Phillips Consulting drives Lagos, Ogun’s N75m partnership to deliver specialised IT Certifications to 500 youths

In 2020, to support the Federal and State government initiative of addressing unemployment and creating jobs, Phillips Consulting (pcl) will work in collaboration with its content partners to deliver free online training worth N75 million on specialised IT Certifications to 500 Nigerian youths across the country.

This announcement was made at the NSACC breakfast meeting by Mr. Rob Taiwo (Managing Director, Phillips Consulting).

Phillips Consulting (pcl.) is a proudly indigenous management, business and digital technology consulting firm with over 27 years’ experience in helping to build sustainable businesses and governments delivery units across Nigeria and Africa. Over the years, we have worked with and supported several private and public sector organisations including Lagos and Ogun State Governments.

In Nigeria, there have not been many such strategic partnerships both in the private and public sector. As a result, we rather have several siloed businesses and short-lived enterprises. However, the current challenges in the business community and the lack of fund accruing to States, has created the imperative for collaboration in both public and private sectors.

In the quest to kick start such strategic collaborative partnership between key States in Nigeria, Phillips Consulting (pcl.), a reputable business and management consulting firm, used the monthly breakfast meeting of the Nigerian-South African Chamber of Commerce (NSACC) as a platform to announce the birth of a strong alliance/partnership between Lagos and Ogun State Government.  During this event, the Governors of both States participated in a panel session moderated by Foluso Phillips, the Chairman of pcl.

This Lagos/Ogun Partnership Alliance (LOPA) model is the first of its kind in Nigeria and is targeted at addressing the following;

1.       Decongestion of Lagos State

2.       Development of a Land Port

3.       Rail and water transportation between both States

4.       Private Public Partnership (PPP) funding for infrastructural development

5.       A grand masterplan for the integration of both states

6.       Extension of their vision by working closely with the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission; a ‘Lagos /Ogun Integration Summit’ organized in collaboration with DAWN will be a good start

Both Governors identified several Quick Wins;  

–          Signing of the already prepared agreement by both states to set up a Lagos/Ogun Commission that will handle all issues that are of common interest to the states.

–          Execute the Joint Resident Registration Scheme to tackle insecurity.

–          Completion of an ongoing rice mill in Lagos that will receive and process most of the rice input from Ogun State.

–          Expansion of trailer park in Ogun state to help ease the Apapa traffic congestion in Lagos

–          Conclusion of agreement with the Federal government to take over the completion of several Federal roads bordering the two states such as the Lagos – Sagamu Express Way which is only at 20% completion.

For such a model to succeed, the following steps are critical to setting up a collaborative partnership between States;

ü  ­Vision: it is important for each State to have a clear vision prior to the initiation of the partnership. The planned partnership must align with the vision of the collaborating States.

ü  Leadership: for collaboration between States to be successful, there must be commitment and leadership from the top. This will ensure the elimination of unnecessary bureaucracy, corruption and red tapes. The LOPA in this regard is a good model because the Governors of these States have delegated the chairing, management and the delivery of the agreement to the Deputy Governors who report directly to their principals for accountability.

ü  Assessment: each collaborating State must conduct an internal and external assessment of its operating environment to ascertain if it supports the partnership and design ways it intends to benefit from and contribute to the partnership. Apart from individual State benefits, the shared benefits, opportunities and threats must also be assessed to serve as a motivator for the agreement. In the case of Lagos and Ogun State, the joint need for economic prosperity, job creation, ease of transportation, political stability, security of lives and property, and infrastructural development has motivated and facilitated LOPA.

ü  Formalisation: there is a need to ensure that all arrangement is well documented, agreed to and endorsed by all parties. This will give legal backing to the agreement and minimise or eliminate political interference with the provisions of the agreement post any administration.

ü  Execution: every plan is only as good as its execution/implementation. Therefore, while planning is key, the result can only be measured against execution. To aid execution, it is key to plan using target numbers or facts; and put all initiatives into a transformation map (time frame against objectives). While the execution of LOPA is still yet ahead, it is hoped that the implementation will meet expectation as Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu pointed Q1, 2023 as the date for assessment of execution. Prince Dapo Abiodun also mentioned the use of a Government Delivery Unit (GDU) to execute all projects. While the GDU manages the Project Management Office (PMO), projects in each sector are managed by a sector-specific project management team. For instance, projects in the education sector are managed by the Education Delivery Unit (EDU); supervised by the GDU.

ü  Legislation: in every democracy as Nigeria, it is pertinent to note that while the executive ensures execution of government projects, the roles of the judiciary and legislature are equally as important as the executive. To facilitate the LOPA, Dr. Prince Dapo Abiodun has ensured the passage of the Ogun Investment Agency Bill that will facilitate investment into Ogun state and contribute to the “ease of doing business” in the State.

ü  Modeling and Mentorship: in delivering on the promise of the administration and designing programs and projects, it is important to review or examine States that have performed well with similar objectives – this avoids re-inventing the wheel. A shared objective of Ogun and Lagos State is to enhance the quality of primary education. In this regard, Edo State has been identified as a success story to learn from. Interestingly, the Governors of the two States have contacted their counterpart in Edo State to mirror his model.

ü  Barriers to success: for any collaborative agreement between States to be successful, there is a need to first identify, plan for and then mitigate all potential barriers to the success of the agreement. For the LOPA, a number of challenges have been identified such as overbearing control of critical policy by the Federal Government (States being almost powerless to fully determine their future), border management issues, poor infrastructure in border towns, flooding, inadequate data on residents and migrants, and insecurity. Although there are plans to mitigate these identified challenges, it is pertinent to note that these issues have to be monitored as they unfold to be able to continuously improve on all proposed solutions.

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