The Ibru village and the entire Agbarha-Otor Kingdom in Ughelli North LGA of Delta State was recently a beehive of academic activities as the Michael and Cecilia Ibru University (MCIU) launched its Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre on September 6th, 2020, as part of activities to mark the 4th memorial lecture of the late business icon and great African entrepreneur, Olorogun Michael Ibru who passed on four years ago.
At the memorial lecture in his honour titled, “Innovation In Entrepreneurship: Changes The Rules of The Game”, held via zoom, pioneer Director of the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, and keynote speaker at the event, Mr. Peter Bamkole advocated product/service innovation, process innovation and business model innovation as the three forms of innovation required to boost and grow businesses and to also promote entrepreneurial skills amongst small business owners and young undergraduates in Nigeria.
“Wherever problems exist, entrepreneurs will scramble to provide multiple solutions leading to the creation of products, services and ultimately, ventures. Irrespective of the resources within their control, entrepreneurs will pursue such opportunity with a single-minded passion to deliver value to their target market. As long as the customer’s pain point is being relieved, the customer will continue to pay for such value until a superior value is being proposed either by the entrepreneur or a competitor.” The erudite speaker said.
Panelists like Prof Ibiyinka Fuwape, Dr. Muda Yusuf, Olayemi Anyanechi, Prof. Anthony Kila, Bismarck Rewane and Mr. Obaro Osah were of the view that the Nigerian educational policies should be woven around entrepreneurial skills to create jobs for our teeming young undergraduates at the end of their educational careers. They also described the late Otota of Agbarha-Otor kingdom, Olorogun M.C.O. Ibru as a role model and mentor in business and entrepreneurial development in Nigeria.
The Michael and Cecilia Ibru Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship was established to cultivate the minds of trainees on the part of self-reliance and financial independence.
The courses offered at the centre are strategically designed to solve strategic social and economic problems ravaging our nation, especially that of unemployment.
Earlier, in his opening address, the chairman of the event, Olorogun Moses Taiga who is also the president-general of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) worldwide thanked the co-founder of the Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Dr. Mrs. Cecilia Ibru for sustaining the vision and passion of promoting the legacies her beloved husband left behind by putting together such academic programmes as the annual memorial lecture.
Also, in his citation during the event, Mr. Goodie Ibru, a brother to the deceased extolled the fine virtues and qualities of the late Olorogun Ibru, which, according to the experienced hotelier, endeared his late brother to the business world. He also appreciated the untiring efforts of Dr. Mrs. Cecilia Ibru for running with the vision of her late husband, even at this time of the global economic crisis and the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.
The event was graced by dignitaries from across the globe, among whom were; Olorogun Sen. Ovie Omo Agege, Deputy President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Air Chief Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff of the Nigerian Airforce, Mr Paul Jite Okoloko, CEO, Notore Chemical Industries Plc, Prof G. G Darah, among others too numerous to mention.
The event was moderated by an erudite speaker and international management expert, Dr. Benson Uwheru, a partner with EY’s Banking and Capital Markets Sector and leader for West Africa. The event was attended by thousands of entrepreneurs and young people within and outside Nigeria via Zoom.