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8 Years Of Lasting Legacy, The Kabir Usman Story As DG Of CMD



As any other government agency established the Centre for Management Development (CMD), had its establishment in 1973, but was backed up by law with Act No 51 of 1976.

CMD is a parastatal of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning which has the responsibility of driving the vision, plans and programmes of the Federal Government, with its core values as knowledge, integrity, professionalism and competence.

The Centre’s operation is from its Head Office in Abuja including zones located in the six geopolitical zones of the country.

It has had different heads appointed by the President of the country to be in charge of its affairs and ensuring it delivers according to its statutory mandate towards national development.

Being an organization with core focus on regulation of standards, development of managerial manpower for the country and a broad range of skills to enhance the quality of management and leadership for the attainment of national economic goals has been evolving in leadership approach to give its best in this regard.

The Centre has also been actively involved in building structures for the enhancement of professional standards, effective management of our enterprises and attainment of our development goals.

As part of its institution building role, the Centre has facilitated the establishment of a number of professional associations with a view to raising the standards and quality of management practice in Nigeria. The bodies include: the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria (IMCON), Nigerian Association of Management Consultants (NAMCON), the Nigerian Institute of Marketing (NIMARK) and the Nigerian Institute of Training and Development (NITAD).

CMD has also carried out a number of management research and consultancy assignments to enhance the quality of management practice and to achieve operational efficiency of its client organizations. The Centre has undertaken consultancy assignments in organizational development, restructuring, job evaluation, performance appraisal, training needs identification and corporate reengineering of small, medium and large scale public and private enterprises.

Collaboration is a key to the delivery of its services. Accordingly, the Centre has, over the years, collaborated and worked with a large number of national institutions, including the Office of Head of Civil Service of the Federation, international donors, West African Management Development Institutes, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Ford Foundation, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). These collaborations have not only deepened its expertise but also raised the profile of the Centre thereby granting it the opportunity to provide services to varied clientele both within and outside the country.

In line with the Federal Government’s policy on rationalisation of the Public Service, the Centre was merged with the National Centre for Economic Management and Administration (NCEMA) in 2004. The merger was aimed at providing synergy and enhancing the capacity of the two institutions, fused into one, to provide high-end capacity building and professional services.

As a parastatal of the National Planning Commission, which has responsibility for driving the vision, plans and programmes of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Centre has enthusiastically identified with the key agenda of government and the private sector and has taken measures to enhance its competence in the performance of its functions.

As an agency saddled with such enormity of responsibility to build quality manpower to carry out implementation of government policies, programmes and projects, the need to appoint somebody who is experienced and a high level professional becomes a major consideration.

Based on this on February 15, 2010, former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan appointed Dr Kabir Usman, as Director General of CMD.

After Usman’s appointment there was a daunting task for him to take the centre to a new level based on the policies and programmes of that administration. Actually, he brought to bear his professionalism and high sense of service delivery in his first term of four years.

With his amazing performance and results achieved former President Jonathan did not hesitate to reappoint him in 2014 as DG of CMD for another four years.

The CMD being a sensitive organization and regulator of institutes that trains manpower he consolidated on his first tenure achievement, whereby his passion for human resource management and capacity building made him to focus on professionalism and service delivery as strategic values to achieve the centre’s mandate.

He conducted ‘Skill Audit and Analysis’ for all staff in the agency, and this added a boost to service delivery, discipline and productivity.

In his wisdom and vision, he was able to tackle the issue of CMD vs NCEMA after the merger of the two agencies, and all differences were laid to rest and things took shape for the betterment of the service.

He thought it wise at a certain time to ensure quality service delivery by his staff he took the initiative to increase the number of departments from five to eight in the agency.

Following the trend of global work environment and speedy service delivery to meet the demands of the people they serve he fast tracked the completion on the construction of digital center in Lagos, which he made sure it was well furnished.

Being a man who does not toy with human resource development deemed it necessary to renovate the training, library and administrative complex in 2010, and provided Air Conditioners for it in order for personnel to concentrate and get the best during trainings at the complex.

Under his leadership for the centre he was able to mobilize funds to acquire a befitting office block for the agency in Abuja at N250 million, today the value of that building goes for over N1.3 billion, and now they do not spend public resources on rent, rather have saved the government and Nigerians millions of Naira. Meanwhile, relocation of the agency’s corporate headquarters to Abuja had two failed attempts by his predecessors.

With his leadership as DG the centre was able to secure land in Kano, Jigawa, and Gombe States worth billions of Naira. Akwa Ibom, Imo and Oko are showing commitment to follow suit.

His words: “We have regained our corporate headquarters land in Abuja at Central Business District (CBD), which worth N1.5 billion. We set up PPP Process to build it.

“When I started the budget and releases were very low but now with support of my ministers in 2017, if you visit CMD in the last three months you will see the difference.”

On human capacity building he has this to say, “We sent over 100 staff to overseas training in Ghana, China, Japan, United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA), India, Kenya, Dubai, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and Ethiopia. We also sent 48 staff on post-graduate programmes both locally and abroad.

“We have recruited over 200 staff but over 300 if outsource staff are included. We have trained over 300 of our staff as certified management consultants. Over 1, 000 management consultants and 200 firms are accredited by giving them license to practice for five years which is renewable.

“On promotion, advancement and conversation of staff become an annual event over 400 staff were promoted.

“Also we trained over 40, 000 participants from the office of Head of Service of the Federation, and conducted impact assessment for over 2,000 participants.”

Under his tenure he was able to establish fully six zonal offices in Uyo, Ibadan, Owerri, Kano, Gombe and Makurdi for seamless service delivery to all parts of the country, which in addition provided project vehicles to all zonal offices.

The outgoing DG also disclosed that the centre under his leadership was able to perform its statutory functions.

“We conducted TNA for all the 36 states of the federation plus FCT to identify skills gaps and shortage of skilled manpower. We conducted Needs Assessment Survey for the computation of state GDP.

“We introduced collaboration and partnership with many organizations both locally and internationally including ASCON, NISS, PSIN, ACBP, GIMPA Ghana and U.K.

“We introduced BKSB as a competency based assessment tool. We developed both strategic and implementation plans for the Centre as a regulatory body. We regulate Management Consultants, their firms and MDIs across the country.

According to him CMD operates like CBN as it relates to commercial banks, and also under his leadership the website of CMD has revamped and has heavy traffic. The Centre also has been into publication of newsletters, bulletin, accreditation handbook, research and consultancy guide.

He also stated over 200 staff were appointed, and in the areas promotion, advancement and conversion, confirmation of staff was over 600; number of staff disciplined were 2; staff suspended were 2; staff dismissed none.

“Staff retirement is in accordance to the extant rule of 60 years of age, 35 years of service or served as a director for 8 years as of then.

“As a regulatory agency of government this is the rule for us and we operated and are guided by such rule. The issue of 65 retirement age in the Centre is now addressed by the Head of Service as directed by our minister.

“As regards to our five staff retired in 2006 by my former colleagues from Ibadan, the matter is still in court. Remember that I assumed office in 2010.”

In his testimony of meritorious service the former CMD boss said, “I worked with three Presidents, three Vice Presidents, five ministers, six Heads of Service of the Federation, five SGFs, six permanent secretaries in MBNP and over 20 directors in CMD with some in acting capacity and over 600 staff during my eight years tenure.

“I also worked with three governors and deputy governors and six senators from my state in Kano.”




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