at both the state and federal levels and by each security organization. The important thing is for such data to be linked together and must be accessible to security/intelligence agencies that rely substantially on data bases to do their work and use them to crack crime cases. THE WAY FORWARD
  34. 34. Development of Infrastructure: The level of infrastructure in the country needs to be improved significantly. Infrastructures such as housing, power and energy, roads and rail transportation. It is imperative that these infrastructure are not only present but of high quality to ensure adequate welfare, safety and security of the general populace and to give the people the feeling of satisfaction regarding access to the dividends of democracy. Improvement in Quality of Education and Health Services: The role of education in national building can never be over emphasised. The quality of education has dropped to its lowest ebb as evidence in the quality of our graduates who are mostly not employable and thus pose a serious security threat to the nation. There is an urgent need to address this ugly development. Another social menace that has posed danger to the national security is the appalling state of our hospitals that have become a mere consulting clinics. We must give this urgent attention as health is wealth. Public Enlightenment: There is need for enlightenment of the public to make them aware that security agencies alone cannot fight crime or terrorism. It appears that the Nigerian population is not security conscious. This has to change dramatically and fast, for Nigeria to confront many of the security challenges being experienced at present. Introducing security awareness curricula in our schools is one way to address this menace. Also adverts and publications issued in the media on security related issues is another way out. THE WAY FORWARD (cont’d.)
  35. 35. Strengthening Police – Public Relation: The general public must be made to have confidence in the Police and other security agencies. Security agents all over the world rely on the people for relevant information which provides leads that could solve security related problems and must be re-assured that the source of information being provided remains confidential and protected. There should be police community relation committee in every local Government Areas to facilitate this process. Restructuring of Security Agencies: Another area where government would need to focus on is capacity building among security agencies, especially the police. Professionalism must be improved, recruitment and training need to be overhauled and the curricula reviewed to ensure that policemen and other security agents are in tune with modern technology and devices that can measure up to the standards of their counter-parts in more developed countries. Intelligence Liaison: Intelligence is crucial in tackling most security related challenges. All the security agencies established by the Government need to observe inter-agency cooperation in their relationship by sharing relevant intelligence amongst them. THE WAY FORWARD (cont’d.)
  36. 36. Collaboration with other countries: Some of the security challenges have external dimensions. For instance, it has been established that the Boko Haram set has links with AQIM, AQIAP and EI-Shabab -from which it receives training and funding. This link has to be severed, to deny it weapons, funds, training and other logistics. This is being done through collaboration with foreign intelligence and security agencies. In addition, security personnel need to be adequately trained in counter terrorism and other security related relevant skills in order to be more effective in tackling terrorism and other related security challenges. Generation of Employment: Job creation is the solution to youth unemployment. The government has taken many laudable steps to create jobs. But to really achieve an enviable level of job creation, it is necessary for government to provide the enabling environment and infrastructure, such as, stable electricity, good roads and schools amongst others. This would make our alien industries to bounce back, increase their capacity utilization and engage more hands and thereby reducing the unemployment rate. Poverty Alleviation: Poverty alleviation is being tackled by the government from many dimensions. This includes job creation, investment in agriculture, and increase in local content of manufactured products, power generation, and improvement in quality of infrastructure. But efforts being made in this area take time to come into fruition, given that many aspects of infrastructure development have been neglected for a considerable period of time in years past. But the foundation for gradual improvement in different areas of the economy, and of our daily lives, is being laid gradually, towards the eventual achievement of a reasonable level of poverty alleviation and attainment of sound economic status. THE WAY FORWARD (cont’d.)
  37. 37. CONCLUSION Leadership poses a host of challenges. They come in three categories: external (from people and situations); internal (from within the leader herself); and stemming from the circumstance of being a leader. They often arise in periods of instability or change, such when a program or period of work is beginning or ending, or when a group or organization is in transition. Some are concrete and limited - dealing with a particular situation, for instance - but many are more abstract and ongoing, such as keeping your group focused on its vision over the long term.
  38. 38. REFRENCES Dasuki, Sambo (2013): “Nigeria’s Security Challenges: The way Forward; The Speech Delivered at the 3rd Seminar Held at the National Defence College, Abuja. http://wwwthisday/online.com/articles,Nigeria. Oke Epia (2007): The Challenge of Leadership in the Contemporary Nigeria; An Address Delivered at the Gathering of the Friends of the Lagos Resource Centre on Tuesday March 20th, 2007; published by Thisday Newspaper. http://wwwthisday/online.com/articles,Nigeria. Roger Hughes (2009) “Time for Leadership Development Interventions in the Public Health Nutrition Workforce”, Public Health Nutrition Journal, 12(80), 1029. Warren Bennis (2007): The Challenges of Leadership in the Modern World – Introduction to the Special issues, University of Southern California, USA.