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Through the eye of the needle

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By Tiola
It doesn’t matter how wide a gate is, the people in charge more often than not, make it narrow; intentionally. I’ve never understood the logic behind it.

You have two thoroughfares, clearly marked IN and OUT to aid the easy flow of traffic and to some extent improve the security situation but no, the current Nigerian way is to slow things down…complicate things… .

Make them longwinded and cumbersome. “Na beans?” that’s a very common slang in our pop culture; meaning —it didn’t come easy or it doesn’t come cheap. This attitude applies across board and is reinforced in the very fabric of our current socio-political existence.

I joined the Civil Service in 1986/87, and had an eight-year stint. From the get go though, I knew that it was going to be a very short stop over on my way to wherever.

The requirements for self-advancement were pretty simple, as soon as I was eligible, I applied for study leave. In 18 months or a little more I had bagged a diploma in Mass Comm. According to the Civil Service rules, upon completion, that would automatically catapult me to a level—lofty status of a Level 6 officer.

For that to happen though, my file would have to go through the system which unfortunately for me began at the desk of a clerical officer who had spent over ten years rising to that position from his start off point as a dispatch rider.

It came as no surprise to many that my promotion was denied; indeed, it didn’t get past this clerks desk. Having looked at my documents, his recommendation was that though I had acquired the higher qualification, in his own opinion, based on the one query in my file; I needed to improve on my working relationship before I could be considered for promotion.

To hear him say it you would think that I was at daggers drawn with my co-workers. It was much later someone broke it down for me — I was presumptuous to think I could just waltz in and in less than three years be awarded a study leave (without pay o!) and on top be promoted… o di egwu!! Na beans?

That’s just one example. Your job is to provide a service, something as menial and mundane as issuing tickets or appending a stamp and signature on a document that does nothing but move whatever the process is a tad further, and you’ll withhold it, and create bottle necks in a bid to make the process seem more complicated than it really is …. “dem think say e easy?”

Same thing you find an individual who has shown by every material particular that he or she is the most competent to fill that position, or carry out that task, or be the recipient of  the something good, what happens, they flip the script on its head , muddy the waters, why?… “na so e easy”?

And we wonder why things are so hard, why even the most basic and elementary things elude us. With our mouths we shape our realities. Because in actual fact, it is easy, beans na beans, merit should be rewarded and sometimes good things happen just because… .

If we can just alter our mindset that life has to be complicated, difficult and hard, perhaps we will begin to change our confessions and perhaps begin to reshape our reality. As for me and my household sha… E EASY!!

 

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