Newly-elected President and Chairman of Council, National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), Mr. Idorenyen Enang, has pledged to improve collaboration between the institute and marketing professionals in the nation’s academia, so as to further reposition and enhance the quality of marketing practitioners in the country.
Enang made the call even as experts have suggested that there were huge opportunities for businesses which have suffered adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic to turn around their fortunes with the support of marketing practitioners.
Speaking in Lagos weekend after being sworn in as the Institute’s new president and chairman of council, he explained that one of the priorities of his administration would be to fully engage marketing professionals in the academia and ensure they contribute more to the capacity development programme of the institute.
While commending his predecessor, Mr. Tony Agenmonmen, on his efforts at repositioning the marketing institute, the new NIMN boss assured members of his commitment to continue where his predecessor stopped, while also vigorously ensuring that his pre-election promises were fulfilled.
Enang polled 306 votes to defeat his opponent, Mrs. Ifeoma Sheila Emasiana-Dike, who polled 36 votes. Mr. Chidi Nwamkpa and Dr. Peter Oriawote were also elected for the position of the two council seats.
According to the new NIMN boss, the support of every member, especially those in the academia had become imperative, if the institute is to take its pride of place among professional institutes in the country.
Congratulating the new president on his victory at the polls, the former president of the Institute, Agenmonmen, expressed his confidence in the new president’s ability to steer the ship of the marketing institute to a safe berth.
According to him, his administration had, in the past four years, been able to offset a substantial part of the N80 million debt it met, it was sworn in about four years ago.
He added that one of the achievements of his administration was to quickly address the waning equity of the institute, on assumption of office, adding that in the last four and a half years, his administration succeeded in repositioning the institute and re-established its waning brand.
Agenmonmen also expressed the delight that despite the torturous journey towards getting the Institute’s proclamation done by the supervising minister, as stipulated by the Act setting up the institute, his administration was able to get that done on 17th February, 2017, when the then Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, made the proclamation at his investiture.
He also stated that one of the legacies his administration would be leaving behind was the digitization of the Institute’s operating systems, an action, he noted, that mitigated the vagaries of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Institute’s operations.
The former president of the marketing institute stated that with the digitization of the Institute’s operations, it was able able to carry out an electronic voting that allowed more members to participate at deciding the choice of the Institute’s leadership, irrespective of their places of residents.
One of the highlights of the two-day event was the conferment of the institute’s Fellowship Awards on 26 members of the institute, and an Honorary Fellowship to the Group Executive, Retail Banking Group, South, First Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Nnaemeka Ejeh.
Earlier, at its Annual Marketing Conference tagged ‘SMEs in Post Covid-19 World’, Agenmonmen had argued that every professional, especially marketers, had a role to play, in the post Covid-19 world, if the nation’s small businesses were to survive.
According to him, the decision to have the theme of this year’s marketing conference focus on MSMEs, their roles in an economy, the clear and present danger which the COVID-19 pandemic had constituted to their survival, and what marketing practitioners could do to ensure their survival, was to bring this all-important issue to the front-burner.
“NIMN has made very conscious efforts to deepen the discussions around some topics that are germane to our growth and development as a nation,” he stated.
In his keynote address, the Guest Speaker, Mr. Alex Okoh, argued that though MSMEs are critical stimulators of economic growth, due to their potential to create jobs, he was, however, of the strong belief that inadequate access to the market, infrastructure challenges and other extraneous factors had all contributed to slow down their growth, and spike production cost.
While arguing that COVID-19 had affected small businesses and redefined individual and corporate ways of doing things, Okoh, who is also the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), believed there were huge opportunities for those businesses to turn around their fortunes, especially with the support of marketing practitioners.
For instance, he argued, marketing practitioners should be ready to support small businesses in the area of market orientation, which, he noted, is presently low.
“Every business needs publicity. Marketing allows the business to connect with the consumers. It boosts sales, helps the business to construct constant clientele base. That is why I believe it can play a major role in MSMEs’ survival in the country,” he added.
In her submission, the founder and Chief Responsibility Officer of Ruff ‘N’ Tumble, Mrs. Adenike Ogunlesi, stressed the need for business owners to be attuned to the essence of marketing to enable them leverage it for their businesses’ growth.
She also believed every business owner must understand the shift in the modern-day consumer’ behaviour, and must therefore design their products with such shifts in mind.
“For instance, it is no longer about demographics, it is about psychographics, that is what the consumers think,” she stated.
Another panelist, Dr. Muda Yusuf, called on marketing practitioners to help small enterprises scale up advocacy for the nation’s MSMEs, to enable the policy formulators know the true situation of things in the sector.
“I believe MSMEs in Nigeria are going through a lot. I think it has therefore become imperative for them to scale up advocacy, so that the policy formulators will not think that all is well, when all is actually not. I believe this is where the support of the marketing practitioners is needed,” the Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, stated.
During the Annual Marketing Conference, 26 members were inducted into the fellowship cadre and an honorary award to Mr. Nnaemeka Ejeh.
Some of the fellows that were awarded included Mr. Issac Okorafor, Mrs. Ifechukwu Maggie, Mr. Nasiru Ramon Olanrewaju, Mr. Goke Iyiola, Mrs. Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem, Mrs. Majekodunmi Abimbola and Mr. Rahman Mustapha.
Others are Mr Samson Oloruntofunmi Opaleye, Mrs Adedayo Aderugbo, Mrs Aneikan Essienette, Mr Fatunase Olumedi Abiodun Benson, Mr Valentine Halim and Mrs Hadiza Saidu Abubarka, among others.