Nigerian Researcher Wins $234,000 Grant For Virtual Reality Project

Dr Eugene Ohu runs a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab at Lagos Business School. Photo: lbs.edu.ng

 

A researcher at the Lagos Business School has won a $234,000 grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc.

A statement on the website of the school said Dr Eugene Ohu, won the grant to conduct a two-year virtual reality research titled Teaching Children Empathy and Compassion through Virtual Reality Games.

The project “will explore the potentials of virtual reality (VR) for character development”, the statement said, adding, that the grant was awarded under TWCF’s Global Innovations for Character Development (GICD) initiative.

“It will be an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience where teenagers take the perspectives of ethnic groups different from theirs, to appreciate their identity and share in their sufferings,” Dr Ohu was quoted as saying.

“We also hope to train teachers at the study schools on the new VR teaching models, so as to incorporate them into the Civics and Social Studies curriculum of secondary schools.”

According to the statement, Dr Ohu runs a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab at Lagos Business School, where he explores the implications of the immersive, interactive and perspective-taking characteristics of technologies like computers, mobile devices and virtual reality (VR) for character development, learning, behaviour modification, wellbeing, and productivity.

Dr Ohu’s project will target an initial group of teenagers, who make up more than 60 percent of Nigeria’s population, and explore perspective-taking capabilities of VR to increase understanding for the identities of others different from ourselves.

Other collaborators in the project include Judith Okonkwo, founder of Imisi3D, and Extended Reality creation lab in Yaba, Lagos, and Prof. Karen Schrier, a digital games expert at Marist College, USA.

Templeton World Charity Foundation funds scientific breakthroughs and provides practical tools to fuel the human search for meaning, purpose, and truth.

Through the Global Innovations for Character Development initiative, it seeks to establish character development as a lever for social change, increased prosperity, and overall human flourishing.

LBS Alumni Association Set To Hold 20th President’s Dinner

vlcsnap-2014-05-24-15h00m04s36Ahead of the 20th Annual President’s Dinner of the Lagos Business School Alumni Association (LBSAA) taking place at the Convention Centre of the Eko Hotel and Suites on Saturday, June 7, 2014, starting at 6.00pm with cocktail reception, President of LBSAA, Sir Demola Aladekomo, alongside other members of the executive committee discussed the mission and values of Lagos Business School.

Mr Aladekomo, who noted the significant growth the dinner has made n the past years, added that guest list at the event includes “the who is who in Nigeria”. He further noted that the school has produced “Bank MDs, top government functionaries, governors and Chairmen of publicly listed companies on the Stock Market”.

For the Vice President of the Alumni, Mr Wole Oshin “the track record of the quality of learning process and education” has made it compelling for executives to attend the institution adding that “LBS instils in you integrity, which is critical in the development of any business.

“By the time you go through a programme in LBS, you come out challenged and that has impacted the economy as a whole because we do have a lot of alumni that are in strategic places in the private sector, which indirectly has affected the economy” he said.

The President’s Dinner is the biggest social event of the School and the LBSAA, and one of the biggest black tie events in Nigeria. 1,500 guests are expected at this year’s dinner, up from 1,300 last year.

The dinner will feature awards to distinguished alumni and to distinguished classes of the LBSAA.

Lagos To Drive Major Sectors Of The Economy With Power – Salami

dr. salamiAn Economist, Dr. Doyin Salami, says that the Lagos Economic Summit is centered around power infrastructure and how power can be used to drive the major sectors of the economy.

Dr. Salami, who is a delegated at the Lagos Economic Summit, said that the Centre for Competitiveness and Strategy of  Lagos Business School was partnering with the Lagos State government on competitiveness and strategy and would also look at areas where there might be competitiveness concerns in order to address them.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Dr. Salami explained that the key mandate of the centre was focused on ensuring adequate competitiveness of firms, businesses in different part of the state affected positively or negatively by the state’s policies or actions. 

“We are interested on how companies react to government policies and their environment to ensure that they remain competitive,” Dr Samali also pointed out.

He said that the summit came into existence in 1999 with the inception of the civilian administration and a means to interact and dialogue with the private sector.

“Lagos has recorded a huge success in terms of business competition,” he said.

He further noted that the summit offers an opportunity for accountability, stating that at the beginning of the summit there is a review of the last summit that was held to evaluated the level of the implementation and the challenges surrounding implementation.

“There is a kind of a feedback loop and it is a strategy that helps in ensuring that the summit makes the needed impact,” he said.

Lack Of Right Statistics Hampering Infrastructure Development In Nigeria

Lack of right statistics is the major problem hindering infrastructure development in Nigeria, a research fellow with the Lagos Business School, Dr Bongo Adi, has said.

Dr Adi told Channels Television on Monday that the Nigerian government lacked the right statistic as regards the rate of urbanisation which is very important in determining the amount of infrastructure needed.

The right statistics gives the government an idea of how fast the city is expounding and this will ensure that the activities that go with the expansion is accommodated.

Contrary to the notion that the challenge Nigeria was facing in the area of infrastructure development was funding, Dr Adi insisted that the amount of funds missing in Nigeria was enough to provide the necessary infrastructure needed.

“Nigeria needs to invest about $14.2 billion annually to meet the current infrastructure gap. To bridge the deficit, it is not finance. It is a curious statement but true. When you hear about the amount of missing funds you will know that the problem is not funding,” he said.

He further explained that the call for the private sector to be involved in infrastructural development was a good one but pointed out that the high interest rate and political risk in the system was not favourable for the private investor.

“It is okay to call the private sector but right now I do not think that we have the right environment for the private sector to invest in infrastructure given the interest rate, political risk and recent reversals in infrastructure concessions. The government should provide the funding for infrastructure,” he said

Out of the $14.2 billion needed for infrastructure development, 10.5 is for Federal infrastructure and currently the country is trending at about $5.5 billion, one-third of what is required to meet the infrastructure gap.

Nigeria’s proposed budget for 2014 is about 4.7 trillion Naira. Out of it 74 per cent is for recurrent expenditure while 26 per cent is for capital expenditure, a paltry amount.

Dr Adi stressed that financing infrastructure was a serious business and called on the Nigerian government to take it seriously by ensuring accountability in appropriation of funds.

He commended the government for the master plan for the integration of infrastructure in Nigeria, saying that the plan is a very comprehensive one.

“It has plan for all the infrastructure access. Every aspect of the infrastructure – power, gas, aviation and other infrastructure needed.

The master plan laid the road map towards achieving infrastructure adequacy and the ambition to be one of the top 20 leading economies in 2020.

His point buttresses the need for public officers that misappropriate funds to be punished.

LBS Alumni Association Honours Channels TV Chairman

The Chairman, Channels Television, John Momoh has been honoured with the Most Distinguished Alumni Award of the Lagos Business School Alumni Association (LBSAA).

The award was presented to him at the weekend during the 19th annual President’s Dinner held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos.

According to the Director of Alumni Relations, Henry Onukwuba, Mr Momoh, who is an alumnus of LBS, CEP-7, was given the award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to society and for reflecting the ideals of the School.

Other awards during the ceremony went to the Advanced Management Programme (AMP-22) class who won the Best Alumni Class Award for the third consecutive year, and to Nigeria LNG Limited who won the President’s Award in recognition of the company’s contribution to the growth and development of LBS.

Over 1000 alumni and friends attended the dinner and award ceremony. Notable among the dignitaries was Africa’s first Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.

Fashola Signs MOU On Competitiveness Project With LBS

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Lagos Business School (LBS) on the Competitiveness Project, reiterating that the willingness of the State to be open shows clearly that all darkroom economists saying all manner of things about the State’s economy are wrong.

The Lagos Competitiveness Project is a collaboration of efforts between the Lagos State Government and the LBS to carry out competitiveness studies across 10 crucial sectors in which the state can have comparative advantage.

The Governor, who spoke at the Conference Room of the Lagos House, Ikeja added that the partnership with the LBS on the competitiveness project shows clearly that any issue that is a matter of debate can actually be put under a microscope and analysed just as it is obtainable in many parts of the world.

He explained that the Competitiveness Project dimensions how readily the present government is to subject its processes to an independent team of academics, professionals and business people and to share knowledge and experience with them while also benefitting from the human capital that clearly exists.

Governor Fashola stated that the relationship that great cities like London and New York have with their business schools and Universities are a matter of common knowledge, stressing that the Memorandum is one that should have come a lot earlier than it has.

“But it is consistent with some of the things that I have advocated that the Town and Gown must shake hands. We must implement policies that are consistent with the experience of people out there and the people must also acquire knowledge and skills that are useful for government to discharge its responsibilities,” Fashola said.

Governor Fashola said the end of the negotiation and signing of Memorandum of Understanding signals the beginning of a journey of cooperation and it is a journey that he looks forward to because it is a journey of common sense, mutual benefit and necessity.

While expressing delight at the milestone, the Governor said there is a lot of work to be done going forward and that Lagos Business School will find in Lagos State Government a very willing, necessary and cooperative partner.

The Dean of the Lagos Business School, Enase Okonedo said the objective is to see how the LBS can make Lagos an attractive place not only for businesses but also for business persons who will come to Africa and take advantage of the potential which has been out there for a couple of years.

She said the project is a collaboration of efforts between the Lagos State Government and the LBS to carry out studies across 10 crucial sectors in which the state can have comparative advantage, adding that such sectors would be identified and studied in depth in addition to case studies whereby cases will be written to examine and document the successes and challenges of the State Government in the process of building Africa’s model mega city.

Ms Okonedo said the objective of the Lagos Business School was to see how it could primarily contribute to the development of the Lagos State Government because the Lagos Business School is not only located in the State but also shares a common name with her and has observed the excellent work that is being done by the Governor and his team over the last couple of years.

She added that the institution has also been sharing in the Governor’s aspiration to make Lagos Africa’s model mega city just as LBS also has an aspiration to become Africa’s leading business school.

“We are therefore looking at Lagos and looking at ways in which we can work with the State and contribute from our expertise into making this a reality and one of the ways we thought that we could do that was to try, and in various ways, study the competitiveness of Lagos”.

“Now, we have all been witnesses and have read about Africa rising and how attractive it has become to businesses all over the world. When we talk about Africa rising, the question remains as to where the investments are going to be located within Africa, Nigeria and indeed Lagos which has the largest markets. If you look at it on a head to head basis, Lagos will compete with several other cities like Cairo in Egypt and others that are being mooted like Nairobi and Accra”, Dr Okonedo explained.

Earlier while giving an insight into the Memorandum of Understanding, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaiye said Lagos has always shown in several ways that it is intent on pursuing its policy of achieving a model mega city just as it is aware that it has the potential of reaching the goal.

He added that part of the goal listed was for the State to benchmark itself against fellow states not only within the Nigerian Federation alone but also against some of the best around the world.

“This process requires that we consistently review what we are doing, Study the best practices across the world and identify areas in which we have room for improvement with a view to ensuring that in all aspects of our governmental activities, we are among the best in the world”, he said.

He added that the Lagos Business School was a well-known institutions that is also keen to participate in what Lagos State is doing towards the improvement of not just governance but also living standards within the State and has therefore come up with the Lagos City Competitiveness programme,.

The Attorney General explained that the programme will involve the institution giving of its expertise in cooperation with Lagos State to carry out certain activities which will include holding competitiveness studies whereby the ten crucial sectors in which Lagos can have comparative advantage will be identified and studied in depth.

According to him, “There will also be case studies whereby cases will be written to examine and document the successes and challenges of the State Government in the process of building Africa’s model mega city”.

“We will have stakeholders’ engagements and the LBS will partner with the State to drive business and government engagements in order to sustain and build the atmosphere of partnership and fruitful stakeholders’ interaction. We will also have development initiatives involving collaboration with various government stakeholders to study and drive competitiveness through pre-arranged and targeted initiatives”, the Attorney General said.