ADDRESS PRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN GOVERNING COUNCIL, CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF PROJECT MANAGERS OF NIGERIA – DR. (MRS). VICTORIA I. OKORONKWO, ON THE OCCASION OF THE INDUCTION CEREMONY OF HER NEW MEMBERS, ON THIS 13TH DAY OF DECEMBER 2019.
President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR,
President of the Federal Republic
The Honourable Minister
Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment
Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo,
Members of the Governing Council of our Great Institute,
The Management & Staff of CIPMN,
Our invited Guests
Respected Professional Colleagues
Gentlemen of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Another opportunity has presented itself for patriotic citizens who, without mincing words, are desirous of a better Nigeria, to gather here today. This is a clear indication of increasing awareness of the need for the Project Manager to be recognized. Even though the awareness might be slow, yet it’s encouraging. No doubt new orders such as Project Management in Nigeria, usually, may follow the slow path while eventually becoming ‘’THE RALLYING POINT’’ for the desired national development. I, therefore, from the depth of my heart welcome you all to this auspicious event.
2. As we dazzle in the euphoria of today’s ceremony, we must consciously draw a SHARP line between the fame from the ceremony and the very essence of it. The fame will naturally fizzle away in the days to come, but the essence MUST ALWAYS REMAIN FRESH IN OUR DAILY LIVES.
3. One of the very essence of today’s gathering, in particular, and the birthing of the Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria in general is to accord the ProjectManagementprofession and the practitioners their well-deserved recognition in the ‘’comity of professionals’’ especially in Nigeria. Up until now, how many of the Nigerian Tertiary Institutions are offering Project Management as a full scale discipline? Why is it that, the organized private sectors, and the MDA’s of Government at all levels (Federal, State & Local governments) deliberately either refused or neglected to include the position of the project manager in the scheme of service? More importantly, why is the project managers’ license & seal not a compulsory requirement in the organized private sectors and various MDA’s PRE-QUALIFICATION requirements for the BIDDING of CONTRACTS in Nigeria, hitherto? What can be more careless than these? Is it surprising any longer from these ‘’multimillion naira questions’’ why projects & project management professionals are not taken very seriously in Nigeria? Is it not obvious why in Nigeria today, attitudes to projects have been the way they are? Is it wrong to describe projects in Nigeria as ‘orphans’? Now, it is no longer surprising why the pace of Nigeria socio-economic growth and development have not been encouraging.
4. This is contrary to what is obtainable in the advanced countries like the UK & the US where Government, over the years, did not only put up a central project management methodologies like PRINCE2 & PMP alike, but had so entrenched the value of the project managers into the mainstream of their economies to the extent that they are one of the best-paid professionals. For example, the average wage of project managers at the lowest entry point is about £62,000 & $90,000 per annum respectively. These are project managers with less than three (3) years of experience on the job. Can we make bold to say same in our Country? Why didn’t successive administrations in Nigeria for the past 57 years of our Independence see the need to entrench project management in the core of its activities? Is it right to for an Accountant to assume the responsibility of an engineer without requisite certification & training? How then is it normal for a non-certified professional project manager to be in charge and responsible for projects? Why shouldn’t our country experience failed projects as a consequence? Why will the co-opted and ad-hoc project managers not abandon projects? Why won’t we have poorly executed and collapsing projects? Why? If professionalism should be sacrificed at the altar of ‘’Nigeria factor’’, then it should be condemned by all. The consequence of deliberate neglect of Professional Project Managers from the entire national socio-economic development equation is arguably, the bane of our underdevelopment. What a mirage! I am confident that, the desire to reverse these ugly tides necessitated your decision to be inducted into CIPMN.
5. However, each time I meditate on the post-January 24, 2018 when His Excellency, President Muhammad Buhari, GCFR, assented to the CIPMN’s BIll, I see anarray of hope. The coming on board of the Chartered Institute of Project Managers Nigeria, 58 years after Nigeria Independence is a great relief to the numerous concerns being expressed at all quarters. I make bold to say that, if the signing the bill which established this Institute into law is the only achievement of His Excellency, President Muhammad Buhari GCFR, it certainly worthwhile. Posterity will remember him for good. With this Act, we can now begin to take our destinies in our hands.
6. We are aware that, some Nigerians usually travel abroad for project management certification. We are aware that, before now, that was the only available option. We are also aware that, due to the sharp contrast between our socio-political, ethnoreligious, traditional and cultural realities, no matter how much we try to force the PMP, PRINCE2 and other foreign project management methodologies & frameworks into the Nigeria project management environment, we are only likely to be scratching the surface of our project delivery challenges. This is why we are working round the clock to make Chartered Institute of Project managers of Nigeria a befitting professional Institute and regulatory body the Nigerian Project management stake holders across all sectors will reckon with to address our unique challenges through a well thought out, national unity centric framework deign.
7. Currently, all the concerns above are being systematically and pragmatically addressed. In line with our slogan “WORLD CLASS PROJECT MANAGERS” we are pressing very hard to ensuring that, every “PRACTICING LICENSE & SEAL” issued by CIPMN to QUALIFIED& CERTIFIED PRACTITIONERS has global recognition and acceptance. In the same vain, all hands are already on deck for the career path of Nigeria Project Managers to be included both in private and public sectors Scheme of Service to allow our “academically certified chartered members” enjoy equal right and benefits with their contemporaries from the chartered institute on one hand, and for our license and seals issued to certified project management practitioners become a pre-qualification requirement for the bidding of contracts in Nigeria (both the private & public organizations for effective enforcement).
8. These efforts will be in vain if our members are not adequately & properly equipped. Knowing full well that, you are being admitted into the Institute without undertaking our Professional Qualifying Examinations (PQE), we have made special plans for your intensive capacity building programme through our Mandatory Proficiency Programme(MPP) & Mandatory Professional Assessment Courses (MPAC) in line with section 5 (2iii & 9b) of the Establishment Act, where you will be fully trained, retrained, developed & equipped with modern project management skills & techniques relevant for global best practices. On our part, we are determined to give Nigeria, in particular, and other parts of the World who share common heterogeneous tendencies with us, ‘’ sought-after project managers’’ through our robust & unique project management methodology & framework carefully designed to suit this purpose. Thereafter, we can administer punitive measures to checkmate breach of professional codes of conduct and ethics of practice.
9. Achieving the above is not a tea party, hence for the past one year; we have been pre-occupied behind the scene with laying the appropriate structural foundations relevant to academics, administration, ICT and other functional infrastructures befitting a professional Institute of this status for effective collaboration. In other words, it is an “all-inclusive & integrated” foundation-laying approach.
10. Furthermore, I will like to thank the Federal Government for her presence in the Institute through our supervising Ministry – The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, Federal Ministry of Works & Housing, Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Finance, and NACCIMA whose statutory representation in the Governing Council has added more impetus to our current activities. More importantly, is the Governing Council members’ recent decision to appoint Mr. Henry IfeanyiMbadiwe as the Institute’s substantive Registrar. Mr. Henry who among others is the Founder/CEO of Almond Careers and Almond Media Companies in Uk& Nigeria, which is a member of the UK Department for International Trade, and accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), with special focus ontraining and practical work experience throughout the project delivery life cycle. His appointment as the Registrar is one of the painstaking actions so far taken in a bid to get the best personnel with cognate competencies& skills.
11. As you are inducted today into this noble Institute, be reminded that Nigeria project management environment is a dynamic one with many conjectures. You are to ‘’be above board’’ by wittingly availing yourselves to participate in all our intensive online & offline academic certifications & practical trainings as part of the afore-mentioned MPP & MPAC. In order to achieve this objective, ALL our present and prospective members shall from time to time attend the CIPMN’s state-of-the-art, top-notch Project Management Academy at Arochukwu, Abia State for different levels, and categories of Global Professional Certifications (GPC) as part of our deliberate plans for their capacity building in the global field of project management. This way, all the critical stakeholders will be on the same page in our attempt to entrench core ethical standards and professionalism in this enviable profession particularly, in Nigeria. Details of the progress relating to the CIMPNProject Management Academy (CPMA) will be disseminated through our various platforms in due course.
12. Finally, since you, in particular, are the reason for our gathering today, with the aim of fostering our national prosperity using project managers as tools, you cannot afford to betray this enormous confidence reposed on you. Whatever you do, wherever you go, whoever you meet – let the aura of a professional project manager be seen in and around you.
13. May Almighty God who has gathered us for this ceremony take us back safely to our respective destinations, in Jesus name.
14. God bless you all.