NewsExpress advert FCMB banner Fidelity bank banner NewsExpress advert
Jime @ NEPZA: Looking back; looking forward, By Simon Imobo-Tswam

By News Express on 26/01/2018

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 1,253

•NEPZA MD, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Jime
•NEPZA MD, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Jime

It is about nine months since Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Jime took office as the 7th Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA). And if the truth must be told, it has been nine or so months of action, innovation, eventfulness, pragmatism and unusual promise.

In truth, nine months may be too brief to make a comprehensive review of a tenured appointment of four years and come up with an objective score, but even Jime’s first steps can give Nigeria a peep into how his full tenure would look like. After all, the Chinese say “the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first steps.”

And, so far, Emmanuel Jime’s sure-footedness at NEPZA is a pointer that the thousand-mile destination is possible. Although he is best described by such adjectives as “cosmopolitan,” “urbane,” “cultured,” “articulate,” and “principled,” the reality that confronted him at NEPZA was beyond adjectival distinctions – it was a challenge that required pragmatic, hands-on experience; and it bothered on the urgent. But Jime had none!

A complete stranger to the executive side of governance, Jime’s handicap was compounded by the fact that, perhaps, like millions of other Nigerians, he knew next to nothing about NEPZA! The vibrant Jime was, nonetheless, decided on hitting the ground running. 

But how do you run if you do not know the destination? Therefore, between 13th April, 2017, when his appointment was announced, and April 19th, when he took over, the former Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly took time to “return to school” as he later admitted. 

According to him, “For a lawyer of many years standing, I found myself in the position of a student again: I had to return to school – learning everything from the scratch. But I was determined to know: from the files, from the books, from my interactions with my management team and so on. And the humility and the adult education, if I may call it that, paid off. Yes, I knew next to nothing about NEPZA, but I settled down quickly.” 

When he met with staff shortly upon assumption of office in May, to outline his vision, sue for cooperation and sketch innovative, staff welfare schemes, he confessed as much. It was at this maiden meeting that he gave NEPZA two of his quotes that have today become staff favourites: “If there is welfare, there would be no warfare” and “If there is celebration in the house, there would be no solidarity songs.”

But his one other quote that day also remains memorable: "We have our eyes on history. We have a clear vision of where we want to take NEPZA to. 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 models.

So, right from Day One, Jime took the initiative of connecting with staff of the Authority – and even going beyond the bounds of propriety to give out his private cell-phone numbers and his e-mail addresses!

Since one of the unique things about his service in the public space is his dynamism, Jime has brought to NEPZA all that dynamism can offer in its broadest sense i.e. dynamic quality, dynamic energy, a dynamic mission, a dynamic vision and a dynamic pace. And this dynamic side of his public stewardship became practical on April 25, 2017, when he began the first leg of his tour of Free Trade Zones (FTZs) across the country just six days after taking office. A man with a mission or on a mission is a missionary; and every true missionary must walk the field and do field-work!

And because of the preponderance of FTZs in the Lagos axis as well as the sheer volume of investments in the zones therein, Jime faced Lagos. It was after this that he went to Ogun, Cross River and Kano states on familiarisation-cum-fact- finding tours. 

Although Jime made indelible impressions on staff and the Zones operators, it was in Kano, at the Kano FTZ, that he made his biggest impression. That was on May 22, 2017.

After a management-led tour of the Zone, the MD repaired to the Conference room where he held a no-holds-barred meeting with staff. After Jime spoke and sat down for comments or questions, there was pin-drop silence: no one had a comment – not even the intractable unionists. The KFZ had never seen such openness or humility or simplicity since its inception! 

It was too much for both staff and management. When the Senior Manager, Research and Development, Hajia Aisha Iya Tahir, broke the ice, it was to change the narrative. She described Jime as “a man of extra-ordinary humility and simplicity,” adding: “Since power intoxicates even innocent people, our prayer for you is that God will preserve this innocence so that power doesn’t intoxicate you.”

It was partly in-between the tours, but especially after them, that Jime sat down with his management team to look at critical issues such as policy, direction, staff welfare, administrative/governance structure, inter-agency cooperation, building investor-confidence and planning for the future.

Being a politician, many thought the managing director would fancy the glamorous side of governance over and above the executive side. As such, there were pressures on him to meet the press and unveil his vision immediately upon assumption of office. But being more of a chief executive than a chartered politician, the NEPZA helmsman deferred meeting the Fourth Estate of the Realm to 8th December, 2017! By then, it was not just to unveil his vision – it was to showcase to the pressmen something concrete.

He told the crème of the media establishment at Newton Park Hotel: “Under my stewardship, we have so far been able to licence three new industrial parks i.e. Nasco Town Free Zone, which is valued $2,086 billion. It is estimated, at completion, to be able to provide 15,000 direct jobs.

“The second is Quit Aviation Services Free Zone, valued at $215million, and is estimated to provide jobs in their thousands. And there is: Tomaro Industrial Park, in Lagos, valued at $450million. It would also provide jobs running into the thousands.”

Today, the salutary outcomes of that back-to-school move are evident in the restructuring of the corporate governance structure, the injection of life into the free zones while licencing new ones, the rebuilding of investor-confidence, the introduction of innovative staff welfare schemes, the cementing of inter-agency relationships as well as a robust and sustained engagement with industry stakeholders on multi-levels. 

And it is the handsome hope of every NEPZA staff, and, indeed every industry stakeholder, that the new board would solidly stand by Jime and offer him the critically needed support in his repositioning, rebranding and re-invigorating agenda at NEPZA.  And with Engr. Oni’s rich, composite and cosmopolitan experience as a public officer, teacher, unionist, journalist engineer, bureaucrat, technocrat, grassroots mobiliser, entrepreneur, sales specialist, international consultant, former governor and honorific chieftaincy title-holder, the Asiwaju of Ifaki-Ekiti, the hope appears well-invested!

•Simon Imobo-Tswam, a public affairs commentator, writes from 2, Zambezi Crescent, Maitama Abuja.

Source News Express

Posted 26/01/2018 6:39:58 PM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+



REVEALED: 3 natural ways to get stronger erections, last 25minutes on bed, and increase manhood size without using drugs. Also, Natural Prostrate Enlargement Remedy.. Get In HERE...


You may also like...
Okowa swears-in DSIEC members, charges them to acquaint...

North to experience sunny and hazy weather today;...

Double Registration: Resign now, Governor Yahaya Bello told...

Apapa gridlocks will soon be over, FRSC assures...

No document burnt in Government House Accts Department...

MMIA airport road reconstruction: LASG implores motorists to...

Boko Haram launches fresh attack on Yobe, repelled...

Soludo, Utomi other Igbo leaders visit Nnamdi Kanu...

Why Buhari is losing public support, By Dr...

Worst in history: 14 UN peacekeepers killed in...

Visiting Cameroonian Army officer dies after running into...

Red alert over fleeing terrorists


Latest News 2019: Northern youths oppose Buhari, Atiku Ohanaeze demands regional govt., 6-year single term presidency, 5 VPs Police officer’s son charged with terrorist bomb plot pleads guilty Imo APGA blacklists Okorocha Return my stolen mandate, aspirant tells Delta PDP HURIWA to FG: Dissolve Presidential panel on public property 2019: Obasanjo, Afenifere moves to unseat Buhari Okonjo-Iweala warns against adoption of China-style economic model Oil and Gas association to build training institute in Bayelsa Technology: NCC reiterates commitment to funding research works Obi laments Nigeria’s poor spending on education Nigerian jumps to death in Johannesburg to evade arrest


Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (345,227 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (341,891 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (273,334 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (224,711 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (205,162 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (202,724 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (176,896 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (159,200 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (150,166 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (143,390 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (139,985 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (132,376 views)


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (41) Business & Economy (3,145) Business Verdict (43) Columnists (853) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (497) Features (597) Global Business Monitor (273) International (1,968) Interview (149) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (120) News (35,493) Opinion (957) Pidgin (10) Politics (5,040) Religion (743) Sports (1,516) Stock Watch (29) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update


CBN banner

Firstmobile banner




Boko Haram commanders surrender


APO Group Partner




REVEALED: 3 natural ways to get stronger erections, last 25minutes on bed, and increase manhood size without using drugs. Also, Natural Prostrate Enlargement Remedy.. Get In HERE...

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera