Quality human resource capacity in Nigeria is still under debate. To some persons, human capital management in the country is still rated below par when compared with the situation in other economies, while some are of the view that Nigerian human capacity are comparatively competitive in global standards.
In this interview with Daily Sun, the 19th President of Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), Nigeria, who doubles as the Group Director, HR Unit, Floor Mills Nigeria (FMN) Plc & Subsidiaries, Wale Adediran, speaks on the present and future of Nigeria’s human resources and productivity and factors responsible for high performance or otherwise, both in the private and public sectors.
Goals and agenda for CIPM
We have only one goal – to build a CIPM brand that would deliver values to Nigeria and the world through our Human Capital Development programmes. To achieve this, we set for ourselves three key projects – one, to strengthen our service platforms for all our stakeholders satisfaction; secondly, we shall accelerate the growth of CIPM across 36 states and have a strong presence in FCT, Abuja, and entrench high standards for practitioners of human resources management in accordance with global standards and adaptable to our local peculiarities.
Performance of human capital
I don’t believe such claims completely because we have seen Nigerians making wave in different organisations in private and public sector even in developed economies. But following such claims that our human capital is below par, CIPM is now providing the competence framework, training structures and platforms to ensure our members have the capacity to deliver global standards results and inculcate same into their HR units for best practices. We certify professionals to separate the chaff from the wheat. We have rigorous regime of training, development examinations and certifications for people who want to deliver second to none in terms of qaulity anywhere in the world.
Expatriates headingstrategic positions in multinational companies in Nigeria
First, most strategic positions in Dangote Group are headed by Nigerians, even overseas, so I believe that the outlook of their leadership will reflect the diversity of their presence across the world. I still maintain that Nigerian HR practitioners are thriving both in US, Canada, and Europe. For instance, the Managing Directors of Guinness, Ethiopia and East Africa were once Nigerians, so there’s no inherent or pathological problem with us; it’s just the diversity outlook of the leadership of such organisations that determines who heads different positions. As we speak, Nigeria is leading in Africa in human resources management, and is respected across the globe. We belong to World Federation of Human Resources Management Association (WFHRMA) and International Standards Organisation (ISO) representing Africa to redefine HR practices.
Causes of hiring and firing
Honestly, such weaknesses are mostly found in the public sector but private organisations know that sentiments must not be heard of in matters concerning human resources management. Besides, most people holding HR positions in both sectors are not really professionals. CIPM was established by Act of Parliament saddled with the responsibility of defining the best HR practices in Nigeria. As we speak, we are intensifying our awareness campaigns for all HR leaders to be certified by CIPM in line with the laws establishing CIPM, and any HR leader who’s not certified by CIPM would have himself to blame soon. I believe our new crop of CIPM members will be high flyers because we have developed a programme called “Ready for Market” to groom our members for the challenges ahead. We are also working to surface in Africa region because much is needed to be done in human resource management, which is sine qua non for every successful venture. So we are leveraging on technology to transform human resource capacity for Nigeria.
Nigerian graduates not employable
CIPM conducted a research on this matter, and our report shows that there is a problem with under-employment, employability and the academic curricula. The unemployability of Nigeria’s graduates is not applicable to all graduates. The minds of some graduates are prepared for the challenge ahead while a significant number of them just have the theoretical knowledge, so the onus rests on the education sector to work hand in glove with the informal sector (MSMEs) and entrepreneurs to ascertain what is required by the private sector from the graduating students. This would help reduce the over-dependence on the government for jobs. Equally, the academic sector must, as a matter of necessity, update and upgrade our educational curricula to fit into the future needs of the business world, else the problem of employability would persist. Then students must up their skill and go beyond classroom work so as to offer values above average performance. The world is moving very fast and people should follow suit.
Effect of fraud on GDP and way out
So many factors are played out. First, how do employees see their corporate leaders? How satisfied are they with the culture and environment of their jobs? How do employees see themselves in the organisation? How motivated are they?, among other questions. These matter a lot. People thrive in a human- designed environment. A culture of mutual relationship that exists in the organisation promotes industrial harmony and higher productivity; this cannot happen in a jungle-like environment. So if the aforementioned factors are negative, employees are pushed to the wall to act unprofessional. Howbeit, there’s no justification for anyone to wreck his organisation.
But these are the things CIPM wants to correct to help organisations to get it right from the beginning by hiring the right persons because we detest cronyism. A situation where the character of prospective employees are not checked ruins the organisation. We want to look beyond paper certificate but inward substance of every prospective personnel. Remember, all HR heads and administrative cadre personnel must be CIPM-certified soon to help them do this tasking job.