Supply Chain Africa set to build multi-million naira research centre in LAUTECH

Supply Chain Africa set to build multi-million naira research centre in LAUTECH




The Acting Vice Chancellor Prof ROM Kalilu (left) in a handshake with Mr Adebayo Adeleke, CEO of Supply Chain Africa

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, has gained a strong foothold in the supply chain research and innovation as a firm, Adebayo Adeleke Limited in conjuction with Supply Chain Africa is set to build a world class research centre worth N5 billion naira ($2.5m) in the institution.


The research and innovation centre, to be housed in the Faculty of Management Sciences Department of Transport Management, will be the first such centre in Nigeria and second in the African continent, according to the donor Mr. Adebayo Adeleke.


The proposed centre generated a lot of excitement on Monday during a brief reception for the management of Adebayo Adeleke Ltd led by its CEO Mr. Adebayo Adeleke at the office of the Vice Chancellor.


“It will go a long way in assisting the university to uppend its research capabilities and linkages,” the Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Rasaq Olatunde ROM Kalilu, says.


“By the time they complete the project it will enhance the programme within the faculty, the university and outside,” Architect Adelowo Adeniyi, Head of Architectural Services Unit of Physical Planning Department of the university also submits.


The Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences, Prof Abiola Idowu, also declared in an interview with newsmen, “Myself and the enitire faculty members are excited and happy that we are having this good thing coming to us…So, this place will be the first, and the students will be so proud that at least not only will they enter and work in a lab that is directly associated to their course, so much so they will be able to do this and see things that only are available only to those people that studied abroad so it will have great impact on them.”


This is as Prof Remi Aworemi, Head of Department (Transport Management) enthuses: “Honestly, it is an exciting and highly appreciated project because it is a very good initiative for an individual to be thinking in this direction; it is very rare. When we see people bringing in their resources into research and development of tertiary institutions and the state, we suppose to commend them.”


Prof Kalilu who also disclosed he was excited “receiving” Mr. Adebayo Adeleke, revealed he had been looking forward for such partnership as a result of his plan to “internationalize” the institution.

The Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Kalilu flanked from left by Prof Abiola Idowu (Dean Faculty of Management Sciences), Mr Adebayo Adeleke, Prof Remi Aworemi (HOD Transport Management) and others in a group photograph at VC office

Insisting his vision is to internationalize the operations of LAUTECH, Prof Kalilu added, during an interview with newmen, “We are trying to reposition the university so as to make positive impact at the global level. So, this supply chain management laboratory will afford the university to have staff and students exchange programmes with other organizations. That is the significance of the gesture by Mr. Adebayo Adeleke.”


He further said, “This will enrich the knowledge and ideas as well as technology of our students and staff to collaborate with their peers outside the shores of Nigeria, so also, we will be able to make impact with activities of other researchers and students who will be collaborating with us.”


Prof Kalilu harped that the university welcomes such collaborations to bolster its facilities and resources, “the university is open and free to different ideas that can make the university grow and have positive impact in Oyo state, in the country and the global stage. So, every stakeholder that may be interested in partnering with us is welcome.”

Also, Mr. Adeleke, the donor, who noted the project had already started in view of the enormous work already done, remarked LAUTECH is a “premier research university in Nigeria,” emphasizing, ”You can’t really talk about state universities or research universities in Nigeria without talking about Ladoke Akintola University. So, it is important to align with success.


Continuing, he maintained, “This is going to be the first supply chain research and innovation centre in Nigeria and second in Africa, so, we intend to kind of establish that. And more importantly is the fact that I have done researches within the space of research chain in the continent and there is a need to have facility that is quite focused on that, the supply chain is life.”


The centre will be about research and proffering solutions, positing, “Anything that has to do with this particular project is going to be multi-disciplinary in such a way that you pull people from engineering, robotics, art to get to where we have to solve research problems.”

He argued civilization started in Africa “and so for us it is to show the world we can do research, we can solve our own problems and we can do it in such a way and in such a manner that we put into consideration our cultural nuances, our indigenous knowledge and be able to not only solve our problems but proffer solutions for our global challenges at large.”


Aside the preeminence of LAUTECH in research which he identifies, Adeleke who is also CEO of Supply Chain Africa (SCA), described the strategic location of Ogbomoso as another factor that determined putting the centre in LAUTECH.


“When you talk about South West logistics and supply chain – whether you are coming from the north, from the south, it is gateway and so is quite necessary and quite pivotal to have it here. And that is a lot of success.”


He further stated, “I have met a lot of Ladoke Akintola University graduates in the course of time – captains of industries and what have you, and so, it is quite important we bring it to a place that already has historical background of success.


“LAUTECH is a place that receives you, and you only go where you are loved, and more importantly it is quite strategic in nature, it is a gateway, talking about supply chain in Nigeria, from the north to the south, the gateway passage, and also it is a place you can dispatch to go to the savannah if you understand the geographical nexus because it is very close to Ibadan, the historical perspective aa well makes the difference as we kind of map things across Nigeria. So, Ogbomoso is quite strategic and for all other sentimental reasons then, Ogbomoso makes sense.”


He assured it is beginning of a prosperous partnership with the institution. “Absolutely, we are pacesetters in this and we intend to use this as a premiere of so many things to be done with the university, it is just a start of a good relationship that we intend to foster over the course of time.”

Adeleke unveiled the cost of the project. “What we intend to build here is world class. We can’t shortchange this thing, what is worth doing is worth doing well. Our rough estimate right now is about N5 billion (five billion naira) – 2.5 million USD. It is going to make sense and we intend to produce so much world class solutions over here, that makes sense too.”


He informed the project would be solely financed by the firm but “along the way we will invite partners as well, the essence of this facility, this research centre is to foster a melting pot among government, academia and also industry because nobody has monopoly of knowledge, nobody has monopoly of research and whatnots. And over the course of time the government, most centres you see around have been a kind of being sponsored but this is probably one of the few occasions whereby you find a place where the three tiers kind of support innovation in Nigeria, the academia, the industry and the government come together to proffer solutions to problems to some of the challenges we are facing in the supply chain forward.”


The HOD, Transport Management, Prof Aworemi, enthused the centre would go a long way to enhance the accreditation process of the department, saying by the nature of the proposed laboratory, foreign students would be attracted, which he asserted would aid the process. “It means the programme is internationalized, so, having this kind of project here will definitely add to the value of the programme we are running here in LAUTECH, just as it will help meet the requirement of a laboratory by the NUC,” he added.


The professor of transport operations said the project would bridge a lot of gaps noting most Nigerian universities running transport and logistics lack supply chain hub, and that in the face of the difficulty besetting the transportation of goods and services “having this kind of thing, there is going to be a lot of researches that will be carried out that will bring in innovations, better ways of moving goods and services.”

He expressed confidence that the centre when it becomes operational, unfolding lots of researches and innovations, “a lot of people will come from FUT (Federal University of Technology), Minna they will come from FUTA (Federal University of Technology), Akure, they will come from LASU (Lagos State University). It will bridge a lot of gap and expose our students to the high tech innovative ideas that people will be bringing that will enhance their reasoning, their knowledge and the likes.”


The Vice Chancellor informed 15 acres of land had been allocated for the project but the HOD of Transport Management, Prof Aworemi, wanted it increased to 45 acres as promised, expressing hope the department would soon metamorphose into a faculty.


The site was later inspected by the teams for assessment.


Co-founder and director of SpaceCube Development Ltd, the firm handling the construction, Mr. Olufunso Akinsanya, asserted the project is an opportunity for his company to contribute to national development saying the “company is.committed to teaching, learning and research and transfer of knowledge.”


“This facility represents our contribution in form of intellectual ability and even execution to deliver a facility that will transcend and outlive all of us and everytime we come back here it will be a testament to how much as a people we can solve our own problems and build for the future.”


Akinsanya assured good, sustainable, environmentally friendly and affordable materials would be used in the construction and efficient design adopted with a view to making maintenance easy and reducing cost of maintaining the facility.

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