Vision for Change in Nigeria based on Lessons from South Korea



By O. Chima Okereke, PhD

Herefordshire, England


Change was a slogan used as an election winner in the 2015 Presidential Election. For changes to happen, there has to be an appropriate vision which will be translated by means of projects into the changed condition that has been envisaged. So far in the post-election Nigeria, some two months after the swearing in of President Buhari, no perceptible change is happening. This is so obvious that an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Senator Bola Tinubu on Tuesday, July 28, advised Nigerians to regard this time as a “honeymoon” period for the new administration [1].

This current environment of the absence of a statement of vision, a set of objectives and goals that should constitute the driving force for the achievement of the envisaged changes in the socio-economic environment has motivated the writing of this paper. The message is simply that the vision of the new government has to be presented with the accompanying objectives which should constitute the motive force to drive the changes.

It is also the case that this paper presents the example of vision to action in South Korea as a real-life example that could be emulated. The transformation instigated by a vision and implemented by means of projects resulted in the miracle that is South Korea.

This paper consists of the following sections:

  1. A brief review of South Korea’s vision and its implementation which led to the transformation of South Korea to a modern knowledge economy. This is aimed at presenting the case study as an object lesson to us in Nigeria in our new Buhari-led administration.
  2. In addition to any other vision being presented by the administration, the paper recommends the adoption or inclusion of a vision to transform the country into a knowledge economy.
  3. The paper will conclude with a call for action.

1.  South Korea’s Vision and Its Implementation

Brilliant visions need the vehicle of projects to transform them into the welcome changes which are desired. In other words, for the required changes to be achieved in any country, there are at least two actions that need to be carried out as follows:

  • A clear statement of the vision for the nation
  • Planned program of actions for transforming the visions into realities.

In case of South Korea, the processes of transforming visions into actions were as follows:

  • Vision and plan
  • Execution
    • Resources
    • Top-level support
    • Funding
  • Monitoring and Control
  • Achievements

Vision and plan: In January 2000, President Kim Dae-jung announced his intention for Korea to become an advanced, knowledge-based economy [2].

Vision: The vision of the government was “To transform Korea into an advanced knowledge-based nation”.

Goals included the following [3]:

  • making Korea into one of the world’s top-ten information and knowledge superpowers;
  • developing the next generation Internet and the information superhighway by 2005;
  • promoting the use of computers by students, teachers, and the military;
  • conducting radical reforms in education to prepare the country for its drive to transform into a knowledge-based economy;
  • envisioning the dawning of an Internet society, where people will participate in the governance process though ICT, in a democracy based on human rights; and
  • closing the development divide through productive welfare and balanced regional development


To read entire paper (click here)

About the Author

pmwj35-Jun2015-Okereke-PHOTOChima Okereke, PhD, PMP

Herefordshire, UK

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Dr. O. Chima Okereke, Ph.D., MBA, PMP is the Managing Director and CEO of Total Technology Consultants, Ltd., a project management consulting company working in West Africa and the UK. He is a visiting professor, an industrial educator, a multidisciplinary project management professional, with over 25 years’ experience in oil and gas, steel and power generation industries. For example, On December 26th 2013, he completed an assignment as a visiting professor in project management; teaching a class of students on Master’s degree in project management in the Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia. In August and September 2013, he conducted an innovative, and personally developed training programme for seventy six well engineers of Shell Nigeria to enhance the efficiency of their operations using project and operations management processes. Before embarking on a career in consulting, he worked for thirteen years in industry rising to the position of a chief engineer with specialisation in industrial controls and instrumentation, electronics, electrical engineering and automation. During those 13 years, he worked on every aspect of projects of new industrial plants including design, construction and installation, commissioning, and engineering operation and maintenance in process industries. Chima sponsored and founded the potential chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, acting as president from 2004 to 2010.

Dr. Okereke has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Lagos, and a PhD and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Bradford in the UK. He also has a PMP® certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) which he passed at first attempt. He has been a registered engineer with COREN in Nigeria since 1983. For many years, Total Technology has been a partner for Oracle Primavera Global Business Unit, a representative in Nigeria of Oracle University for training in Primavera project management courses, and a Gold Level member of Oracle Partner Network (OPN. He is a registered consultant with several UN agencies. More information can be found at http://www.totaltechnologyconsultants.org/.

Chima is the publisher of Project Management Business Digest, a blog aimed at helping organizations use project management for business success. Dr. Okereke is also an international editorial advisor for the PM World Journal and PM World Library. He can be contacted at [email protected]  or [email protected].

To view other works by Dr. Okereke, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-o-chima-okereke/