documentation, and financial and stakeholder management,” says Mr. Abitogun.
If project managers could upgrade their skills in
those areas, they could help sponsors steer organizations better.
“Most key stakeholders, especially in the public sector, do not have the knowledge necessary to deliver
on projects,” Mr. Abitogun says. “Some don’t know
what they want to achieve on a project—they want the
project because they think it’s ‘nice to have.’ Project
managers will need stakeholder management skills
to carry all parties along, especially in a country with
diverse cultural backgrounds.”
Project professionals also
might need to spend time
educating the country about
the profession—largely by
being on the ground advocating for themselves and the
value of project management.
“People do not see the benefits in the adoption of standard
project management practice
when implementing projects.
Some see it as a waste of time
and effort,” Mr. Abitogun says.
“There is interest in project
management from the newer
generation in the private sec-
tor, because they understand and have the education.
The older generations, the people in the public sector,
have yet to see value in project management.”
Once Nigeria fully appreciates the benefits of
project management, the country will be primed
to flourish—and broaden its project horizons, Mr.
Adebajo says. “While it’s true that there are many
challenges to doing business here, on balance things
can only get better with the expected growth rate,”
he says. “With the change that the new government
is promoting, it’s widely accepted that things will
get much better. It is clear that the country has what
it takes to really take off.” PM
PROJECT HORIZON There’s more
NEX T-GEN ENERGY SOURCES
In an attempt to increase Nigeria’s power
generation capacity, the United Nations
Industrial Development Organization
announced in September it would spend
US$2.6 billion for the development of
small hydropower plants in Nigeria. About
20 such plants could be built as part of
A 700-MW hydroelectric
project in Zungeru, Nigeria
true that there
can only get
—Kunle Adebajo, Ove Arup
& Partners Nigeria Ltd.,