Olanrewaju Duyile is a brilliant and creative mind with several major projects to his credit. He is the CEO of BEHAVIOUR PRISE CONSULTING INC and he’s majorly involved in projects that are characterized with Business Ethics, Market Economy, Business Sustainability Health and Special needs, and Entrepreneurship.
Speaking with City People’s Senior Reporter, Abiodun Alao, Olanrewaju talked about his new project and how Nigerian universities can key in.
Can you talk about the project you are working on?
I’m working on the development of a website; it’s supposed to be a one-stop hub for Nigerian students in universities, their lecturers, and the students. What that means is creating a platform where Nigeria students can go talk about themselves, their lecturers appreciating and encouraging lecturers that have done well, and also criticizing the ones that need to be criticized. It’s just an avenue for students to give necessary feedback when required, and lecturers to air their views about happenings around them in the university.
It’s going to be like a yardstick that people can use to grade lecturers in Nigeria universities. Parents can also use to check universities with some best courses, the way it’s been operated abroad.
So we want to create that one-stop shop for everyone. It will be free for everyone; the students, the lecturers, and the government as well.
Parents can also make reference to schools. After checking, they can proudly say oh, that university is good. It has 5-star rating on kickback strategy. We are not there yet but that’s where we want to go. We want to create a one-stop website that’s relevant for students.
So what’s your aim and objective in this project?
Once again it’s just to create that opportunity of feedback, what I want is to give feedback that is involved in education, universities, polytechnics, and government, basically everybody that’s involved in education.
Professionally am a behavior analyst, so when people get feedback on whatever they are doing, it encourages them to want to do things positively. If there’s no feedback it kills performance. So we want to appreciate the lecturer, and we want to appreciate the student. , that’s my aim. If nobody recognizes and appreciate a particular school, why will the school want to be better? So, it’s an opportunity to give that feedback which obviously is lacking.
Do students and lecturers have to go to the website to contribute?
Yes, for the website to be successful, it requires students and lecturers to always go there. If they don’t, it won’t be active and all they need to do is just go to the website type-in the name of the institution they want to check information, write a review about the person. Take for example I can type in professor Clark, everything about him is already written there, if he‘s a lecturer that always go for his classes late, it will also be there, it will all be written there.
Students are free to express themselves freely on how they feel about their lecturers without getting into any form of trouble. They can assume a screen name in other to hide their true identity. For example, someone can take the name Mickey Mouse just to hide the true identity. So when such a person writes a comment, it will only show that Micky Mouse has written something.
Is the registration going to be free?
Yes, absolutely free for everybody. But you need to register to be able to write any comment, it also requires a first and last name. You can also assume a screen name if you don’t want anybody to know your true identity.
What about students that don’t have access to the internet or even afford it?
Unfortunately, that’s the only way out, they must go online, and there are other benefits on the website for students. There are always quiz questions and whoever wins always get an airtime as a reward. So they can always use that airtime to recharge their phones, and they are usually simple questions such as where is FUTA located? Who is the Vice Chancellor of UNILAG? In answering these questions, you can quickly go to the website and log in. All the information are there. Then answer the questions and win something for yourself. It’s that simple.
To achieve all these, will you be having representatives in all the universities?
The way we started, we hired people to go round, with the exception of higher institutions in the north because of the insecurity issues. As time goes on, we will also organize meetings with the representatives of the student unions, so that all the schools will be carried along. All the information we got concerning all the lecturers, the courses they teach, we got everything from all the school administration and we will be maintaining the contacts. So, we have our representations that way.
For how long have you been doing this?
It’s been two years but we turned it on, on the first of July so if you go to www.feedbackstrategy.net you will see it there.
What would you have to gain putting up something like this?
This actually started as a corporate social responsibility. Like I earlier said, as a behavior analyst, what can be appropriate in Nigeria? I did my personal findings, got my team and we started working, though it has not been easy but when it’s fully known and people start talking about it. Then I will be fulfilled, to some extends, it’s just my own way of giving back to my society
What is your growing up like?
I’m a typical Nigerian kid. I grew up in Lagos, Isolo to be precise. I basically just lived my life like any tenager. I went to school. After school, I worked with a company called Media Link. After a while, I relocated to Canada.
How long have you been in Canada?
I have been there now for 15 years.
Since you are based in Canada now, how do intend handling this project?
I have a very strong team here and in Canada, I have control over my business. If there’s any need for me to come to Nigeria anytime, then I will come down. Moreover, this project is a web-based project so I don’t necessarily have to be here all the time. All I need to do is go to the website and get things done when necessary, and I also have a very reliable team and they take good care of the business.
You are one person that has really impacted the lives of youths in Canada through different means, so what plans do you have for Nigerian youths?
What I’m doing right now is part of it, a lot of people’s lives has been destroyed in school for so many different reasons, some could not afford fees and had to drop out, some could not afford school and got into some nasty habits and vices so they can cope. Some may have psychological problems and nobody to talk to, or even seek help from, and as times go by their lives get destroyed. Some even have issues with lecturers and don’t know how to go about it.
At the long run, they take the wrong decisions and destroy their lives in the process. And when the majority lives of the youths are destroyed in a country, then there’s no hope for the future. One of the so many things I’m trying to do is this; go and give these people the voice, if you need to speak with someone on any issue at all; you are always free to send us an email. We will set you up with an appropriate councilor, even in the case of abuse from a lecturer and as a student, you don’t know what to do or how to go about it, we are always available and ready to help, just send us a mail.
So you have some set of professionals working with you on this?
Yes, that’s right, lots of them
What changes do you really want to see in the Nigeria universities and their mode of operation?
What I sincerely desire to see, it’s how people are being educated. There are some people that struggle with reading and learning in our classrooms those days; we call them Olodo [dullard]. These set of people actually have a legitimate psychological condition. If the schools were equipped to identify those with that problem, they would have been able to help them but they just learn in different ways. There are lots of other cases like that.
We have people with Down-syndrome and others. Most of them still try to go to universities but they end up not being active like the normal students. Some even get bullied, intimidated and looked down upon in schools. We need to educate and also create awareness in regards to that.
With this website in operation, it will get to a point that we will project Nigeria universities lecturers in a way that, people and students abroad can make reference to them positively, they will even be getting invitations from schools abroad for programmes and even seminars, and when they start taking part in events like this and they see the way things are done abroad, they will definitely impact the knowledge when they get here and am very sure they will try to make difference.one step at a time. Gradually, we will get there.
So what inspired you to want to do something like this?
I understand how schooling works abroad and how schooling works over here too. Aand I teach adult classes abroad. Sometimes when students ask some questions, some others will be like oh, why he or she asked such a question. But the truth is that if they don’t ask the question, they will not learn and once they have the idea that they will be shut down and ignored, they won’t ask and this will hinder them from learning. So, coming from the Nigerian educational system and the system I see abroad, the gap is much and how can we bridge the cap?
Take for example in their university ratings, you will hear them talk about Harvard University, you will hear of the University of Toronto. These are highly rated universities abroad so they have ratings but come down to Nigeria, I’m not sure there’s any rating like that.
The only thing you hear is that the University of Ibadan is great, Obafemi Awolowo University too is great, and UNILAG is great too, but the normal rating is not there. So one of the so many things we wish to achieve is that a parent should be able to check the website and he or she will the best universities that offers the best law program, accounting, mass communication and all. It will be easier and better. The website will serve as a guide in helping us all. That’s it.
What are the challenges you have been faced with so far?
The initial challenge I had was finding the appropriate person to do the job, it was more difficult because I don’t stay in Nigeria. I wanted people that are very reliable and will do lots of going round for me to get the necessary information we need for the project. So we started going round and gathering information. The initial problem we also encountered was to know the right person to meet in schools for what we need, all that wasn’t easy at all, because when you get to some schools, you will be directed to so many places before meeting the right person and all these was very stressful.
Then we also had problems with logistics, though some schools were really great but in all, we thank God we got what we wanted. Right now we have information of over 50 universities, college of education, and polytechnics. We also have information of about 6,000 lecturers, so it’s amazing how far we have gone.
The project require lots of capital, taking care of people that have to travel here and there, so, it has not been easy but we give god all the glory.
Would you say this will serve as a checkmate to lecturers in the higher institution?
Exactly, the focus really is to celebrate Nigerian lecturers who are doing great jobs, also students who are exceptionally brilliant in different schools, I remember what students go through those days to pass exams, keep vigil and burn candles when there’s no light. It’s not easy doing all that, so students should not go through all these and yet not celebrated. So, we want to celebrate the lecturers, students and institutions as well. The website will also obviously change the lives of some people, because everybody desires to be celebrated and not the other way round. Though we don’t have plans of getting anyone into trouble, but as a lecturer, and you believe you are above the law and nobody can question, then students are free to go the website and pour out their minds concerning situation because they feel something needs to be done about it.
Lots of people need to know about this because most people have not heard about it, so how do you intend achieving that?
I have not done anything per say, I just did a little video about it, sent to my friends to put it on their Instagram and Facebook pages. Remember I told you we just started. Also, I mentioned earlier that capital is part of our challenge, so advertising on television and media will help a lot to make this known to people. It will be expensive though. Also my main targets are the students. So I need to focus more on students hangouts and also be part of their social activities.
I have also been talking to some people and we are getting some positive feedback, and also considering talking to some celebrities and see how they can help us advertise it, then we can put it on Instagram, Facebook, social media generally. We also made contacts with companies that will give us vacancies; we will also be giving out scholarships to students. All these will be on the website and in doing all these money will be required.
Take for example; we just confirmed there’s vacancies in chevron and we quickly connected with someone inside chevron who confirmed it was true and it was even her department so that will be placed on the website for people who are qualified. So people can visit the website in terms of getting a job, load airtime and anything positive you can think about.
We will also be looking at what we can do to help Nigeria students become entrepreneurs after graduation instead of roaming round the street jobless or sitting down at home jobless, remember an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Helping Nigerian students to be gainfully employed and becoming entrepreneurs are our major target.
Considering this project require lots of capital, as times goes on, will you be seeking for financial assistance from corporate bodies and financial institutions for assistance?
Yes, we will definitely do that. Also on the website, there will be space for advert placement for different products, we will also appreciate sponsors for different programmes.
We will be having on our different campuses, right now we have participations from Golden Penny, and they have agreed to give products to students who participate on our quiz section on the website.
This is like their social responsibility, and we do appreciate them for that, and we are equally looking for more of that from other companies.
How would you describe your person?
I’m a fun loving person.
What do you do in Canada now?
In Canada, I have a company called BEHAVIOR PRISE CONSULTING INC. I have a focus on people living with special needs like Down syndrome, fragile health syndrome, and all types of disorder. What we do is help them develop a behavior plan throughout their lives and we have people that work with us.
Currently, we have a staff strength of about 170 people. Out of these people, we have like 5 behavior analyst. And 160 of these workers are Nigerians. What we want to do is to encourage our behavior. Behaviour Enterprise is a place you can come and learn this, then go back and practice. We don’t want people to just sit down and do nothing.
I actually came to Nigeria this time to speak at a conference on special needs and I continue to go round and do as much as I can.