The Group Chief Human Resource Officer, Dangote Cement Plc, Dr Musa Rabiu, who is aspiring to be the President of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, in this interview speaks about plans for the institute if elected in an election which holds next Tuesday. Obinna Chima presents the excerpts:
How will you rate HR professionals in Nigeria?
There are excellent HR professionals in Nigeria who over the years have developed and acquired professional skills. However, there are HR practitioners who are not professionals and this type can be rated as practising below the minimum professional standard. I expect every practitioner to have acquired the CIPM HRPL to practise as a professional. Any practitioner who is not a professional is like a quack and CIPM does not tolerate quackery.
One of the challenges facing managers today is employing personnel with the right skills. How does this affect productivity in the workplace generally?
The HR professional is the key facilitator of productivity in the organisation. This is because the recruitment of people for the organization involves the attraction of talents (i.e skills set) and the application of the right skill sets creates and delivers value in the organisation irrespective of the industry. When the right skills set are not hired then productivity which leads to value creation cannot be achieved. The application of the right skills set which is underpinned by relevant knowledge, attitude and behaviour provide basis for productivity at the workplace. The right skills should cover the core discipline, inter discipline and leadership competencies and these should be available at the right time and place for effective organisational performance.
How do you think HR professionals can meet up with the rising pace of technology adoption?
Technology is a critical enabler for the effective use of other factors of production such as people, money, machines and materials. Since people at workplace create the value in production it is imperative that the HR professional understands the application technology relevant to his job role in the organisation. Consequently, the HR professional has to be up to date on the skills required for the deployment and use of technology to enable the entire HRM value chain (ie attraction, recruitment, performance management, compensation and benefits, employees and industrial relations). In the last 50 years, the HR profession globally has evolved from Personnel Management to HRM then to Strategic HRM and now Human Capital Management. The period coincided with transition from analogue technology to digital technology. We are in the era of paperless office management, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and making sense of big data for people management in the organisation. The HR professional is expected to be equipped (e.g ICT literacy) in the current HCM phase to carry out HR analytics and meet the expectations of the young workers (i.e Millennials) at the work place.
What has been the contribution of the CIPM to Nigeria’s development over the years?
CIPM since its establishment 50 years ago has provided a common platform for all HR practitioners desiring for professional excellence to congregate to address HRM issues in Nigeria which has been an inspiration to other countries in Africa. It is a Chartered Institute empowered by law to regulate the HRM practice in Nigeria. CIPM has over 12,000 members across sectors of the Nigeria economy and abroad. These members have been adding value in their organisations to improve people management. The institute has contributed in the training of federal public servants at directorate cadre level. It has been contributing on HRM matters at the federal government quarterly review meeting and it is an active member of the National Employment Council. CIPM has provided advice on the setting of the minimum wage in the last 10 years.
Why are you aspiring to be the president of the institute?
I am aspiring to be the next President of CIPM to serve our members and the country. This has been my motivation since 1994 when I joined the Institute. I was Chairman of Delta State Branch 20 years ago and Registrar/ CEO of the Institute about 10 years (2008-2010). Also, I was an elected Council member about 9 years ago and Chairman of the Management of National Unemployment Challenge (MNUC) Committee. These are in addition to my membership of Strategic Planning and Implementation Committee, Public Policy Advocacy Committee and Board of Fellows of the Institute. It is all about service and in each of the assignments I left a track record of excellent achievements.
What Should members expect from you if elected by president?
So, I am seeking the mandate of the distinguished members of the institute to cap my service through election as the President of the Institute on April 30 2019. I will focus on the three strategic areas namely governance, brand and capacity building. Under governance, I will strengthen the effectiveness of the Governing Council and Branches; empower the branches to extend and consolidate their footprint and finally promote membership diversity in Committees of Council. Under branding, I will improve our membership value proposition, make more effective the regulatory role of the Institute and position the Institute as an emerging HRM Thought Leadership platform in Africa. Finally, capacity building efforts will target employees at the secretariat to improve both executive and administrative skills set. I will enhance the current mandatory continuous professional education (MCPE) for our members with particular focus on equipping the next generation of leaders (ie the Millennials) who will take the baton of leadership from us. I need the support of all council members to succeed in these areas. Please all CIPM members should cast their ballot for me as the next President of CIPM.