Pius Ughakpoteni Takes Over As NDDC Spokesperson
Pius O. Ughakpoteni the former NDDC Director of social media has taken over as the new Director of Corporate Affairs at the NDDC, following the retirement of the outgoing Director, Dr. Ibitoye Abosede.
This is a result of the newly revised Public Service Rules, 2021, by the Federal Government.
The PSR, which takes effect from July 27, 2023, was launched by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation on July 28, 2023, in Abuja.
The new rules also introduced a tenure policy for permanent secretaries who are now required to spend four years in office which is renewable subject to performance.
Pius Oghenevwairhe Ughakpoteni, Director, Corporate Affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is a management expert, and a skillful writer with insightful and analytical skills, apparently acquired during his many years in journalism practice.
Over a period of 30 years, he has garnered a wealth of experience that spans journalism, management, public relations, and practice-driven research across Nigeria’s private and public sectors, as well as universities in England and Switzerland.
Born on June 26, 1964, in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, precisely in Eruemukohwarien, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, Ughakpoteni started his academic career as a homeboy in St Paul’s Primary School, Ughelli, from where he moved on to the Government College, Ughelli.
That humble beginning has today blossomed and taken Ughakpoteni into the international arena where he is currently a doctoral candidate at Business School Lausanne, Chavannes, Vaud, Switzerland, working on Business Administration, Business Transformation & Entrepreneurship, C-Suite Leadership for Corporate Sustainability Performance Advancement.
His research interests lie at the intersection of leadership, sustainability, innovation, change, and strategy implementation. According to him, he is fascinated by collaboration and constructive engagement for change as well as by questions about how to work with top executives to advance corporate sustainability performance for the good of all.
Passionate about continuous professional development, Ughakpoteni earned three Master’s degrees from three universities in England in six years. These are a Master of Science in Business and Management Research from Henley Business School at the University of Reading (2017); a Master of Business Administration in Leadership and Sustainability from the University of Cumbria (2014) as well as a Master of Arts in Leading Innovation and Change from York St John University (2013). He had earlier bagged the PR Academy, Maidstone House, Maidstone, United Kingdom Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Diploma Public Relations in 2912.
Before his international laurels, he bagged a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Management from the University of Calabar in 1991. That was more like a consolidation, as he started his higher education at the Auchi Polytechnic, where he graduated with a National Diploma, in Business Administration in 1983.
Ughakpoteni began his working career in 1991 as a Management Assistant. Two years later, he veered into Journalism as a Researcher/Reporter at Nigeria’s THISDAY newspaper, where he worked on the Business, Energy, and Politics desks in several newspapers and eventually became Associate Editor of the Leadership newspaper.
While in journalism, he collaborated successfully with other journalists, as a member of the pioneer teams that established two thriving national newspapers in Nigeria: THISDAY and LEADERSHIP. This reinforced his strong need for achievement and ability to work efficiently with others in a team as well as equipped him with work attributes that are transferable to other settings.
Since joining the public service in 2004, he has risen from the position of Senior Manager to Director of Media Relations at the Niger Delta Development Commission, an organization set up by an Act of the Nigerian parliament to facilitate the sustainable development of the country’s Niger Delta region.
Ughakpoteni has over the years worked with his colleagues to refocus and strengthen the employee-oriented newsletter and the Oyster Magazine, the external stakeholder-oriented publication of the Niger Delta Development Commission as reliable media for communicating with the organization’s diverse public to elicit their understanding and support.
His roles in different capacities included contributing to broadening and deepening media coverage of the Niger Delta Development Commission by working in collaboration with colleagues within the organization as well as with external print, electronic, and new media practitioners to foster and improve public awareness of, and support for, the Commission’s development projects and programmes.
Ughakpoteni believes in applying his knowledge, skills, and abilities, working in concert with others, to conduct research and undertake activities that will position NDDC in the minds of government officials, opinion leaders, youths, private sector executives, statutory funding organizations and foreign aid agencies as an organization that delivers projects and programmes which align with the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, to meet the needs of the people in a cost-effective, efficient, timely and transparent manner.
Right from his university days, Ughakpoteni has won several awards. These include Utuks Group of Companies Prize for Best Graduating Student in the Department of Management Studies; the United Bank for Africa Prize for the Best Graduating Student in Business Administration; Niger Delta Development Commission Best Senior Staff Award 2007 (Corporate Affairs Department), as well as the Dean’s List Student, York St John University at Robert Kennedy College, Zurich during Master of Arts, Leading Innovation and Change studies in 2013.
Ughakpoteni is the author of the book entitled: “Making the Niger Delta Work: Strategy Execution Tips from the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan.” He also has several other publications in academic journals, including the one entitled: “Top Management and Leadership Antecedents of Corporate Sustainability Performance: A Scoping Review.”
He is happily married and is blessed with children.
The appointment is effective immediately and comes with a new mandate and responsibility as the New Media Department has been merged with the Corporate Affairs Directorate, creating a unified and integrated function that will oversee all aspects of external and internal communications, stakeholder engagement, reputation management, and brand strategy for the NDDC.