Amujae Leader Dr. Jumoke Oduwole reflects on her role as a governance innovator in Nigeria

For Amujae Leader Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, innovation in governance is about finding creative ways to bring about transformative change for both the public and private sectors.

Speaking with Carlos Centeno—Associate Director of Innovation at the MIT Governance Lab—in the first session of the ‘Meet the Governance Innovators’ Speaker Series, Dr. Oduwole described the process of innovation as a constant quest for solutions that deliver the highest possible impact.

As Executive Secretary of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), Dr. Oduwole has been instrumental in reducing the cost of doing business for SMEs in Nigeria and enacting reforms that have increased transparency and accountability:

“Over the last six years, we have been able to deliver about 160 reforms. And most importantly, we have been able to propagate the innovative system and cascade it down to the sub-national level, and most recently to the municipal level.”

She noted that her work has also focused on creating an enabling environment for young Nigerians to enter government and help shape the future of their country. The Enabling Business Environment Secretariat, which implements the reform agenda of PEBEC, has a team comprised of 70% women and an average age below 35 across genders.

The team has engaged with public and civil servants, and brought innovative ideas to the table, “which is really making a difference,” Dr. Oduwole noted.

Asked about the elements that, in her view, help spark governance innovation, she said that being inquisitive and inspired by the world around us, and having a clear vision for the future “is where innovation comes from.”

Dr. Oduwole is Special Adviser to the President of Nigeria on Ease of Doing Business. She was joined in the first session of the ‘Meet the Governance Innovators’ Speaker Series by Ademide Adefarasin, Design Director at IDEO.org

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