CableBooks on Saturday, in Abuja, launched “The Arc of the Possible,” a memoir written by the immediate past executive director of NEITI, Waziri Adio, which detailed his five years foray into the Nigerian public service.
Chaired by Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, who joined virtually due to COVID-19 travel restriction, the event also featured a panel discussion on “the promises and peril of public service,” which was moderated by Samson Itodo, with the trio of Joe Abah, Yewande Sadiku and Yusuf Tuggar as panellists.
The author said he wrote the book for three reasons, the first being to document his experience in the public service.
“I wanted to use that opportunity to document my experience in the public service. Public management can be very fickle. The second was to document the story for others and challenge them, to nudge other people (in the public service) to document their experiences.”
He added that he wanted to “help drive conversation around what we need to do as a country.”
“Let’s keep the conversation going. I had many reasons to be disappointed. I had many reasons to be despondent. But despite the challenges, many things are possible.”
Those who gave their goodwill messages spoke highly of Mr Adio.
The chief host of the event, Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, described Mr Adio as “very principled,” citing two instances where the author showed high level of integrity.
Former sports minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, described him as a “wonderful human being,” saying “Nigeria got it right in terms of (the) appointment (of Mr Adio as NEITI boss). I don’t think anyone could have done it better than him. I pray Nigeria will continue to have room for people like you.”
The minister of state for environment, Sharon Ikeazor, noted that Mr Adio has shown that we must “not leave governance to politicians, but that the private sector needs to come in.”
The country director of the world bank, Shubham Chaudhuri, said he hoped the book inspires many people like Mr Adio, adding that the most important ingredients in nation building is the quality and number of individuals in leadership.
“These individuals often have four traits: commitment, the resilience it takes to take up challenges and everyday frustration, the courage to continuously speak truth to power and optimism, which is the capacity to aspire.”
The book reviewer, Okey Ikechukwu, a member of ThisDay editorial board, said the book came in five main parts, totalling 25 chapters.
He said the transfer of private skills into the public sector was the centre message in the book. He added that the book helped explain how to navigate the “treacherous terrain of the public service” as well as how not to lose one’s personal value while at it.
“Within, as presented in this book, is how to be yourself and not lose sight of your core values. A strong element is the author’s submission on how not to lose one’s personal brand. This book should be a manual for all technocrats and social critiques,” Mr Ikechukwu said.
Also present at the event were Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who was represented by Deputy-Governor Hadiza Balarabe; the chairman of the ICPC, who was represented by Olayinka Akintunde; sarinkin dawaki of Kano, Sanusi Baba, among others. The event was anchored by Kingsley Osadolor of the National Television Authority (NTA).
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