‘Get creative and make yourself heard’ – Babs Omotowa

8 April 2015

Procurement professionals are “all set to raise the profession to the highest level” with CIPS behind them, but they must bring creativity to organisations, the Institute’s president said at this year’s Annual Dinner.

Babs Omotowa said that if procurement professionals continue focusing on saving money alone they will limit themselves.

“We need to look beyond our traditional strength of cost reduction,” he said. “I know that people in procurement often have ideas about transforming the business. You need to find a way to make yourselves heard – smart CEOs will always look for and listen to great ideas.”

Omotowa, the CEO of Nigeria LNG, said procurement had come a long way since CIPS launched as the Purchasing Officers’ Association in 1932.

“At that time we were back office, responsible for buying products and services. Now we are overseeing an integral set of management functions,” he said. “The tools and techniques that I learnt as a CPO enabled me to become CEO of a global company.

“We can all be proud of CIPS. It works tirelessly across the globe to strive for the best talent in this profession,” he added.

Omotowa called on companies to make CPOs report directly in to CEOs. “My CPO reports directly to me, but this is still relatively rare.”

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