|Birth||20 December 1979, Nigeria|
|Residence||Abuja, Abuja Municipal, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria|
Dr. Bell Ihua (born Ugwushi Bellema Ihua, December 20, 1979) is the Executive Director at Africa Polling Institute (API), an independent, non-profit and non-partisan public opinion think-tank, which conducts opinion polls, surveys, social research and evaluation studies at the intersection of democracy, governance, economic conditions and public life. He is a seasoned social researcher, public opinion pollster, survey expert, management consultant, and adjunct professor. Dr. Ihua is involved in the general management of the Institute’s day-to-day operations. Prior to joining API, he was CEO of Nigeria’s premier opinion polling company, NOI Polls Limited. He also served as Principal Consultant at DBI Analytics Consulting; and currently serves on the Boards of SMYLE Africa Group and Dumena Code Academy.
Education and background
Ihua was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, where he had his early years of education up to senior secondary school. He later moved to the capital of Nigeria, Abuja, to further his education as an Accounting major at the University of Abuja, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, with honours. While on campus, Bell was actively involved with a number of associations and the students Union movement; holding positions such as: Financial Secretary of the Students Union Government (SUG); Vice President and later Editor-in-Chief of Nigerian Universities Accounting Student Association (NUASA); Public Relations Officer and later Vice President of the National Union of Rivers and Bayelsa State Student (NURBSS).
He later left the shores of Nigeria for further studies in the United Kingdom, first to Birmingham, where he obtained an MSc in Business Management at Birmingham City University. During this period, he was mentored by Professor Temi Abimbola (now a Director at the African Development Bank Institute). After completing his master’s degree, he joined Birmingham based consulting firm, Genesis Consulting, where he had a stint at consulting and international development, before moving over to Aberdeen in Scotland to further his studies at the Aberdeen Business School (ABS), Robert Gordon University; where he obtained a Master of Science in Knowledge Management and taught research & academic writing. He has published journal articles and technical papers. He also holds an MBA from the University of Ado-Ekiti, with bias in Entrepreneurship & Strategy, researching on the role of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises as catalysts of economic growth & development, under the supervision of Dr. A.R. Ayeni-Agbaje.
Dr. Ihua moved to Canterbury in 2007, and received his PhD from Kent Business School (KBS), University of Kent. He was a PhD student at the Centre for Value Chain Research (CVCR) in KBS under the tutelage of Professor Andrew Fearne, through whom he later met Professor David Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing at Imperial College London. Ihua was an active member of the Nigerian Student Association at the University of Kent, where he mentored a number of undergraduate & postgraduate students. He also chaired the University of Kent committee for the International Conference of Nigerian Students (ICONS) in 2010.
Since the 1980s he has been actively involved in the Boys’ Brigade (BB) Society; rising through the ranks from a ‘Company Boy’ to ‘Lieutenant Officer’ and serving in various capacities ranging from Snare Drummer, to Trumpeter, Band Leader, Parade Commander and Camp Instructor. He also teaches, counsels and mentors young people on leadership, values and relationship issues under the Golden Hearts Foundation in Abuja.
Ihua is currently Executive Director at Africa Polling Institute (API), an independent, non-profit and non-partisan opinion research think-tank, which conducts opinion polls, surveys, social research and evaluation studies at the intersection of democracy, governance, economic conditions and public life in general. The main objective of the Institute is to produce and disseminate credible African-led and African-owned opinion research data and evidence to support better decision making, public policy, practice and advocacy, with a focus in sub-Saharan Africa.
He started out his career working in the consulting and professional services industry, first as a Business Analyst with Langrage Resources Consulting, then as a Consultant with S & G Writechecks Limited, before joining Orji Ajah & Co Chartered Accountants as Audit Junior. After completing his MSc in Business Management, he worked as a Senior Consultant with Genesis Consulting, a Birmingham-based management consulting and development company, where he led business research projects and offered business development services (BDS) to designing and implementing effective pro-poor projects using M4P (Making Markets Work for the Poor) approach, for international development institutions, foundations, government agencies, and corporations.
Prior to joining API, Ihua served as Chief Executive Officer at NOIPolls, an opinion polling and research company based in Abuja, Nigeria. Bell is an expert in SME Development. He was formerly a member of the academic faculty at Coventry Business School, Coventry University, United Kingdom, where he taught business management modules and supervised undergraduate and post-graduate dissertations under the Department of Strategy & Applied Management. Prior to Coventry University, he held Research Analyst and Associate Lecturer positions at the Centre for Value Chain Research (CVCR), Kent Business School (KBS) at University of Kent in Canterbury, United Kingdom; where he also obtained his PhD in Business Administration & Management.
Ihua was headhunted from his faculty position in the United Kingdom to join NOIPolls as Chief Methodologist & Director of Research in February 2012. He was charged with the responsibility of managing the company’s niche opinion polling and social research consulting service. He managed the setting up of the company’s field force, which now manages several PAN Nigeria surveys & research assignments. He was promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company on 1 May 2014, and appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) by the Board of Directors in September 2015.
In February 2015, he was appointed an Adjunct Professor at Baze University, to collaborate with faculty members to conceptualize and implement rigorous applied research assignments. In September 2017, Ihua was nominated by Nigeria news media, YNaija, as one of the “most powerful young persons under the age of 40 who are getting things done in policy and research” in its #YNAIJAPOWERLIST2017 for policy and research.
Articles, conference papers, books and presentations
- Ihua, U. B., (2005). Fundamentals of Business Financial Management. Inkomp Systems Publishers, Lagos. ISBN 978-064-585-3.
- Ihua, U. B., (2005). Modern Strategic Management: A Fundamental Guide. Inkomp Systems Publishers, Lagos. ISBN 978-064-586-1.
- Ihua, U. B. and Siyanbola, T. O. (2012). Critical challenges limiting small business performance in Nigeria: an exploratory investigation. International Journal of Business and Globalisation. Vol 9(2) pp. 171-185.
- Cacciolatti, L., Fearne, A., Ihua, U.B. and Yawson, D. (2012). Types, Sources and Frequency of Use of Formalised Marketing Information as a Catalyst of SME Growth. Journal of Strategic Management Education. 8(1) ISSN 1649-3877.
- Ihua, U. B., (2011). Entrepreneurial Implications of Nigeria’s Oil Industry Local Content Policy: Perceptions from the Niger Delta Region. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy. 5(3) pp.
- Ihua, U. B. (2010). Local Content Policy and SMEs Sector Promotion: The Nigerian Oil Industry Experience. International Journal of Business and Management. 5(5) pp. 3-13.
- Ihua, U. B. (2009), SMEs Key Failure-Factors: A Comparison between the United Kingdom and Nigeria. Journal of Social Science. 18(3) pp. 119–207.
- Ihua, U. B., Ajayi, C. And Eloji, K. N. (2009). Nigerian Content Policy in the Oil and Gas Industry: Implications for Small to Medium-Sized Oil-Service Companies. In Sigue, S. P. (2009), Repositioning African Business and Development for the 21st Century, Proceedings of the 10th International Academy of African Business and Development (IAABD) Conference in Uganda, pp 163 – 170.
- Cacciolatti, L., Donnelly, C., Fearne, A., Ihua, U., Yawson, D., Armstrong, G., and Simmons, G. (2009). Use of Supermarket Panel Data amongst Small to Medium-Sized Businesses in the Food Industry. Paper presented in Conference Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing (AM) Conference hosted in Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK.
- Ihua, U. B. (2008). An Exploration into the Use of Supermarket Loyalty Card Data in Small Food Companies in the UK. Poster presented at the 14th Academy of Marketing (AM) Conference, hosted in Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen Scotland, UK, May 12 -15th 2008.
- Ihua, U. B. (2008). Knowledge Management in Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises: How does the Management of Consumer Information Impact on Organisational Effectiveness. Paper presented at the 17th EDAMBA Summer Academic Conference, Soréze-France, July.
- Ihua, U. B. (2007). Comparative Study on Factors Influencing SMEs Failure between the United Kingdom and Nigeria. Paper presented at the 12th Entrepreneurial Marketing and Small Business SIG in Academy of Marketing Conference Birmingham, UK, January.
- Ihua, B. (2011). Strategic, Tactical and Operational Planning in SMEs. Presentation at CTV Foundation Seminar: Women – Building and Sustaining Entrepreneurial Spirit, London UK. February 2011.
- Ihua, B. and Siyanbola, W. (2010). Youth Entrepreneurship in Nigeria: “Brain Gain” from the Diaspora. Presentation at the International Conference of Nigerian Students (ICONS). Hosted at University of Kent, Canterbury UK. April 2010.
- Ihua, B. (2010). SMEs in Africa and Knowledge Management.
- Ihua, B. (2008). Growing Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Africa: A Knowledge Management Approach.
- Ihua, B. (2008). SMEs Sector Development under the Obasanjo Administration (May 1999 – May 2003): Blessing or Curse. Presentation at the International Conference of Nigerian Students (ICONS) University of Hull.
- Ihua, B. (2007). National Economic Reforms in Nigeria: Did the SMEs Sector Benefit?
- Ihua, B. (2007). ABCs of Knowledge Management for Micro and Small Businesses in Africa, Business Connect. News Letter Published by the Abuja Enterprise Agency, Nigeria.
- Ihua, B. (2007). Promoting SMEs Sector Development in Africa: Lessons from the “El-Rufai – Abuja Enterprise Agency” Model.
- Ihua, B. (2007). Tribute to a Living Legend: Chief Dr. Orlando Owoh.