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My agenda for marketing practice in Nigeria ' NIMN President, Ganiyu Koledoye

Published by Tribune on Tue, 02 Dec 2014

In this interview with Akin Adewakun, the newly-elected president of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), Mr Ganiyu Koledoye, unfolds his agenda and where he hopes to see marketing practice in the country by the time he leaves office. Excerpts...Now that you have been elected to run the affairs of the institute for the next three years, what exactly is your agenda'Top on the list is the institute's elections. What we've done with the last election is to change the process of choosing leaders and make it more transparent. Now we ensure that those who are voting are properly accredited. No longer would the institute be using staff as instruments for election process manipulations.And let me quickly tell you this, I am only going to stay for one term, because I believe I would have contributed my own quota and should allow others to continue. But the general opinion of my colleagues was that I had to see through some of these things. We had just brought two bodies together, and the people are just about getting used to one another. People felt I should stay to be able to complete the reconciliation process. A lot of hurt still needs to be assuaged.What you have seen as reconciliation is just one part of the story. The academia are still outside the fray, and we intend to bring them in. No professional institute can survive if we don't have the faculty of people who are teaching, who are going to design the curriculum, who are going to be part of the factory for turning out student. If the cohesion and interplay between the two arms does not exist, then you can't have an institute. And if this interplay exists, the quality of our membership would be enhanced. So, one of the things I intend to do is to make sure that I bring the academia on board.Our long term aim is that whatever area of specialisation students are moving towards in social sciences, they should also develop marketing skills. We therefore expect a lot of people in school of management to read professional marketing. And to do that, you have to bring the academia on board. The second one is making the institute relevant in terms of national discourse. We should have an input. I think Nigeria has, for whatever reason, missed the input of marketing. I will not blame government for that. It is because essentially we have not put our house in order. Now that we believe we've done this, we have to be involved in advocacy.Another area which I want to be relevant is in the industry itself. If you look at a lot of people who are players in the marketing offices now, they are not necessarily members of our institute, and even those who are members don't come for our programmes. We are not that relevant in people's careers. We have to really put a check on that. People accuse the institute of not reaching out to its members. But my own experience, as someone who graduated as professional marketer before going for my academic qualification, is that members also have responsibility on how they project their institute.We shall encourage people to be familiar with the NIMN Act. We will not encourage people to be practicing marketing if they are not members of the institute, members mean active player. We have started the process of codification. We are going to engage extensively in the process of making sure that delinquent membership are not encouraged in the institute. We will start from January to advise people to regularise. After six months, we will take appropriate action to list those who are our members to inform organisations why non-members should not be occupying seats meant for practitioners.What does it take to be a chartered marketer'There are phases, either you have professional qualification or you work in the industry where you are assigned marketing duties. Marketing is a complex profession, but to be a member of the institute, you have to confirm your status with the institute. We are not saying that people should not come from other profession to practice marketing. That is not possible. Marketing needs everybody. But now that you are there, you should regularise your status with the institute.Does the institute have the capacity to enforce this and what type of sanction are you talking about'We are going to use moral suasions. We will name and shame. When I put out the list of those who are my members, if your name is not there, that means you are not a practicing marketer. I'm not going to put out your name as practicing marketer, when you have not regularised. That is the first strategy, because we have a law which says that only those who are recognised by the institute can practice the profession. If it is not understood by everybody, it is our responsibility for the next nine months to make sure such law exists and it is understood.What we are doing is not to use the mighty security apparatus of the state, we just want to announce to the public that these are our members according to our law, and those not on the list are not our members. It is very simple. That type of system works better, when you name and shame than harassing people through the police. We will also meet people and discuss.Is it because of the need to properly heal reconciliation wound that you've decided not to re-contest'It is one of the reasons, but not the only reason. If that is the only reason, I can always stay at home and also make sure I do that. But I believe I still have a lot of debris to clear, and with this mandate, I'm in a position to clear it.How prepared are your members against the new media and internet challenge'I don't believe internet is disruptive. Our role as a professional body is to include in our development programme, opportunity for people to understand this. They need to acquire such skills.
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