Recently, I had the opportunity to meet Jerry Ihejirika. Jerry is a tireless worker to improve project management and to show us the humor in all of it. I hope you enjoy getting acquainted with Jerry as much as me.
Margaret MelonipmStudent Leader in Community
1. Start by telling us your name, and how you got into project management.
My name is Jerry Ihejirika. I started my journey in project management in 2008, when I was admitted to the university to study Project Management Technology. Five years later, I received my bachelor’s in PMT and have been contributing professionally to the advancement and promotion of the project management profession. Many young project managers around the world have found my project management blog and social media group useful.
2. Where are you located in the world? Tell us about your country.
I am currently based in Lagos Nigeria. Nigeria is a beautiful country with abundant natural and human resources. The main source of income is her natural resources, especially crude oil. The Federal and State governments have risen from their “sleep” in order to find ways to diversify the economy, something that should have happened years ago. The awareness of project management is high in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt. It is low in other cities. There have been many abandoned and failed projects throughout the country, especially in the public sector.
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, then President of Nigeria, established the Presidential Project Assessment Committee (PPAC), headed by Engr. Ibrahim Bunu was created “to assess and provide information about the status of ongoing Federal Government projects across Nigeria.” The committee compiled a list of 11,886 capital projects currently being executed by the Federal Government. It was valued at N7.78 trillion. These projects drew attention to the methods of project implementation and the monitoring mechanisms that are in place to monitor them. The monitoring mechanisms for capital and public projects are still weak. This does not mean that the country doesn’t have experienced project managers, even though they are needed more. The high rate of sector failures and abandonment is due to corruption and the “politics of things”.
3. What do you think influences your writing about project management?
My experiences, knowledge, and observations of Nigerian projects have influenced my writing and speaking about project management. My blog published many of my first articles on project management. They focused on how we can increase awareness, promote, and improve project management in Nigeria. Although I still write such articles due to the low awareness level in Nigeria, more can be done. I started writing articles on career development to help young project managers because I noticed that many of them are unsure how to plan, organize, and advance their careers as project managers. I also write articles about social media in project managing because of the huge impact that innovative technologies and digital transformation have on project management. Africa must move with this change.
4. What types of projects do your most frequent work on?
I am a writer and a young digital project manager so I spend most of my time writing articles, managing social media and managing clients’ digital projects.
The Project Management for Africa Initiative is still in progress. The initiative would be more focused on education.