By Simeon Mpamugoh
The MUSON Centre, Lagos, was agog recently with the investiture of Professor Olukunle Iyanda as the 21st president and chairman of the council of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM).
Chairman/managing consultant, Applied Resources Consortium Limited, Dr. Udo Udo, was the guest speaker at the event. He spoke on “Leadership Effectiveness and Organisational Performance.”
He observed that leadership was always a current public discourse, regretting that more than ever before those in leadership positions in every sphere of life in Nigeria were widely criticised for bad leadership.
The former lecturer, California State University, Sacramento, California, United States, identified transformational leadership as a new paradigm, which emerged after decades of sustained academic research.
“Such leadership must be resolute in its commitment to the pursuit of clear, compelling and enduring vision, based on a core ideology and an envisioned future.
“Inspired by ECOWAS transformational Vision 2020, Nigeria, in 2009, set for itself Vision 20:2020 as a long-term development goal to propel the country to the group of the top economies of the world by 2020.
“I wonder if the vision is still the guiding framework and rallying point for our development effort as, two years to 2020, we still have poor and decaying infrastructure, epileptic power supply, weak institutions, including regulatory agencies, insecurity of life and property, policy reversal, lack of follow-through, widespread corruption and lack of political will to drive the vision,” he said.
He noted that “leadership carries with it position, privilege and power, but the exercise of power always involves ethical consideration.”
Udo regretted that, in traditional societies and cultures, nobody, including the king, was above the law.
“They were accountable to their subjects, and carried themselves with the dignity of their exalted office and also were treated with decorum,” he said.
In his valedictory speech, the immediate past president, Emeritus Professor Munzali Jibril, highlighted some of the high points of his two-year stewardship. Under him, he noted, he spent less than his predecessors did running the office. He said that he spent only a fraction of his office’s budget, which had a positive impact on the total budget of the institute.
Jibril said: “While the sum of N9,983,484 was budgeted for my office at the end of November 2017, I spent only N2,891,202.15, being 29 per cent of it.”
He informed the audience that he also introduced the electronic voting method approved by council and body of past presidents and it was deployed during the 2017 council and zonal elections.
“The e-voting broke boundaries and allowed members of the institute anywhere in the world who were up to date in the payment of their subscriptions to vote for candidates of their choice,” he said.
In his inaugural address, Iyanda canvassed the support of the council to establish a Management Hall of Fame. He said the institute’s founding fathers and others adjudged to have discharged their duties in accordance with the institute’s code of conduct would be in the hall of fame.
He said his leadership would work hard to “review our professional examination curriculum, update the content, increase its relevance and rigour, and bring it up to speed with what obtains in similar institutes across the world.
“We will sponsor and conduct research into some of the management problems confronting Nigeria such as how to prevent or reduce corruption, reform our politics and election systems such that majority of our elected officials would be serious-minded men and women of integrity and track records of disciplined achievement.
“We would also depoliticise the discourse on restructuring such that it is seen as a management tool designed to make large and complex organisations work efficiently and effectively.”
Among the dignitaries at the event were former Central Bank governor, Dele Sanusi, Dr. Christopher Kolade, head of service, Bauchi State, Rilwan Bello, and members of the body of past presidents from 1970 to date.