Herman Cain is an American businessman. He also ran for U.S. Presidency during which he came up with a moniker – 9-9-9 – as he postulated for a U.S. tax redesign. President Trump called Mr. Cain, and was on track to give him a position in the Federal Reserve board (U.S. equivalent of Central Bank of Nigeria). Cain, a part-time radio talk-show host [you need to be wickedly engaging to hold one in America, for long], was ebullient until they gave him a condition: practically, the man must be normalized as a commoner to serve America as a Fed board member.
That was too much for Cain. He gave up, and his response:
“I would have to let go of most of my business interests. I could not serve on any boards. I could not do any paid speeches. I could not advocate on behalf of capitalism, host my radio show or make appearances on Fox Business. Without getting too specific about how big a pay cut this would be, let’s just say I’m pretty confident that if your boss told you to take a similar pay cut, you’d tell him where to go.”
The politicians who did not want Cain (that is typical, some want you, some will not want you but most times the President gets what he wants) lost a target. Cain could not pay the prize of service here.
Now, think about Nigeria. We put extremely compromised people to lead institutions they should not come close to. Then, they enter and rig everything for themselves. Insane – have a medical director of a private hospital, serving as Chairman of the board of the government teaching hospital, in the same city, he runs clinics! Yet, we continue to wonder why the teaching hospital is not functioning.
In America, to do that job, you either exit from that private clinic or nothing. As they always say, there is a huge price to serve; Herman Cain just demonstrated the cost. Nigeria needs to upgrade our institutions to ensure conflicts do not derail our visioning systems.
Mr. Cain could not let go many things, and America said “thanks, there are others available”.