Panelists at a book launch in Lagos have called for documentation of achievements of leaders with integrity.
This, they argued, was necessary to raise a new generation of Nigerians who would lead the nation to greatness through hardwork and honesty.
The panelists spoke on Monday at the launch of a book written by Mr Babs Omotowa, former Managing of Nigeria LNG Ltd (NLNG) tittled “From Storeroom to Boardroom”.
Drawn oil and gas experts, three of them are also authors.
Mr Austin Avuru, the Founder and Executive Chairman of AA Holdings, one of the panelists, said that lack of lack of corporate governance structure was a reason for demise of several businesses in Nigeria.
He said that this was because young people did not have books from which to learn how to grow enterprises to last generations.
Another, Dr Phillip Mshelbila, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd, spoke on Omotowa’s tenacity.
He enumerated reforms brought into the NLNG by Omotowa due to his resilience and tenacity.
Mshelbila said the author left solid foundation for continuity in the local content drive in the firm.
He, and other panelists, enumerated interventions of the author and other interactions that qualified him as role model whom the younger generation must emulate.
Other panelists include Dr Godswill Ihetu, former Managing Director, NLNG, and Mr Tonye Cole, Co-founder and former Group Executive Director of Sahara Group.
Also among them were Mr Isah Inuwa, a retiree of the NLNG and Dr Waziri Adio, former Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Transparency Initiative (NEITI), who joined virtually.
The panelists said the nation needed role models who could point the way of how intergrity and courage could shape global businesses.
They called for value re-orientatation in the nation while reeling out success stories of Omotowa who rose from the lowest cadre of his career to the pinnacle.
The panelists said he rose through hard work, courage and integrity while shunning corruption.
They also shared their thoughts on how to resolve issues in the oil and gas industry, the Niger Delta issues as well as the steps to adopt towards energy transition.
Mr Aderemi Makanjuola, Chairman of Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, giving a goodwill message, said the author gave selfless service.
He said that the younger generations needed this to correct negative perceptions about Nigeria while building lasting legacies.
Makanjuola said mentorship was important to raise upright leaders.
According to him, the younger generation cannot be”coerced”, hence, the need for real role models.
The Chairman, Governing Board, Nigerian University of Technology and Management.
(NUTM), Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, was one of the book reviewers.
He said the book, listed on Amazon, presented a good context for the nation’s youths to courageously pursue entrepreneurship goals with honestly.
The reviewer described the book as an easy read that had great potential for global readership.
Enelamah said it contains several leadership lessons loaded with personal examples of Omotowa’s courage to surmount opposition to do things right.
He said the book documented step by step journey of the author from his humble background in Ile Ife.The reviewer said it touched on the role of parents in inculcating the right values which helped Omotowa excel without compromising.
He said chapter two of the book is “quite empowering” and teaches how to prioritise goals, while not ignoring the power of sacrifices.
Enelamah said the book was “illuminating” on how the author handled employees without losing focus on integrity.
He said it revealed how the author adopted courage to remain incorruptible in the face of opposition in his journey from the”Storeroom to Boardroom”.
Another reviewer, Donu Kogbara, a columnist with the Vanguard Newspaper, commended the author for capturing his personal flaws and mistakes in the book.
She said that he did not pretend to be a saint or super human to conceal his errors.
Kogbara said he did not mince words in his fight against corruption, describing the book’s launch as timely.
She said that this was because young people did not have adequate books on best practices.
Speaking with journalists, Omotowa urged parents to inculcate the right values in their children early in life.
The author said that this would teach them contentment to make them incorruptible.
He said that the values of hard work, courage and integrity he picked up early in his life from his parents helped him to bring transformation in his career path from the bottom to top.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, was represented at the event by a Director, Mrs Amao Ayobami.
The Nigerian University of Technology and Management (NUTM) has announced the appointment of Dr Babs Omotowa as its Founding President, effective April 25.
The group made this known in a statement signed by its Brand and Communications Coordinator, Ms Joan Rosanwo, on Tuesday in Lagos.
It said that as NUTM president, Omotowa would be responsible for the strategic execution and establishment of NUTM as the leading higher learning institution in Africa focused on technology and management.
“He will bring an industry background to the office of the NUTM President, patterned after many highly ranked universities around the world that had broadened their horizon by appointing accomplished business leaders as their presidents,” it said.
The Chairman, Governing Board of NUTM, Dr Okechukwu Enelemah, in the statement, expressed satisfaction for the establishment of the school.
He said that Omotowa’s appointment represented a significant milestone in NUTM’s journey.
“The institution’s mission of delivering excellence in education and nurturing of innovative and entrepreneurial leaders to create impact in Africa, will be enabled by Omotowa’s transformative leadership, core values of integrity, excellence, courage, and social responsibility,” he said.
NAN reports that Omotowa is a renowned global leader with more than 25 years of experience in the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, and Nigeria, where he has held several senior executive positions.
He is also a seasoned professional in the upstream and midstream oil and gas industry.
By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria needs to invent and produce cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications for education, business, medicine and security.
He said that effective collaboration between public and private sectors to build world-class institutions focused on innovation in science, technology and management sciences would help proffer solutions to the country’s challenges.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Saturday, said the vice president delivered a keynote address to the founding class (2021) of the Nigerian University of Technology and Management (NUTM), Lagos.
The event was the institution’s maiden graduation ceremony of its flagship Scholars Programme.
NUTM is a top-notch school of innovation and technology focused on nurturing leaders in Nigeria and Africa, promoted by Dr Okey Enelamah, immediate past Industry, Trade and Investment Minister.
“The most significant problems of this generation, especially in Africa, will require innovation in science, technology and the management sciences, especially entrepreneurship and innovative leadership if we are to stand a chance of resolving them.”
The vice president said that the graduands of the NUTM programme had what was required to be among those who would in the future, provide solutions to national and global challenges in different sectors.
“I think sitting before us today, the graduands of the NUTM Scholars Programme, we might just be beholding the men and women with the answers to some of the world’s most significant challenges.
“And there are many challenges indeed. We need to invent and produce cutting-edge AI applications for education, business, medicine and security.
“We need to design the educational innovation required to train millions of children in or out of classrooms all across the country and on our continent, and provide the techniques for delivering opportunities in technology on the scale,” he said.
Osinbajo said that in Agriculture, Nigeria needed to invent advanced devices, precision agriculture methodologies, and robotic systems.
He said such inventions would guarantee the huge yields per acreage or volumes in dairy and livestock to meet the food security needs of a country headed for the third position in global population size in a few short years.
“And we are waiting for the breakthrough in the treatment of peculiar African health challenges such as sickle cell disease, fibroids and cancers.
“There is so much to do. But we know that ground-breaking innovation in technology or commerce will always be the product of the work of well-trained people.
“Which is why the NUTM Scholars Programme was designed to offer cutting-edge knowledge in Technology, Entrepreneurship and Design; Management; Perspectives in breakthrough Leadership ideas, Critical thinking and Writing.”
According to him, the goal of the university is to train and equip highly sophisticated crack technology, innovation and management experts.
“The students are the first cut of that dream team. And, we are holding our breath waiting for you to step into your destined roles.
“First, every major innovative breakthrough in science, technology or the social sciences was the product of patient collaborative work, sometimes across nations.
“There is no innovation yet around the hard and, sometimes, long task of creating rare value,” he said.
According to him, the second reason why most people will never attain significance is because they are only interested in themselves and their personal successes.
“But to earn significance, one must do something much bigger than oneself, a big idea, a massive game-changer should always be your target.
“Third is developing a mindset that you are as good as anyone who has ever developed a game-changing idea.
“Problem-solving innovators are, after all, men and women not spirits. And this is important because the way not to achieve is to have a mind that is incapable of seeing huge things,” he said.
While commending the founders, management and academics of the NUTM for the great work, Osinbajo told the graduands that those who built Dubai were men and women, not spirits.
In his welcome remarks, Enelamah, who is also the Chairman, Governing Board of the University, thanked the vice president for attending the event.
He added that NUTM was a pioneering higher education institution that had been established to nurture leaders and innovators to create an impact in Africa and other parts of the world.