Pascal Gabriel Dozie is one of the most accomplished businessmen in Nigeria. The octogenarian’s business pursuits, spanning over 48 years, have seen him enjoy a fulfilling career particularly on finance and business areas of the Nigerian economy.
Though he is mainly known as the Founder of Diamond Bank, Dozie’s investments are not just confined to the banking and finance sector, his interests cuts across different areas and has led many influential boards, even serving as the pioneer Chairman of MTN Nigeria.
As he steps down as Chairman of MTN Nigeria, this coming September, Nairametrics has found it imperative to present Dozie as the subject of our Founders’ Profile this week.
His early years
He was born in 1939 in a village called Egbu in Owerri, Imo State’s capital. His father, Charles Dozie, was a Catholic catechist. Dozie attended Our Lady’s School Emekuku where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC). He subsequently attended Holy Ghost Juniorate Seminary and Holy Ghost College, Owerri where he sat for his West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
After the completion of his high-level, Dozie travelled to London to study Economics at The London School of Economics and obtained a BSc in Economics. He subsequently attended City University in London, where he studied Operational Research and Industrial Engineering, and also bagged a Masters degree in Administrative Science.
Between 1967 and 1970 while studying abroad, he couldn’t return home because of the Biafran war. He recalled events during that period in an interview with Forbes:
“It was a very traumatic period for us. Bombs were going off everywhere and you didn’t know what the truth was. People were being shunted from one place to another and at times I didn’t even know where my own mother was.”
Due to the intensity of the Biafran war, Dozie, who could not return to Nigeria, accepted a job in Uganda between 1970 and 1971, to serve as a consultant at the African States Consulting Organisation in East Africa and returned to Nigeria in September 1971, some months after the war ended.
Starting Diamond Bank
After quitting his job in East Africa, Dozie returned to Nigeria at his mother’s request. With his rich experience in Econometrics and Industrial Engineering, he launched his first company, African Development Consulting Group (ADCG), a consultancy firm.
While working at his consultancy firm, he identified the need to make business transactions for traders to be safer and easier. At the time, they had to move heavy bags of cash around, even interstate, to consummate deals. Knowing that the cumbersome system of banking then had to change, he applied for a banking licence in 1985.
After a five-year wait, he got his licence from CBN to set up Diamond Bank in 1990, with a starting capital of $5 million.
“When we set up Diamond bank, it became technologically driven right from the word go because we wanted to change the system and eradicate the delay in making transactions,” he shared this in an interview with Vanguard.
Dozie’s journey with MTN
The South African telco giant, MTN Group had approached Dozie with an idea of setting up a subsidiary of the cellphone network in the Nigerian market. The South African firm promised to pump millions into a 60% stake in MTN Nigeria, with Nigerians owning 40%.
Dozie who was full of high hopes at the time turned to Nigerian money-men and expatriates overseas for capital raise. However, he got turned down; many people he met saw the struggles of NITEL, with its wobbly and sparse landlines, and expressed that if NITEL, which was government-owned wasn’t successful, no one could possibly fill the gap.
“It was very disappointing. You have a good project and you are turned down. You start to question yourself and start to question your head,” he said.
In the end, Dozie could only raise capital for a 20% stake in the new company. Through debt funding, MTN poured in millions to make up the difference. It was a huge risk, at the time, but MTN prospered and the rest is history. For 18 years, he has served as the Chairman of MTN Nigeria, though his stint would be coming to an end on September 2, 2019.
“Most of the people I asked to invest now regret not investing—I even regret it myself. They would have enjoyed returns of 20 times their money,” he said.
Dozie, who founded Diamond Bank along with a team of professionals, directed the affairs of the institution as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) till he retired from the executive position in December 2005.
He is a former Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and erstwhile President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). And until recently, Dozie was Chairman of Nigerian Economic Summit Group and Nigeria Business Support Group.
Dozie is currently serving as a co-chair of the Commonwealth Business Council, and the incumbent Chairman of Kunoch Limited.
Challenges encountered and surmounted
Like all businessmen, Pascal Dozie experienced his fair share of challenges in the course of his exploits. In 2005, Diamond Bank faced the prospects of extinction when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), mandated that all banks must hold a minimum of N25 billion in share capital. The development then wasn’t feasible for the company, with its N6.4 billion in share capital.
In order to survive, Dozie listed the shares of the bank to raise more, which subjected him to lose a large part of his stake including that of his family in the bank. In the end, it was a success story for him.
More so, when Dozie was at MTN Nigeria’s helms of affairs, the telco faced a major fine by the Federal Government. The fine which still lingers in the Nigerian media space, saw MTN cough out about N330 billion.
- Pascal Dozie has earned numerous awards, among which are:
- National Award of the order of the Niger (OON)
- Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON)
- All Africa Business Leader Award (AABLA)
- Lifetime Achievement Award
Dozie is married to Chinyere Dozie and they have five sons who have inherited their father’s entrepreneurial spirit as they have founded several successful ventures in different sectors of the economy.
DPR says it has accurate data of country’s crude production volume
Head, Public Affairs of DPR, Mr Paul Osu, said every litre of crude produced in the country was adequately captured during the process of extraction.
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said that the agency has an accurate record of the crude oil produced in the country.
This is in reaction to claims that the exact volume of crude oil produced in the country has remained unknown.
While making this disclosure in a statement in Lagos, the Head, Public Affairs of DPR, Mr Paul Osu, said every litre of crude produced in the country was adequately captured during the process of extraction.
What the Head, Public Affairs of DPR is saying
Osu said DPR has the responsibility of monitoring and accounting for crude oil production which is the basis for determining the government’s revenue through royalty payments by operators for sustainable development.
He said: “As a further step to boosting crude accounting process from production to export, DPR recently launched the National Production Monitoring System (NPMS).
NPMS is an online platform for direct and independent acquisition of production data from oil and gas facilities in Nigeria.
NPMS as an electronic data transmission tool at production and export terminals is designed to better predict the performance of oil and gas reservoirs and better production forecasting.”
Osu noted that the NPMS tool enables DPR to exercise surveillance, perform production monitoring and data analysis for utilisation and forecasting.
He said DPR as a business enabler and opportunity house would continue to develop robust and strategic initiatives to ensure timely and accurate payment of rents, royalties and other revenues due to the government.
In case you missed it
- It can be recalled that the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Orji Ogbonnaya-Orji, on Thursday said the exact volume of crude oil produced in Nigeria, especially at the deep offshore fields, is not known by anyone.
- He said the exact volume of crude oil produced in Nigeria had remained unknown because of the absence of meters at wellheads and the lack of capacity to monitor deep offshore fields.
Sanwo-Olu flags off Red line rail project as Lagos compensates property owners
The 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving over 1 million commuters daily.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has flagged off the construction of the 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line, which will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving over 1 million commuters daily.
This is as the state started the compensation of identified project-affected persons of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line project with the Governor handing over cheques to displaced property owners who were affected by the right-of-way.
The groundbreaking ceremony which took place at the Ikeja Train Station on Thursday was witnessed by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, and the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu said the Red Line project which is to be fully operational in the last quarter of 2022 with 8 train stations from Agbado to Oyingbo, is another initiative of his administration to deliver enduring infrastructure for the transport system and make Lagos a competitive megacity.
The Governor said: “Today’s flag-off of the construction of infrastructure for the standard gauge Red Line is another promise kept and it demonstrates, in practical terms, our commitment to achieve the objectives of traffic management and transportation pillar in our development agenda. This is because we recognise the role which an efficient transportation system plays in enhancing people’s quality of life and as a major driver of socio-economic development.
The State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which encompasses a number of projects that are germane to achieving our vision for a Greater Lagos, is founded on imperatives that seek to increase transport choices for all users and make the transit system integrated, attractive, convenient, affordable and accessible.
Since efficient transportation is the backbone of any economy, we are happy to be committing this investment in our transport infrastructure, so that our people can meet their daily targets and aspirations. This all-important transport project we are all gathered to witness today represents a major step in this direction.”
Sanwo-Olu said that in order to facilitate smooth operations of the Red Line, the State Government would be constructing ancillary infrastructure, including 6 overpasses at strategic level crossing points along the rail corridor to eliminate interactions between the rail system, vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
The overpasses will provide grade-separated crossings that will enhance safety for the rail system and road users.
He said: “The unique characteristics of the Red Line is its integration with the Ikeja Bus Terminal, Oshodi–Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane, the future Orange Line, which goes from Ikeja to Agbowa, and the General Aviation Terminal One of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport through a skywalk.
Another unique feature of the Red Line is that all the stations have elevated concourses with either at grade island or side platforms for easy boarding and alighting of passengers. The Red Line also integrates with our Bus Terminals at Oyingbo, Yaba, Oshodi, Ikeja and Iju, giving modal options to our people in their daily commute, either for business or leisure.”
The Governor presented cheques of different amounts as compensation to 25 residents whose properties, businesses and accommodation will be affected by the project. Over 263 properties are affected with many of the property owners and tenants smiling as they got their cheques.
What you should know
- The Red Line is part of the state government’s vision of an integrated multimodal transportation system contained in the State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP), developed by LAMATA, which aims ultimately to birth a world-class transportation network that will support the state’s profile, as the economic capital of Nigeria and Africa.
- It is to raise mass transportation capacity in the State, complementing the Blue Line that traverses from Okokomaiko to Marina.
- The rail corridor will be constructed in three phases. The first phase (Agbado-Iddo), which will be completed in 24 months, will be sharing the track with the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project up to Ebute – Metta and will have its dedicated track from Ebute – Metta to Oyingbo and reduce travel time from about two and a half hours to just 35 minutes.
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