When Dr Joe Abbah started the hashtag #GovernancePuzzles he had no idea that he was courting undailytrouble.com literally. The Governance, Institutional Reform, Public Policy, Political Economy expert is Nigeria Country Director for DAI. Recall that when Jack Dorsey, boss of twitter visited Nigeria, he said of Dr. Abba, “He is not your mate!”

Twitter Boss, Jack Dorsey


Originally trained as a barrister in Nigeria, Dr. Abah gained extensive experience in the governance sector, working on public sector reform programs for the U.K. Prime Minister’s Office. He has spent more than 10 years managing governance programs in Nigeria for the U.K. Department for International Development, including on the DAI-led State Partnership for Accountability Responsiveness and Capability project.

From 2013 to 2017, Joe took a post with the Government of Nigeria as Head of the Bureau for Public Sector Reform.


Dr. Joe Abba, Country Director, DAI, Nigeria.


In Nigeria, here now, he provides technical and strategic inputs to DAI’s existing portfolio of projects, in addition to supporting business development initiatives.

With a Ph.D. from Maastricht University, The Netherland, and M.A., Business Law, from London Guildhall University, United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Laws, University of Calabar, Nigeria, Dr. Joe Abba is rightly an authority enough to stir thoughts in pragmatic governance for a country as peculiar as Nigeria.


The #GovernancePuzzles on twitter opened a flood gate of opinions and strategies. One thing came clear. There was a burning desire to do something about a better governance module that works for everyone. Another was that ideal solutions may not be as pragmatic, giving rise to a dire need for creativity, emotional intelligence, street wisdom, native intelligence, diplomacy, focus, firmness, vision, luck and a lot of prayers for the breed of leaders that will fulfill Nigeria’s needs.

Jack Dorsey with twitter influencer and Tech entrepreneurs including Dr. Joe Abbah


With over 400K followers on twitter, Dr. Abba had set out to seed the restless spirit of enquiry into tomorrow’s campaign promises when they do come.

And he achieved just that.

However, what remains unspoken is when Nigeria will decide on the optimal and minimal qualities of any of their leaders; how the grooming process for such leaders will look like; when these processes commence; how early they commence and if, there will be a location or institutionalization of these processes in legislation, and brick and mortar.

In other words, will Nigeria be ruled by diplomats alone, or seasoned administrators alone, (like Dr. Joe Abbah), or technocrats alone, or administrators, or a hybrid who have been served strategically in the armed forces, exposed to an intentional tutelage in diplomacy, foreign operations and probably lectured in a university or worked in a hospital.

These are some of the strong decisions Nigeria must make.

You can follow Dr. Joe Abbah on twitter


See some of the ideas in the box from Dr Joe Abbah’s #GovernancePuzzles

hardeyolaKite @CrownOfwealt

The recovered loots, cut politician allowances, Commence investigations and seize embezzled properties or funds


Oluwatomisin Oloko-obi. @obi_oloko

The first thing I will do is to drop a questionnaire across all sector in my state on how to improve the economy because I believe there will be some people who will be wiser than me… after the result of the questionnaire, I will organize a meeting with them and the purpose of the meeting is to reason together and see how we can progress as a state, because I believe the strength of a leader is in its followers. I will also plead for some percentage cut in their payment pending the time the economy is balance to pay them back


MajorB of Njikoka. @Bishyplus29

A big problem in govt is duplication of expenses. Civil servants are employed, then their roles are contracted out to contractors for selfish purposes.

Cut down on such, then cut down on lavish govt spending.

Improve maintenance attitude and avoid new purchases for govt officers.


Still Walking My Talk. @InimfonEtuk

Governance is about the people Dr Joe. Whichever decision will attract a national outcry bcos of mutual suspicion enabled by lack of transparency. In much the same way as you have done, govt needs to embrace “Conversations”, this allows people follow arguments & value outcomes


Opinionated. @belameen

The easiest way is to shift funds from say capital expenditure to service recurring costs. Similar to what the trump administration is doing.


Black Seedokp. @SEEDOKP

Employ austerity measures in full force. This will mostly targeted at people around the corridors of power.

An executive order to drastically reduce:

  1. Salaries and allowances accruing to the president and VP (abolish some of them entirely)
  2. The number of cars in the protocol
  3. Top cabinet members (Ministers) should only earn 30% of their current salaries
  4. All emoluments and allowances for cabinet members on hold
  5. All political and technical aides should be on minimum wage salary structure


Akerele Afolabi. @akerelesunday

I will apply Abasha Style. Print more money, shut down Red Chamber (Senate) and close down some ministries that is not function well.


SmartFix Property Maintenance. @oyasmartfix

Aggressively look to expanding income options. Cut expenses where it can be cut but focus more on expanding income for future stability.

The economy has taken a big bad hit already, and the problem is our source of income.

Mining & agriculture are legacy industries to look into.


Olúwaṣhayò Taiwo. @Toluwashayo

I will half the salary of top government high ranking officials, both politicians and civil servants. Then I’ll deploy a special fund to encourage local agriculture and entrepreneur within middle class to ensure essential commodities are readily available



LET’S GO BACK TO GREEN REVOLUTION. Whatever your salary.

You will buy food at least.


Angels and Demons. @ade_adeayo

Cut government running cost by 70%, demand that all elected officers take a 50% pay cut. I will pause all capital projects and move the funds to salary payment. These shoe string measures in addition to security votes and IGR will likely go a long way till the situation improves.


Light & Salt. @iamolarry

The true test of leadership is in times of crises like this. D last salary review was done in 2011 & by d Constitution, it shuld be reviewed every 5 yrs. So we had more than 5 years 2 prepare 4 d new increase. Positions aren’t assumed…I will half the salary of top government high ranking officials, both politicians and civil servants. Then I’ll deploy a special fund to encourage local agriculture and entrepreneur within middle class to ensure essential commodities are readily available


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