Femi Omoniyi, a United States-based Nigerian project consultant, recently launched a book on procrastination to wide acclaim in the US. In this interview with Samuel Ajayi, Omoniyi spoke on why he wrote the book and how he feels procrastination is a demon many corporate big guns are trying to fight.
Can you tell us who Femi Omoniyi is?
Like you do know, I am Femi Omoniyi, an Ijesa man from Ilesha, South-west Nigeria. I spent most of my adult life in Lagos and schooled in there too. I trained as a builder and licensed as a chattered builder in Nigeria in addition to a Master degree in business administration. I practiced for 25 years in Nigeria in all areas of building construction, project management and maintenance. Some of my projects successfully executed in Nigeria are as follow: Uba -Ibafo, Intercontinental Bank building Iddo, Oceanic Bank, Igbokoda, Emerald Hostel, University of Lagos, Multi-purpose Hall and table tennis section, Lagos Country Club, Arv Clinic of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Tuberculous Centre of the University of Port-Harcourt, Opthalmology Building, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife and others too numerous to mention. In the social circle, I belong to Ikoyi Club 1938, Island club, Lions Club of Maryland and Ilesa Social Elite.
I moved to the United States of America about six years ago to create a global outlook for self, family and professional life.
You are a projects person. How did you make foray into book writing?
As a builder and project manager, the very first thing I discovered in my professional life were delays, cost overruns, fluctuations and sometimes project abandonment. This got me thinking and I surreptitiously started carrying out research on projects failure in Nigeria and other parts of the world. And I discovered beneath this is time management. You cannot discuss procrastination in isolation of time management. This led me into book writing on this critical subject.
What now inspired this book you just wrote: Procrastination: the Silent Killer of Dreams?
The flow is natural. In addition to a curious mind, I love to be seen as a trail blazer and writing is my second nature and contribution to knowledge is the center of my fulcrum in life.
I am aware that it took you so long also to finish the book. Were you also battling the procrastination demon?
Yes, like every other person, I am also a work in progress. It took me several years to put my thoughts together in a book. I fought procrastination ferociously to get this book published. At every point in life, there is always an obstacle and the ability to surmount them is what makes a man successful.
The publishing environment in the United States is very competitive though lucrative. As a foreigner, how do you intend to deal with the expected resentment from a typically but suppressed xenophobic and racial society?
I must confess it was a big battle, but I am grateful to all, for the support, encouragement and objective criticism that ultimately galvanised the actualisation of this lofty dream. However, I don’t think about these predjudices and I want to differ a little. In every society, resentment is an integral part of growth; it is multi-faceted and real. How you manage it is a function of what to expect on the long run. Any good product will sell any day anywhere in the world. Some of these thoughts are stereotyping and do not exist in reality.
And how has the response been?
The response so far has been very encouraging here in the USA and can only get better.
When is the book expected in Nigeria?
In the next few weeks we should be rolling out in Nigeria. Discussions are currently going on with some marketing companies.
And how do you handle the Nigerian market considering piracy issues?
You see, because of the weak legislation against piracy and the jaundiced legal system, I must admit I am very concerned. However, I am working with some industry practitioners to nip this in the bud. We are also working with some companies with existing structures to tackle piracy. I am glad to inform you that United Kingdom is warming up to take a large consignment of this book and also Republic of Ireland and Canada too. In the near future, the book will be translated into Chinese and Hindu languages in view of the huge Asian market.
Learnt you are working on another book. How true is this?
My next book is on Attitude and should be released by the end of 2019. The point here is time management is at the bottom of every endeavor, there will always be time to do whatever you are determined to do.
In the midst of all this, how do you unwind?
I am a member of Sterling Golf Club and Country Club here in Houston. I play golf often and hang out with friends frequently. A typical Lagos boy in America.