Dr Leesi Gborogbosi, a Niger Delta-based oil expert, has advised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to establish a centre for innovation and creativity which he said should be known as BAT Centre for Innovation and Creativity.
Dr Gborogbosi, who is leading a consortium of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), foundations and consultants, told IGNATIUS CHUKWU that the centre would focus on the youth.
What is the BAT Centre for Innovation and Creativity?
The BAT Centre for Innovation and Creativity will be a knowledge-based centre promoting open innovation, creative thinking, value-based solutions, research, and development. BAT stands for Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
How will the BAT Centre for Innovation and Creativity operate?
The centre will adopt open innovation. Youth can collaborate with other graduates online across Nigeria to develop new products, services, and processes. It will encourage young graduates to share knowledge and avoid a silo mentality. Open innovation shortens the time it takes to bring innovative outcomes to the market.
The centre will have high-speed internet, secured access, and a sitting capacity of one thousand stations. The centre can be used for the creative industry, academia, research, product development, service innovation, market development, and global competition.
The construction of the centre will be based on same unique architectural design. It is an open innovation centre for knowledge sharing and training. Each centre will act as a Silicon Valley-like ecosystem in that LGA. Innovators’ mentors will be resourced to manage each centre.
There will be a framework for the protection of data rights, intellectual property rights, patents, and innovation outcomes.
How will the centre be of benefit to the youth?
It seems that President Tinubu made a campaign promise to encourage the Youth to unleash their creative potentials. This BAT Centre for Innovation and Creativity will be one of the ways of fulfilling that promise. Youth can now have a structured platform to push the limits of their creativity.
A fallout of the BAT Centre for Innovation and Creativity is that the youth will have a platform for developing Nigerian solutions to Nigerian problems. Open innovation allows the young graduates to come up with solutions to societal problems in a competitive manner while helping to situate Nigeria as Africa’s hub for innovation.
The centre will inspire young graduates to push the boundaries of their creative and intellectual minds to find solutions to everyday problems, encourage entrepreneurial spirits, stimulate rural economic development, and motivate global competitiveness.
What are some examples of potential innovation solutions?
Recent examples show that innovation can help solve problems of energy, agriculture, emergency, financing, and health, among many others. These include developing solutions for:
– Energy-efficient lighting in communities to overcome low energy penetration in rural communities.
– Derivatives of cassava such as ethanol fuel to provide cleaner cooking fuel to minimise deforestation and the use of trees for fuel in rural communities.
– Technology-driven irrigation to help rural farmers to grow crops out of season to overcome climate and resource constraints.
– Mobile applications that can link local manufacturers of emergency relief materials to government and donor agencies. This is to make Nigeria self-sufficient in emergency relief supplies to increase the response to yearly emergencies, especially during the rainy season floods.
– Mobile programmes that mop up small venture capital and make same available for equity investments in SMEs in rural communities, especially SMEs that do not have collagenised access to financial institutions.
– Easy to share stories, mentoring, and songs to youthful populations living in rural areas struggling with depression and mental health problems.
Where will the centre be located?
BAT Centre for Innovation and Creativity is to be established in all the 774 Local Government Areas across Nigeria. The centre will have a unique architectural design.
Young graduates can now stay in their villages and local governments to grow and compete with the world. A silicon-like ecosystem will be established and nurtured in all local government areas across Nigeria.
What will be the significance of this centre to President Tinubu?
The centre will act as one of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s social contracts with the Youth of Nigeria to promote innovation and creativity. President Tinubu will be the first President to have presence in 774 Local Government Areas across Nigeria. No former President has a lasting presence in all LGAs in Nigeria. President Tinubu put his name and memory in every LGA in Nigeria. The BAT Centre for Innovation and Creativity will be a signature project across Nigeria to achieve that and it will have historical significance.
The Presidency of Bola Ahmed Tinubu should inspire people to attain their potential. The President is nationally known for this leadership trait. The essence of good governance is to create happiness for the citizens by inspiring people to attain their dreams. Young graduates are clamouring for a Nigeria where they can nurture their creative ideas. This BAT Centre for Innovation and Creativity will provide the platform.
What are the other potential benefits of the centre?
Nigeria will become an innovation hub in Africa. It will attract Nigerians with innovative minds back home. Innovation and creativity ecosystem will be developed. There will be push for rural economic development. Nigeria will have global competitiveness in innovation. The new paradigm is that Nigerian Youth will be developing Nigeria solutions to solve Nigeria problems.
What are the possible next steps?
Once the review of this concept by the federal government state government and local government councils is found to be useful, our consortium is available to undertake opportunity framing and concept selection to operationalise this concept of BAT Centre for Innovation and Creativity. The scope will include formulating a national innovation strategy, mapping local innovation activities, and defining the innovation ecosystem.
Who are the initiators of this excellent concept?
This concept is developed and brought forward by a consortium of (i) Rivers of our Dreams Initiative, (ii) Gborogbosi Foundation, and (iii) Gabriel Domale Consulting.
Rivers of Our Dreams Initiative is an NGO that promotes good leadership, economic development, peace, and social cohesion. Gborogbosi Foundation promotes economic improvements, develops sustainable and equitable communities, build human assets, enhances educational opportunities, and broadens the knowledge base. Gabriel Domale Consulting is a management consulting firm that helps companies in Africa to grow, provides insights to leaders, and transforms institutions.
Who is leading the consortium that proposed the centre?
The leader is Dr Gborogbosi, who is a Nigerian Consultant, Investor, and Philanthropist. +2347034604152 firstname.lastname@example.org
Can we know more about him?
Dr Gborogbosi is the Founder and Chairman of Rivers of Our Dreams Initiative (ROODI). He is responsible for all aspects of the NGO’s strategy, policy development, teams, and operations. He leads the NGO’s mission to promote good leadership, economic development, peace, and social cohesion.
Over the course of 26 years at Shell Nigeria (of Royal Dutch Shell – a global oil & gas company) prior to founding Rivers of Our Dreams Initiative, he has served in a variety of leadership and managerial roles, including most recently as finance manager, a portfolio of major capital projects. Before that, he was deputy business finance manager (oil production); knowledge management advisor; finance consulting lead; and deputy head, corporate budgeting. He was also a member of the corporate strategy, planning, budget, and reporting team.
Based in Nigeria, Leesi has a long and successful record of helping diverse functions to develop collaborative relationships with key stakeholders to execute strategy effectively. His doctoral dissertation focuses on strategy implementation, collaboration, the role of middle managers, and the dynamics of host communities.
Leesi has a doctoral degree in strategy (and, also in business studies) from IE Business School, Madrid. He received MSc (Research Methodology in Management) from IE Business School, Madrid, and an MBA (Finance and Banking) from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. His first degree was in Accountancy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
He leverages his professional experience as a Certified Management Consultant (CMC); Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria; and The Institute of Management Consultants. Also, he is Member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, London; and Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered); and Strategic Management Society, Chicago, United States.
He has a keen interest in research and writing conference papers. His papers were nominated for the best conference paper prize awards of the Strategic Management Society conference in 2017 (Houston) and in 2015 (Denver).