Dear Colleagues in The Marketing Profession,
A few months ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria set up the National Conference made up of 492 delegates representing various interests groups in the Nigerian Project. 14 Professional bodies were invited and represented at the Conference. The following were the professional bodies:
- Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)
- Nigerian Society of Engineers(NSE)
- Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB)
- Nigerian Medical Association (NBA)
- Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN)
- Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN)
- Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR)
- Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAPN)
- Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV)
- Nigerian Environmental Society (NES)
- Nigerian Economic Society (NES)
- Historical Society of Nigeria (HSN)
- Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) were
Sadly, our National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), chartered by an Act of Parliament, and arguably the mother of all professions, was not seen as worthy to be represented at the conference.
In a way, this summarises the sorry state of affairs of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, today. It could be so easy to start listing the reasons why we have found ourselves where we are. We can continue to bemoan our fate as an institute, but this is where we find ourselves at this moment. We can continue to trade blames about who “done it”, but it does not change the situation and we remain where sadly, we are. We can even re-brand, but as great marketing professionals, we all know that re-branding a bad product changes nothing, so we remain where we are. To recap, this is where we are and this is where we find ourselves. I am not at this time confident that many of us can stand tall in the public place today and proudly claim to be members of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria.
My name is Tony Agenmonmen. I am passionate about marketing and I have practiced marketing all of my career life. I am concerned and indeed angry about the current state and status of our institute. I believe many of us are also concerned. I therefore feel challenged that the time has come for us to move beyond just being concerned, to taking affirmative action. I know many of us have a great vision for a great institute. However, in the words of Joel A Barker, “Vision without action is merely a dream…….Vision with action can change the world”.
I am therefore offering myself to run for the Presidency of our potentially great Institute. I want to lead the vision and action for a change that will genuinely reposition the institute and restore it to its rightful place in the comity of professional organisations in Nigeria, and with time, in Africa and rest of the world.
I am persuaded that as great marketing professionals, we can do for the institute, what we do so very well for our companies’ brands. Many of us have launched and re-launched brands that have gone on to be winners in the market place. If we can do it for those brands, we can do it for brand National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN).
First a little bit of introducing myself.
I was born in 1956, in Edo State. Studied at ABU, Zaria and graduated with B.Sc.(Economics). I served my nation under the NYSC scheme in Imo sate, of which I still have fond memories and consider my self an honorary citizen. After NYSC, I had a brief period in 1981 at Lever Brothers Nigeria, now UNILEVER, Nigeria before proceeding to UNIBEN, where I obtained MBA with specialization in Marketing.
I have worked in Unilever Nigeria (1981-1981) and Unilever Bangladesh (1996 -1998) in the marketing function. Since 1984, I have been working at Nigerian Breweries. There, I had the privilege of working with Mr. Felix Ohiwerei, a founding member of NIMARK and one of Nigeria’s greatest marketing icons.
In service of the profession, I was an EXCO member of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) for 3 years. Thus I have a lot of connection with corporate Nigeria, an asset which will become very useful in repositioning our institute.
I am currently the Senior Strategy Manager for Nigerian Breweries. I am a passionate marketing person, with strong marketing background, having worked as a marketing professional for almost 31 years. With a sense of pride and in collaboration with various teams that I worked with in Nigerian Breweries, I have built some of the power beer brands in Nigeria today.
I am result driven, relate well with people and have the flexibility of working well as part of a winning team. I have a proven track record of insistence on high standards. I believe even the best can be improved.
Role in NIMN
As a young marketing person, I believed in the powers of organized professional Marketing Association, hence I enrolled in the then NIMARK as a member. I was consistent and very active in the association’s activities and programmes.
My commitment to NIMARK was rewarded with an upgrade to fellowship in 2003 and election to the Council in 2006 where I had the honour of serving till 2008 when I voluntarily stepped down to ensure the unification of NIMARK and CIMN.
I served in the membership and awards committees between 2005 and 2007.
As Council member, my greatest worry was the continuing factionalisation - NIMARK on one side and CIMN on the other. I was one of the council members who actively canvassed the need for unification as the only way to build a strong national institute. As a sign of personal commitment to unity, I volunteered to step down as council member, to allow for a unified institute and new council. This allowed for the unification of 2008.
Vision for the Institute
My vision can be categorized into three pillars: Strength, Unity and Professionalism. In essence, a strong and unified national institute that will attract the best talents to the marketing profession, enhance the skills of existing professionals and earn the respect of Nigerians. The three pillars will lead us “To be the undisputed number one professional organization in Nigeria”. The NIMN is currently a sleeping giant, held back by years of factionalisation and internal struggle and bickering. This giant needs awaking to take its rightful position.
NIMN current SWOT
- Large population of marketing practitioners
- Poor image
- Membership not known
- Poorly motivated staff
- Not seen as serious
- Large marketing population
- The new unification
- Poor leadership
1. Consolidate Unity: Significantly responsible for the current state of the institute, is the many years of factionalisation, internal struggle and bickering. Without unity, the institute cannot move forward and make progress. As President, achieving sustainable and lasting unity will be my top priority. Without unity, there can be no other meaningful plan or progress. I thank the outgoing President and current council members for their latest effort in unification. However, as we all know, there have been many short-lived unifications in the past. I will ensure, working with the council that this time it is for real. I will therefore take the following specific actions:
a. As part of the healing process, get the council and the general assembly to approve guaranteed seats in the council to the erstwhile factions for a time-limited period of 6 years. This inclusiveness is intended to heal whatever wounds are left and unite us as one big family.
b. I will seek a fairer spread of council seats among the various chapters to avoid any feelings of alienation.
c. I will personally in conjunction with the council make contact with all senior members who have left the institute in the wake of the challenges, to get them back to the family. We need all hands on deck in the rebuilding process.
d. As money issues have been part of the problems tearing the institute apart in the past, I will run a very financially transparent institute, ensuring that the audited accounts are published promptly as the law may require. The best practices in corporate financial governance will be followed. I have my honour at state and that of corporate Nigeria, and I promise not to disappoint.
2. Full Registration of all marketing professionals in Nigeria within 1 year:
a. 1 - 6 months - registration of professionals in multi-national organisations
b. 6 – 12 months – registration of professional in large/small organisations.
i. A structured approach will be adopted. We will identify the top companies in Nigeria and make personal contacts with their CEO to brief them on the mandatory requirements for all their members to be registered. Enforcement will be a last resort of no feed-back soon.
3. Code of Conduct:
Draw up a code for professional practice to be ratified by the general assembly of the Institute.
o It will not be sufficient to just register as a member. There is a need to drive professionalism aggressively. Adherence to the code of conduct will be enforced.
o Come up with conditions under which foreigners can practice marketing in Nigeria.
o Seek government approval for NIMN to be involved in the approval process of expatriate quotas for marketing jobs.
4. Befitting “Marketing House” that will serve as offices, library and learning centre and that will reflect the correct status of our institute. I will use my strong corporate Nigeria connections to push for support from the corporate giants in realizing the dream of a ‘marketing house’ that will be a source of pride to all marketing professionals.
Dear fellow professionals in marketing, the time for complaining or sitting at the fence is over. Please update your membership by paying all relevant fees up to date, including the codification which will allow you to vote for me to lead the change the institute badly needs. Plan to be at the election scheduled for 6th November in Kaduna.
Together, we can do this. This is our time, this is our moment. Let us cease it and Let the Sleeping Giant Arise.