Kemebradikumo Pondei

The NDDC acting managing director is a committed professional. He should be encouraged to finish the work he started, writes Dumbo Hinks

Results-focused managers know that execution is everything, they do not always wait on the side-lines or try to leverage excuses to dodge results or expectations; they are driven by results, they enjoy making progress, and making it count when it mattered.

The Cheshire Cat, a fictional cat popularised by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, often said that it really does not matter which road you take if you do not know where you are going; in other words, no one can actually measure results when you do not know what you want to achieve or working at.

Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, is focused on results and has so far lived that out at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) where he just began to head, which is why it is easier to measure his outputs in the short time he has led. Pondei came prepared for the job he was given, and he immediately went about it.

Since he became the Managing Director of the regional interventionist agency, Pondei, a fine professional whose distinguishing character in public service is well-documented, has gone about living out the long-held principle of achievers that, ‘execution is everything’.

In my assessment of Pondei’s time so far at the NDDC, I get the profound impression that he came prepared and conceivably chose to lead the commission using the result-based management (RBM) approach. When you choose to lead with the RBM model, you essentially start with a clear understanding of what you want to do and how you want to do it. You also focus resources – time, money, talent and others, on the right tasks.

With RBM approach, you also raise corporate loyalty, which is key to reducing inefficiencies, expose weak links that could jeopardise goals, and galvanise talents that would deliver results. Pondei, a staunch go-getter knows this and has used it wisely to reposition the NDDC. He should be allowed to finish the process he started; the NDDC and Nigeria will be better for it.

The NDDC was established as a successor to the OMPADEC in 1999 but it had never operated from its own building. For all the years that the NDDC has existed – about 20 years now, it has done all its businesses from a rented location; a practice that showed the commission’s lack of locational stability. Pondei has since changed that inexcusable tradition.

Universally, locational stability is recognised as germane to accomplishing institutional efficiency which is diverse. For the 20 years that the NDDC has existed, it paid rents on 167 Aba Road Port Harcourt which housed its operations. All its previous managers were aloof to completing its permanent operational base located on Eastern By-Pass, Port Harcourt and moving its operations there. Pondei, who however recognised the value an owned headquarter building could bring to the operations of an entity, has however made this happen. He has created a new path for the commission to now follow.

Within few months after resuming at the NDDC, Pondei successfully moved its operations away from a rented to a permanent location. By this, he clearly brought to the commission the geographical stability it has always lacked but needed to serve communities and people in Niger Delta well above what they were getting.

Such locational stability as a matter of fact, offers the NDDC an opportunity to build-up its community attachment and local knowledge; I am sure this pleases the people of the region. Indeed, anyone who recognises the worth of this would also appreciate Pondei’s creative use of resources and time to accomplish what many had failed to do in 20 years.

I recognise that the 13-floor NDDC building isn’t fully furnished yet – there are bits of finishing touches left to make it a one-stop edifice housing medical facilities, malls, banks and offices amongst others, but I am also delighted that Pondei, a serial achiever who delivers tested results on responsibilities he is given, was emphatic in stating his commitment to complete the headquarter building soonest.

As a professional with credible track records, Pondei realises that to fully live out its mandate, the NDDC has to cut such wasteful opportunities as rents on properties, create a stable working atmosphere, and make the most of its resources; such strategic thinking are what serial achievers do all the time to bring results that matter.

Managers who focus on results are often with good track records of consistently achieving high outputs. They are always mentally oriented to continuously push for the finish line on any course they take while setting for themselves and their team ambitious goals.

In Pondei, the federal government has found an ethically strong and committed manager for the NDDC who should be encouraged to push forward to the finish line on the works he has started.

Clearly, what Pondei has done with the completion of the headquarter building of the commission on one hand is to provide clear and succinct direction, build sustainable productivity momentum for an agency which has had its share of bad growth, and inspire confidence in leadership and achievability of the goals of the NDDC.

Pondei is a fine manager; he deserves to stay on this job to bring good times to the NDDC for the first time since its setting up. The federal government should stay on the same lane with him.

Hinks, a businessman, wrote from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State