By Brown Chimezie
The chairman of Health Assur Limited, a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), Mr. ‘Bade Adeshina, has canvassed a wide range of solutions for crisis de-escalation and management.
Adeshina, former director of Premium Pension Limited, said the world has experienced a crisis that began as a health crisis. The crisis, he said, degenerated into a humanitarian crisis, and ended up as a security crisis in the last 10 months.
The alumni of the prestigious Harvard Business School noted that the COVID-19 pandemic forced governments worldwide to make a choice between life, death and economy.
He spoke at the NIM’s Management Day lecture in Lagos.
Quoting the World Economic Forum, 2020, Adeshina said an aggregate loss of the health and economic crises is estimated at $9 trillion between 2020 and 2021. He warned that the world needs to de-escalate crisis to avert a humanitarian disaster.
He said: “Crisis is an unstable event or series of events that can emanate from an individual, group, corporate and the government, which can cause disruption in normal business operations, economic, social, reputation and political damage in the society. It threatens to have calamitous human and developmental consequences.”
Nigeria, he said, was facing its worst economic crisis, with over 82.9 million persons classified as poor by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its Nigerian Living Standards Survey (NLSS) Report, May 2020.
This, the Institute of Bankers’ Fellow noted, amounts to 40.1 per cent of the population.
“Nigeria, since its last economic recession in 2016-2017, has witnessed a collapse in the price of crude oil, volatile movement in the exchange rate, rising inflation and food prices, dwindling Foreign Direct Investment, increasing unemployment, reduced public confidence in the government, Northern region unrest coupled with the Global pandemic; amongst others,” he said.
Adeshina, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), stated that businesses must be prepared for a crisis, because “it is a matter of when and not if.
“A crisis should not be perceived as a threat to avoid, rather the focus should be when it comes, how prepared is the organisation to handle it? If a crisis is well managed, it reduces the damage and impact on an organisation and enables the organisation to recover quickly.”
He was of the view that a credible crisis management framework was critical to help maintain confidence in the people, system and government and it minimises risks.
“Proper and quick crisis management is critical for public relations and reputation. Since crises come in several forms, it is recommended that organisations should have in place a crisis management plan,” he said.
He lamented the increasing ‘unmodellable’ behaviours, especially at top-most leadership levels.
Adeshina, an investment banker for over three decades, blamed the dwindling economy on the inability of governments to curb the high rate of people living below the poverty line.
Citing the recent #EndSARS protest, he said it was a pointer to the end of bad governance and a wake-up call to those in leadership positions to begin to institutionalise good governance.
“Attention should be given to the business continuity, cost management, productivity, and implementing safety measures, however, innovation-led growth should not be totally ignored,” he said.