Monday, March 14, 2016

Lekki Building Collapse: We Need A Culture of Responsibility

Leaders don't take responsibility for anything around these parts. Their default reaction is to choose one or more from the options below:

  1. Blame a predecessor,
  2. Issue a muted statement attributing whatever it was to God,
  3. Shed a few crocodile tears ala "dia ris God in everything we are doing",
  4. Deny that it happened,
  5. Insist it was the work of their political detractors.

In most cases, they don't do what leaders should do - take responsibility, own their mess!

I am not often excited at someone losing their job, but I am very pleased that Ambode fired the General Manager of the Lagos Building Control Agency, along with other key officers at the agency. 34 people died because the Building Control Agency didn't do their job properly. They had to be held responsible.

I have long argued that we suffer from a dearth of strong institutions, and I believe this is a step towards strengthening our institutions and ensuring they take responsibility for their jurisdiction. People and agencies need to know that they will be held responsible if things go wrong on their watch, and conversely - that they will be celebrated when great things happen.

It should no longer be business as usual, where Civil Servants spend their days watching Africa Magic and selling fabric to each other.

Think what you want about Ambode. He is on to something!


In the wake of the Lekki Gardens building collapse, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday approved the dismissal of the General Manager of the Building Control Agency (LASBCA) Engr. Adeigbe Olushola.
The Governor also approved the dismissal of the Head of Inspection and Quality Control in the Agency, Adeoye Thomas Adeyemi, the Zonal District Officer in the Agency, Dosunmu Gbadebo, while the Zonal Head of Eti-Osa West of the Agency, Mrs. Akinde Adenike Sherifat was compulsorily retired from the Civil Service.
Governor Ambode in a statement signed by the State Head of Service, Mrs. Olabowale Ademola, said the affected officers were dismissed having been indicted of negligence, which according to him, is an act of misconduct under the Public Service Rule 040401. Rule 040401 of the Public Service act of misconduct states inter alia: “a willful act of omission or general misconduct to the scandal of the pubic or to the prejudice of discipline and proper administration of the State Government” should be visited with dismissal from the Public Service in line with the Public Service Rule 040503.
The Head of Service said the disciplinary measure was the outcome of the recommendations of the Personnel Management Board to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was personally grieved by the high number of fatalities that occurred as a result of the building collapse. She also warned public officials, private building owners or contractors who violate or subvert building regulations that it would no longer be business as usual, saying that the dismissal of the officers will serve as a wake-up call to public servants.
“It is also a clarion call to them to be alive to their responsibilities as any act of negligence will face sanctions, while hardworking officers will be rewarded appropriately,” the Head of Service said. It would be recalled that on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, a building under construction at Lekki Gardens, Ikusenla Road, Ikate Elegushi, collapsed as a result of which many people died, and the State Government immediately mobilised all its rescue team comprising the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), among others, which led to the successful rescue of over 15 persons alive.
MARCH 14, 2016

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