Giving Women a Voice…The Tony Elumelu Modus Operandi

It is often more convenient to possess the ashes of great men than to possess the men themselves in their lifetime. But in Tony Elumelu’s case, the reality is remarkably different; Nigeria is extremely lucky to possess Elumelu. This is because the maverick banker elevates fiscal management and entrepreneurship to an art form, for the benefit of the country.

 

The excellence of his art however, lies in its intensity; Elumelu is specially gifted at taming the odds and making all disagreeable evaporate like mountain dew on grains of sand. And he does not have to force it; he simply faces challenges with courage, matchless equanimity  and devotion to beauty and truth.

 

Predictably, his ascent to the top was never a walk in the park. It required paying his dues and shunning the frivolous. Hence you would never find Elumelu concentrating on anything beyond business and philanthropy.

 

Yes, frequently likened to a champion and oftentimes, a business genius, Tony Elumelu effortlessly depicts the image of a modern day General of Commerce. Tony, among other things, projects a benevolent culture of industry and humanity. Through unparalleled modesty and hard work, he dispels the notion that entrepreneurial success constantly conflicts with excellent citizenship of humanity.

 

Mr. Chairman, as he is respectably called, also understands that to be a man of honour and substance requires indeterminate exploits at dawn through dusk in honest industry. He knows that honour and longevity, like celery, flourishes in the dark shade – far from the blaze of disconcerting neon lights.

 

However, being a symbol of African enterprising spirit of passion, unadulterated commitment, resilience and hardwork has not been without commensurate accolades.

 

No doubt, the recent appointment of four women into top executive and non-executive directorship positions in Transcorp underscores the predilection of Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings, the parent company of Transcorp, for identifying excellent female leaders and promoting them to important leadership positions.

 

Being the father of five beautiful girls is enough reason for Tony Elumelu, chairman of the UBA Group, to have a soft spot for women. But for one of Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs, it goes beyond that. In an era when companies are being forced to redress inequality within their teams, Elumelu has proved to be sensitive and serious about gender equality. And he is leading the charge of the few men giving women a shot at leadership positions.

 

Recently, the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, where Elumelu is also chairman, announced significant appointments to its board and executive management. Owen Omogiafo was appointed as President/Group Chief Executive Officer with effect from March 25, 2020. She will succeed Valentine Ozigbo, who is retiring to pursue a career in public service. Omogiafo is currently the MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc and has over two decades of corporate experience in organisational development, human capital management, banking, change management and hospitality.

 

Also appointed is Dupe Olusola as the MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Olusola is currently the Group Head, Marketing, at United Bank for Africa Plc and has over 21 years of corporate experience including being the former MD/CEO of Teragro Juice Concentrate Plant. Helen Iwuchukwu, currently the Group Company Secretary of Transcorp Plc, has been appointed as an Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer of the company.

Other appointments are; Christopher Ezeafulukwe, hitherto the Executive Director, Business Development and Legal, Transcorp Plc, as the MD/CEO of Transcorp Power Plant, Ughelli; and Okaima Ohizua as Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer of Transcorp Power Ltd. Elumelu was quoted as saying that he was confident that the newly appointed chief executives and non-executive directors would further strengthen Transcorp’s mission of improving lives across Nigeria.

 

However, these gender-sensitive appointments are not peculiar to just Transcorp. In UBA and other companies that Elumelu has controlling or considerable stakes, the story is the same. In UBA, women like Foluke K. Abdul-Razaq, Owanari Duke, Erelu Angela Adebayo and Angela Aneke serve as non-executive directors while Noellie Tiendrebeogo, Sarata Kone, Chioma Mang, Nkechi Arizor and Adesola Yomi-Ajayi serve as chief executive officer, UBA in Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon, Liberia and New York respectively.

 

Amie Ndiaye Sow and Abiola Bawuah are the Regional CEO 1 and 2, West Africa. Back home, Bola Atta, Dupe Olusola and Patricia Aderibigbe are Group Heads, Corporate Communication, Marketing and Human Resources respectively. Emem Usoro is the Directorate Head Abuja & North Central Bank.

 

At Africa Prudential, Mrs Eniola Fadayomi, MFR, serves as Chairman while Uzoamaka Oshogwe, is the Managing Director/CEO, Afriland Properties. Likewise, at Avon Healthcare Limited, Dr Awele Vivien Elumelu is the chairperson while Adesimbo Ukiri is the Chief Executive Officer. At the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the leading African philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu serves as CEO. Appointed in 2018, Ugochukwu is the first African to become the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation.

 

According to Elumelu, “These appointments demonstrate our commitment to nurturing talent and rewarding success. We have a deep pool of highly qualified and dedicated employees, who can be challenged with more responsibility in attaining our corporate vision.

 

“We remain committed to diversity and inclusion; are delighted by the depth and quality of experience that this leadership team brings to our group. These appointments further indicate our internal succession capacity and strong corporate governance practices.”

Access Bank unveils exciting offers to celebrate customers this Valentine

Nigeria’s leading retail bank, Access Bank Plc, has unveiled a series of great deals and exciting offers to celebrate its customers this Valentine season. The campaign, tagged “It’s a Love Thing”  is the 4th edition and will kick off from February 11 to February 29, 2020.

 

Speaking at the launch of the campaign in Lagos today, Victor Etuokwu, Executive Director, Retail Banking, Access Bank plc said, “Valentine season is another opportunity to show love to our customers by rewarding their loyalty and enabling them achieve their valentine wishes. We are using this opportunity to thank our customers for their loyalty to Access Bank. We are grateful to our customers and non-customers who depend on our banking services and products to achieve seamless banking transactions and wish everyone a happy valentine celebration”.

 

Commenting further on the campaign, Adaeze Umeh, Group Head, Consumer Banking, Access bank Plc, said, “In the spirit of the love season, we are going to reward customers who finance the purchase of a Suzuki car through us with free vehicle registration, free servicing for a year and N100,000 fuel allowance. We will also reward 30 lucky customers with a 5–star dinner experience when they perform a minimum of 5 transactions on their mobile appPOS & Web and USSD (*901#) platforms.

 

Customers will get 20% off their initial monthly, quarterly or annual subscription when they subscribe to our XclusivePlus proposition and the first 50 customers to activate or reactivate their Diamond Business Advantage accounts will enjoy one-month free Ebony Life TV advert. Instant prizes will also be given to customers who subscribe to our Healthxtra plan. We are offering all these and more to our customers to show how much we appreciate them for their consistent patronage.

 

To join our rewarding train, all you need to do is to dial *901#, or walk into any Access Bank branch close to you to reactivate or open a new account and start enjoying the Valentine Campaign benefits” Adaeze concluded.

 

Access Bank is the leading retail bank in Nigeria with over 600 branches and more than 40 million customers. The bank offers products and services tailored to suit the lifestyle of every Nigerian irrespective of age and demographic.

Photos: SEC Breakfast Meeting With Business Editors

From left;Head, Investment Management Department, SEC;Mr Efiok Efiok;Acting Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria Ms Mary Uduk; Acting Executive Commissioner Operations SEC, Mr Isyaku Tilde at Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) breakfast Meeting with Business Editors in Lagos
From left;Head, Investment Management Department, SEC;Mr Efiok Efiok;Acting Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria Ms Mary Uduk; Acting Executive Commissioner Operations SEC, Mr Isyaku Tilde at Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) breakfast Meeting with Business Editors in Lagos
From left;Head Investment Management Department, Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Efiok Efiok, and Executive Commissioner, Legal and Enforcement, SEC;Reginald Karawusa; Acting Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria Ms Mary Uduk; former Director General and Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission;Dr Suleyman Ndanusa; and Acting Executive Commissioner Operations SEC, Mr Isyaku Tilde; at Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)breakfast Meeting with Business Editors in Lagos
From left;Head Investment Management Department, Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Efiok Efiok, and Executive Commissioner, Legal and Enforcement, SEC; Reginald Karawusa; Acting Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria Ms Mary Uduk; former Director General and Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission;Dr Suleyman Ndanusa; and Acting Executive Commissioner Operations SEC, Mr Isyaku Tilde; at Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)breakfast Meeting with Business Editors in Lagos
Inclement Weather, Reason for Flights Diversion-NAMA

The frequent diversion of flights to neighbouring countries by foreign airlines has been attributed to  inclement weather and company minimas of affected airlines, according to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
The airspace management agency in a statement said such diversions are in the interest of safety.
Foreign carriers for quite some time had declined landing at the Lagos airports due to poor visibility which fluctuates. The carriers refuse to take risks of landing in inclement weather by obeying their company’s standards for flight operations in such situations.
Reports indicate that visibility is very poor in some airports affecting landing or take-off that have caused flight delays or outright cancellations.
SON Collaborates With EDAN, IMAE, ANLCA To Eradicate Fake, Sub-Standard And Unbranded Products

Director General of the  Standard Organisation of Nigeria SON Barrister Osita Aboloma
The Director General of the  Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Barrister, Osita Aboloma had said that the game of SON operations has changed from business operators to facilitators.
Aboloma stated this while addresing the stakeholders yesterday at the SON head office, Lekki, Lagos.
The collaboration is in respect of fighting influx of the fake, unbranded and sub-standard products in our Nigerian markets

Aboloma noted that SON adopted this collaboration with the key stakeholders because SON alone cannot get rid of fake, unbranded and substandard products in our markets without the involvement of the stakeholders stating that working together will provide confidence among the users of the products in our markets through quality assurance and awareness among others.

The DG said, I want you people to be of quality vanguard in your areas of operations and as a selfregulatory practices.

He pointed out that the Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria [EDAN]’s collaboration has been so wonderful and that the Chairman of the EDAN, Engineer Paul Okenwa, have even assured SON of more collaborations to come urging the International Market Association of Electronics (IMAE) to do same as well.

The Executive Chairman of the International Market Association of Electronics (IMAE), Alaba International Market, Lagos, Evangelist Paulinus Ugochukwu said that there is no way out than collaboration with SON to create more awareness of fake, unbranded and substandard products in our markets.

Evangelist Ugochukwu is also the Managing Director of Sound Prince (SP) International Company Limited. He said that Alaba International Market is the largest electronic market in Africa.

“We must work with SON to sanitized the Alaba market and bring it to international standard that will in turned bring more improvement on the infrastructural development in the market.

Also speaking during the collaboration meeting is the former Executive Chairman of the Association, IMAE, Chief Uche Ubochi; who stated that it seems electrical has taken over the affairs but Market is comprised of electrical and electronic.

Chief Ubochi therefore appealed to the director general to establish Desk in the electronic section of the market which will solve the fake, unbranded and substandard products in the market.

He further stated that major dealers in the market have branded products they sell adding that the person selling branded products are traceable. We know ourselves in the market, he added.

In response, Public Relation Officer of the IMAE, Mr Maduabuchukwu Adiukwu said “We have a by-law in the market that binds us. So, if a seller sells a product to anybody (buyer) and the person (buyer) finds out that the product is faulty, within 48 hours the person (buyer) should inform the seller about it, even if the person (buyer) is outside Lagos. When the person (buyer) returns it, you, the seller will have to fix it.

“Where you, the seller fail to do so, our unions mandate you, the seller to repair the item or change it for the customer. And if you (seller) refuse, we as an Association will lock up the sellers shop until he (seller) comply. This is to avoid giving the market a bad name because we get customers not just from Nigeria but also from Cotonou, Benin Republic and Ghana who buy from us to resell in their various countries.

“This is the biggest electronics/electrical items market in the whole of West Africa. Alaba International Market is still basking in the excitement of its 40th anniversary celebration.

He also said his department would concentrate on image building of the market to return it to its lost glory.

“Alaba use to be a market to reckon with but today, most people sees our market as a market where substandard products are sold and this is very bad assumption on the market where most reputable brands like Genesis, Polystar etc and they go outside to buy emanate from Alaba. So, we need to change that thinking”, he explained

During the meeting, both SON and the IMAE agreed to work together to eradicate Substandard, unbranded and fake products etc in Alaba market thereby improve the living standard of the people that uses the products.

The National, President of Association of Nigerian Licenced Custorm Agent (ANLCA), Iju, Tony Nwabunike said we make bold to say that you (SON) have set the pace for your successors to emulate and excel. Your immediate predecessor has done a good job which you build upon tremendously by raising the organization relevance through visible innovation in national consciousness. The maritime industry under the Buhari administration is in good hands and hopes are highly because the high degree of commitment by those driving the process is not in doubt.

Mr Nwabunike noted that our meeting with you (SON) today strengthens ANLCA’s constitutional backed position to contribute to National Growth and Economic Development. We seek to draw federal government attention through your very important office to some areas of interest of our members, the entire maritime industry and the country at large.

The ANLCA National President said we demand continuous compliance orientation, training and seminars of our members to help the organization goals and objectives. We are looking forward to continually support the government through all lawful means within our capacity, he added.