Zenith Bank Plc’s Founder and current Chairman, Mr Jim Ovia, yesterday in Lagos launched his highly-anticipated book “Africa Arise and Shine” in the absence of many of his banking colleagues.
As expected, the televised event was graced with the presence of some of the biggest players in both politics and business, including the governors of Lagos, Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Gombe and Bornu states, the CBN Governor (Godwin Emefiele), the Vice President of Nigeria (Professor Yemi Osinbajo) and the Chief Executive Officers of numerous companies.
Praises for Mr Ovia
Many of the dignitaries that were present used the occasion to praise Mr Ovia’s accomplishments in the banking sector and life in general, while also praising the perspectives shared in the new book.
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, had sent in a goodwill message stating that Mr Ovia’s contribution towards the building of “our country’s most iconic enterprise is an encouragement to our fellow citizens. Congratulations on this achievement.”
The CBN Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele, on his part, praised Mr Ovia for sharing what he described as important words of wisdom drawn from years of experience as an accomplished banker.
“The book conveys an inspirational message on universal principles that are applicable in every country which can serve as a guide to millions of young Nigerians on how to succeed. As you will find in the book, these factors were instrumental in enabling him to build a US$16 billion conglomerate from barely N203 million at start-up of this empire.” -Emefiele
About the absence of many bank CEOs and Chairmen…
Asides the Zenith Bank CEO, Mr. Peter Amangbo, and the Chairman of UBA Group Mr. Tony Elumelu, other bank Chairmen and CEOs were noticeably absent at the event. Their absence, therefore, elicited curiosity in some quarters, with many wondering why the likes of Herbert Wigwe, Segun Agbaje, Uzoma Dozie were absent from the event.
For some bank executives who were perhaps present at the event, there was less camera focus on them as the focus was mostly on the politicians present at the event. Observers who spoke to Nairametrics believe there is nothing to it as Jim Ovia left the banking industry years ago and was now more of a public figure. Others suggest it may have been great to see one or two bank CEO’s also provide an opinion of the book and how it may help them in achieving their goals.
As we reported earlier, Mr. Ovia’s new book gives insight into the changing narrative about Africa and the need for Westerners to change their negative perspective on the continent.
Jim Ovia is a seasoned industrialist and one of the most successful, influential and wealthiest businessmen in Nigeria. He has an estimated net worth of about N122.1 billion.