Sunday, 29 April 2012


" THE Lagos State Government has begun the process of recruiting new doctors to replace medics who embarked on an indefinite strike action. The government also threatened to mete out appropriate punishment foe those involved in the action. Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) to the State Governor, Dr. Ore Falomo, made this known in Lagos during a press conference at the weekend. The doctors, who resumed the action on Wednesday in continuation of  the already suspended eight-month strike, were asked by the government and committee to return to duty or risk stiff penalties. Also, some civil society organisations in the country and the Association of Health Writers joined the call for an end to the standoff, even as the pregnant women, who have been denied full antenatal care urged the state government to look into the doctors’ grouse, and get them to resume duties to save the lives of Nigerians that are being lost on regular basis. According to Falomo, the MAC was of the view that medical doctors should be guided by the ‘Hippocratic Oath,’ and, as such, exhaust all possible avenues for negotiation and lobbying before thinking of strike option.
He noted that doctors in any medical team should see themselves as leaders, who are ready to hold their positions in high esteem and carry other components of the team along. “The best option is for normalcy to return to the sector because the innocent and the poor are bearing the greatest brunt and suffering quietly. The private doctors are attending to over 60 per cent of patients and the remaining percentage is being handled by the public hospitals. So, the striking doctors should know this,” Falomo said. He continued: “What we are doing is the same thing we would do if they’re in the United Kingdom (UK) or the United States of America (USA). There is nowhere in the world, where doctors are satisfied with their condition of service. But we have to do our work and negotiate. It should be noted that only 20 percent of populace are sick at a time and these are the people we are working to save, not the whole population.”
The Chairman noted that in a situation such as being witnessed with the industrial action, it is the poor and innocent masses, who cannot afford cost of medical care that would  suffer the most. “Those days I fought against (former President, Olusegun) Obasanjo and other regimes, but did not hurt the weak. You don’t hurt the weak, rather you help them. We had poor duty allowance, but we did not go on strike. It is a strike too many. Our duty in MAC is to counsel and manage the hurt and not to inflict hurt or pain.” He informed that, “doctors are being recruited to do the job of those that neglected their duty due to the strike and they will be dealt with accordingly. We have recommended that NYSC doctors should be assigned to emergency services to perform that function. Civil service rules and regulations would be enforced to serve as deterrent to future occurrence of strike.” MAC also recommended that the Head of Service and Justice Department of the state should embark on appropriate actions to against erring doctors, which include, compensating and paying of salaries of the doctors who are active on duty for extra work done, while salary of those on strike should be withheld and subjected to appropriate considerations"
What do you think about the strike action? Do you believe, irrespective of job and loss to life, people have the right to protest against their conditions of employment? or do you side with the government and their bigger picture of preventing unnecessary loss of life in the face of what they seem to view as an illegal and unjustifiable action by the striking doctors?


Downsizing is never easy to do and sometimes it begins with the voluntary resignation of staff: The Punch newspaper reports

"Mainstreet Bank Limited had on Wednesday announced that it would disengage employees in its workforce who voluntarily opt to leave the bank’s employment.
The bank had noted that the move was to re-organize, improve efficiency and stability. The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mainstreet Bank Limited, Ms. Faith Tuedor-Matthews, in a statement, said the re-organization exercise was in the best interest of the bank."

Voluntary resignation still allows power to rest in the hands of the employee taking the action, but more often than not, it wouldn't be the first action, they would turn to. however, a powerful catalyst for positive change is getting over the fear of losing ones job. We pray that as staff disengaging from mainstreet bank leave, new careers and business opportunities open up for them.


It's been reported that massive sacking is underway in Zenith Bank Nigeria involving the deconstruction of Zenith Bank's top heavy middle management team.  On the surface, after reading articles available, it looks like this was done in order to free finances but more than likely due to the output of performance reviews and systems audit especially in light of ongoing reforms in the Banking industry which require more streamlined and accountable systems, structures, and work forces.

The below article was culled from The Punch Nigerian Newspaper:
 "About 240 senior employees of Zenith Bank Plc have been disengaged from the bank’s employment. Our correspondent gathered on Thursday that the affected workers were asked to leave the bank to reduce the company’s wage bill. It was learnt that the bank had “too many” senior employees in its workforce. A source at the bank, who did not want his name published because he was not authorised to speak on the subject, refuted earlier claims that the bank had sacked 1,200 employees. The source noted that the number of workers in the bank was less than 10,000, and stressed that if 1,200 persons were asked to leave, “who else would handle the bank’s jobs?” The source also said, “It was senior employees that were asked to leave and they are about 240 persons. The sacking was as a result of issues affecting their wage bill, which is becoming too high for the bank.
“The story that 1,200 people were sacked is not true. We are just about 7,000 workers in all our branches. So, how will the bank ask 1,200 people to leave?”
No matter how well handled or planned ahead a retrenchment exercise is, it is still a very mentally challenging experience. However, from personal experience, retrenchments can provide opportunities for personal growth, exploration of new businesses, and pursuance of bigger and better careers. We pray for those affected by this exercise and hope they see it for what it is, an opportunity to explore new careers and opportunites they may have otherwise been to comfortable to explore.


To all business owners and employers, it is possible to remain compliant with the law while running a successful business in Nigeria but it requires a very proactive approach to work. While perusing the web, I came across a website, for the legal firm:

Oserogho & Associates
Business Solicitors, Tax Advisers & Notary Public
NEC Centre, 1 Engineering Close
2nd Floor, Suite 206, Off Idowu Taylor Street
Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
Phone/Fax:    (+234-1) 463 7414
Office Phone: (+234-1) 481 1014; (+234-1) 765 5635
Mobile:       (+234-1) 803 326 4753; (+234-1) 765 5635
P.O.Box 56261 Falomo Ikoyi Lagos
Along with providing Legal consultancy services, you can subscribe to a free newsletter sent monthly packed with the latest legal news. This month's news included current laws relevant to Nigerian Hotel Owners and their HR and Administrative department.

I would strongly recommend you subscribe

Have a great week!



Are you one of those people who wakes up eager and ready to face Monday, or do you wake up dreading the week ahead, remembering with sadness the one million and one things you forgot to do last week, and the tasks you’re already planning excuses for failing at this week? Do you wait for the inevitable query about a project or event you have forgotten about?

Effective time management is a powerful tool utilized by highly effective people and is the bedrock of maintaining high productivity within the office. With efficient time management, tasks are recorded, completed, and processed as and when needed along with planning for unseen events. Here are some tips for better time management at work:

1.       Start your day by planning ahead, and drafting your to do list. Be specific how you want your week to go and include time for taking phone calls, checking your emails, consulting with your boss and colleagues, and carrying out your routine administrative tasks.

2.       When you write out your to – do list, don’t throw it in the corner of your desk and forget about it. Keep it close to you or add it to your PC as a note or on your handheld mobile device. Check the list periodically during the day to ensure your are on schedule and not forgetting anything.

3.       Don’t panic if things prop up and take a deep breath when your boss asks your to submit things to him/her with a new deadline that upsets your to-do list. Take a deep breath and simply factor these things in while juggling events accordingly. The trick is to be as flexible as possible and embracing rather than fighting any changes that crop up.

4.       Your computer is not a glorified typewriter and your blackberry does more than save you from boring situations by allowing your tweet and chat with friends. Technology has evolved to the point that handheld, mobile, and fixed computer equipment are necessary and vital components of our everyday life and powerful business tools. However there is so much at our disposal that can vastly improve our effectively at work. Free business apps on I-phones and blackberry; Microsoft outlook calendar and yellow notes to remind us of our to do lists, events, and meetings are just some of the tools you can use to better utilize your time at work and increase your productivity at work.

Monday is only a few hours away bringing with it new opportunities, goals, and tasks. If you are someone that usually wakes up dreading the week ahead, first things first, shift your attitude. Believe this week will be great. Then take out your phone and schedule your week. Fix thirty minutes around lunch time to check your emails and check in with your boss and colleagues. Do not get flustered when the unexpected pops up, simply place it on your list and complete as and when due. Ensure you schedule to finish all projects that have been pending for this year and start planning ahead for next month and the things to come. With this change in mindset and attitude at work, your productivity will soar.

Have a great week every one and happy May day in advance!!


Evening Everyone, I hope you all had a relaxing weekend and are ready for the fantastic week ahead? I've been thinking about a few things this weekend and one of them is the issue of hiring workers in Nigeria. There were a few heated debates about the issue of foreign workers "stealing our jobs" and I couldn't have disagreed more vehemently (and believe me I did...nothing like a heated debate to get the blood pumping! lol) As someone who has worked both locally and internationally, I fully support the right of an employer to hire the best candidate irrespective of race, creed, colour, or ethnic background. Finding someone with the right skills, competencies, and cultural fit are some of the most important factors in personnel recruitment and I have never seen an instance where an "outsider" didn't fit in perfectly and excelled above and beyond their call of duty.

However, i know views differ. Yesterday I stumbled across an article on the Internet (vanguard Online  Newspaper) about hiring expatriates in Nigeria. an excerpt can be found below:

THE issue of the upsurge in hiring expatriates and expatriate quota abuse in Nigeria has remained topical in the nation's employment system. Organised labour, civil society groups and other concerned Nigerians have continued to see the increase and abuse as not only an economic crime, but also compounding the employment crisis in the country. In this interview, Mr. Femi Mokikan, the Executive Director, Human Resources, 7UP Bottling Company Plc, gives reasons for the increasing intake of expatriates in Nigerian economy:

Excerpts from the interview: The issue of expatriate quota, if you allow me, I will speak generally. I know I was at Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, and I was chairman, Human Resources committee for a while, and this issue featured prominently to a point where we even had to go to the Federal Ministry of Labour in Abuja. Initially, the idea was, no expatriates, then later it became these expatriates should not do particular kinds of jobs. I do not think there is any economies in the world that can say do not use other nationalities. So, that one is not what anybody is talking about. I think the question people usually ask is; why should expatriates be taking on jobs that Nigerians can do? I think our educational system in this country has not helped us too. I am speaking as a Nigerian; I am also speaking as an employer of labour that is operating in an environment that is extremely competitive, an environment where technology changes as you blink you eyes. That is why such areas where we used to pride ourselves as being capable as Nigerians, we now have to ask ourselves, how well can Nigerians do this?
 When investors bring in their money, they expect maximum returns. Even though it would cost a bit more, they would rather get an expatriate than a Nigerian who will give minimum returns. I think that is what is happening in the area of expatriates' employment generally.Question: How will you respond to those that claim 7UP Bottling Company is one of the companies that abuse expatriate quota? 

A. Engineering today has moved from pneumatic to electrical electronics. Most things are electrically driven, including the trucks we use. Everything today is electronics, you just press buttons. You go to the production line, you just see buttons. But as we are upgrading those technologies, we also need the people. For example, we moved from diesel powered generators, because we thought diesel was becoming something else, so expensive. So, we moved to gas, not that we did a conversion, we bought brand new generators. Of course, we do not have the technology in terms of the personnel. But as installation was taking place, kidnappers came. In fact, when we first started hearing of kidnappers, we got a mobile policeman. The kidnappers killed the mobile policeman, carried his corpse and put him inside the vehicle, poured petrol and burnt it. After that experience, the expatriate, till tomorrow, where he is, if he hears 'Ni' he will not wait for 'geria'. The next opportunity we had to bring the expatriates to Lagos, they did not stay. They were still doing installation, we had not even finished, they just left and we were back to square one. We went to Egypt to see if we could find expatriates there, none of them wanted to come. We devised another strategy to have quarters within the premises so that whoever that is coming, he will enter that place. It is like you are going to a concentration camp. During the interview, we told them that their supermarket and everything was programmed. We also made it a point of duty to let them know that they must be ready to teach Nigerians. Some of them were not willing to transfer this knowledge. Those ones just like some Nigerian managers who will also not want to teach others for fear that if the student knows too much, he may take over the job..."


Although I have never believed the answer to Nigeria's manpower planning problem was the hiring of expatriate workers,I firmly believe in hiring the right person for the job. If the requisite skills and competencies cannot be found locally, why not recruit internationally, subject to salary and the financial justification of hiring internationally? The bottom line is getting the right person for the right job...or isn't it? Nigeria is a diverse nation with millions of opportunities and enough space for everyone, just like any other developed and developing nation...or isn't it?

And as for an abuse of the system, who exactly is responsible for this and why do you think abuse of the system happens?

What are your thoughts readers?