In the last few years there has been an increase the number of individuals seeking executive higher education in Nigeria, experts reckon this is a result of necessity to acquire knowledge as business leaders in order to survive the ever-changing and challenging economic climate.
“This situation was noticed over 23 years ago when Lagos Business School was set up and there is still an acute shortage of experienced managers, the Nigerian economy has been growing over the last ten years and as the economy grows you need more managers,” said Dr Chris Ogbechie, Senior faculty member of the Lagos Business School and Chairman Diamond Bank.
It has taken up the task to further develop managers in Nigeria to ensure they can thrive in the country and fit into the rest of the world as Africa is “the next frontier”, Ogbechie says.
“To run business in Africa, you need people who understand the terrain, who are competitive globally. Multinationals are coming to Africa and they need people, lets prepare Nigerians to take up these positions,” he said.
One area of weakness Ogbechie has observed is the need for managers to emphasise more on learning analytical thinking to allow them to be more innovative in their ventures.
“In this case also means thinking strategically, we tend to be short-term orientated here – we want to do things today, get them right today, make money today but we need to be more long term orientated,” he said.
Another issue according to Ogbechie is the lack of capacity to execute, as many of the managers in Nigeria are good in theory and plan well for their businesses, but struggle through execution.
The business school has used this information to develop programmes that are more effective in teaching managers to be more competitive and how to succeed through implementation.
“We use case studies to bring them to real-life situations, we use simulation to make them actually run the businesses and we also give them life projects, so we actually immerse them into the real world,” Ogbechie said.
He adds: “We review our curriculum frequently, because it’s a dynamic environment, the needs of business people are changing, the needs of customers are changing so we have to plug into that.”
They are looking at more incorporation between the public sector and the private sector.
“We are also thinking of how we can do more in the government space and thinking of engaging our politicians and people in the public sector,” said Ogbechi in response to the concept public-private partnerships.