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Unizik: Experts draw roadmap for business, media growth in Nigeria

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta

Business executives and media veterans have proposed models for business growth and survival amidst a turbulent business environment in Nigeria.

The experts made this known at a 2-day Workshop for Media and Business Managers, organised by Unizik Business School (UBS) in collaboration with Unizik FM Station.

The event, which took place at Ozo Anthony Okechukwu Conference Hall, UBS, was themed, ‘Sustainability models for media and business managers in a troubled economy’, Orient Daily reports. 

In a keynote speech, the Executive Director, Development Specs Academy, Dr. Okey Ikechukwu, said business managers should be dynamic to cope with the asymmetric world and global competition. 

According to Ikechukwu, managers in a troubled economy must consider the business environment, state of economy, quality of human capital, ideological orientation of the political leadership, and organizational value proposition for sustainability. 

“Effective management is not about being a good or bad person, a manager should constantly re-evaluate the vision and mission, as well as to ensure that he sets achievable goal”, he said.

Speaking on media, the guest speaker averred, “Media is a business enterprise first, and should be seen as such in the information dissemination process, otherwise, it will not survive the current economic reality. Media houses should not be run as a charitable organisation”, he said.

He then suggested that today’s managers need to be informed, efficient, versatile and globally competitive, while stressing that managers focus on customer, not advertisement and service delivery, not image-making.

Dr. Marcel Mbamalu, the CEO, Newstide Publications and Editor-in-chief, Prime Business Africa, in a presentation on ‘Effective business communication’, said for businesses to thrive in a troubled economy, communication must be taken seriously. He said both business and media managers should use both internal and external communication to build corporate image and brand identity.

While enjoining business and media managers to leverage technologies for effective communication, Mbamalu argued that it was only through effective communication that employees and management interact to reach organisational goals.

Also speaking, Jika Attoh, Director, West Africa Broadcast and Media Academy, who spoke on ‘Corporate public relations’, highlighted the interface and nexus between the media and business, averring that businesses would die without media. He said corporate organisations should know how to relate with employees and public.

Pharm Chris Ukachukwu, President of Onitsha Chambers of Commerce, while speaking on business leadership and succession planning, harped on the import of providing enabling environment for businesses, which, according to him, are the highest employers of labour. He said without good leadership, businesses would fail, urging business managers to endeavour to update their skills to stand any changes.

He stressed the importance of planning succession to avoid businesses going into extinction. He, however, regretted that most businesses in the South East fail to consider building succession planning, leading to collapse of many businesses.

Amarachi Theresa Okafor, CEO, Paint Divah Nigeria, spoke on ‘Innovation and growth in business’, and submitted that most businesses in Nigeria fail within the first five years of start off due to lack of new ideas and skills. She said business managers must think ahead of its clients, customers.

Earlier while declaring the event open, the Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Charles Esimone, extolled UBS-Unizik FM for putting together the workshop, and noted that “the world is today in a state of flux, dictated by knowledge explosion, rapidly changing technological advances, security challenges of various type, among others; these now compounded by the extant ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our country Nigeria, on its part, is beset with its own peculiar challenges buffeting the business environment: low level of business competences, corruption in high and low places; dearth of basic infrastructure, epileptic power supply, insecurity and policy somersaults”, Esimone, represented by Prof. Frederick Odibo, the deputy vice-chancellor (Academic), decried.

The UBS director, Prof. Emma Okoye, in a remark, described the workshop theme as apt considering the current times, adding, “In the face of these welter of challenges, sustaining businesses in Nigeria becomes a herculean task; throwing up the need for workshops of this type”.

Okoye said the workshop would equip participants and students with global business best practices that can frog-leap businesses that were hitherto struggling into profitability and human capital management. He thanked the university vice-chancellor and committee members for making the workshop a reality.

The Director, Unizik FM, Prof. Chinyere Okunna also hailed other partners that sponsored participants to the workshop, and expressed optimism that the purpose of the workshop would be actualized.

Dr. Chinedu Onyeizugbe, the deputy director, UBS and LOC chairman, had, in a vote of thanks, urged participants to practice all the models as proposed by the experts, to ensure the sustainability of their businesses in a troubled economy like Nigeria.

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