I’ve been meaning to review the 7th edition of The Bridge Leadership Foundation career day, with the theme: Made In Nigeria: Local Production, Global Market, but then time and chance was yet to happen to me.
Anyways, I decided to throw of the formality of the whole thing and just put together a few things that were of note to me.
I loved that it was free for attendance and transportation to and fro the venue (Calabar International Convention Center). People! Start taking opportunities for such free things, most free stuff are worth the while.
Senator Liyel Imoke, the former governor of Cross River state began with an opening address. He spoke about having bankable ideas (Ideas that will make people ready to invest in), building your own capacity (don’t say what you are not, identify what is in you and leverage on that, no two people are the same and therefore you can’t think to copy another and hope to succeed, even identical twins are not wired the same way.)
- No story happens overnight, it takes years of handwork and determination to succeed
- Failure in most cases comes before success, failure is a necessary part of success, and it drives success.
- Not being extraordinary should not dissuade you. Don’t be afraid to be ordinary! I am an ordinary guy, watch me succeed.
The former governor of Imo state, Mr. Peter Obi was very much present and spoke about leadership and integrity and one of the things he said was that can a politician speak on this and be believed? Because being a politician and with integrity is hard. A lot about this amiable man and what he said I cannot possibly write in this post, but a few I’ll list.
- Innovation separates a leader from a follower.
- Leadership is about responsibility.
- Leadership is not about money or popularity.
- Education and qualification is not one of the things that separates a leader from follower, it’s good but not all that matters.
- Leadership is not about having a post or a position somewhere.
- A leader is a learner.
Something else that kept recurring (even aside from the conference) is the concept of a knowledge and baggage (resource-based) economy. The recession we are facing now is as a result of our over-dependence on import. Too much importation but yet we are not exporting and it’s affecting our Gross Domestic product (GDP). To all of us that are wondering what this is, I could put up a post much, much later about this, just holla in the comments if you want me to. Some companies and even individuals apparently are worth more than our GDP and some other African countries put together. We need to take back our country. To be responsible for it. Also worth nothing is that in every crises, leaders emerge from it. In crises, see opportunities!
We need to make Nigeria what we want it to be! To stop depending, being hypocrites and playing the blame game.
Another very salient point Mr. Peter Obi made was that the reason why most people do not want to leave government is because they have nowhere to go back to after their tenure. Which shouldn’t be. Being in government is about service to the country and after servant-hood, you leave, but most people want to be servants till death parts them.
The Panel Discussion segment
This was so insightful that I can’t begin to write everything, not even one-third of it. If there was an available recording, I would get it.
We had the likes of (in no particular order)
- Ofem Ekapong, MD of SmartCity Lagos, limited, focused on the development of SmartCity Lagos
- Olusegun Awolowo, CEO Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) (although he sent a representative)
- Adesola Ladoja Founder Simply Green Limited and MD Real Livestock Limited
- Oluwatoyin Onigbanjo, Founder and CEO of AugustSecrets, Nigeria, a Nigerian Healthy Baby and Toddler food solutions company
- Chef Ette Assam, Chef Rostisseur and Chief Mixologist, Ette’s Finger Likin’ Barbecue and Cocktails
- Achenyo Idachaba, founder of MitiMeth, a social enterprise which trains and engages riverine communities and local artisans to produce unique handcrafted home décor and personal accessories using invasive aquatic weeds
- Babajide Ipaye, Founder of KEEXS, a brand that produces footwear (to be precise sneakers)
- Sam Hart who started the #MadeInAba project, advocating for locally made goods in Aba, Abia state. (You don’t have to be ashamed of sportin’ Aba goods)
- Patrick Abunimye Ugbe, who launched the first Private radio station HIT FM, broadcasting on 95.9 frequency in Calabar
- Bukky Asehinde (the Afrocentric marketer), fonder, BellaAfricana, a business that creates a platform to promote locally made goods and the global consumer, and
- Effiong Ekpenyong, Cross-River’s very own seasoned and professional media mogul, whose expertise can be vouchsafed by Governors and presidents.
I can’t even begin to review this segment, they were all amazing people with amazing stories, but points to note are:
- Passion can take you far, but your mind set can prevent you from going higher.
- Let’s use the internet to our advantage. (Note: Not pleasure. Learn from the internet, advance skills, take courses, market products, make money etc.)
- We need to learn to stoop to conquer
- Create value with the right channels to capture it
- There is a difference between CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION. Creativity is the capability or act of conceiving something original or unusual, while innovation is the implementation of creativity.
- In a knowledge based economy, Creativity+Technology=Innovation
- The Nigerian people do not want to take over our country. We need to take ownership of our country because it’s our future.
- A leader is not a conformist
- Wherever you are, there is a place called forward!
- If you jump up, you’ll surely land, but if you grow up, you’ll stay up!
- Nobody owes you anything! Decide for yourself what you want to do and do it!
- Our problem is not that we don’t export, but we export raw materials, not finished goods, because the raw materials can be imported back to us as finished goods.
And I cannot forget the exhibition going on,
Photo by Veedeyo
If you were absent, I am so sorry, because no account can remedy that! Hope next year you’ll be there.