It is incontrovertible that leadership is the capacity to positively affect the led or institutions. This has been one of the major areas of drawbacks for the leadership of continental organisations like the African Union Commission. This can easily be explained from the prism of lack of attention to the concern for merit and competence in selecting the leadership of various continental organisations in Africa.
This fact is hidden in the reality that, you gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. And, this can only happen, if competence, gained through experience and knowledge is prirotised over other considerations in leadership selection or nomination.
In terms of robust reservoir of competent human capacity supply, Africa is not lacking behind, most especially, Nigeria, which has been globally acclaimed to be a nation of immense human capacity gain.
As the process for who represents and/or gets nominated into the sensitive commissioners’ circuit of Africa Union Commission begins, West Africa and Nigeria must put forward the best, who will not only represent the region and the country well but win laurels, accolades and project Ecowas and Nigeria positively as the true giant of Africa that it is.
One example of such depths of Nigeria’s human capacity is Ebiekure Jasper Eradiri, who was not only born into the Royal King Eradiri Family of Agudama-Ekpetiama in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria, but traversed many fields of human endeavor through dint of hardwork and stubborn adherence to result-oriented life-style.
All Ebiekure Jasper Eradiri has ever stood and lived for, is service to God through humanity. From his elementary, to secondary and tertiary education, which eventually qualifies him as a Chemical Engineer, he has never forgotten his source, first love, which is bringing succour to the depressed and distressed.
As a man of uncommon courage and dexterity, Eradiri ventured into the world of business, after a short stint in Oil/Gas operations as Field Engineer with several International Oil companies. His foray into the Entrepreneurial World, saw him midwifed/superintend over a chain of businesses under the group, Stromberg Holdings with activities in Facility Management/Real Estate Services, Lubricants/Petroleum Fluids, Specialist Engineering & Slickline services amongst others.
In furtherance of his service to fatherland, he has offered his expertise in various fields and at more times that can be counted.
One of the contending challenges of the 21st century is unemployment. This is doable and has been successfully tackled in some other climes. To help his home state of Bayelsa overcome the challenge of youths unemployment, Eradiri went further to become the Bayelsa State Consultant on Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Development attaining the status of Train-the-trainer with The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Abuja.
One of the pillars of an effective leadership is the depth of knowledge, as it is believed that no man can give what he does not have. In search of best practices, Eradiri proceeded further with Professional Development courses and certificate programmes in Business/ Enterprise Growth at the Harvard University, Theory and Practice of Negotiation at the Massachusettes Institute of Technology in Boston USA, Open Day Engagements in London School of Economics and the Lagos Business School. He has been in the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Development Space for over 10years as an Entrepreneur, Consultant to Governments, Senior Special Advisor to Governor of Bayelsa State of Nigeria on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises where he bagged the award of Best Senior Special Assistant Of the Year 2015 at the Bayelsa Media Awards.
He is a Trustee of several non-profit organizations, Board Member of BDIC Organic Polymers Ltd, Governing Body Member of the World Association for Small & Medium Enterprises (WASME), Pioneer Secretary-General, All Africa Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (AAASME), HIVE Africa Global Leader, Guardian Newspaper’s 50+ Outstanding Nigerians 2014/2015, Chevron Pin Awardee of International Association of Lions Clubs amongst numerous other global recognitions.
Presently, he is the Director-General of the Bayelsa State Microfinance and Enterprise Development Agency (BYMEDA), which is the foremost parastatal of the government mandated by law to promote, support and develop the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise subsector in Bayelsa State of Nigeria and the activities have generated over 10,000 (direct &indirect) jobs, a feat that is being applauded globally and in recognition the agency was honored with the 2017 World SME Excellence Awards in New Delhi, India.
He is also the Alternate Chairman representing the advocacy body AAASME for the SME development framework positions over the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement to the African Union Commission and also advancing the interest of African SMEs to the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa, United Nations Council for Trade & Development, United Nations Global South South Development.
Again, being a Chevron Pin awardee of the International Association of Lions Clubs, he is also a Member of the Select Delegation to the United Nations Africa Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
Today, in his forties, he has been a Continental Panelist, Global Speaker and Motivator of SME’s /Entrepreneurs in Nigeria as well as other countries of Africa, and Middle East.
He holds 2 Honorary Doctorate degrees from Tulsa, Oklahoma and London, United Kingdom. He is an Associate of the International Council for Small Business and Affiliate Member of the International Council of Management Consulting Institutions.
He considers himself a budding Social Entrepreneur desirous of impacting in every community he finds himself and setting goals such as the Project Generate 30,000 (direct & indirect jobs) by Year 2020 in Bayelsa State Of Nigeria.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants; and also a key factor pivotal in the development and growth of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Ecosystem in Nigeria, Africa and the Globe at large.
He has a settled family life and is married with children.
In the age that Africa is challenged, if we get things right, men of immense knowledge, capacity and capability like Ebiekure Jasper Eradiri should be given an opportunity to make Nigeria proud at the continental level.
Pat PA Okon, a Public Affairs Analyst is the DG, Editorial Advisory Board, Headline News Nigeria.
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