The university system should be an incubator for inculcating productivity mindset in young Nigerians for the emergence of a creative economy, the Director General of National Productivity Centre (NPC), Dr Kashim Akor has said.
Receiving an honorary doctorate award from the Gregory University Uturu, Abia State, Dr Akor stated that the award was a call to the NPC as an agency of government to render more credible services to the country.
He said: “The award of honorary doctorate degree to me was a call to render greater service to my country. To whom much is given, much is expected. In productivity, apart from building skills and competencies, building productivity mindset in Nigerians, there is motivation. I must explain that motivation is not only in monetary terms, motivation has to do more with recognition. There are millions of Nigerians that are equally worthy of the award, but the NPC was chosen. That means that the world recognises what we are doing at the Centre and has given me this award to ginger me and my entire team at the Centre to achieve even more. We are challenged to improve on our current achievements. Receiving the award means the whole team has embraced the challenge. I am sure the NPC now knows we cannot disappoint Nigerians that recognise what we are doing.”
The NPC chief argued that the school environment is where the country can begin to inculcate the culture of productivity, saying, “when youths embrace productivity early in life, they would not depart from it when they grow up. The creativity of youths is what the Nigerian economy needs to dominate the West African sub-region and the continent at large.”
He submitted that productivity, as a concept is not difficult to understand within the university system.
“Productivity is multifaceted and multi-disciplinary. Every segment of the society needs to be productive. Because it has to do with efficient and effective management of resources, it is imperative that in every sector, there must be ways and means of enhancing productivity.
“In an academic environment, if a lecturer cannot give his best to the student, such lecturer is not productive. The quality of lectures and intellectual nuances with which it is delivered should be such that can improve the quality of education students receive. The academic environment is a moulder of character. Beyond inbuilding skills and competences, the moulding of a character that continually seeks improvement of performance should be the focus of the university system. The first place that productivity should be enhanced is the university environment.”
He maintained that as the Director General of the Centre, his main goal is to build a productivity mindset in Nigerians.
“As the DG of the Centre, I am not overtly concerned about ratio of output over input, which is one of the definitions of productivity, my goal is to develop a productivity mindset in Nigerians. A mindset that eventually results in the building of productivity culture in the society.”
By the time we have that mindset, there will be an inner urge to strive for more excellence in all we do. We will realise that no matter how excellent we are doing in our field, there is always a room for improvement. Such thinking will lead to more innovation and creativity of the highest quality that will always push us to improve more and more. So, the message of continuous improvement in our life is key and the place to start is the school environment.”
He stressed that the university system is an environment where those in leadership positions can showcase how well they can maximise the little resources they are given.
He added: “The resources will never be enough, but a productive leadership can maximise the little to achieve great milestone.
“Some people try to equate productivity with hard work. That comparism is wrong. Productivity means smart work. It is a situation where working smart can give maximum result. In other words, emphasis is on the quality of the outcome and not on the efforts that is put into an endeavour.”
The university said Akor was recognised for his dedication to duty, proactiveness and pushing productivity frontiers in national discourse.