It’s been a very exciting journey – Mr. Biodun Shobanjo, Chairman of Troyka Publicis Group

We have seen a rapid transformation going on around the Insight Publicis Group and other businesses within the group since the partnership took effect. Sir, how would you assess this development being the visionary of this legacy?

What you saw was not as a result of the partnership with Publicis. Indeed, we had been working on the structures even before we signed up on the deal in February this year. Between February and now is only about seven months, so we could not have put that together in seven months. It is something that we have worked on for almost two years to get this; we’ve been doing it gradually. But at the back of our mind, we wanted to put in place an office complex that is future determined. We wanted to be sure that by the time we concluded our partnership deal, our partners would be extremely proud of the quality of people that they have found in Nigeria.
I think that the response that which we have gotten from the office complex and from the quality of people is that the complex could be anywhere in the world. That is a fact. We took our time to put it up in the manner in which it has turned out to be. So, it is the result of very diligent work, it is the result of the actualization of our dream because we had always said that we wanted to set up a company that goes beyond these borders. I am sure that we are all very proud of how it has come out and our partners are also very proud. Of course, those offices (structures) have been shared around the world, they have been shared around Publicis offices and everybody is so proud of it. That is my response to your question.

We have also observed that since this partnership deal, there have been a lot of immersions going on between all groups that are involved and Insight Publicis, the arrow head of the business, has taken a first-of-its-kind leap in the Troyka Group by having a kind of a change of baton; what are your comments about this and what are the other things to expect in the brand new team?

The other day I was reflecting and something occurred to me that Insight is now 36 years old. Again, it surprised me when I read some interviews in the media; you can see a subtle knocking of Insight where it is referred to as an old agency. I scratched my head and I said oh my God, suddenly Insight that was the fiery brand let’s say about 26 years ago is now being referred to as an old agency, almost as an aging brand. It is not true. I ran the company for 25 years and I handed it over to somebody and maybe that person ran it for another 11 years; but we are transiting because the company has to be a young company. Don’t forget that when I started running the company, I was 35 and when Awosika started running it, he was also a young person; so you will find that at every point in time, the leadership of the company was almost the oldest person in the organization and it has always been filled with young people; some of those people themselves are even owners of advertising companies but they were all very young.
So, what Insight does all the time is to replicate leadership and bring young people to run the company and also put very young people, dynamic people, and very intelligent people to work in the company, such that every time, what you always see is, in fact, an agency that is the outcome of the young people. It will amaze you to know that the average age of Insighters as at now is about maybe 25, 27 years. If anybody says that it is an old agency because it is 36 years old, they need to feel the heart of the agency. These are two different things: you can see an old man with a very young, fresh heart, so he behaves like a young person. In fact, every time, Insight, as it is with all our companies, must behave like a young organization, and why do we do that? We recognized that every time that we communicate, we are communicating with young people, and so if the people who are putting the communication together do not understand the profile and cannot identify with youths, then it becomes a problem.
So, to answer your question, yes, for the first time, the history that has been made is that, from owner managers, we are now transiting to a situation where a professional manager is running the business and that, in itself, is news. It is the first time that it is going to happen in the 36 years old history of that company.
Will there be further changes? Of course, there will be further changes. I don’t want to pre-empt anything, those changes will be done as we go along but you change the leadership first which is the most important thing. At our board meeting which held about two weeks ago (before this interview), that change was made and that change had been communicated to our people, it’s been communicated to our clients. So, you have to wait for the other news that is coming but I can assure you that more structural changes are coming and the change, by the way, is also going to be very news worthy.

Could it be that even though there was a need for the campus on the table since the idea started before the partnership; and now because of the partnership the name has to be Publicis campus?

Well, I don’t know what name will be given to that premises because to be honest with you, that was not an important thing for us. We could have called it Troyka or whatever; but because our marketing commutations companies are going to reside there, some of them if not all, we might call it Insight Academy, Publicis premises, I don’t know; but that has not been part of our discussion, I must admit.

What are the other structural systemic changes that have taken place in the last six or seven months since Publicis came in to be?

A lot of changes have taken place; I mean you earlier made an allusion or reference to the immersions that have taken place. There have been lot of immersion programmes that have taken place within each of those companies. Some of the immersion took place here, some took place overseas. There have been a lot of movement of people, I can tell you that and what are going to be the benefits of all of those immersions, we now must begin to understand the way and mode of operation of Publicis Group, don’t forget that we are now part of Publicis Group.
Now if you find a child in an ideal situation, what everybody expects of that child is to have some link with the parenthood, isn’t it? The DNA must align. For so long, we behaved and operated as a different people; at a time it was Grey, WPP, and all those kind of things. During those periods, we could behave the way we liked, if you understand what I am saying, because we had a loose relationship as an affiliate here and there. But now, for the very first time, we are now in a true partnership where Publicis have put their money where their mouth is and don’t forget that this is a successful company, it is the third biggest marketing communications company in the world. They must have been busy doing something wonderfully well, there are clients that they have worked for, for over 60 years, and how do you work for a client for 60 years? You know what happens here, you work for a client for three years, the client suddenly gets fed up, it is like some courtship, you know, this girl, I have seen another girl that is more beautiful and whatever, sometimes even the girl may not be as pretty but you know human beings just want change. So how do you engage, what do we need to do to engage with our clients much more holistically than we used to do before, how do we engage with our clients that what we deliver is deeper and better than what we used to deliver before now? How do we ensure that it is not just lip service when you say that you want your client’s brand to be a winner in the market place, what learning are you going to bring to them, etc, etc? Those are the kind of things that we are doing now, looking at our businesses beyond being local to being global; in order words, bringing global values to the things that we deliver to our clients and knowledge.
I can tell you that our guys have been inundated with knowledge that sometimes when they are talking, I am, scratching my head and saying are these guys talking advertising? Because to be honest, this business has moved on, it has really moved on way beyond what used to happen during my time; so these guys are lapping all of this knowledge up. I can’t even begin to tell you, I mean sometimes, I am like oh my God, this is getting too much and you know why, the consumer, the media, everything has changed, there is so happening in the marketplace that you need superior knowledge to be able to catch up with the consumer because the consumer is busy, the consumer is on a journey and we need to anticipate that journey. How do you anticipate the consumer’s journey? Conventional way of thinking cannot and will not because that consumer is always two steps ahead of you and yet we say that we want to anticipate that journey. That is the way communication is growing and I am learning in the process; thankfully I am still here.
If I must tell you, without any sense of immodesty, I do not know how many of my contemporaries know what is going out there right now. From a global perspective, that is one massive advantage that we have a cross our marketing communication groups – from PR, to Advertising, to Media, to Digital. I hope you know that digital is where the money is going now; it is doing so very slowly here but I promise you, if you look at the global perspective, digital is taking 20% of the budget now; when you talk to media people, they will tell you even their own allocation; so how do you prepare yourself? Even I am still trying to learn what this is all about because when I call our media, people, I say come, come and educate me about these things and they are always talking above my head anyway; so in the process I am learning and it is a very exciting journey.

Managing creative business in a time of recession, Can we get the views of an entrepreneur like you managing creative business in a recession?

What I see, what I hear is doomsday. You know, there is gloom generally out there, but I laugh. I laugh because if you go back 36 years ago when we started, we stared during a recession in 1980; don’t forget that Shagari was in government in 1980 before the coup and we were queuing to buy what they called essential commodities. There was no money and it was then a Minister said what the hell were we talking about; we hadn’t started picking food from dust bins! It was a very tough period when we started. When I look back I say to myself, what a hell, how could we have started at that time, but we leant. If you are a child of that kind of an era, the first thing that you will learn is how you will survive.
I think, to be honest with you as government has been preaching, thankfully they did something yesterday (the day before this interview) on how we need to buy Made-in-Nigeria products, just look at the opportunities that will be there for marketing communications. If suddenly we started having Made-in-Nigeria products and goods, some people will have to communicate that because disposable income is so low anyway that before you buy anything, you have to think twice; so it is our job to now convince the consumer that you need to buy Erisco tomato paste or whatever it is called for example. How do you tell the consumer out there that he has a choice to make in what brand of tomato paste that he needs to buy. I am just using that as an example; if there was a Dangote rice, for instance, how do you convince the consumers to go for it? In fact, there is rice that is made at Ofada that is branded and is called Jide rice, how do you convince the consumer that it is Jide rice that he needs to buy?
There must be what I call Beyond Creativity; creativity has gone beyond just doing a very good piece of art work and putting copy into it, no, no. But 36 years ago, that worked because there was not enough proliferation of the media as we have today. The consumer was not under this kind of pressure, even though he had some pressure but today’s pressure is so totally different; just look at what is happening in the environment, kidnapping is going on and when you catch these kidnappers they will say to you, the only reason I am doing this is because I am hungry, the reason I am doing this is because I can’t get a job, etc. Really, I am just saying that, that did not use to happen 36 years ago. If my children who are leaving the universities can’t get jobs, then you need what you yourself earlier talked about – the management creativity, today.
Creativity is now more than doing an ad that looks good either on television or in print. In any case, that consumer that you are talking to, that you want to communicate with is busy. Have you seen people the way they behave these days, they are permanently on these things (handsets and Ipads). In those days we used to shoot commercials for one to one point five million pounds but those days are gone. You now need creativity that cuts all of the cluster and that can engage people on a one-to-one basis because some people sit within the comfort of their homes and are producing all sorts of things that you can put on the social media for five, seven or ten seconds and it is costing about N25,000 to produce; the guy can produce ten of those for you, that is just N250,000, that is in sixty-seconds, you are watching it on a big television screen.
But come on, the question is: are people really watching television? If the answer is no, what are they watching? Who is watching this what? Those who are watching television are the people you can reach through that medium. Even then, what is their profile, are they the ones we want to reach? I am just asking basic questions; don’t forget I am a retiree maybe I am not correct but from the little that I l know, these are the issues. Are you managing an agency that is creating work digitally? Is that where you focus is? Are you managing an agency that is doing a mishmash of everything? But is it reaching the target that it wants to reach and is it pressurizing them to taking a buying decision is favor of your client’s brand? that is the argument for me and it is possible; we can do that but we need to understand some of the factors that come to play: one, the client does not have the kind of money that he would have wished to throw behind all those big budgets because we are going through a very difficult time, the challenges of the client is, how do I get my raw materials, how do I get my machineries, those are the prioritized areas; now once I am able to get that in and I am able to produce and there is electricity, there is whatever the infrastructure is there to support me, alright, how much of that can I afford to spend particularly because I also want to generate the sales of X, don’t forget that without the advertising and marketing communications support, you will not be able to get the volume that you are looking for and therefore you cannot be able to sell at the kind of unique prices that marketing communications helps you to sell.

Due to the difficult situation being faced by manufacturers and brand owners, there is always a tendency to cut advertising budget. Sir, is this really the best way out?

How can you cut your nose to spice your face? People do. I don’t want to mention the brands but they are brands that we all know of that are popular globally. There is one particular brand that was known to have continued advertising even during the war years when nobody was buying anything; even they were not producing but they kept advertising. What happened, when the war ended? It was that brand that was on the lips of every consumer, Coca-Cola. You know the brand, everybody knows the story.
So at times like this, I promise you clients that are discerning and who understand the role of marketing communications in the life cycle of their brands would keep supporting their brands, irrespective of everything that is going on. Is the consumer still not watching UEFA football competition? This explains why Heineken would constantly be there because they know that aside the profile of that brand, they know that at the end of this difficult storm that is raging, the consumer would come back to remember that brand as the premium beer brand in Nigeria. And you can talk of some other brands that are also doing the same. The point that I am making, whether you believe it or not, see what the telcos are doing, there is this fierce competition going on amongst the four of them, isn’t it? That is the way to go.

Talking about Made-in-Nigeria goods that are being promoted by the Federal Government now, the creative agencies appear to be in a dilemma in terms of developing new businesses from this initiative given the fact that indigenous brands have not really appreciated the value of advertising?

Two things I am going to share with you. I think the Made-in-Nigeria thing, like Dr. Salami said; is that there must be a strategy intent on the part of government to actually promote made-in-Nigeria goods and the question he asked was that, if this was part of the strategic intent of government for 2016, what part of government’s budget was allocated to, say, patronizing things that are made in Nigeria? For example in road construction, I don’t know how it works but I know that bitumen is a major requirement; now, when the budget was given to the ministry of works, did government say to them, you must not buy imported bitumen because bitumen is available in abundance here. On housing, did they say to the ministry of works, all the housing projects that we have, we have to use bricks? I am just being hypothetical here because I don’t know. Let’s even look at when we need to use components that are imported, like if you want to use the popular roofing materials does the government say the brands must be manufactured in Nigeria? That, at least, is one way of saying we are taking the Made-iniNigeria beyond sloganeering.
As to the other part of the question, if Nigerians begin to manufacture, would they understand the role of marketing communications, not just advertising? I think evidence at one’s disposal is that there are Nigerian manufacturers who really do understand the role of marketing communications. An example is Emzor Pharmaceuticals, there are so many other pharmaceutical companies here who do things locally and you know, they do push their brands. You could also look at a company like Erisco Foods, except that I think he may tinker with the name of his tomato paste, if the name is Erisco. I must confess that I don’t know the name for the brand but to me, Erisco doesn’t sound like a fitting name for a tomato paste; it sounds rather mechanical, sounds like something that mechanics will use.

Again, we read about the fact that there is a whole lot of rice being grown in a particular state of the federation, are they going through the whole process where we can bag that rice. What names are we going to call those rice brands, how are we getting them to the consumers?

The other day, somebody was telling me about a brother in-law of his, a friend of mine who actually produces Moringa tea; he grows the plant, he dries it, he puts it in tea form and it is being marketed in this country. So, what is the name of that tea brand, does he understand the need to go out there, take it from the product and turn it to a brand because that is the role that we perform? We create brands and a brand is like the life cycle of a human being, from the introduction to the growth stage, to the decline, of course you know that you need to prevent the decline; there are things that need to be done, so we need to educate people, our role is to educate and we have done it before.
I think it was about 34 years ago, with Cocoa Industries, here in Ikeja, Lagos; all they did was produce coco cakes and then, it was during this difficult period, the management suddenly said but we can produce coco powder, if we produce coco powder, why don’t we turn it into a beverage and that was how they invited us. Thirteen agencies went to pitch for the business and we went there talking about the value that you can add; we didn’t just go there with a creative solution because they didn’t understand anything about marketing and marketing communications. We told them, you have a gold mine on your hands. Remember that before then we had worked on Milo for Nestle; so we said you are sitting on a gold mine here, this is what you need to do: first, let’s look at the package, the package was designed, we took it overseas, they gave them a template that looked so nice; next we said we must turn this product into a brand, then, how do we distribute? We recommended a logistics company which doesn’t exist anymore and we said because you don’t have any marketing people in-house, you don’t understand how to do distribution and sales and things like that, this (logistics) company will come here, take every can of the Vitalo which you produce and they will market it across Nigeria for you and that started. We then produced all the communications support materials and before you knew it, a brand called Vitalo emerged in the Nigerian market. They had never done anything like that before and Vitalo became a threat to Ovaltine, Bournvita and Milo. It was as a result of the work which we were doing for Vitalo that Nestle approached us and say, you know what handle Milo for us.
There are so many success stories to tell about how you can partner with somebody who is totally ignorant about the role of marketing communications in turning their products into brands. It is a gradual process, though. When we went to Nasco in Jos, again, shortly after we started, they were producing only jute bags, this was about forty years ago now, the management of that company saw the need to begin to diversify and they first went into the production of detergents; when they came, they said that they were looking for technical partners and they said that they were talking to a company in Germany, who will they send to go and talk to the German company? They sent me because they didn’t even have anybody in their organization who could talk to so-called technical partner about their plans, what they wanted to do. I am telling you facts, and we stared together producing the box, so we launched Brightest, the first detergent that was produced by Nasco; and from there we produced other brands and then we started producing in sachets and from there they went to biscuits, they had never done this before; but I tell you, they believed strongly in the power of marketing communications, and that was how we built the Nasco brand in Nigeria. I don’t know about today, but at one point in time Nasco was the largest employers of labour in the Northern part of Nigeria. I don’t know whether that has changed today but you see these things, they are practical things that we have seen and they are possible.

Isn’t there anything that the IMC industry especially through the umbrella bodies could do to sensitize upcoming Nigerian brands, brand owners and SMEs to see the need for IMC and to go for it?

I agree yes; I think there is a need. The association can do it on a larger scale. APCON can do it. There is a need because there, to be honest, there is a lot of ignorance and what a man does not know, he cannot give; if they don’t understand, you just have to help them understand. I don’t want to name very massive brand owners who still don’t necessarily understand the role of IMC in the lives of the things that they do. You can determine that even when a marketing communications organization goes and make a proposal or make recommendations; you can see them complaining about the amount to be spent on a campaign, for instance. Such brand owners would consider it to be “a lot of money” because they don’t understand what that will turn their brand into; they don’t understand that they can take their brand for which they projected a turnover of N1billion and it into N2billion, or N3billion or even N5billion almost within the same period of time.
I think the examples to cite on the role of IMC in the lives of brands, to be honest with you, are the telcos. See the amazing things that they are doing with IMC. When we started working for Globacom, how much was the budget at the time? But see the veracity and velocity of what happening at that period of time; and you can take each of the telcos from the MTN, to the Etisalat, to Airtel. When did they all come to Nigeria? Not too long ago; but look at the turnovers that those guys have today.

Still on the economic sphere, the people in Nigeria are groaning about declining fortunes in businesses and enterprises yet we are having a kind of resurgent interest by foreign investors. Sir, what will you say is responsible for this?

Well, I think the truth about that it depends on what strategic trust these global organizations have; they are those who will take long term views of their businesses. But you see, we as a people, we cannot afford to take long term views of our situation because here we are facing the results of some of the things that we failed to do in the past. For example, we have a mono economy in Nigeria. The economy has suffered majorly from global decisions for which we have little or no control, then it is heightened by what is happening in the Niger Delta, alright, so suddenly; you will find that your revenue (as a nation) suddenly drops by about 50 percent, that is creating all of the problems that we have. Government is still the largest employer of labour in this country; when you aggregate the number of employees within the Federal and State governments and local governments, they are massive employers; now, they can’t pay salaries. And once they can’t pay salaries, nothing is happening in the economy, that is the honest truth and that is what is affecting all of us, isn’t it?
Let’s take the manufacturing sector, the need to access funds, to bring in raw materials and machines, they don’t have that, so they cannot produce; those in the service sector, even if you said to me today that you guys can still deliver service, who do I want to deliver the service to? The guy who will buy my service cannot produce. Look at the banking sector, if nothing is done amongst all of these people, they cannot bank, there is nothing for the banks to do, and that is the honest truth. So the whole economy is comatose and that is why when you look at what is happening on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, you look at the inflows, nothing is happening there really. There are very few foreign investors who are saying ok, these guys are going through this bad patch but because whatever we but now, we buy cheap, we can take a long term view; but even such (investors) are very few because they don’t know when this upturning is going to come.
I am not an economist but as somebody who plays within the economy, I can tell that, that is what is happening and will continue to happen until the economy can be re-inflated. It is true that the economists have propounded all sort of theories and suggestions and people are weighing them up; but for me, I think the easiest way that we can get out of this nightmare that we seem to be in, is that first, government needs to resolve the issue in the Niger Delta, that is the easiest solution because at least, oil prices are going up now but we are not benefitting from it because we cannot produce optimally. Therefore, I think government needs to find a way of resolving that problem. If it does, hopefully revenue will go up again. Number two is that like everybody has said, we must begin to produce. This country does not produce.
Once upon a time, we were the largest producers of textiles in the whole of the West African sub-region, if not in sub-Saharan African actually. Where are those textile mills now? I remember that at a time, we had a client who was in that business, they even produced cotton, they had a company called Afcott, they produced cotton which was turned into threads; they were turning the cottons into textiles; they owned Afprint as well. Where are all those companies now? There was also the massive Nigerian Textile Mills in Kaduna, and all those industries at Illupeju, Isolo, and what have you. All those companies have closed down, and unless we begin to produce, which is the easiest way out for us. But to produce, they will then say to you where is infrastructure? There is no electricity, so it is a bad situation. There is so much to do and we have little time to do it but government must be the catalyst to reignite all of these things, at least, create the infrastructure, then the private sector can then plug into that that is my own view.

Nigeria has been finding it difficult to create a brand identity for itself. There has been rebranding campaigns; now this new government has come with the Change Begins with me campaign. Do you see this campaign resonating with the Nigerian people; can it achieve the desired objectives?

Everybody is talking about this for too long; I can only talk from the perspective that I am familiar with: in my 45 years experience in this business, I do not know of any one brand that has been put in our care and that we have made success of when the client hasn’t done all of the necessary things to bring that product to our table and then say to us please can you help us turn it into a brand. Sometimes, as a result of changes within the environment and the consumer behavior, you might need to do a bit of tweaking to that product as you go along and that is why sometimes in communication, you will hear, new improved whatever it is, and they will tell you that we have added some perfumes, or some oil or whatever; but the basic ingredient of a successful brand are all embedded in what you want to sell. For me, that is the problem of Nigeria. Have we gotten our brand right because at the end of the day, when you say that you want to sell Nigeria or you want to communicate whatever, the values of Nigeria, you must always understand that, you are going to be doing that in competition with other countries because the ultimate objective is that when you mention that name, it must resonate with those who hear the information and the positiveness of that brand is what they want to take. Honestly today, if you want to go and sell brand Nigeria, what will be the take away for the consumers? Is it selling Nigeria to Nigerians? We know what Nigeria is as a people; so I believe that when you look at the publics of such a communication, as such, you have to look at the internal and external. I believe in my own mind that it is not the slogan that you put behind the mind that matters; it is the concreteness of what you want to say and the brand that you want to sell.
If anybody gives me a brief to go and sell Nigeria today, like we will always say to our clients, have you thought about this, have you thought about that, can we do this, can we change the colour of this brand that you brought here because the colour you put this in is not the colour that matches this kind of products. What I am saying, in essence, is that I would ask questions, and if there are things that need be corrected, I would say to my client can we correct this, because it is possible for us to correct this and again, we can device programmes that correct what those deficiencies are; and once we put the whole thing right then we will now create the communication support for it. I think that is the way that people sell nations and there are examples to draw from.
When South Africa started selling itself, we were all there when they started selling themselves but it took them two to three years to prepare for it. You don’t just wake up, I mean this government just got there how many days ago and now we have put together something; the question now is, what informed that? I am not knocking anybody but I am just saying that as somebody who has a fair understanding of this business, I am not so sure that we have gotten to that stage yet where we should be selling brand Nigeria, if it is brand Nigeria that we want to sell or we change; or are we trying to change people’s attitude or perception or whatever? And then one of the things we are taught in this business is that when you want to communicate, apart from looking at the medium through which you want to communicate, you also want to be sure that those that you are communicating with are in a particular frame of mind to accept the communication. Are Nigerians really in a frame of mind at this time to accept any communication that has to do with brand Nigeria? I don’t know, I am not sure; but I suspect that if we conduct a research today, we will find out that majority of people are not in a frame of mind to receive anything like that. That is not the problem that they have now, you got to create an enabling environment for people to be able to receive your information, otherwise, you are probably wasting your efforts. For me, these are some of the issues that we really need to look at.
In a 36-year old organization and a world-class outfit, we have not seen the kind of advocacy or social project that matches your reputation in the industry. Is it that there are some things going on that we don’t know about?
We have a deliberate policy in our group. It is not to shout about the things that we do. You may say that you guys are always in the media but the truth about us, particularly the owners of the business, is they are introverts; they are very personal people, in doing their jobs or whatever. It is possible that people could take a different reading of who they are, but you can be rest assured that if you see them in the media, it is because of the nature of their job. But as to what then happens as fall-outs of doing their jobs, they are very private people, I can tell you that.
A lot of people don’t know that I am a very private person. When you see me in the media, it has to do with my job and the things that I do. I mean four of my children are married only one of those weddings was in media and I tried to avoid getting it into the media. I tried everything possible to get the media off it. I am being very honest with you because that is who I am. Awosika is even worse. So, for the things that we give back to the society, we do it quietly; maybe we need to do more and I promise you that we are looking at that and as individuals we also do our little bit but we keep it quiet and silent because there is a way that they put it in the bible that you don’t need to make any noise about these things. So, I don’t think it is necessary.

This initiative that you did in Unilag is obviously a legacy for posterity, would like to talk about that?

When was the last time that you have read about anything that we did in Unilag? When was the last time that you read about the auditorium Afe Babalola donated there? When was the last time that you read about what Wole Olanipekun donated? We have given it to the school; it was supposed to serve a purpose for the betterment of the industry.
We just want to know what informed the initiative in Unilag and how it impacted on the industry.
We do things for the school of media of Pan African University; we do things for a lot of people. We don’t make a song and dance of it. The Unilag thing, I think it is a privilege to do anything for the educational institution, especially when it is in recognition of one’s contributions to the industry. The board of the University of Lagos approached me that I should do something for the Department of Mass Communication; specifically to put up a building and so the building is there, so it is supposed to aid knowledge, we felt that it was something that we should look at and I think the University is pleased with it, we are also pleased with it and the students who are using it and the future students will benefit from it. That structure will aid the comfort of getting knowledge; something was there before, we had to pull it down because it didn’t befit the school and it was also uncomfortable and then I looked at it and I felt that there was something that we could do and like I said it is actually an honour and privilege to be approached to do a thing like that; after all, I am not the only person that is in this business, so to have chosen me to do it, even though to be honest I initially declined but thankfully after all sort of discussions and all that I agreed to do it; so it is there for posterity.


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