•Billionaire Businessman, JIMOH IBRAHIM, Tells City People
•Bags 2 Masters Degrees From The 2 BRITISH Universities
•Currently Doing 2 PhD Programmes
Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, has been off the social scene for the past 5 years. He has been in school, in London for his post graduate degrees. He owns a luxury mansion in London and Dubai, where he currently has a big business. But he chose to live on campus in Cambridge like other students. He has denied himself the luxury of his Rolls Royce and private jet to live like other postgraduate students. Since 2014, he has been living in the UK, doing a few postgraduate courses at the 2 most prestigious universities, Oxford & Cambridge in the UK.
He recently completed 2 intense Masters programmes and he is currently doing 2 Ph.D. courses in two prestigious Universities in the UK, while still running his businesses in other parts of the world.
His businesses in Nigeria are also running. So, also the ones in Ghana where he owns a bank and Sao Tome where he owns huge investments. Jimoh has moved from being an ordinary businessman to a global investor, investing in any good business anywhere in the world that is profitable. That is why he has huge investments in London, US and Dubai.
What does Jimoh Ibrahim really want, acquiring these post graduate degrees that is diffcuilt to come by. He is currently a Phd student in Management Science at the University of Cambridge. The course will end in 2021. He is also a Ph.D. student in Wars studies at the University of Buckingham. The course will end in 2021. He is also doing a Bsc course in International Relations at the London School of Economics.
Before now, he had earlier completed 2 master’s programmes. First, was an MSc at Oxford University, specialising in Mega Projects Management and an MBA from Cambridge University. He made a 1st class grade in the 1st year of Ph.D assessment from Cambridge, 74% now writing his thesis.
All these courses have changed Jimoh Ibrahim’s worldview about how global business should be run and also politics. He has now occasionally deliver lectures at Oxford & Cambridge.
Don’t forget that years back, Jimoh Ibrahim got a Law degree at Obafemi Awolowo University and an LLM/ITP from Harvard University.
Truth be told, he loves books and reading. He has an impressive academic slant. He has never hidden the fact that he loves teaching and that he would prefer to take up a full time job, teaching in any University, anywhere in the world.
Last week, he told City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE, why he has been off the scene in Nigeria, relocating abroad years back to pursue his post graduate degrees. Below are excerpts of the interview.
You’ve been away abroad for some time now. What have you been up to?
Yes. I have been away. I am in school, I am now a student. I am reading. I am studying. I have been able to get a couple of new degrees. I realised that I needed to update my old degrees. Some have become obsolete. The world is changing. Taking a look at the degrees I had before, I realised that after some point in life, those degrees needed to be updated, like my 1st degree which is about 30 yrs old. That is too old to cope with modern realities and development. Also, my Masters’ along that line is over 20 something years old. I left Harvard University in year 2000. And this is 2019. My LLM/ITP is 19 years old. Though today I have done very well and I thank them so well for what I have been able to achieve but to move forward is the challenge. I require new knowledge to move forward because the environment itself has changed drastically from what it used to be 30 years ago to what it is right now. So, the reality is confronting that change with knowledge. And knowledge you cannot get from the old. It’s not, as the spirit directs you (Laughs). At this stage of our lives we have to get new knowledge to confront new reality.
So, I simply decided on a gradual approach to return to school. That is why I am in school. It has been a long journey because I wanted the best of the universities and second, I knew they may not like to take me because my degrees are old, not because my grades are not good. I have nice grades, but my degrees are old. They are 30 years old degrees. Some universities will not take them.
What I did as a matter of strategy was to start the advanced continuous education process of the University. So, I applied for the Advanced Leadership Programme, which was for 30 days. I got that, which made it easy for me to apply for other courses. I performed brilliantly. There was no exam. But I made sure I prepared for my assignments and my lecturers were quite happy and I made contributions in class. So it was easy for them to recommend me for the degrees. I started with Post graduate diploma in Strategy and Innovation from the University of Oxford. I applied for that and I was taken. In year 1. I had Strategy-A and Innovation-A. I didn’t have to complete that degree any longer. Then, I applied for Masters. I was given master’s admission for Mega Projects, Infrastructural, projects. I got the Masters. While I was doing that, I also did another Masters, MBA from Cambridge, simultaneously.
At that time, I also did MBA from Cambridge University simultaneously. So it was a lot of work. That is why you didn’t see me. Doing one Masters programme is enough work, not to talk of 2 Masters Programme, from 2 major universities in England, one university in the North, the other in the South, and coping with the lectures and assignments and you want to come out with flying grades that can make you stand out and go on to do PhD.
For you to be able to do that you must get a Distinction or very close to Distinction. At the MBA, I got 69% in terms of cumulative grade. They wouldn’t have given me 70% at Cambridge because they won’t want to award an MBA with a Distinction. So I finished the Masters in major projects (Infrastructural Management) from Oxford successfully, and Cambridge MBA successfully. I finished the 2 the same year. I finished in 2017. After that, I applied straight away to do PhD in Oxford and Cambridge. I got an offer from both universities. I then chose Cambridge because of Data Analysis because Cambridge is more on Data Science. So, I took Cambridge and I resumed. I was the first to be admitted to Doctor Business Management Science Programme at the University of Cambridge, and I remain the only student in that department up till date. It was a very tough year when I joined the faculty.
You have to pass all the courses like Methodology, Organisational Research, Statistics, as well as reading the prescribed texts that your supervisors asked you to read. I crowned that year’s result with 74 distinctions at the University of Cambridge. That ended my 1st year and then I went to the field to collect data to do my research.
After that I now have to go to the field to collect Data to do my research. So that gave me the leave, to walk away from Cambridge for now, because the Data is basically on Nigeria. I am writing on Why Mega Projects Projects like Ajaokuta failed.
So, I am looking at about 40 projects, in the interest of my country. And the analysis I need to do demands that I interview 2 to 3 people from each level of the projects. So I have about 160 data points to do analysis. That is a year’s work. And the last year is the year I will be writing the thesis. And that is the writing year.
I enjoy all these academic exercise. Suddenly, again you can never be satisfied with anything you engage yourself in. And so, I moved on to apply for the PhD programme in War Studies, Modern War and contemporary Military History, I was invited for interview. It’s tough to get in. It’s not more of teaching. It’s more of Research. You need Research to do it. You need high research level. You need to do a lot of Research and you have to work with your supervisor. I did the interview at the prestigious Military school, Sandhurst. I was taken. The degree will be awarded by Buckingham University. I am writing that right now. I am writing my 1st year report. I am working on WAR strategy. I am looking at the leadership of Boko Haram. The Role of Leadership in the Boko Haram Insurgency.
What accounts for non-disappearance of Boko Haram and how do we treat those Independent variables that we come across, like Loyalty, Commanders Instructions, Rewards, Roadmap to Tactical Operations of the Army and strategy of operation. combating the Boko Haram Insurgency. Boko Haram is about 20 years now and it is still expanding. So, we would be looking at the Theoretical framework, to see certain things that we can lay the foundation from theoretical constructs.
That is what I have been busy doing and I am combining that with running my company in Dubai and I also run the one in Abuja, Lagos, Sao Tome, Ghana and some other countries where I have business interests.
Basically, that is why I have not been around. These are enough to engage me.
Many people ask why Jimoh Ibrahim needs all these degrees and going back to school for degrees.
It’s all for knowledge. I need the Knowledge. Knowledge is power. Now, I play at the global level. I attend IMF meetings and I participate very well. International bodies consult me.
The knowledge is very important. I consult for two countries now and I like the engagement. I attends the Technical & General sessions of the IMF. I enjoy it. I also teach occasionally in Cambridge. I am a facilitator for programmes. The last time, I was the Guest Lecturer for Micro-Economics Finance at International Level. Something that has to do with Economic fiscal policy.
I taught that last year at masters level for Finance students here in Cambridge. I also taught the Advanced Leadership Students of the University of Cambridge. I love teaching. Also at Oxford, I taught the poverty empowerment class. I have been teaching. (Laughs).