I recently got entangled in a Twitter discussion which started when a medical doctor  posted the following :

Never mind that Nigeria. has the second largest population of people living with HIV, President Muhammad Buhari still appointed Former Minister Of State For Science And Technology, Pauline Tallen as the new Chairman (Chairperson) of National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (NACA). 

She has an undergrad degree in Sociology.

Talk of a square peg in a round hole!

In the usual mode of getting people to question popularly accepted assumptions, and see if there couldn’t be a correct alternative point of view, I countered,

Well, the same reason a Governor of a State handling different facets of State life can be a doctor or lawyer, or anything else , is why your core course of study may not be that important if you are versatile enough!

The current Minster of Power, Works and Housing Babatude Raji Fashola does not  have an engineering background, but still have technocrats reporting to him. The same thing happened when he was Governor in Lagos State

Your statement is an exemplifications of the precise reason why many technically sound people are failures on the grander scheme of things.

A good administrator knows how to harness resources, and those include technical folks.

A passersby who has been very critical of the Minister of Power, and believes that Fashola is not making the expected impact in the Power Sector because he simply does not have a grasp of the technical dynamics of the sector (being a Lawyer), said,

That Fashola example is not a good one because the man is failing seriously as Minister for Power, Works and Housing

He likes to insist that the same reason the Late Bola Ige failed as Minster of Power is why Fashola is fixing the Power Problem intractable! They were / are both Lawyers!

Someone else was of the opinion that Minister Fashola is actually making a headway, despite a non_engineering background,

Hear him,

Fashola has largely solved the power problem. Untangled many of the issues and massively increased power generation.

There is also heavy investment in roads.

How anyone would label him as being inept, in spite of, and despite being a Lawyer, is beyond me and many others.

Fashola fitting properly into the ‘incompatible’ portfolios he is given may he debatable but, there are people in fields different from their core profession doing very very well, even globally.

Nigeria is also replete with such instances..

What degree should the Commander in Chief have, seeing that Ministers of technical ministries like Petroleum, Solid Minerals and Power also report to him?  have?

The one who firmly believes that square pegs should occupy square holes,   insisted,

Why not make an accountant the Head of SARS (Special Anti Robbery Squad), or the inspector General of Police?

General Purpose Administration is different from Healthcare administration. You may not understand this because you lack the necessary information.  

If you acknowledge the relevance or scope of a Masters in public health,  or masters in healthcare management or MBA, you wouldn’t be saying all these.

Sectors like healthcare and security need special skills, not general skills, to administer effectively. Your disputing this is as a result of not being in the medical field.


I am of the opinion that a good Administrator can successfully manage a technical outfit even without having technical skills himself. As the popular quote goes,

Very often, People Skills are valued far more than Technical Skill’s.

A State Governor handles many facets that would naturally be outside the orbit if his technical skills.  Any other outfit is all about administrative competence, and not necessarily technical skills.

The guy

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