By Tunji Faleye
Mr. Tony Agenmonmen, former Senior Strategy Manager at Nigerian Breweries Plc recently won the election to become the new president of National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the institute in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The emergence of Agenmonmen, former first vice president of the institute, as president became a fait accompli following the sudden withdrawal of his only opponent, Dr. Rotimi Olaniyan, Chief Executive Officer of Advantage and President of Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN), from the election.
Olaniyan’s withdrawal left Agenmonmen as the only candidate in the race for the presidency, thus, the election became a mere formality. So, it was not a surprise when Agenmnomen was declared a winner at the Premier Hotel venue of the election in Ibadan.
Those on the ground said the withdrawal of Olaniyan was met with relief and excitement from the camp of Agenmonmen due to the tension and massive politicking that the election had generated since the beginning of the AGM.
Now that Agenmonmen has assumed the leadership position in the Institute, the next step is for him to show that he is capable of shouldering the responsibilities of the office bestowed on him. As a way of replicating the trust and support he enjoyed from the members of the institute, it is hoped that Agenmonmen, a veteran of 32 years in the marketing profession and an author, will settle down and do the needful to move the association forward.
Though he has promised to ensure that the institute drives professionalism in a bid to make certain that there are qualified marketers available to work on brands, the task before the new president and chairman of Council of the institute is formidable. He will need more than mere marketing prowess to drive the institute to greatness.
For instance, in spite of the unity which the institute currently enjoys, he will also need to build on such unity and bring ‘bystanders’ who have not deemed it fit to join the institute in to the fold. He also needs to build on the foundation laid by former President Mr. Ganiyu Koledoye who successfully settled a long-time crisis that engulfed the institute when two belligerent factions were laying claim to the control of regulating the marketing profession in the country.
The National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria was established through the Act of Parliament No. 25 which came into effect in July 2003. Hitherto, two professional bodies, the Nigeria Marketing Association (NIMARK) and the Chartered Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (CIMN) had existed as separate professional bodies competing for membership and authority to regulate the practice of marketing profession in Nigeria. But with frantic efforts and tireless dedication of the elders in the institute, the crisis was settled and both NIMARK and CIMN merged to become NIMN.
The result of this unity made NIMN to be saddled with the responsibility of regulating the marketing profession in Nigeria. This includes the authority to determine persons who are qualified to be called marketers and the standards of knowledge and skills required by persons seeking to become members of the marketing profession.
Also, as the new president, he needs to address the issue of relegation of qualified Nigerian marketers to the background in spite of their qualifications and the wherewithal to rise to the position of marketing director in multinationals.
Unfortunately, now that the NIMN enjoys a good level of unity among the members, the institute is faced with the task of increasing the number of enrolment as participation in examinations seemed to have dropped. The new administration has to address this and find a way of increasing the number of enrolment into the institute.
As we speak, NIMN now has spread to cover the country with virtually all parts of the country are involved in the activities of the institute. With offices in Enugu, Kano and Sokoto, among others, the institute should be able to carry out its functions smoothly and make the marketing profession attractive to the young ones across the length and breadth of the country.
Beyond that, the administration of Koledoye succeeded in bringing the academia on board as the NIMN has enabled them to play strategic roles in the day-to-day activities of the institute. Also, NIMN has been able to put in place processes that will see to the smooth transition of power from one administration to another with an electoral process. The electoral committee has a responsibility to guarantee a smooth process devoid of the hooliganism and tantrums that characterized past elections.
Agenmonmen and his executive members need to emphasise professionalism and make sure that members conduct themselves within the set rules as laid down by the institute. The era of gross indiscipline should be over, and members should know that NIMN would never condone any act of ineptitude and moral failure that can put the name of the NIMN into disrepute.
While some members are of the opinion that the present secretariat belittles the NIMN brand, many others believe that rebranding the institute will be all it requires to set it on the path of greatness. It is also the belief of stakeholders and industry watchers that the election of Agenmonmen as the new President and Chairman of Council of the institute should provide a lasting solution to many challenges that NIMN has been passing through over the years.