Nnadi Fidelis: Living Profile Of Sound Technocrat

By Onyekachi C Ugwu

The earth is the theatre of illustrious and resourceful men and women while all times are the millennium of their glory. It then follows that in the time of turbulence and distress, as well as that of prosperity and boom, illustrious and resourceful men are in want to bring to bear those stellar ideas and dexterity that positively promote and shape societal lives and wellbeing.

Even before Plato conceived the philosopher-king, people yearned for clever, dispassionate, principled and resourceful men and women with clear vision and insight, and deeply clothed in integrity. It is understandable that when the leaders in government and/or businesses needed to cause greater changes and paradigm shifts, turning to the wisdom and expertise of technocrats is particularly alluring.

A technocrat is a technically skilled elite with expansive know-how in management who is best described as a square peg in a square hole or a round peg in a round hole.

Uche Nnadi showed great skills in dealing with the core mandate of his office, effortlessly pleasing his principal, and not in any way being found wanting of quality service. His appointment and oath of office was his armament and baptism that spurred him. It is therefore no mistake to say that the goal of an intelligent life and rational judgment is to be occupied uninterruptedly with those objects to which the natural reason is chiefly and primarily adapted, and to delight unceasingly in the contemplation of greater services to humanity, notwithstanding that the majority of men, because they are affected too passionately and too violently by things below, pass through life without attaining this object. This separates extraordinary men and women from the rest of the pack.

Born in the year 1960, precisely on May 7th, Uche’s life is marked by quality imprimaturs in both education and public service. A doctoral student of Project Management of the University of Nigeria, having already a B.Sc in Management and MBA Marketing, he first worked with a multi-national oil marketing company (AGIP Nigeria Plc) from where he voluntarily retired in 2003 as regional manager after 15 years.

Thereafter, he promptly, harvesting from his professional training and superb cast cognate experience both locally and internationally, ventured into private business with tentacles in telecommunications, haulage, security, distributorships and leadership consulting.

Bringing to bear his proficiency, these companies wasted no time in announcing their arrival as formidable concerns with branches in different cities in Nigeria.

It was at the height of these exploits that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, known for his desire to inject men and women of impeccable track records, drafted Uche to serve as his senior special assistant on domestic and foreign aids in March 2016. Justifying his appointment comes natural to him and the administration did not hesitate in tapping into his talent. He was immediately elevated to the status of state focal person, World Bank/Development Partner Assisted Projects and Programmes in 2017, where he quickly midwifed the establishment of the State Focal Office (first of its kind in Nigeria) which serves as the strategic liaison and interface organ between the governor’s office and the State Project Implementation Units (SPIUs) on one hand, and the state government and the development partners on the other.

With total support of the governor, who himself is a paragon of excellence in administration, Uche has succeeded in enthroning a regime of reasonable degree of transparency, accountability, and strict adherence to due process in the management of these projects/programmes in the state.

It bears stating that Uche’s bold imprimaturs in result-oriented leadership and management by objective is driven by the principle that quality of life can only be measured by the profoundness of one’s experience and the impactfulness of one’s activities.

This firm principle removes from him the fear of entanglement, which generally prevents humans from total involvement, in everything he does. As a servant leader, he leads the charge from the front, posting stellar and sterling achievements. It is therefore not surprising that Uche substantially aided in the attraction of many development partner assisted projects/programmes to Enugu State, including Nigeria Covid -19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES), State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Program –for – Results (SFTAS PforR), Value Chain Development Project (VCDP), Saving One Million Life (SOML) and Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS), while working on many pipeline projects/programmes.

To hold that it has been a bump-free road to posting these achievements in a complex political scenario as ours is to be unmindful of the entrenched corruption that defines our political system, where people are congenitally conservative and resist change with total vehemence.

Uche understands that history is a backdrop and an ideological battle between change agents and those obsessed with maintaining the basic status quo, especially where vested or pecuniary interests will be suffocated. The latter do everything within their powers to ensure that every attempt at mainstreaming a paradigm shift will be resisted.

It is then axiomatic to hold that wherever you fight corruption, corruption fights back. Uche, however, is not deterred by the threats, blackmail, virulent attacks and often campaign of calumny launched against his person from the outset of his integrity based management style, but is rather poised to exemplify that needed shift to drive the system for positivity.

His transformative management style has been acknowledged in many quarters as the needed panacea against leadership deficit, corruption and malfeasance that have negatively stultified the path of development. Uche is indeed a professional and as, Masterson would say, “Being honest and ethical suggests professionalism”.

Ever concerned with turning Enugu State around through the productivity of his appointees, Uche Nnadi was only recently upgraded to the status of a special adviser (SPA) to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Monday,12th April, 2021. The governor surely appreciates the efficiency, commitment and professionalism of his appointment.

On the same day, the governor inaugurated a nine-man audit committee to inquire, investigate, ascertain and take proper inventory of the movable assets of the current and closed Development Partner Assisted Projects/Programmes in the state either formally allocated to, or purchased by, these various Projects/Programmes, from January 1, 2015 to date. Uche emerged as the chairman of this committee.

Inaugurating members of the committee, the governor disclosed that they will identify the current locations of the movable assets and determine the state of their functionality, as well as their current valuation.

Gov Ugwuanyi added that the committee is also mandated to recover and assemble the identified assets in a secured designated location chosen by the state government, while awaiting further directives of the government regarding their future usage or disposals.

Other terms of reference are “to deploy the human and material resources available to the committee to ensure transparent audit of all the movable assets deployed to unofficial uses/users and recover same, to investigate any other matter that may come to the knowledge of the committee which these terms of reference may not cover, such as ascertaining the bank balances of the closed projects/programmes, and to, generally, make recommendations to government on the management of the recovered assets, how best to avert/prevent future mismanagement, misapplication or outright conversion of such assets, for the benefit of the good people of Enugu State.”

Other members of the committee are Mr Robinson Odoh (secretary); Bishop Chinedu Nwoye; Mr Anthony Okoye (transport officer, G.H.E); Mrs Ijeoma O. Mbah (representing SSG’s Office); Mr Darlington Igwe (rep. COS’s office); Mrs Ngozi Okonta (rep. state auditor general); Mr Fidelis Omeje (rep. State Accountant General) and Barr. Gerald Asogwa.

Mr Sylva Adonu (administrative secretary, Focal Office); Mrs Celestina Aga (chief admin. Officer, State Ministry of Agriculture), and Mr Innocent Ogbu (MIS/ICT Focal Office) will serve in the secretariat.

Almost with the speed of light, Uche had mobilised the committee to work and in his typical impeccable style of inspiring and motivating people working with him, the committee is already posting valuable results and will definitely justify the trust reposed on her by His Excellency.

Indeed, Uche is a square peg in a square hole whose managerial expertise, transcendant experience, and impactful goal-oriented style of transformative leadership will immensely benefit NDI Enugu, both now and in time to come!

Onyekachi C Ugwu writes from Enugu

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