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Giving Women a Voice…The Tony Elumelu Modus Operandi

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By Lanre Alfred

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.”

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Aviation

Meals will no longer be served aboard domestic flights – Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika

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Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation has announced that meals will no longer be served aboard domestic flights.
The Minister made the announcement during the daily briefing of the presidential task force on COVID-19 on Monday July 6.
Sirika said;
“For this domestic operation, there will be no food. No food will be given to reduce contamination level and we will allow you to come with your mask.
“Like the MD of FAAN had said the other day, we see it as your private thing. So it is you bring your mask, they don’t have to be the fancy ones.
“Remember I told you on this platform that the cabin crew’s job is not to offer you tea.
“They came into the industry because of people who were getting air-sick so we thought we would be putting nurses in the airplane to look after those people who are sick.
“Since then, they metamorphosed and they became something new. They want to now give you tea because many people don’t get sick anymore, they give will either give you coffee, offer you food and drink and so on.
“So the main purpose of the cabin staff is to ensure that we all remain safe for your welfare and your health.”
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BUSINESS

FIRSTBANK EMPOWERS WOMEN THROUGH FIRSTGEM ONLINE COMMUNITY

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced that its all-female online community www.firstgem.com.ng , offers mentoring, support and capacity building opportunities for all to create a new generation of financially literate women.

With the aim to increase its engagement and reach a wider audience, an online repository for its FirstGem product was created and designed to provide a virtual online community where like-minded women irrespective of where they are in Nigeria and abroad, gather to connect, grow and share knowledge on everything about lifestyle, parenting, career development, entrepreneurship, health, work and family. Financial empowerment and wealth creation ideas are shared to encourage women to play their part in providing financial support for their families.

The portal provides varied contents ranging from Blog stories to Vlogs, Newsletters, Chat rooms which are built on 6 pillars – Health, Wealth and Finance, Food and Recipes, Events, Entrepreneurship, Lifestyle and Beauty. The FirstGem online community presently has over 61,634 members drawn from all walks of life sharing ideas, insights and experiences.

According to Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, “FirstGem is suited for the Nigerian woman, and we are using this online community as the ideal opportunity to position the Bank’s gender initiatives to meet the required needs on a wide range of issues affecting women from lifestyle, skills acquisition, finances, wealth acquisition and management, business support, etc.

We encourage all women to join the community by signing up via this link https://firstgem.com.ng/community to enjoy this experience.
FirstGem is a gender specific account designed to meet the needs of women, aged 18 years and above.

It is targeted at a broad spectrum of women, working professionals, entrepreneurs and MSMEs with a view to promoting growth via an array of benefits, from free business advisory services, regular information or insights on business opportunities in various sectors and industries, as well as mouth-watering discounts at partnered stores and outlets.FirstGem has successfully empowered women in states across the geo-political zones in Nigeria and the UK.

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BUSINESS

FBNHoldings wins World Finance Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award

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Nigeria’s leading financial services group and holding company, FBN Holdings Plc, has won the 2020 Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award by the World Finance. World Finance is renowned for its comprehensive coverage and analysis of the global financial services industry, international business, and the global economy.

FBN Holdings Plc is winning this award for the second consecutive year on the back of its strong corporate governance practices and outstanding leadership in the Nigerian financial services industry

Commenting on the award on behalf of FBNHoldings, UK Eke, MFR, its Group Managing Director said; “winning the award in quick succession is a demonstration of not only the strength of our corporate governance practices but also its resilience. As a holding company, we emphasize the highest standards in corporate governance across all operating entities in our quest to deliver value to our numerous stakeholders”

For the past thirteen years, World Finance has been celebrating corporate achievements in the areas of corporate governance, innovation, and market leadership in the financial services sector across all the regions of the World.

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