Cadbury Nigeria pledges support for alumni association
By Nsikan Ikpe
Elder statesman, Dr Christopher Kolade has decried the deepening rot in Nigerian National life and tasked members of the newly inaugurated Cadbury Nigeria Alumni Association to ensure that they make a critical difference in this state of affairs.
This charge is coming even as the current management of the leading FMCG marketer, Cadbury Nigeria Plc has promised abiding support for the activities of the Cadbury Nigeria Alumni Association, a union representing its former employees.
Cadbury Nigeria Plc managing director, Mr Muhammed Amir Shamsi gave the assurance on Wednesday, September 28 at the first public lecture of the association.
At the event, Kolade, a former chairman, managing director and director of administration of the firm delivered the lecture on “The Pursuit of Excellence: A commitment to consistent best practices.” The event took place at the hall of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI.
The Corporate and governmental affairs director of Cadbury Nigeria, Mr Bala Yesufu., who represented the Chief Executive, said the company would continually support the group as it upheld the values of the enterprise.
Mr Lampe Omoyele, managing director of 141 Worldwide Advertising and Co-Creator, Lucent Consulting Company, is President of the Association while Mr Bode Shogo is chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Omoyele said the mission of CNAA is “the shared mission of the pursuit of excellence in every sphere of endeavour”.
The CNAA Annual Lecture, he added, is “ a pioneering alumni contribution to stimulate intellectual discourse on issues of corporate and national interest and drive the pursuit of excellence in individual, corporate, and national endeavour”.
CNAA christened the lecture The Christopher Kolade Annual Lecture at the end of Dr Kolade’s presentation.
In his speech, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the United Kingdom called on professionals to continually pursue excellence, noting that the Creator has conditioned humans to pursue excellence and it is “sub-normal” to seek lower standards.
Kolade was happy that various groups had embraced the pursuit of excellence, his rallying cry in his days as chief executive of Cadbury Nigeria. He stated, “Indeed, I hold the firm view that the surest way of combating and defeating bad behaviour in our community is to strengthen good behaviour in all the places where we find it.”
He urged members of CNAA and all citizens to play a more active role and engage in issues affecting their communities, including politics. He affirmed that excellence has moral and practical applications as well as stakeholding, being persons or entities who benefit or suffer from the practice of excellence or lack thereof.
Kolade decried the regression in various areas of national life in Nigeria and a departure from the pursuit of excellence in public life. He stated, “Today we seem to be going through experiences that challenge our claim to excellence. Look wherever you like in our nation, and the pursuit of excellence seems to have lost much steam. How do we explain the prevalence of divisive, tension-generating rhetoric that some have labelled hate-speech? How has it become a regular occurrence for cattle rearers to drive their animals into private farmlands, and even into school classrooms, where they interrupt the education of our children and put the economy of the nation in jeopardy? Why are we not disturbed that, in competing with one another in the arena of good governance, one former President gleefully informs us, through the media, that corruption in the time of his successor has become far worse than it was in his time?”
He blamed “self-induced confusion” for the poor results. “We know what a performance of excellence should look like. We even make the right provision in our Constitution for people to perform excellently. Our National Anthem and National Pledge provide strong reminders of the fact that we need the help of Almighty God if we are to be successful. We do a great deal to frustrate the very wise provisions that we have made”, the former Director General of Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation stated.