Historical Development of Operations Management in Nigeria

The history of Production and Operations Management in Nigeria is rooted in the activities of Nigerian Institute of Production Management (NIPM) led by Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga, Engr. A.D.Adekoya and Mr. Adebowale Thompson who mobilized key organizations within the organized private sector (OPS) to subscribe to high standards of professional Production and Operations Management practices in Nigeria in the 1980s.

Historical Development of Operations Management in Nigeria

Historical development of professional operations management in Nigeria has been succinctly clarified in NIPM News and Production Management Review (PMR) edited by Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga and published by his company, Steadfast Publications Limited as well as unpublished papers, library resources and others in the archives of Nigerian Institute of Production Management (NIPM).


The history of Production and Operations Management in Nigeria is rooted in the activities of Nigerian Institute of Production Management (NIPM) led by Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga, Engr. A.D.Adekoya and Mr. Adebowale Thompson who mobilized key organizations within the organized private sector (OPS) to subscribe to high standards of professional Production and Operations Management practices in Nigeria in the 1980s.

The pioneering efforts of Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga and his colleagues in establishing Nigerian Institute of Production Management (NIPM) remain a watershed of professional production and operations management in practice Nigeria.

The idea to establish an organization for the promotion of production and operations management was nursed by Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga in 1984 prompting his letter to the Editor of Financial Punch Newspaper published on September 5 titled “How productive is the public sector”?

His interest grew even further when he was contributing to Business Times, The Guardian, Business Concord and Times International as a freelance writer between 1985 and 1987. Dr. Opanuga owned Press Data Services Limited which later became Steadfast publication Ltd. This journalism engagement brought him into contact with Dr. Dayo Alao, the Editor of Times International later Professor Dayo Alao, formerly Chairman/CEO of Daily Times of Nigeria Plc. and President/Vice Chancellor Adeleke University who became one of the invitees to the inaugural meeting of the Institute hosted by Engr. (now Reverend) Deen Adekoya, then Works Manager, Chemical and Allied Products (CAPL) on March 26, 1987 on his company’s premises. Others at the meeting include Mr. H.O.S kayode, Works Manager, (International Paints West Africa IPWA Ltd.), Engr. F.A. Oke, Chief Engineer, (Dunlop Nigeria Plc.), Mr Nse Enoch, Plant Manager, (Sterling Products Nigeria Ltd.), Engr. M.J. Bakare (AGM, Engineering services, Nigerian Textile Ltd.), Mr. B.A. Ige, (Processing Manager, CAPL.), Engr. C.O. Onuoha, (Factory Manager, Nigerite Ltd.), Mr V.O. Bamidele (lant Manager, Smithkilne Beecham Nigeria Ltd.), Mr. K.O. Salami (Production Manager, CAPL.), Mr. A. Thompson (Works Manager, Berger Paints Nigeria Ltd.) and Mr. M.O. Afolabi, (Production Manager, Berger Paints Nigeria Ltd.)

Dr. Opanuga had sold the idea of a professional body of production and operations management with focus on efficiency, safety, quality, productivity and ethical standards to both Engr. A. Deen Adekoya, Mr. Adebowale Thompson and others when his training and consultancy firm, Optimum Resources Limited was carrying professional sensitization and factory staff training in Ikeja Industrial Estate area of Lagos State in early 1987. He succeeded in gaining the support of the chieftain’s of industry like Chief S.0. Oyekunle (Nigerite), Chief G.O.Olukoya (Pfizer), Alhaji Abubakar (Henkel Chemicals), Chief Akinnawo (African Paints), Mr. G.A.O Bankole (May & Baker Plc.)  

Nigeria had existed thousands of years as independent tribes, empires and states before the arrival of British colonialists. Pre-colonial occupations in Nigeria include farming, hunting, blacksmithing, making of leather, soap, mats, pots, baskets, clothes and bricks. The people were involved in wood work, metal fabrication, beer brewing, canoe building, thatch roof making, palm oil, groundnut oil and garri processing, fishing and fish smoking and other kinds of production operations relating to agriculture, mining, construction and manufacturing using simple tools and appliances. Thrift societies served as a banking system for personal savings and loans while indigenous labour co-operatives helped to drive agricultural productivity among the farmers.

The vast mineral resources and organized commodity production systems attracted British imperialism in 1900s.

Modern Nigeria dates from 1914 and she became independent on October 1, 1960. Nigeria adopted republican constitution in 1963 with agriculture as its economic mainstay.

Industrial production and industrialization in Nigeria did not take root until the 1960s and 70s. The British colonialists developed the rail and telecommunication network to facilitate trading activities in the 19th century. British and other foreign companies were engaged in exportation of such commodities as cocoa, cotton, rubber, groundnut, palm oil, palm kernel etc. to feed their industries with raw materials while they ship to Nigeria such import goods like textiles, soaps, cosmetics, bicycles, motor cycles, vehicles and a wide range of processed foods and household products. However the State-led import substitution industrialization in the 1960s and 70s facilitated the practice of production and operations management in Nigeria as local manufacturing intensified.

The origin of professional operations management practice can be traced to the establishment of Nigerian Institute of production Management (NIPM) which is the brainchild of Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga who started a national advocacy that production and operations management should be practiced as a profession, organized and led series of industrial visitations, consultations, meetings, training courses, national workshops, seminars and conferences whereat Federal and State Governments, regulatory agencies, academics, consultants and manufacturers’ representatives reviewed burning issues, shared knowledge, information and best practices right from the mid-1980s  when severe economic recession hit parts of the world and particularly Nigeria which culminated in the Structural Adjustment programme (SAP) introduced by the Babangida Administration in Nigeria in 1986.

The second national development plan (1970-1974) launched after the civil war for reconstruction and rehabilitation followed by the 1972 indigenization decree and particularly the import substitution strategy in the 1960s and 1970s, import restriction and export promotion strategies in 1980s to drive industrialization expedited modern industrial production and operations management practice in Nigeria.


Prominent among the pioneer manufacturers and other organizations that joined Nigerian Institute of Production Management (NIPM) as from 1980s-2000s as Corporate Members include the Federal Government owned Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc., a subsidiary of Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), May & Baker Nigeria Plc., Fidson Drugs Ltd., Chemstar Nigeria Ltd., Regency (Overseas) Company Ltd.UK, Ashaka Cement Plc., Berger Paints Nigeria Plc., West African Portland Cement (WAPCO) now Lafarge Cement, Friesland Campina (WAMCO) Plc., African Petroleum Plc., Vitamalt Plc., Steadfast Publications Ltd., Johnson Wax Nigeria Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline Consumers Nigeria Plc.(formerly Beecham), UAC Foods, Swiss Pharma Nigeria ltd.(formerly Roche), Eleganza Industries Ltd., Johnson Products of Nigeria Ltd., Evans Medical Plc., Jos International Breweries Plc., Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Afrotech industries Ltd., DN Meyer Plc., Optimum Resources (Consultants) Ltd., Livestock Feeds Plc., Henkel Chemical Nigeria Ltd. and Galvazing industries Ltd.   


The activities of Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga within and outside the Nigerian Institute of Production Management have contributed immensely to evolution of professional operations management practice standards over the past decades in Nigeria. The Institute has produced many notable alumni including CEOs, industrialists, entrepreneurs, academics, consultants, operations management practitioners and leaders in various walks of life and globally.


Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga, FNIPM

NIPM President/Chairman of Council

  • Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga who was the National Executive Secretary and Director General over a span of 22 years was a resilient servant leader who later became the President and Chairman of Council on April 29, 2009. Dr. Opanuga featured prominently as a Resource Person at various training workshops organized by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and as a consultant to key Federal Government agencies, multinational, international and indigenous manufacturing companies with over 35 years of experience in operations management, general administration, public service, manufacturing and industrial consultancy.
  • Present at the first National Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Institute. Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga is the publisher/editor-in-chief of Production Management Review (PMR) Journal of Production & Operations Management, The Human Capital and NIPM News. 


Engr. A. Deen Adekoya, FNIPM

  • A. Deen Adekoya, who was the first Chairman in 1987 and later, President of the Institute and Technical Director of CAPL provided temporary meeting point before Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga built his own house in Lagos which was used as the Secretariat of the Institute for many years.

Mr. Adebowale Thompson, FNIPM

  • Mr. Adebowale Thompson, who was NIPM Vice President, a former Operations Director and later Managing Director and CEO of Berger Paints Nigeria Plc became the President and Chairman of Council on 21st May, 1997.


Notable representatives of Federal and State Governments, heads of government agencies, CEOs, directors and managers of manufacturing companies and academics from various universities who had presented papers or participated in the Institute conferences, seminars and training workshops include:

  • Air Vice – Marshal Mohammed Yahaya (rtd), former Hon. Minister of Industries, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • Phillip Asiodu (Chief), Special Economic Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR.
  • A.D. Adekoya (Engr.) FNIPM, Technical Director, Chemical & Allied Products (CAP) Plc.
  • A. Thompson (Mr.) FNIPM, Managing Director, Berger Paints Nig. Plc.
  • Olaniyi  Opanuga (Dr.) FNIPM,  Managing Consultant/CEO, Optimum Resources Ltd
  • G.O Olukoya (Chief) FNIPM, Chairman PFIZER Group.
  • M.O Akinrele (Chief/Dr.) FNIPM,  Executive Chairman, Gacol Nigeria Ltd
  • I.O Allinson (Dr.) FNIPM,  Managing Director, Lynson Chemicals Ltd
  • Sam I. Ohuabunwa (Mazi) FNIPM,  Chairman/CEO, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Ltd
  • Fola Tayo, (Prof.) FNIPM,   Dean School of Pharmacy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos.
  • Simbo. A. Banjoko (Dr.) MNIPM, Senior Lecturer/Consultant Department of Business Administration, University of Lagos.
  • Bunmi Oni (Mr.) FNIPM, Managing Director, Cadbury Nigeria Plc.
  • R.C Getting (Mr.) Managing Director, May & Baker Nigeria Plc.
  • Dayo Lawuyi (Mr.) Managing Director, Dunlop Nigeria Ltd.
  • F. Ajibade oke (Engr.) MNIPM, Technical Director, Dunlop Nigeria Ltd.
  • S.O.Oyekunle (Chief), Director/Company Secretary, Nigerite Ltd.
  • C.O. Onuoha (Engr.) MNIPM, Manufacturing Manager, Nigerite Ltd.
  • K.O. Salami (Mr.) MNIPM, Production Manager, CAPL
  • D.O. Akinsanmi (Mr.) MNIPM, Managing Director, Rhodia Nigeria Ltd.
  • Nse Enoch (Mr.) MNIPM, Managing Director, Worldwide Technologies Ltd.
  • Eme Francis Abiayi (Engr.) MNIPM, Technical Director, Friesland Campina Nig Plc.
  • M.O.Afolabi (Mr.) MNIPM, Works Manager, Berger Paints Nig Plc.
  • J.A. Adewunmi (Engr.) MNIPM, Production Manager, Studio Press Nigeria Plc. 
  • J.O. Adekoje, (Pharm.) MNIPM, Johnson Wax Nigeria Ltd. 
  • Maria Oshodi (Mrs.) MNIPM,   General Manager (Production) May & Baker Nigeria Plc.
  • Tajudeen Asimi (Mr) ANIPM, Lecturer, School of Science and Technology, Federal Polytechnic Ede, Osun State.  
  • HOS Kayode (Mr.) MNIPM,   Managing Director, International Paints West Africa (IPWA) Ltd.
  • F.K. Obayomi (Mr.) ANIPM, Packaging Manager, May & Baker Nigeria Plc.
  • M.K. Owoade (Engr.) MNIPM, Managing Director, Dusam Ltd.
  • Y.A. Adediran (Engr.) MNIPM, Department of Electrical Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Minna.
  • O. Fadulu (Engr.) MNIPM, Asst. General Manager (Training), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria.
  • S. Adegbenro, Director, Management Service, Ministry of Establishment and Job Creation, Lagos State.
  • A.F. Spinnler, Chairman/Managing Director, Swiss Parma Nigeria Ltd.
  • Bayo Olaniyi (Mr.) Director, National Planning Commission (NPC), The Presidency, Abuja FCT.
  • J.N Akanya (Dr.) Director General, Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON).
  • L.E.A Aimiuwu (Chief) OON, FNIPM pioneer President National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), former Executive Director, Unilever.
  • R.A Alabi (Chief/Engr.) Chairman, Guinness Nigeria Plc.
  • E.O Ola (Mr.) Manpower Director, PZ Industries Plc.
  • Femi Mokikan (Mr.), Head, Human Resources Management, Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc.
  • Kehinde Apata (Pharm.) MNIPM, Managing Director, Braxos Industries Ltd.
  • Adeniyi Oyemade (Hon. Prince), Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Lagos State.   
  • Lola Okanlawon (Mrs.) MNIPM, Technical Director, Afrotech Industries Ltd.
  • Bako Kop Arri (Mr.) MNIPM, Technical Director, Jos International Breweries Ltd.
  • Mike Okolo (Engr.) MNIPM, Executive Director, First Aluminum Nigeria Plc.
  • Ranti Sokunbi (Mr) MNIPM, Asst. Managing Director, West African Portland Cement Co Plc. 


OLANIYI OPANUGA (1984)         How Productive is the Public Sector? Financial        Punch Sept. 5

OLANIYI OPANUGA (1985)         Import Restriction strategy as a tool of economic recovery in Nigeria. Business Times November 18 p.16

OLANIYI OPANUGA (1986)         Pathway to indigenous technological development in Nigeria Business Times march 3 p.16

OLANIYI OPANUGA (1986)         Re-opening of boarders The Punch July 15 p.5

OLANIYI OPANUGA (1986)         Towards Strategic Export Financial Punch Sept. 17 p.3

OLANIYI OPANUGA (1987)         Local investment under SAP. Times International  August 24 p.2 p.20

OLANIYI OPANUGA (1987)         Implication of Barley malt substitution in marketing perspective July 28 p.10-11, July 31 p.13, Oct. 30p. 12, Nov Business Concord 6p.12, Nov. 20 P.12

OLANIYI OPANUGA (1987)         Why foreign investor won’t budge Times International Dec 14 p.30

OLANIYI OPANUGA (1989)         The Management of Production and Cost Reduction Strategy. Production Management Review Oct-Dec. p7-8 & 18.

KUNLE OWOADE (1989)            Insight into production management responsibilities Production Management Review Oct-Dec.

SIMBO A. BANJOKO (DR)          Production Management: Systems Perspective Production Management Review Oct-Dec p.10-11 & 20       

AIR VICE-MASHAL MOHAMMED YAHAYA (1991) Production Management: keys to international Competiveness. (Hon. Minister of industries) 1st National Conference of Production and Operations Management Practitioners organized by Nigerian Institute of Production Management (NIPM). Production Management Review. Vol. 2 Nov .2 Jan –Mar p78.30

M.O AKINRELERE (1991)            Managing Production and Operation Management in a Depressed Economy. Production Management Review. Vol. 2. No. 2 Jan –Mar.

NSE ENOCH (1991)                            Building A World Class Manufacturing Organization. Production Management Review. Vol .2 Jan. – Mar.

FOLA TAYO (1991)                      Managing Health Safety and the Environment in A Depressed Economy. Production Management Review Vol 2. No 2 Jan. – Mar.

A. DEEN ADEKOYA (1991)         The Development of Nigeria industrial sector: Challenges for Production Management in the 1990s, Production Management Review Vol. 2 No 2 Jan. –Mar

OLANIYI OPANUGA (1991)         Techniques for Reducing Cost in Factory Operation Management. Production management Review Vol. 2 no2 Jan –Mar

FEDRAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA (1992)         Industrialization in Nigeria Hand book. Federal Ministry of industry and technology. Sahel Publishing & Printing Co. Ltd Lagos Nigeria

OLANIYI OPANUGA (DR) (1995) Production Management and the Challenges of Economic Recovery in Nigeria Production Management Review Vol. 3 no1 Jan –Jan                        

J DAYO LAWUYI (1997)             Management in a Global village, Production Management Review vol. 4 no 1 Jan. – June.

BANJOKO S.A (1997)                 Managing the Work Force for Cost Effectiveness and Higher Productivity. Production Management Review Vol. 4 no.1 Jan –June.

OLANIYI OPANUGA (1997)                  The Psychology Frustration Production Management Review Vol. 4.No.1 Jan. – Jun

BUMMI ONI (1999)                             Competitive advantage from Production and Operations Management, Production management Review Vol. 4 no Jan. – June

OLANIYI OPANUGA (1999)                  Professionalism in Production And Operations Management. Production Management Review Vol. 4. No 1 Jan – June.

Y.A. ADEDIRAN (1999)                       Role of Industrial Standardization in a Developing Economy. Production Management Review. Vol. 4 No 1. Jan – June

FOLA TAYO (Prof). (1999)                   Health and Safety on The job Production Management Review Vol. 4 No 1. Jan – June

BOLA AHMED TINUBU (Senator) (2001)       Executive Governor of Lagos State Goodwill Message 2000 NIPM National Conference in Lagos. Production Management Review Vol. 6 No 1. P. 6-7

M.O. Akinrele (2001)                        President/Chairman of Council, Nigerian Institute of Council, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM). Strategic Production Management for Globalization. Production Management Review Vol. 6. No 1, P.8-12.

A.F. SPINNLER (2001)                         Managing Manufacturing Operations in Nigeria: Constraints And Prospects in a Developing Economy. Production Management Review Vol. 6 No. 1 P.16-19

FOLA TAYO (Prof) (2001)                    Is our Educational System Relevant for Sustainable National Growth And Development? Production Management Review P.20-24.

BAYO OLANIYI (2001)                      Strategic Operations Management for Globalization: Public Sector Perspective. Production Management Review Vol.6 No.1 p.29-31

J.N AKANYA (2001)                          Productivity and Quality Management.  Production Management Review Vol.6 No.1 p.32-35

SAM. I. OHUABUNWA (MAZI) (2001) Managing Operations for Increased Capacity Utilization And Enhanced Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Nigeria. Production Management Review

BOLA AHMED TINUBU (2004)           Address delivered on the occasion of the Annual Conference of Nigerian Institute of Production Management (NIPM) in Lagos. Production Management Review, Vol. 7. No 1 P.5

ADEBOWALE THOMPSON (2004)        Re-Engineering Operations for Corporate Productivity And International Competitiveness Production Management Review Vol. 7. No 1 P.6-8

M.A. LAWAL (2004)                             The Principles of Linear Programming As An Optimization Technique for Industrial Development. Production Management Review Vol. 7. No 1 P.10-13

F. AJIBADE OKE (2004)                      Cost Reduction And Productivity Optimization: A Hedge Against Adversities of Environmental Dynamics. Production Management Review Vol. 7 No 1 P.14-16

P.S.G PRASAD (2004)                         Developing Cottage Industries for Enhanced Performance – The Indian Experience. Production Management Review Vol. 7 NO 1 P.17-18

ASIMI TAJUDEEN (2004)                    Quality Management System Implementation In An Industrial Environment for Globalization Production Management Review Vol. 7 No. 1 P29-31

L.E.A. AIMIUWU (2004)                       Mad(e) in Nigeria – Rescuing Production from Extinction. Production Management Review Vol. 7 No 1 P.32-34

OLANIYI OPANUGA 2004                     Modern Principles of Management and Their Applications in Production and Operations Management. Journal of Production & Operations Management Review Edition Vol. No1. P.3-6

OLANIYI OPANUGA 2004                     Why Production Managers Are Not Making Most of Their Careers. NIPM News Jan – Mar. Vol 2. No 1 P.6-10

OLANIYI OPANUGA 2008                     Rational For Professional Practice of Production And Operations Management in Nigeria. Production Management Review. Jan-June Vol. 8 No. 1 P.4-16

OLANIYI OPANUGA 2010                     The Importance of Your Role As An Operations Manager NIPM News Vol. 2 No 1 P.5-6

OLANIYI OPANUGA 2017                     The Power of Production Management: Bedrock of Operations, Supply Chains And the Society. NIPM News Vol. 2. No.1


Past correspondence and contacts made to establish relationship with other local and international institutions and organizations can be found in the Institute’s publication and records. Institute News Column of Production Management Review Vol. 4. No 1 Jan – June 1997, edition page 16 featured the following:

  • Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (Hon. Minister)
  • Federal Ministry of Industries (Hon. Minister)
  • National Centre for Economic Management and Administration (Director General)
  • International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) (Director, Information Service)
  • Food And Agriculture Organization of The United Nations (UN)
  • Institute of Management Services (IMS) U.K. (Director General)
  • Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (Registrar/Chief Executives)
  • The World Bank

NIPM Information Resources

Activities of Nigerian Institute of Production Management (NIPM) are partly documented in the publications edited by Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga over the years. These include education, training, and membership programmes including series of courses, workshops, seminars, annual general meetings, public lectures, national conferences, industrial visits, mandatory continuing professional education, training and development, curriculum development and syllabuses, professional certification and diploma schemes/programmes, professional awareness/sensitization workshops etc.

NIPM Library

Learning and development resources are available to NIPM members and COPOM students ranging from training materials, unpublished papers to publications authored by notable industry CEOs, senior public sector officials and heads of government agencies, top academics, management consultants and operations management practitioners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For Training & Membership

The Registrar
Nigeria Institute of Production Management
Acme House, 23, Acme Road,
Ogba Industrial Estate,
P.O. Box 7798, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Tel: 08023140750

Quick Contact

Email: info@nipmnigeria.com.ng

Tel: 08023140750, 08066411565, 08069006671, 09023194157

SMM Panel Porting News insight