Daily Trust: You started a business school in Abuja, are you not afraid that the atmosphere is already saturated with a huge number of business schools in the country?
Emmanuel Ozigi: I believe that the number of business schools in Nigeria is highly insignificant compared to our population and business needs.
DT: What do you aim to achieve by setting up a business school?
Ozigi: I intend to provide affordable and quality education for those who are seeking additional knowledge in business and management. The idea is to set up a team that will provide locally branded and international practical knowledge on business.
DT: But is Abuja ripe for such a school?
Ozigi: Yes. In fact, Abuja is long overdue to have a business school such as EBS. The comparative advantage of setting up the school in Abuja is very high. Abuja is the seat of Federal Government. The presence of banks, multilateral agencies, federal government agencies and parastatals are additional catchment points.
DT: How long have you been planning the school and what have been the challenges?
Ozigi: We started planning for the school about 5 year ago. Initially we were faced with the challenges of choosing a location, finance and recruiting qualified personnel. We also had challenges trying to obtain affiliations and accreditations.
DT: Can we have an idea of what the school is all about?
Ozigi: Emmanuel Business School is a world-class business school with highly experienced faculty and excellent facilities. We are accredited and internationally recognised by ATHE and affiliated with world leading universities. Emmanuel Business School offers affordable accredited UK diploma, degree, masters and postgraduate diplomas. For the degree programme, students spend two years at EBS and final year in a UK university. We also run capacity building courses for different cadres.
DT: People are yet to understand what a business school is all about, can you explain?
Ozigi: A business school provides usable and relevant proficiency, enhancement and competence certification in business disciplines for those who want to up their game. It is a very good and robust platform for synergy and opportunity creation and provides up-to-date and current business knowledge and skill as well as what is trending in business circles globally. Business schools are not termly as against the traditional and conventional schools/universities. The timing is very flexible within a given academic session.
DT: Attending a business school is believed to be quite expensive; how does your school cater for the low income earners?
Ozigi: EBS provides modern world-class business education at affordable cost. We pride ourselves in the development of fit-for-purpose courses and modules for different classes of people to meet identified needs. So everyone has got a place at EBS, and at moderate and affordable cost.
DT: For some, attending a business school or say achieving an MBA is considered a waste of resources, especially now that the economy is weak and companies don’t have the huge resources to cater for the MBA holders. What do you have to say on this?
Ozigi: An MBA qualification is a professional qualification obtained from the university or its equivalent, while the certificates obtainable from the business schools are tailored to meet specific needs of the economy. In real term, the certificates from Business schools are very enhancing and fit-for-purpose to meet current business challenges.
DT: You started in 2016; how far has the school gone, how do you rate students’ turnout?
Ozigi: We commenced pre-school operation in 2016 with the intention of creating awareness and announcing the arrival of the beautiful bride – Emmanuel Business School (EBS). The school has identified and developed over 15 different business course modules, which we intend to commence teaching from this year. Many students who indicated interest have commenced enrollment in January 2018.
DT: People will want to patronise known schools, since you’re just starting do you see that as a challenge?
Ozigi: A journey of 1000 kilometres begins with a step. Emmanuel Business School has taken a giant step with its highly qualified faculty, world class facilities, international certifications and affiliations with some world leading universities. EBS is therefore a business school that operates on international standards that position our graduates to compete favourably with others in the labour market. We have redefined the business school model to assist everyone who desires to acquire foreign certificates by customising and domesticating our modules to suite the local needs at affordable cost.
DT: Is Emmanuel Business School offering anything new?
Ozigi: Yes, EBS is trying to improve on its curriculum each year. We’ve done so much in that regard since we started but in 2018 we are specifically targeting capacity development training for starters and the executives. These include certificate courses in Entrepreneurship Development and Management (EDM) , Small Business Management (SBM), Foundation to Financial Management (FFM) , Business Plan Preparation etc. Then about corporate training, we’re offering courses on financial governance, financial negotiations, micro finance and procurement, risk management, public financial management, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.