It was a glamorous afternoon at this year’s Nigeria Institute of Management (Chartered) awards, fellows and spouses’ day luncheon.
The event featured a lecture delivered by Isiaka Bisiriyu, head of service in Ogun State. The paper was titled “Repositioning the Public Service for Public-Private Partnership to Enhance Good Governance.”
While 129 were moved to fellowship grades, about 116 received membership awards.
The president and chairman of council, Professor Olukunle Iyanda, said the event was important in the calendar of the institute, as it afforded old fellows the opportunity to fraternise with one another and receive new fellows to their fold.
He said being decorated as a fellow of the institute was a great honour that anyone should be proud of. He also stated that the idea to incorporate members’ spouses in the yearly event started seven years ago to give the spouses, especially non-members, a sense of belonging.
Iyanda said the timing of the conferment was particularly significant. He said: “I do not think this nation has in all its chequered history faced as many challenges as it does at this time.
“Apart from the insurgency that has refused to go away, there is increasing insecurity and fear among the people to exercise their freedom of movement, allegations of corruption in the most sacred temples of the land, subjugation of national to sectional interests, and a seeming loss of faith in the Nigerian nationhood.”
He noted that perfidy in public office seems to be rewarded by higher public office once there was common political affiliation or sycophancy.
“These are practices that are antitheses to the doctrine of professional management, which is embodied in our noble and admirable code of conduct,” he said.
He charged the institute’s old and new fellows to accept the challenge to reverse the unproductive and undesirable trend in Nigeria.
He said as members of the institute, particularly fellows were “called upon to demonstrate the highest level of selflessness, probity, objectivity and accountability in personal and professional responsibilities such that we can restore faith of all stakeholders in the Nigeria project.”
In his paper, Bisiriyu noted that the private sector was a major employer of labour in an ideal economy. He explained that a public-private partnership (PPP) was a cooperative arrangement between the public and private sectors, typically of a long-term nature, for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk, management responsibility, and remuneration linked to performance.
Bisiriyu noted that PPP provides better infrastructure solutions than an initiative that was wholly public or private.
“Each participant does what it does best. They result in faster projects completions and reduced delays in delivery of infrastructure, thereby providing more effective and highly efficient service delivery,” he said.
He observed that PPP has potential for developing local private sector capabilities through joint ventures with large international firms, as well as sub-contracting opportunities for local firms.
He highlighted some of the reforms in the public service in federal and other states levels such as pension reform of 2004, public procurement reform of 2007, and the establishment of Office of Transformation, Creativity and Innovation (OTCI), Lagos State, among others.
To position the public service for PPP to enhance good governance, Bisiriyu called for the setting up of meaningful performance metrics, flexible targets, digital tools for sharing information in the project management team, institute motivational dialogues, adopt agile practices, emphasize non-financial incentives, and build the skills for success.
Chairman, board of fellows, Professor Ogochukwu Ibeneme, explained the criteria for the election of fellows.
His words: “The person must not have been convicted for any offence in a law court or judicial panel. He must have obtained at least 100 credit points, which include 10 years as a member of the institute, attendance of the institute’s programmes such as the annual national management conference, women in management, mandatory continued professional education programmes, and so on.”
He said the equivalent of a fellow was a director in the federal civil service, permanent secretary in state civil service, and deputy registrar in tertiary institutes.
In his vote of thanks on behalf of other awardees, Brigadier General Saab Abubakar assured the chairman in council and other members that as professional managers, they would contribute their quarter towards taking the institute and Nigeria in general to next level.
The event climaxed with the conferment of life membership awards to eight elder statesmen who had attained the age of 70, and adjudged to have contributed significantly to the activities of the institute over the years.