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    Tuesday, May 1, 2018

    Nepotism in the Workplace

    "One night in the year 2012, my brother came home and announced that he had dropped his resignation letter at his job with one of the foremost construction companies in Nigeria. We thought he had gotten a better offer, but to our biggest surprise, he said he hadn't.  I, mum and dad looked at each other before looking at him again in askance before dad said: "Are you sane, who leaves one job without having another offer?" 

    Photo by Reynaldo Briganty

    My brother seared with anger as he narrated how the senior shareholder's son who just bagged his degree from America had been recruited into the business and placed many rungs ahead of many of them who had certifications and had worked diligently in the company for some years. Spat by this kind of attitude, he and some of his other colleagues decided to resign." 

    Nepotism is a big issue in Nigeria like it is in all parts of the world. Imagine a serving governor in Nigeria who has his son-in-law, sister and other family members as aides. Many of the children of our political elites hold juicy positions that they are apparently not qualified for in major banks, government parastatals, and other major multinational companies. The long-standing employment aphorism in Nigeria now is "it is not your grade that matters but who you know." Some people argue that nepotism is not all that bad as it ensures continuity, especially in family businesses. How unbroken will that continuity be if the family members in employ are not qualified for the job and singled out for better treatment in pay and other benefits? 

    It is almost unarguable that one of the primary reasons for the death of many indigenous companies shortly before or after the demise of the founder is nepotism. An average twenty-something-year-old Nigerian can mention about five companies that have become insolvent as a result of nepotism. The same can be said to a large extent of the gross inefficiency in our public and civil service where fathers who have ruled for donkey years pass the baton to their children. The number of Nigeria's public office holders whose fathers were once or still political leaders are legion. A number of them who did not venture into politics are the famous "buggati boys" who have used their parents' connections to get oil fields and illegal oil deals. 

    Nepotism and its other sinister manifestations like cronyism and nepotism is a direct and indirect cause of the failure of our political woes as a country; we have so many unqualified spoilt brats in elevated positions. Looking at it from all angles, it is clear that the negatives of nepotism far outweigh the positives (if there are any). Just like it happened in the story cited above, nepotism impedes talent retention and leads to other human rights issues like discrimination. Also, organizations, where nepotism and favoritism are rife, will lose out on potential high flying talents as their recruitment nets are so thin; only big enough for family and friends who may not be the best fit.

                Furthermore, being nepotic or favoring one employee over another for personal reasons lower employee morale, lead to resentment and overlooked potential which ultimately reduces an organization's financial and reputation capital

    By: Elias Gbadamos

    1 comment:

    1. This is really sad. I think nepotism makes it difficult for young people to grow their careers especially when they know that they are from marginalized communities


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