Engr. Chuks Nzei, Coordinator of the Catholic Men Organization (CMO), Agege Deanery, is a man of many parts. Aside from still being actively involved in his primary area of specialisation, engineering works and maintenance, the devout Catholic who spent 20 years working for Guinness Nigeria Plc, is also into farming and hospitality. In this interview with with Michael Echi of the Catholic Herald, Engr. Nzei who marks his 70th birthday this month of May 2020, speaks about his life. He has this advice for the younger generation. “Never cut corners to get to the top.” Excerpts.
I am a Catholic. I retired from Guiness and set up a business. Presently I am the chairman of Nuecbrom Nigeria Limited. Nuecbrom is into logistics engineering and power generation. I also have interest in hospitality and farming.
Growing up was exciting with it’s normal bumps. The early loss of my father and the exposure from that helped shape my person. I learnt consequences early in life and appreciated reality.
The issue of ambition is a continuum. It keeps changing depending on your reality. Today, I feel accomplished because my ambition which looks tall is for Nigerians to have functional education which can eliminate poverty and crime. Success for me is a journey, not a destination. The challenges are diverse so also it is with what one succeeds in. Any accomplishment that lacks peace of mind without putting God first is no success. Money has so little to do with my idea of success. I empathize with friends, acquaintanin hospitality and farming.
Meaning of Success
Success for me is a journey, not a destination. The challenges are diverse so also it is with what one succeeds in. Any accomplishment that lacks peace of mind without putting God first is no success. Money has so little to do with my idea of success. I empathize with friends, acquaintances and strangers. I go the extra mile much more than some people would for themselves. This is borne out of pain of people going through avoidable sufferings either due to laziness, ignorance or both.
Birthday Amidst COVID-19
What we call social distancing is supposed to be physical distancing. However, I cherish life and celebrate every day that it has pleased God to give me. Is there really something special?Anything I set out to do falls within the routine. I love to add value to others’ life within my resources. I am interested in knowledge acquisition and poverty alleviation. In this area I am doing my bit.
On the State of Nigeria
Can any sane person be satisfied with development in Nigeria? On the way forward, there is no quick fix. We lack visionary and inspirational political leadership that understand the important things. This is one area that depresses me.
Advise for the Younger Generation
My advice for the younger generation most of whom believe they just have to cut corners by engaging in vices that could bring shame to their families and the country, if they must make it to the top is that there is no short cut to success. There is a process in whatever thing we do. There are consequences as well. The consequences could be good or bad, subject to our works. They must avoid immediate gratification, which is enjoy now and suffer later. They need discipline to succeed in everything. They need to understand the big picture and important things in their life. They need to develop an attitude of continuous learning.
I have been married to my wife, Mrs Veronica Nzei for 39 years now. She has been very dependable and supportive, and we have been through the journey of life together. Inspite of the challenges we faced on all sides as husband and wife, God has been kind to us.
For most of my active life, the term relax did not exist in my lexicon. Having paid my dues, am taking it slowly. I have all the time today and I hope to continue doing this with balance. Am not a food or drink person per se. I eat to live and drink modestly. My hobby remains work and am not much into that now. I am using the Church and community service to bridge the gap.
Regret? No. There is no future in the past. I am a forward looking person.
Award or reward are subjective. I prefer it when what I do is my best in the circumstances and pleasing to God.
Words of Wisdom
The world is in reset. We do not understand how it will end up. It is doubtful if things will be the same again. We need to develop patience, learning attitude and coping strategy as our new ways of doing things unfold.