The Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Hon. Emmanuel Jime, yesterday broke with tradition by looking inwards and declaring the late Prof. Dora Akunyili and Dr. Ernest Ndukwe his leadership models.
Jime made the declaration durng his maiden meeting with the management and staff of the Authority, noting that public office is an opportunity for public service, and anything short of that should not be accepted by Nigerians.
Both the late Akunyili and Ndukwe are adjudged by Nigerians to have left lasting impressions at National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) respectively where they served as chief executive officers.
According to a press statement signed by the Head, Corporate Communications of NEPZA, Simon Imobo-Tswam, the Managing Director said, “We have our eyes on history. We have a clear vision of where we want to take NEPZA. We won’t be here forever, but while we are here, we intend to transform this place; we plan to make a positive difference. And we are looking at models right here: models like Dora Akunyili, Ernest Ndukwe etc, and their salutary or transformational leadership.
“So, the challenge before every staff is to key into this transformational vision, to become marketers of NEPZA and her mandate at our individual levels. We need to explain our mission and mandate to ourselves. In effect, we are not only the creators, facilitators, regulators of the Free Zones concept; we are also marketers in our own rights.”
Jime, who reiterated commitment to staff welfare, further said: “I am excited that all of you are excited and have welcomed me warmly. But it would be naïve of me to think NEPZA can incentivise investors without incentivising staff. Once again, I assure you that a package of incentives is coming.”
According to him, “There is a report before me right now, which I am studying. I could have announced to you right now that this is your new package of incentives, but we want to do things right. This is why I am looking at the big picture, and seeking clarifications here and there.”
On his background as an outsider to the civil service protocols, Jime said the likely drawbacks notwithstanding, it confers on him the advantage of being guided by the rule of law and due process rather than sentiments.
He sued for the cooperation of all and promised to run an open-door policy where the staff could make suggestions via the Suggestion Box or the official e-mail.