Our Aim Is To Be A Factory Of Professionals – Kila
Prof. Anthony Kila is the Director of Studies, Centre for International and Advanced Professional Studies (CIAPS). In this interview with ISAAC ASABOR, he discussed CIAPS and how it has been contributing to the country’s economic development through the provision of qualitative professional training to Nigerians, among other issues. Excerpts:
Tell us about your organisation?
CIAPS is a Lagos based International Postgraduate School. We are an innovative academic and research institution offering a unique international, educational and professional experience.
We focus on areas considered as fundamental for the creation of jobs and wealth in developing countries. This includes courses in education, business, media, ICT, public policies and production management. Our programmes are geared towards building of leaders and professionals that can solve problems and lead organisations and projects. Our aim is to be a “Factory of Professionals”.
What informed the establishment of CIAPS?
I was in Cambridge and the idea of CIAPS was an international idea rather than a Nigerian idea.
There were a lot of problems for international education for non-United Kingdom-based people. We thought about it and we said instead of getting thousands of people to go to foreign countries because they could not get some kind of education in their country, why don’t we get foreigners to go to their country. Hence, centres like this came up in Asia, Africa and in the Far East. It is a kind of Commonwealth project.
In Nigeria, what we thought about is to try and establish an academic and research centre that goes beyond certification. It is a graduate school because you have to be a graduate to come here. Our idea is to be a factory of professionals; a place where we take people and train them for specific types of professions. What we try to do is to mix the best of theory and practice.
We have adopted various kinds of approach. We have a unique method of learning and teaching called OBE, which stands for Outcome-based education.
The idea is to track how to do things. When we plan our curriculum, we speak to businesses and employers to look at what they want in the next set of people they will employ. Our curriculum is shaped around that so that people who come to us will be job-ready wherever they go.
Whether they are starting their own business, which we encourage a lot, or they are going to work somewhere, they are trained to solve those problems and they gain experience by learning through the curriculum and executing projects.
What informed the choice of courses you offer at the centre?
We looked at the areas, which we call essentials for developing countries. We look at courses in education, which we think many good practitioners need.
We look at courses in business management, which we think the country need. We look at areas of project management, finance, stockbroking, Information and Communications Technology and many more.
Can you mention the programmes offered at CIAPS, and the values that are inherent in them?
Courses offered at our CIAPS cut across postgraduates, certificates and open programmes. Some of the programmes are international master in public policy and development, which is an intensive one-year programme, aimed at graduates who wish to build a career.
Also offered is masters in international hotel and tourism management. The programme is also an intensive one-year programme aimed at graduates who wish to build a career.Besides, at CIAPS, professional Master in Media and Communications is also offered, and it is aimed at people interested in, or working in, journalism and news production.
Our Professional Master in Business Administration is an intensive one-year programme aimed at people interested in working as managers, or advancing in their present position.
In the process of ensuring that these programmes are effectively and efficiently offered, can you tell us about the support you are receiving from other organisations?
As part of our ongoing commitment to give our participants the best of theories and the best international practices, we at the Centre for International and Advanced Professional Studies have forged, and continue to forge, close and productive relationships with a variety of public and private institutions across the globe.
These organisations are essential to the excellence of CIAPS, as they support us financially and provide our staff and students with valuable industry experience; allowing us to operate in their organisations worldwide, gather case studies and analyse data.
In return, we provide them with the opportunity to work with a world class faculty and a body of the brightest, most creative and committed students.
Our growing list of associated organisation include: Akada Publications, Auxilia Links, Bambert Medical Company, Channels Television, Oando Petroleum, Providian Hotel Concepts, Sabre Travel Network, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Unity Bank, Watercress Hotels and Yes Agric among many other organisations.
Our rigorous selection allows us to draw the best and brightest students willing and capable of following innovative and intellectually challenging programmes in an environment which continuously encourages critical reflection and creativity. We combine the best of theories with the best of practices in all our programmes.
As with our students, our rigorous selection has allowed us to put together a world-class faculty of visiting and permanent members of staff. They come with a plethora of passion and experience of excellence from top institutions all over the world. Their academic research interests and professional experience and networks span the globe and they represent the full spectrum of arts and sciences, business and management. Many are leaders in their field directing cutting-edge research, advising governments and managing and consulting for businesses.
How has CIAPS been offering support to its partners and other organisations in the private and public sector an extraordinary level of support and assistance in order to realise their projects?
Our rigorous selection allows us to draw the best and brightest students willing and capable of following innovative and intellectually challenging programmes in an environment, which continuously encourages critical reflection and creativity.
We combine the best of theories with the best of practices in all our programmes. As with our students, our rigorous selection has allowed us to put together a world-class faculty of visiting and permanent members of staff. They come with a plethora of passion and experience of excellence from top institutions all over the world. Their academic research interests and professional experience and networks span the globe and they represent the full spectrum of arts and sciences, business and management.
Many are leaders in their field directing cutting-edge research, advising governments, managing, and consulting for businesses.
With such an abundance of talent, we are able to offer our partners and other organisations in the private and public sector an extraordinary level of support and assistance in order to realise their projects. Each project we deal with is assigned to a project director who manages and leads his team of dedicated, talented people.
Has CIAP been getting support from individuals, organisations or government?
We greatly appreciate the support of all the individuals and organisations, which enable us to enhance our student support, strengthen research, undertake practical projects, promote insightful discussions and facilitate publications.
With the help of our sponsors, we are able to establish and award prizes for academic achievements and innovation and give our students access to a global community of authoritative scholars and practitioners.
We consider our sponsors an important part of CIAPS, and part of the many benefits we offer them include: The use of CIAPS facilities for meetings, conferences, receptions etc; and exposure to a top international community of staff and students; these are potential employees, partners and customers.
We also have a privileged access to a pool of talented students and professionals with recruitment support from our Support Team.
How has the journey been so far?
We are quite new in Africa and have had our highs and lows but we are very pleased with our activities so far.
We are the first paperless institution in Africa, we have created the first training programme for Productions and Operations Management in Nigeria and we have also started the first professional programme for campaign management.
In the last 2 years we have trained graduates that are now managers in schools, businesses and lead projects across the country.
What is your role in charting the economy of Africa?
Our role is to find solutions and produce people that can lead development. That is why we do research and publish papers that analyse situations and proffer solutions. Our studies and training programmes are very practical, topical and very hands-on.
In 2018 we are starting a series aimed at businesses and professionals’ conscious of the need to add value to their offerings. On the 24 of February we shall hold the first workshop of the year it is themed “Techniques for Managing Complaints in Stringent Economies”, this is one day strategic workshop that help businesses discover how to embrace complaints and discover how to turn them into opportunities.
What achievements you recorded any in recent time?
So far we have been able to create people who are now adding value to their organisation and improving their own selves. Our graduates now head schools, they starting new businesses and heading some existing ones.
We have created partnership with some companies and we are creating more, these partnerships are aimed at helping organisations solve their problems and to give our students a feel of the real working world.
Why is the nation’s economy not moving appreciably despite Nigeria’s exit from recession?
Well, generally you rarely fly out of a recession one tends to crawl out it, we are barely out of the recession so we can’t expect a boom right away.
The more specific problem with us in the Nigerian episode is that it appears we did not take any cogent measure that changed the trend. Elsewhere in history and in other countries, recessions are managed through visible fiscal or monetary policies.
One tends to easily notice if it is the construction industry or the agric sector that lead the way out of recession. Here it is not clear at all what extraordinary initiatives the policy makers made to end the recession. To get extraordinary results, there has to be extraordinary inputs and a radical shift from the mode of operation in absence of that what one gets is partial adjustments slow recovery.
Will privatization and liberalisation lead the economy to the Promised Land?
Ah Ah! Promised Land is a big expression. The question should be do we think we can get better results via privatisation and liberalisation or via a state controlled economy. My answer is that the privately run economy tends to perform better and also tends to deliver better service.
The State’s role is to set a fair and transparent regulatory framework within which stakeholders can operate. Conceptually, it is easy to see that centralised state controlled economies tend to be more prone to red tapes, corruption and abuse of power, whilst private and locally controlled economies tend to be more flexible fairer and more responsive.
Historically, Nigeria has the unassailable case of the telecoms industry where those who are old or well-read enough will have a good memory and understanding of the way things were under the State owned and managed Nitel and the privately owned and managed telecoms company that came later.
Of course we must make sure privatisation does not become a way of allocating the Commonwealth to the usual or newly formed group of cronies.
What is your take on government plan to reassess some privatised companies that are not doing well?
Generally speaking reassessment is always a good thing. Reassessment gives all stakeholders a chance to compare reality to expectation, compare the delivered to the agreed all with the aim of improving operations, performance and delivery. I will personally also reassess the process of privatisation to ensure those have been given or bought public assets were the best and most suitable operators.
In reassessing privatisation, I recommend that each time the State wants to privatise any of its assets a slot must be given to individuals and groups with a track record of knowledge in that industry or sector but perhaps with no access to funds.
Source – https://independent.ng/