Author: Bolutife Oluwadele
Publisher: The Village Boy Academy
Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi
The major passion of some people is not just about personal success but how their nations and/or the world will enjoy massive transformation. That is just the truth. Such passionate people are national and/or global catalysts. They have extraordinary mindsets and patriotism. Their rare attributes inspire the choice of this book christened “My Quest for Nigeria’s Rebirth” for review.
The book is written by Dr Bolutife Oluwadele, a Canada-based Founder of Bolco Group comprising Bolco Consulting and Bolutife Oluwadele & Co. (Chartered Accountants. Bolutife holds a PhD and Master of Public Administration (with Distinction) in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University, USA and another Master of Science degree in Corporate Governance from Leeds University, England. He is an accomplished Chartered Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, Management Consultant, Public Policy Scholar, etc.
According to the author, “Several times, I have been asked the question of why I always focus my writing on Nigeria and Nigerians alone. The first reason is that I am a Nigerian by birth and therefore the foundation of my existence is deeply rooted in that country of my birth. Another reason is that I firmly believe that we can become the great country that we are destined to be once we can overcome the multiplicity of our challenges.” Bolutife says the strong belief that if we can fix Nigeria, the hope of an average Black man anywhere in the world can be restored and channelled towards something great constitutes another reason.
He asserts that despite this assortment of optimism, it is appalling to pretend not to know that many issues plague us a nation, with some being man-made, some caused by the long history of subjugation and the policy of divide and rule. Bolutife says budgeting has become a major issue in Nigeria and yet, it can become a potent instrument of designing the necessary pathway towards good governance and prosperity for the teeming Nigerian population.
According to him, social engagements and patterns of people are scarcely stagnant but constantly evolving. He says, therefore, some identified social issues peculiar to the Nigerian geographical space are exhaustively examined in this book for the purpose of provoking deeper reflection and perhaps stimulate the collective will to do something about those elements considered undesirable in our socio-political dealings.
As regards structure, this book is segmented into 14 chapters. Chapter one is christened “Towards a purpose-driven budgeting system”. In the words of Bolutife here, “The budgeting system has gone through many facets in the Nigerian public and private sectors. While there has been some semblance of sanity and consistency in the private sector, the same cannot be said of the public sector.” He says the intellectual laziness of those charged with budget preparation does not also help matters. The author stresses that also worthy of note is the financial rascality of budget holders who now use the budget as an object of “massive oppression” or better still, “economic terrorism” with the arrogant declaration that “it is not provided for in the budget”. Bolutife therefore recommends a purpose-focused budgeting system.
Chapter two X-rays the concept of injecting quality into the budgeting system. Here, the author reinforces the idea of the purpose-focused budgeting system and the need to bring quality into the process so as to maximise the potential benefits of the budgeting system.
He says budgeting should not be about the quantum of money involved alone and it should pass the test of pure quality of information. These are timeliness, completeness, accuracy, validity and reasonableness, educates this author. Bolutife stresses that to achieve all these, we need to discontinue the act of just assembling figures and calling them a budget. He says we also need quality measurement to ensure that every amount of money spent in the budget is well justified. In his words, “To achieve overall quality in the process, I would like to advise that post-budgeting reviews, otherwise called ‘budgetary control’, should be accorded priority.”
In chapter three to seven, Bolutife analytically examines the concepts of making budgeting more impactful; “demilitarising” the civil service as a prelude to effective budgeting; public policy implications of wealth and income inequality in Nigeria; politics of national grid and the modular alternative; and evaluating the Executive’s priorities and transparency.
Chapter eight is based on the subject matter of yam- and cocoa-farming and lessons for petrol-dollar economy. He says though petrol-dollar has brought vast fortunes to us just like what cocoa does for its farmers from the first season, our planning mentality never exceeds that of a yam farmer. In his words, “Without sounding derogatory, a yam farmer hardly plans anything. That we cannot today generate sufficient electricity for our teeming population is a clear indication of our lousy planning or lack of strategic planning. Therefore, like the yam farmers, we suffer a cycle of starvation and/or recession once there is a shock wave in the oil market.”
Chapter nine examines the concept of looking beyond the comfort of oil. According to Bolutife, “The world is rapidly moving away from the pre-eminence of fossil fuel and its economic wands to something irreversible. Any economy that survives on oil and is not thinking beyond it is definitely doing itself a disservice.” He says it is therefore necessary for all policy-makers in all climes that are overly dependent on oil to put on the uncommon cap of intellectual acumen to fashion out pathways beyond the fossil fuel.
In chapters ten to 14, Bolutife X-rays the subject matters of lawmakers and test of leadership effectiveness; re-modelling our educational system; being caught between two political ideologies; our past laudable socio-moral values; and the dictatorial tendency in all of us.
As regards articulation of concepts, this text radiates massive depth and assortment of quality ideas with a touch of nostalgia. Stylistically, Bolutife writes in a very literate, creative yet simple style. He generously employs socio-linguistic tools of code-mixing and code-switching by injecting Ekiti dialect and Yoruba language into the text for conceptual preservation to arouse reading interest. The layout of the book is excellent while the outer cover design visually reinforces the book title. Also, allusions and proverbs are brilliantly employed for conceptual amplification and clarity.
But “Perfection” is one word that is not in the dictionary of Textual Criticism. So, even though the use of the Nigerian flag at the beginning of every chapter serves as a constant visual reminder of the book title, the repetition also has the tendency of creating psycho-visual monotony by making every chapter look the same psychologically.
However, this does not diminish the overall distinction of this book that is highly recommended to all Nigerians in particular and everyone that cherishes a high-profile intellectual work in general.
GOKE ILESANMI (FIIM, FIMC, CMC), CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Professional Public Speaker, Career Mgt Coach and Certified Mgt Consultant. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant.
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