Home Columnist INTERVENTIONS: WORK ETHICS – PROF. EPIPHANY AZINGE WRITES FOR TERRIFIC HEADLINES

INTERVENTIONS: WORK ETHICS – PROF. EPIPHANY AZINGE WRITES FOR TERRIFIC HEADLINES

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At inception two years ago, TERRIFIC HEADLINES assured our loyal readers that we are out to contribute our quota to the BUILDING OF A GREATER NIGERIA through this medium and its associated channels. We indicated that we operate as a NON-POLITICAL and NON-PARTISAN outfit that pays huge attention to contemporary issues, particularly good governance, leadership, forging an enduring political culture, peace, security, and international understanding. We are committed to promoting ethical and social responsibility by adhering to rules and regulations as a responsible and responsive outfit that will not detract from commitment to meeting international standards. Therefore, our publications have reflected writings done in good faith, and for future generations, in recognition of virtues and values that are worth reading and recording for posterity.  It is our policy to give greater consideration to stories that promote development, and de-emphasize soft unverified information and  gossips. We knew that it might take some time for us to capture the very wide audience we targeted, given the fact that most of our publications deal with the development of Nigeria, Africa and the Diaspora. But we a glad to disclose that we have, by the grace of God, and dedication, taken remarkable strides that have made us reach all parts of the world.

PATRIOTS & PARTNERS FOR ADVOCACY: In line with our mandate, we engage the citizenry to get them to contribute more meaningfully and patriotically to national development. Our social intervention campaign strategies suggest preventive, rather than reactive strategies. We have since published the works of erudite scholars like Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Dr. Yemi Farounbi, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Prof. Michael Omolewa,  and other notable Nigerian patriots who are passionate about the Nigeria Project. Not too long ago, we visited the website of Prof. Epiphany and (Dr) Mrs. Valerie Azinge, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria. TERRIFIC HEADLINES was thrilled not because husband and wife are SANs and spend 24 hours together daily, but by the quiet inspiration that qualifies to be described as a ‘’REVOLUTIONARY ACTIVITY’’ being championed and implemented by this couple. This discovery by TERRIFIC HEADLINES has bonded the AZINGES and TERRIFIC HEADLINES for the purpose of contributing our quota to national development through an advocacy agenda to promote WORK ETHICS IN NIGERIA.

EPIPHANY & VALERIE AZINGE: HUMANISTS & PATRIOTS WITH A DIFFERENCE: Professor Epiphany Azinge, SAN is a former Director-General of the Nigeria Institute of Legal Studies and the current member of the Commonwealth Arbitral Tribunal London, representing Nigeria and Africa. He is a member of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee and the principal partner, Azinge and Azinge, a firm co-managed by his wife Dr. Valerie Azinge, also a SAN. Dr. Valerie Azinge, SAN is best noted as having functioned in various sensitive positions of responsibility, including as the Secretary of the 2014 National Constitutional Conference. She previously served as a Commissioner and Member of the Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and was the first Special Rapporteur on Summary, Arbitrary and Extrajudicial Executions in Nigeria.

AS PATRIOTS ON ADVOCACY FOR WORK ETHICS: The Azinges are sympathizers of humanity who run THE EPIPHANY AZINGE FOUNDATION, through which they have touched millions of lives propelled by the desire to give back to the society, part of what God who has done for them. They promote several initiatives for the common good, including investments in education and some welfare services. The Holy Bible, in Psalm 122:6-9: states that: ‘’Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper love you. May peace be within your walls, And prosperity within your palaces.” For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, “May peace be within you.” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.’’

MANDATES OF THE EPIPHANY AZINGE FOUNDATION: Today, Africa parades a paradox of opulence, growth and pervasive poverty. Generally, it is believed that Africa’s future may very well depend on the ability of leaders, elites and the general populace to evolve workable systems that would guarantee sustainable and viable cultures of governance and democracy. The mandates of their philanthropic organization cover the promotion of work ethics across the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Through this shared belief by man and wife, the today and tomorrow of the larger society are being constructively shaped. TERRIFIC HEADLINES believes that this is a ROLE MODEL COUPLE looking for the common good. This is one of the reasons they were recommended for honour as COUPLE OF VIRTUE on our associate channels, www.couplesofvituesandvalues.com, and we are glad that they are one of those rare couples that have indicated their acceptance of the very high honour; and could be used as models for the advancement of Nigeria.

WORK ETHICS: CHANGING THE MINDSET OF NIGERIAN WORKERS IN BOTH THE PUBLIC & PRIVATE SECTORS: The Azinges go all over Nigeria, utilizing their personal funds to preach WORK ETHICS as part of the important issues that must be promoted, if Nigeria must evolve from the ruins of the past. In a publication in the Nigerian Guardian newspaper, Prof. Azinge asserted that: One may think that low motivation and poor salaries are inexplicably intertwined; and that when there is poor salary there will be expected poor work ethics. We have tried to reason that this is not the correct culture to be enthroned, in the sense that while we aspire to have proper remuneration and get authorities concerned to put the right structure in place, workers should not lose sight that those who aspire to work for government at all levels — local government, state and federal — are the few privileged Nigerians. From available statistics, we do not have more than five million work force in the public service in the country at all levels. And if we consider that there are about 180 million Nigerians, or even more and if you just consider the percentage that form the five million you will know that public service at any standard is made up of the privileged few. So, I urge those public servants that are doing the job to continue doing so diligently as required of them, hoping that ultimately government will do the needful by increasing their salaries and other benefits.

LOYALTY & WORK ETHICS — IGNORE UNLAWFUL DIRECTIVES – AZINGE: In the publication under reference, Azinge differentiated between loyalty to organisation and loyalty to an individual or the chief executive. He argues: ‘’Loyalty to ones organisation is not an indirect way of encouraging people to do the unacceptable just because they are working for or are under the directives or instructions of the director general or the chief executive as the case may be. People should learn to draw that line of distinction between loyalty to their organisation and loyalty to an individual who is at the helm of affairs. The idea is that if you are loyal to your organisation you will resist or refuse to do what you are asked to do when you consider it ultimately detrimental to the organisation. Then, we will look forward to seeing people demonstrate their loyalty by telling whosoever is directing them to do the wrong thing that they won’t do it. It is the courage of conviction, even if at the end of the day, you are penalised for not doing it. It can only be for a while because in the fullness of time you will find out that you will be vindicated, better appreciated, applauded and your conscience will be at peace. You should have the courage to put your stand in writing, even if it is minuted in a file, minute back to state your opinions and try as much as possible to be humble in doing so. Be firm and ultimately it will be on record that you refused or resisted to do the wrong thing despite what will occur later. Let it be on record that you did your part by showing loyalty to your organisation by obviously refusing to do what you considered untoward and not in the best interest of the organisation’’

EPIPHANY AZINGE ON MONDAYFrom next Monday, TERRIFIC HEADLINES will publish weekly, WORK ETHICS, according to EPIPHANY AZINGE FOUNDATION, because we believe in the cause being championed by this organization. We believe that this is an important idea and a commendable effort that could promote good governance that is the prerequisite for Africa’s development; but which is not available in sufficient quantities. The posts could be read automatically in the three (3) key Nigerian languages – YORUBA, IGBO & HAUSA. Readers could also automatically switch to any of the languages. Additionally, our BLOG, www.terrificheadlines.com has facility for automatic translation into foreign languages. In case our readers have questions, or require further counseling, we will provide the contact social media addresses of the Foundation. This activity has immense capability for the removal of all hindrances that are incapacitating development

BENEFITING FROM THE AZINGE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CAMPAIGN:  This idea is a novelty, and is a product of patriotism.  It is unimaginable that someone would leave his desk and cosy office to campaign for WORK ETHICS in a society where the consideration is largely ”SELF FIRST”; or that a philanthropist would look beyond Nigeria to reach other African nations with his humane gestures. These simply show that there is hope for Africa. These are social investments and intervention schemes worthy of emulation by the affluent in Nigeria; to at least close the space created by inequalities and poverty. The Tony Elumelu Foundation, the leading African organization that is committed to philanthropy, that positions Africa’s private sector, and most importantly, entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent. It would certainly be beneficial  for organizations breeding the younger generation to consider introducing the ‘EPIPHANY AZINGE ON MONDAY’ column to their teeming beneficiaries and mentees in the spirit of ‘’Catching them Young’’  Launched in 2015, The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is the largest African philanthropic initiative devoted to entrepreneurship and represents our 10-year, $100 million commitment, to identify and empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create a million jobs, and add $10 billion in revenues to Africa’s economy. It is indeed a programme that is worth emulating; and could lift millions out of poverty. It is certainly a good opportunity to lift millions of people in the developing world out of poverty.

 BILLIONS BEING SOUGHT IN EUROPE BY YOUNG AFRICANS WILL EMERGE FROM THE FARMLANDS: President of African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has remarked the Billions being south in Europe and the Americas by youths seeking better opportunities in Europe are in Africa’s farmlands.   that “the agricultural sector in Africa has four times the power to create jobs and reduce poverty than any other sector. “That is why we make the claim that we can diminish the migrant crisis in Europe by supporting agricultural transformation in Africa,” Adesina has been quoted as saying that: “the future of Africa’s youth does not lie in migration to Europe” nor should it be “at the bottom of the Mediterranean.” He proposed rather that an agribusiness-driven economy could be one of the economic reasons Africa’s youth choose to remain on the continent. “We must turn rural areas from zones of economic misery to zones of economic prosperity,” Adesina said. “This requires new agricultural innovations and transforming agriculture into a sector for creating wealth. We must make agriculture a really cool choice for young people. ‘’The future millionaires and billionaires of Africa will come initially from agriculture.”  Adesina’s formula is an economic theory of industrialization that sees Africa’s industrialization starting from the agricultural sector. “The reality is that agro-industrialization has greatest potential for Africa to achieve more rapid and inclusive growth – and create jobs… If you want industrialization of Africa, and massive job creation, focus on industrializing the agriculture sector.  And to rapidly modernize agriculture, youth must be engaged in the sector and perception must change for youths to regard agriculture see agriculture as a business.

ADVOCACY ACTIVITY of the EPIPHANY AZINGE FOUNDATION. The following may wish to consider encouraging the target audience within their jurisdiction to read this weekly column by a patriot who means well for Nigeria:  The Nigeria Governors’ Forum, The Progressive Governors’ Forum, The PDP Governors’ Forum; The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, The Federal Ministry of Education/All Tertiary institutions for adoption as courses

SPREADING THE MESSAGE: Evidently the AZINGES deserve every commendation for this rare show of patriotism.  Upon reflection, one notes that Delta State is blessed with patriots who are working strenuously for societal development, and  we congratulate very specially, Governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, whose indigenes, including Tony Elumelu, Jim Ovia, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Epiphany Azinge and Godwin Emefiele are doing Nigeria proud. One way of making this activity realize its objectives is to spread the good news for all to know that we Nigerians need to cultivate attitudinal changes and embrace sound WORK POLICIES that would contribute to our common goal of building a nation that generations yet unborn would be proud to call their own.  This is indeed the starting point for the mass circulation of WORK ETHICS BY EPIPHANY AZINGE to reach

Together, we are capable of Building a Greater Nigeria.

CONGRATULATIONS! GBENGA OYEBODE: One occurrence that proves conclusively that Nigeria is moving is in terms of philanthropy is the announcement made by Darren Walker, President of FORD FOUNDATION, welcoming Nigerian, and quiet philanthropist to the board of FORD FOUNDATION. It states: The board welcomes Gbenga Oyebode, founding partner and chairman of the Nigerian law firm Aluko & Oyebode, where he advises corporations on matters relating to energy and natural resources, telecommunications, project finance, and aviation. Previously, he served as an associate at White & Case and in-house counsel at Gulf Oil. Oyebode serves on the Global Advisory Council of the African Leadership Academy. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a director of Teach for All, and chairman of Teach for Nigeria. He is a member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, one of Nigeria’s highest honors, and a recipient of the Belgian royal honor of Knight of the Order of Leopold.He also sits on the boards of Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Africa Philanthropy Forum and is a member of the International Collectors Cleveland Museum of Arts Council.’’

 

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