‘Training, Research will Boost Businesses in Nigeria’

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By Raheem Akingbolu

The annual turnover on businesses in the country will be twice over its current status if business owners and their employees can embrace training and research to boost deliverables, the programme director of Market Research Academy (MRA), Seyi Adeoye, has said.

Adeoye, who spoke at the media unveiling of MRA, a new training academy in Lagos, was of the opinion that Africa accounted for only one per cent of global market research spend, estimated at $45bn and that  this could only grow if more enterprises in Africa embraced research to improve their businesses.

“They must be ready to offer qualitative services by up-skilling their workforce through an academy like ours. A highly competitive marketplace equally means a highly competitive talent environment,” he said.

Adeoye added that the academy was not only meant for established consultants but fresh graduates looking for jobs and finding it difficult to fit into the work places.

He said: “The academy is an interventionist move to close the widening knowledge gap in Nigeria’s marketing research consultancy business. It will also upscale the skills of practitioners especially as the market becomes more demanding and dynamic. The academy was instituted to equip market researchers and practitioners with business advisory skills so that they can give their best to organisations.”

He said it would produce researchers who could advise manufacturing firms about taste of consumers and the products that were trending at particular periods and where they were trending.

The programme director expressed his concern over multimillion naira capital flight spent on overseas training, adding that the objective of capacity building professional academies in different fields of the economy is to empower Nigerians and save the country about N3 billion spent on such training overseas annually.

It is calculated that about 1,000 Nigerians embark on such training and capacity building abroad annually with a cost per individual at N3m.

Nigerians also spend about N360 billion on medical treatment abroad annually while undergraduate courses in international schools cost Nigerians in search of education overseas about N1.5 trillion yearly. Countries that benefit from this include UK, India, United States, Ghana other countries in the Middle East.

Following the revenue shortfall occasioned by recent development in the international oil market, Nigerian government in 2014 placed embargo on foreign trainings and international travels as a cost-saving measure.

Adeoye said the reason for the establishment of Market Research Academy was to equip market researchers and practitioners of business advisory that they can give their best to organisations.

“The academy is not only tailored to established consultants but fresh graduates looking for work. Over time, these fresh graduates from Nigerian universities, either due to the fault of theirs or the system has found it difficult to fit into work places. This academy is designed to close that gap and accelerate meaningful integration in the Nigerian workforce.

 “The Market Research Academy Lagos is a professionally run academy by industry marketing practitioners for marketing researchers. From our state of the art purposely fitted training facilities within a serene environment; we run ‘outcome’ oriented programs. Our model is simple: we invite facilitators with hands on proven knowledge of different target topics to teach and we then leverage a central advisory board to push the envelope via inclusion of new approaches and methodologies”.