Nigeria has one of the worst cases of poverty in Africa despite rather high GDP figures. This Integral Innovation, spearheaded by Basheer Oshodi, focusses on how entrepreneurial opportunities can be created for the bottom segment such that cheap finance is easily accessed and plugged into wealth-creating ventures.
Calling: Taking the Bottom Segment out of Poverty
Basheer Oshodi’s initial burning issue moved gradually from overall economic development to tailored financial inclusion that allows the bottom segment to access minimal cash that would take them out of poverty, create simple employment for them and attempt to close the inequality gap. The permanent question then is: would access to finance alone take the masses out of poverty? Or, can that help a nation achieve real economic development?
Innovation Ecosystem: A local Group of developmentally minded Nigerian Bankers
There is huge infrastructural deficit in most African countries and Nigeria is a typical case. This infrastructural poverty concerns have motivated Oshodi and his co-researchers to develop expertise in international finance and infrastructural/project finance in a bid to reduce the impact of the damage that poor infrastructures cause the economy. Good transportation networks, available and uninterrupted power supply to industrial estates and availability of cheap manufacturing cost slash down production cost in Africa. CISER then, a group of developmentally minded fellow bankers altogether building on Trans4m’s approach to integral development, seeks to align capital, land and production to deliver such ‘economic perfections’ by engaging in partnership with Ewu Community and selective others, financial institutions, governments and other non-governmental institutions in order to economically empower the people.
Integral Innovation: Towards an Integral Developmental Economic Model for Africa
Within this research-to-innovation, the Integral Developmental Economic Model, which can be applied to various economic fields of study, research-to-action, and even the development of business strategies. This model identified four major co-ordinations that are essential for achieving economic development – human well-being and communal good life. They are market coordination, people coordination, spiritual coordination and people coordination.
International organisations are today concerned with the effects of state failures, which affects these economies the most, thereby dwelling more on good governance issues. As a result, aid donors now see the best form of financial assistance to the developing economies as paying experts that will help overcome the overall coordination failures; linking markets and state effectively, building upon the notion of embedded autonomy. What is therefore totally ignored is the underlying spiritual and cultural capital. In this integral model, all natural, cultural, technological and economic aspects are interlinked, whereby there is a need for coordinating market, state, spirit and people – none can be left out in order to sincerely avoid systemic failure.
Going counter-clockwise and following the mechanism of Trans4m’s GENE (grounding, effecting, navigating, effecting), such People coordination is Grounded in the needs of the people or social realities – indeed, critical individual influence; which Emerges in through spiritual and cultural uplift, or value creation, which serves as a driving force for organisational policy and procedure. Then, this is Navigated through institutionalisation and state coordination, Effected through action in the form of production and distribution practices. This is further ‘effected’ through market coordination based on experience of the actors and the manipulation of capital in order to achieve sustainable socio-economic outcomes. Moving clockwise means giving attention to market coordination in a way that is merged with state coordination, also involving spiritual coordination, lodged finally with people coordination – which requires studies of social ontology, humanism, and fulfilling other conditions of this relational path.
Integral Impact: A Banker as an Agent for Transformation – and CISER as an Agency of Transformation
Oshodi is now engaged in action research such that his work, his lectures, his practice and his actions are all aimed at achieving socio-economic transformation. He encourages his housing finance students to carry out research on the social impact and realities of forcefully acquiring land for urban regeneration rather than look at land grabs only from the angle of overriding public interest. In the same vein, in his banking career, he comes out with product propositions that would touch the lives of the African people. This makes him an agent of integral innovation. Furthermore, on the day of his PhD Viva he has co-founded CISER Nigeria as an active agency for economic and societal transformation, with a particular focus on banking. More practically, he is working with four other CISER members on an action research titled, “Integral banking for the common good”. He is involved in a research on housing delivery in Nigeria covering three states. In one particular study he is comparing Nigeria and South Africa in terms of economic growth and development matters within the context of new realities. As Nigeria now aims to consider sovereign sukuk (investment certificate bond), Oshodi is engaged with the team that seeks to make this a reality.