Wednesday, June 7, 2023
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Uduak Ubak’s Blog: Excellence in Nigeria and The Value of Human Beings

Still musing about Excellence (click here to see my earlier post on this subject) especially that which affects the way we treat other humans.

I was hanging out with some friends and swapping stories about life in general when somehow we started chatting about hospital experiences.


I heard some very shocking stories that broke my heart. One I just have to share was a story of one of my friends having to take a relation to a hospital, an orthopedic hospital to be precise. On getting to the hospital, there was not even a chair for the patient to sit down as the place was overcrowded.

They had to beg with a tip before they could get a bed without bed cover for the patient. But the disheartening part is the doctor and nurse reaction towards their patient.

She said that during the frustration of trying to get the sick person comfortable, the son had become impatient and was demanded that his mum be treated immediately as the lady was in so much pains. The doctor and nurse on duty at the time responded by saying if he talks too much, they’ll not even touched their mum. I felt sick, really sad.

As a patient, how do you trust such a person to treat you? They could kill you and not blink an eye.

I’ve always thought of the profession as a noble one; that called to serve humanity. But if a doctor you are going to for help isn’t even sympathetic, how will he/she go an extra mile for your recovery.

In most developed countries, an emergency is treated as such, it doesn’t matter if the patient has paid or not, the bottom line is to save lives. Once upon a time in Nigeria, I want to believe we were like that. Every Nigerian life mattered, what happened to us? Or should I say what happened to some of us because I don’t believe every medical personnel in the country is like that. I’ve also met some really amazing people too.

Is there a body who fights for consumers’ rights in this nation? I had someone else share a banking experience. She had gone to get some money from the ATM at the bank where her account was but unfortunately she couldn’t get the money from the ATM because it wasn’t dispensing.

So she decided to get it over the counter instead; on getting there, she was told she had to buy the withdrawal slip booklet, even though it wasn’t her fault that the ATM couldn’t dispense money. It didn’t even matter if she had enough money in her account to pay for the booklet and still have enough to use.

And no matter who she demanded to see, that was the bank’s policy and they was nothing they could do about it. It was so annoying and sad especially as she had to pay for the booklet she already had. I don’t think that particular bank has its customers interest at heart. Personally, I would never bank with such a bank.

If you drive in Nigeria and you’ve had to get the “new” drivers license, you would have probably had a taste of how some of our processes can be so bogus and stressful.

It took me about 10 hours to get my picture and my biometric taken, then more than a year to finally get the driver’s license. I wondered why it had to be so bogus.

In this same country, the telecom companies are doing almost the same thing at a shorter time and they’ve been able to get a lot of people’s data that way.

I actually did ask the person in charge at the place I went for my own data capture about why they didn’t do it the same way as the telecom companies and was told that the driver’s license was a very sensitive document that needed high level of security checks therefore the longer and more stressful process.

It made sense but I still believe there must be a better way of achieving the same goal. The lack of human value and their time can also be a reason why these processes are not well thought-through and simplified.

Also, being a monopoly-kind of situation doesn’t help as they know that the people do not have other options but to stick with whatsoever they have to offer. It wasn’t always this complicated to get a license though. It’s just been a recent development.

Human value drives excellence and it starts from us as individuals. Let’s consciously consider others in our actions, it might be as little as driving slowly through a puddle of water so as not to splash water on a pedestrian or having our customers interest when serving them but whatever it is, let’s start our drive for Excellence today!

God bless Nigeria.

p.s. Looking for a good book on Excellence? We have 3 recommendations below. To find out more about any of them, click on the image>>>

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