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We expelled Tafa Balogun, Cecelia Ibru over unscrupulous acts – NIM president

What was your vision for NIM even before you became the president and chairman of council? Having been in the institute since 1973 when I…

What was your vision for NIM even before you became the president and chairman of council?

Having been in the institute since 1973 when I joined as graduate member, I had a dream I would one day be the president of the institute. In recent years, when I came up to serve the institute and being close to becoming the president, I saw myself visualizing how I would take the institute to the next level. Very crucial to me, is integrity. So we preach integrity. I also preach selfless service to the institute in my two-year tenure so that by the time I am gone, members will give selfless service to the institute and indeed Nigeria.

Also, we need to improve membership of the institute, both corporate and individual membership. My dream is that before I leave the institute, we should have additional 100,000 members in addition to the about 200,000 we currently have. This year, I am looking at 50,000 new members and next year, another 50,000. Of course, the new members must also be of the right quality.

How can you get 100,000 new members and all of them of good quality in two years when the institute has just 200,000 in 51 years?

One will be through our visibility as an institute. Our programmes will be well publicised and they will be current and proactive. We will also be responding to a lot of Nigerian challenges. We also have a strong membership committee headed by a past registrar of the institute who knows all it takes to bring people in.

Many say the fortunes of NIM have dwindled.

I won’t agree. You may say it has not grown in terms of acceptance. But NIM is a household name all over the nation.


Why the stunted growth?

To me it’s the falling standard of Nigeria as country that is responsible. Things that should be growing positively in this country are not. It’s only vices and misrepresentations that are coming up strongly. That is why we are where we are.

The institute was put together by the British Institute of Management in 1961 to help Nigeria realise the dreams of independence. We have close to 200,000 members now. We should be more than this. In fact, we should have been up to a million because we have a lot of managers in Nigeria. A lot of people are not interested in those things that will add value to training. What they are after is what will give the money. Our value system in this country has changed overtime.

With just 200,000 members for 150 million Nigerians, what impact would the institute be making to human resources development in Nigeria?

We are making impact but we are trying to reach out to more people hence my plans to grow the institute by another 100,000 new quality membership. 200,000 members may seem small but it can make a lot of difference. In fact, those that will change Nigeria need not be up to 200,000.

Do you collaborate with other management training institutions like the Centre for Management Development?

NIM is like the first among equals. We assisted government to establish CMD and we have some ways of collaborating. We meet at certain committees where we work together. At a point, we had our members on the board of CMD because of the role we played in setting up the place. Most of these other training institutions come to us for collaboration.

How are you dealing with the preponderance of fake management trainers?

If you look at the Act that set up the institute, we are the one given the authority to regulate management practice in Nigeria. We want to make sure we enforce that now. We have been sluggish in the past. Because we have not enforced it, you now have quacks all over the place who know nothing about management and are teaching people about management. They are giving people wrong knowledge. They cannot give what they don’t have. They don’t have the knowledge and the facilities. We are currently licensing practitioners. We started last year. We now have individuals and corporate organisations licensed to practice management consulting but they must meet certain basic standards.


Is there any punishment for these identified quacks?

Well, we will first let the public know those practising management without accreditation. We will also create awareness about the dangers of patronising quacks. We will also advise those practising without accreditation to come do so. If they fail to do, we will exercise our powers under the Act; that could mean taking them to court.

You have 200,000 members spread in the private and public sectors yet, we have large number of failing institutions because of poor management across Nigeria, including the ones your members work for. Are you sure NIM is making the desired impact?

What might be responsible for the failing institutions in Nigeria could be the environment, government inconsistency in policies, failure of government and mismanagement. As an institute, we have members in public and private sectors. Over the years, they have been making their contributions. Once you are here and you do anything that is against the institute’s preaching, we expel you! Once you fall short of the law or fail the test of integrity, we sanction you.

In the last two years, we expelled two of our members – former IG Tafa Balogun and Cecelia Ibru. There is no sacred cow; once you are found wanting, you go. But the issue is that this is a very hard environment and it takes more than a human being to succeed in Nigeria in a positive way. Many people are succeeding because they are robbing government or people; it’s not because they are very fantastic.

In this country, a whole lot of things are not done right and that is why we are in the mess we are as a country. The issue is not the lack of knowledge by Nigerians but the lack of integrity especially at the level of governance. This also makes it difficult for even those with integrity to succeed.

Recently, you signed an MoU with the Command and Staff College Jaji; what are you hopping to benefit from that and how many others would you enter into?

We want to bring more into the family of NIM. It will afford them the opportunity to attend our trainings locally and abroad at lesser costs. The MoU with Jaji is to help them produce officers that will be qualified to be officers anywhere in the world. Before now, most of them trained in military training but now, they will be trained in management skills as well. Their colleagues abroad pass through university education before enrolling in the military and they may have trained in management skills. After the training, they will be made associates of the institute with all the benefits derivable.


Can Nigeria attain Vision 20:2020?

We have the human capacity to achieve the Vision 20:2020 but do we have the environment to achieve it? We should be able but we don’t have the environment. We have been shouting since terrorism started that this is not the way to achieve development for instance. Any nation that wants to develop must be stable and focused. We lack in this nation patriotism even among those leading us and those that have led us in the past.

As an institute we called on all Nigerians to unite to fight the terrorism scourge. We specifically called on the northern elite to meet and fashion ways to also pacify the restive youths. I’m worried that we are destroying what we don’t have enough of. The countries that have developed are developing more and more but we, even in our underdeveloped state, we are still destroying the little we have built.

It’s not possible that we will be among the first 20 nations by year 2020. It will just be a dream except this violence stops and good governance takes pre-eminence. Countries that are there are not waiting for us. They are moving forward and we are moving backwards. If government cannot guarantee safety, Nigerians cannot invest here let alone foreigners.

I was the President, Nigerian British Chambers of Commerce during which I led two trade delegations to the UK. The issue they talked about then was corruption and high cost of doing business; now we are adding insecurity to it.