By Aluta News
November 07, 2023

On the 2nd day of November, 2023, history was made as Ideabox Worldwide Limited and Citi Polytechnic converged at the academic venue of Citi Polytechnic in Dutse-Alhaji road, Dawaki, Abuja; the aim of which was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between them.

This MOU signing marked a memorable moment between these two parties who share a common interest of academic excellence in the development of CREATIVE MSME economy in the Nigerian educational sector.

The objective of this MOU signing was to seal the deal already concluded by Ideabox and Citi Polytechnic in their previous meetings; aimed at establishing a film and creative academy centre in Citi Polytechnic tagged: “SMEDAN Idea Film Academy.”

(In retrospect, SMEDAN Idea Film Academy, aka SIFAcademy, is a brainchild of Ideabox Worldwide Limited and Small & Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), birthed on the 18th of July, 2023, when an MOU was signed between Ideabox and SMEDAN to that effect.)

The Signing Ceremony took place on the 2nd November, 2023 at CITI POLYTECHNIC CAMPUS in Dawaki Dutse-Alhaji road, Bwari Municipal, FCT Abuja.

The Chairman and Founder of Citi Polytechnic, Dr. Segun Adams, delivered his Opening Remark, emphasizing on the importance of this relationship regarding the training of students “in film production and other related programs… conceived to support the growing need for creative skills in our today’s world.”

He placed emphasis that skills are more valued than degrees in that today’s economy demands more of practical means of survival than acquiring degrees where jobs are very scarce nowadays. This is not to play down on acquiring degrees in school, but to focus more on acquiring those skills that can foster self-employment and wealth-creation: hence the collaborative effort by both parties to establish SIFAcademy in Citi Polytechnic in order to empower the Nigeria youths with self-employment and wealth-creation opportunities.

On his acceptance speech to partner with Citi Polytechnic, the CEO of Ideabox Worldwide limited, Mr. Adeolu Adeyemo, acknowledging the existing protocol, pointed out that the Creative Industry should be placed at the forefront of Nigeria’s economy, giving the existing condition of joblessness in the country. He delved into a brief history of how SIFAcademy came into existence through a training program collaboration between SMEDAN and Ideabox in the early part of 2023, at Port-Harcourt and Abuja respectively.

In the execution of this training relationship, Ideabox revolutionalized the program, thus impressing SMEDAN tremendously. Next, Ideabox suggested to SMEDAN that the trained students (approximately 200) should be given a chance to produce a Nollywood-standard full-feature film by themselves in order to express the skills they had learnt during their training: to which SMEDAN, impressed by the program, agreed to.

After the production of the film, Ideabox further suggested to SMEDAN to not let the dream die there, but to take this program to the level by approving the establishment of a film school; to which, again, SMEDAN conceded to!

Now, the challenge was to have a school environment to kick-start the project; which was why Ideabox approached Citi Polytechnic to collaborate with the school as to create a school-learning ambience for SIFAcademy to operate — owing to the fact that the facility offered by SMEDAN was not “school-conducive” enough for the program.

The Ideabox CEO urged Citi Polytechnic to embrace this program wholeheartedly as “there’s so much we can do together. There’s so much that’s about to happen… Nigeria is about to see something different from the norm. There’s no collar job again. The only collar job you have now is the skill in your hand. And I believe we have that skill in this school and outside the school campus especially among our youthful population…” he buttressed.

On his welcoming note, the Rector of Citi Polytechnic, Mr. Simeon Barinyima Nwate, standing on the existing protocol, delivered his speech, observing that the duo, Mr. Adams and Mr. Adeyemo emphasized the need “To change the narrative in creative educational sector which was “To change the paradigm… of what Nigeria used to stand for.”

He further buttressed the key message that “the days of the white-collar jobs is gone, and what we have now is what we can all hold in our hands as skills in the development of our economy.” He pointed out that that’s the main point behind the ceremony is “…to think of not being an employee, but an employer of labour,” thus training an emerging youthful population to boost creative economy in Nigeria.

In summary, he assured Ideabox that the management and governing council of Citi Polytechnic is a very stable one and is equal to the task of making this joint dream of film training program a reality, praying for a sustained educational relationship between the two parties — which would, on the long run, benefit the next generation of everyone involved in this program.

Then came the climax of this meeting: the signing of the MOU. Both parties (Ideabox and Citi Polytechnic) had their respective representatives, each comprising of its respective head, lawyers and witness partaking in the signing.

Afterward, a group photograph was taken of the participants.

Giving his closing Remark, Mr Kelly Presh, a film specialist with Ideabox, thanked everybody in attendance for this wonderful opportunity, emphasizing that this program will certainly change the narrative within the educational sector.

He particularly appreciated Citi Polytechnic for cueing on this beautiful dream that Ideabox brought on the table, assuring Citi Polytechnic that this dream will bloom positively beyond everybody expectations, considering the gravity of forces behind it — Ideabox and SMEDAN.

While Alhaji Gambo Jagindi, a development partner and stakeholder with Smedan Idea Film Academy who stood as Witness for Ideabox, gave a voice of prayer to wrap up the signing ceremony.

The event was remarkably documented by the technical crew of Inside Africa Network, an Ideabox company…

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