IT WAS Runtown, one of Nigeria’s foremost musicians who said in one of his hit songs that ” If you don’t know any big man, then you don’t know anybody. If you have not opened your eyes, then you have not seen anything. Government is not for the people.” The artiste arrived at his conclusions because he believes Nigeria is a country where you must know someone who knows another person before you can get an appointment, a contract, a paid employment or anything at all, irrespective of whether such opportunities are gotten on merit or mediocrity. Runtown was concerned about nepotism and man-know-man syndrome that has eaten deep into every aspect of our nationhood in Nigeria.
The question, however, is “Can a fresh graduate get a job in Nigeria without having Abraham as a father? The answer to this question is inherent in Professor Soludo’s Anambra Talent Data Bank, where every Nigerian has been given ample opportunity to deploy his natural proclivities and innate abilities to contribute to creating a livable and prosperous Anambra State.
Professor Soludo’s talent hub invariably means everybody should be given equal opportunities to exercise their full potentials and not limiting such opportunities to an infinitesimal few who know some people in high places. A closer and emphatic look at Anambra Talent Data Bank clearly shows that Professor Soludo has broken the jinx of knowing somebody before one can clinch a job in Nigeria.
It means no longer the era of square pegs in round holes or holding political appointments without corresponding services but an era where you must prove your mettle beyond reasonable doubts. Professor Soludo has introduced an era of division of labour and specialisation as it is in the western world.
Now the idea is, what will you do for Anambra not what will Anambra do for you ? You must show competence, zeal, drive and creativity to be able to fit in properly in the next administration because there are vacancies for both white and blue collar jobs. This is the new Anambra State under Prof. Soludo where even the poor and the have-nots have a say in government.
To this end therefore, Mr. Jude Emecheta, a Human Resource Management Consultant, who was of the view that Professor Soludo’s Anambra Talent Data Bank Initiative is legendary, maintained that there was need to sustain the initiative from one administration to another because the talent data bank, according to him, would serve as reservoir for qualified individuals with special skills whose services may be needed from time to time. Emecheta said, ” I would prefer Soludo gets somebody from Imo State to become a commissioner in Anambra. Tinubu didn’t get to where he is today by concentrating only on people in Lagos. The talent data bank is not for APGA members alone; our party members should look at the bigger picture for Ndigbo. ”
Moreso, Uche Nworah, a citizen of Anambra State said the Talent Data Bank would provide veritable platform for accessing a wider pool of talents and skills from within and outside Anambra; that there is merit in giving everybody a chance to excel.
Although he said it is understood that members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance would have wanted job recruitments to be limited to those who worked for Professor Soludo’s election victory but he emphasised that the governor-elect should be commended for casting a wider net to enable him get the best team to work to achieve a livable and prosperous Anambra State.
Also, a lawmaker in the 7th legislature of Anambra State, representing Nnewi-North State Constituency Nonso Smart Okafor noted that the Anambra Talent Data Bank is a novel approach to governance. Okafor said having read the manifesto of the incoming governor, he believes very strongly that the talent data bank initiative is in tandem with Professor Soludo’s disruptive change. According to the lawmaker, the Talent Data Bank will offer the have and have-not opportunity to access government as well as showcase what they can offer.
He said: “Party politics notwithstanding, I think when somebody does something good, he should be praised. Prof. Soludo should be praised for such a novel idea. It is no longer a case of if you don’t know the governor or the national chairman of the party, then you won’t have any service to render to the government. If it is implemented the way it is, then it means somebody from far away village in Nnewi, Anam or Orumba will get a job on merit. The data bank can also help us market and export our talents to other states across the federation.”
Although the lawmaker is of the opinion that many people may not be comfortable with the idea due to what he termed politics of nepotism but he was emphatic that the governor-elect should be allowed to explore and implement it because he believes that in the long run, the talent data bank would be beneficial to everyone, noting that everybody now has an opportunity to be a part of government either on probono basis or paid employment with proof of dexterity, technical know-how, intelligence, capacity and capability in areas of interest. The lawmaker, however, maintained that Professor Soludo is indeed breaking barriers of nepotism in job recruitments.