Dr. Shaka Ovie Ernest is a Partner at OAK Interlink Company, a training and consulting company focused primarily on human resource development, a PECB Partner Company, and an OPITO accredited center for Oil and Gas Safety certification. He was recently conferred with an honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration from the Highstone Global University, Texas, USA.
Dr. Shaka also has a Special Executive Masters in Entrepreneurship from the Metropolitan School of Business, United Kingdom and a B.Sc, Geography & Regional Planning from Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria. He is a Certified Project Management Trainer with the International Organisation for Project Management.
A Certified Six Sigma Trainer with the International Six Sigma Institute. A Certified Scrum Trainer with the International Scrum Institute. A Certified Business Analyst, A Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (Business Process Improvement), A Certified DevOps Professional, A Certified Agile Coach, A Certified Scrum Master, A Certified Program Manager, A Certified Project Manager, A Certified ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Associate, A Certified Cyber Security Professional, A Certified Safety Manager with the International Association of Safety Professionals (IASP), A Certified Document Controller (ISO 9001 & 30301) with the Document Management Institute, A Certified ITIL(Foundation) Professional with Axelos.
Shaka also has over 12 years of hands-on experience working on and leading multidisciplinary projects in several sectors of the economy. He has a keen interest and expertise in Personal Development, Business Development, Business Process Improvement, Health Safety and Environment, Project Management, Risk Management as well as Quality Management.
He is a member of the Project Management Institute (USA), a member of the International Association of Safety Professionals (USA), and a member of the Document Management Institute (USA).
He has facilitated ISO, Project Management, HSE, Risk Management, Process Improvement and a variety of courses for FAAN, MTN Nigeria, First Bank, Medplus, Shoprite, Altima Studios, Children International School, St Ives, IES, FEMAB Properties, FUG Pensions, Pal Pensions, Reward Investment, PNG Gas, VDT, Sahara group, IGI Group, Gran Imperio Group, Lekki Concession Company, PZ Plc, Honeywell, Mainone, Tenece, Wema Bank, Jaiz Bank, VDF, Krones, NETCO, Daystar Christian Center, Masters Energy Group, Caverton, ICAN, Petrolex, Halogen Security and a host of top indigenous organizations and multinationals.
Speaking to newsmen recently, Dr. Shaka maintained that being consistent in a particular field and developing oneself overtime pays and advises the youth who seem to be in a hurry to make it to be patient, and hone their skills with the right knowledge they would surely make it. The Claver Magazine was there and now reports.
Can you introduce yourself, sir?
My name is Ernest Ovie Shaka from Delta State, a partner with a firm called OAK Interlink Company, a consulting firm that provides training solutions in technical, professional, and management programmes which have been around for over 15 years. But I started out with the firm as a marketer and was promoted to the General Manager after which I was made a partner with the firm where I’m currently. I have a bachelor’s degree in Geography and regional planning from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, and recently, I bagged a Doctorate degree in Business Administration from Highstone Global University, Texas, USA.
Tell us about your experience being a partner in this company.
So, being a partner, I am at the level of profit sharing and a part of the decision-making process. I am not just a staff. I started out as a staff and gravitated to the level I am now.
What are the prospects in the Nigerian market, how often do companies and individuals walk up to you to say they want to be trained or that they want you to train their staff?
Everybody desires to go beyond where they are. So, most organizations are in dire need of having their staff members acquire the essential training to deliver better on their jobs, and of course, there are a lot of vacuums being left behind now as a result of the ‘japa syndrome’ taking place now and a lot of vacuums are created and those vacuums need to be filled and so if you have people coming to fill those vacuums, those people need to be trained. So, there is a high demand for organizations to get those people skilled to be able to fill those gaps to deliver better on their jobs.
How did the honorary award that was conferred on you happen?
I was conferred with an honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration, of course I was nominated for it. It was really an exciting experience, having to have been nominated to be conferred with the honorary doctorate. Of course, I have been involved in this industry of capacity building and human resource development for close to 12 years now. I have been training staff of various companies including MTN, Honeywell, PZ, and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria over the years and I’m sure a number of persons have made recommendations that this man has been consistent in this area and that he deserves to be honoured for his level of expertise and contribution. Over the years, I have been involved in a lot of learning and I have acquired a number of certifications as it relates to my capacity to add value to the lives of people.
In summary, will you say your nomination was the result of your hard work over the years?
I will start by saying that one of the major things is also favour. The fact that I was nominated is favour. Part of it I will say is also hard work and consistency because you find a lot of people trying different things and so they are not consistent in one particular thing. When you are consistent in one particular thing over the years, you will make a headway and you will make an impact as you strive in that area.
What’s your advice to the youth of today who want to make it quickly?
One of the things I have discovered is that there’s a lot of impatience among the younger ones, a lot of them are impatient, and they want to get quick results. The experience I have over the years came as a result of been consistent in this industry, in this same line. Initially, it did not bring the result I desired but I consistently stayed until it began to produce results. It’s like a tree you plant, it will start as a plant, then gradually it grows before it grows into a tree that produces fruits at the right season. I want to advise the young ones to be more patient, they should pursue what they are passionate about. If you uproot a plant and plant it in another place and then remove it again and plant it in another place, there’s no way that plant will grow well, if you look at a plant, it remains at a spot, grows, and eventually begins to bear fruit. It means that if you remain in the same field, consistent in the same thing, it might not look like it initially but being patient and having that staying power; it will begin to bear fruit. But you should also acquire the necessary skills in that field to be able to perform better.
Looking at the situation in Nigeria today, is there hope for the young ones?
I do see light at the end of the tunnel and looking at the Nigerian economy, every economy like the American economy went through what we are going through now. Things will get worse before it gets better.
Have you faced a difficult situation in life and how did you navigate out of it?
One of the challenges I have faced is balancing my work life: family, pastoring, and work, it takes a lot to be able to equally balance all three areas of my life.