We are about a month away from the festive period, so do you know what that means for Nigeria? As the December period approaches, we would start to see a lot of events organized by several promotional companies. This, in turn, means that there would be a large influx of Nigerian returnees as well as a handful of foreigners who would feel the warm embrace and pulsating vibes of Afrobeats that remains the magnet to this populous country in Africa rather than the cold depressing winter in Europe and America.
Over the years, the December period has always brought the city of Lagos to a standstill because it is literally busy and packed with people and a stack of events. It was not until last year that several Lagosians on social media began to hashtag the word #DettyDecember. This word finally became the symbolism for all events happening during the Christmas festive period.
This year, musical artists from the likes of Davido and Mayorkun would be having an end of year concert for fans. Foreign artists would also be present in the country. Flytime festival would be hosting a 4-day event from the 20th to the 25th of December, which would feature foreign top A-list celebrities, such as American female rapper, Megan Thee Stallion, Koffee (Jamaican reggae singer), Ma$e (American rapper), and Boyz II Men.
So why is it exactly that Detty December has all of sudden become very trendy?
According to an article by OkayAfrica, it is believed that the growth of Afrobeats in the foreign market has resonated well with the diaspora. Thus, it has given Africans abroad the willingness to reconnect with their African roots. On the African American side, Detty December has become of interest to many native black Americans not only in the realms of tourism but also in the area of genealogy. ScienceMag.org reports that the average African American genome in a DNA testing is about 73.2% African, which basically confirms their obvious African heritage.
As a result, many African Americans want to travel back to motherland during this Detty December to explore their ancestral history and to reconnect with the past.
[READ MORE: What the Year of Return means for Ghana tourism]
The benefits that Nigeria would enjoy from the Detty December period would be the boost in tourism. The tourism sector has been growing yearly and it is has contributed in the growth of our nation. According to Reuters, a World Bank report asserted that Nigeria brought in a total of $1.09 billion from international tourism in the year 2016.
Another report from Wesgro in South Africa highlighted an increase of 12% in Nigerian tourism in 2017. Although the same report from Wesgro stated that foreign investors contributed only 6.8% to Nigeria’s tourism GDP, it cited the potential that Nigeria has to expand the tourism sector for the future years. The report projects a 1.7% increase in tourism by 2027 that would generate N205.4 Billion.
Nigeria has 36 states; however, a flurry of December events happen in Lagos, providing opportunities for other states to tap into the spirit of the season and generate revenues from tourism. Strangely, Ghana is leveraging this opportunity and many Nigerian artistes will be performing in Ghana as well.
While security concerns remain a constant challenge in Nigeria with threats of Boko Haram, there is no denying that Nigeria has a lot to offer to the outside world. The Detty December period is when foreigners get to experience the culture and lifestyle of Nigerian entertainment and cuisine. I personally implore all foreigners to take a trip to Nigeria this year to enjoy and engage in our wonderful festivities.
My optimistic side tells me the excitement might tempt you to reside permanently in Nigeria.
Paul Olele Jnr writes from Washington DC. He is a 2019 graduate of George Washington University and currently works as graduate Media and Research Intern at the Initiative for Global Development.
Atedo Peterside resigns as Chairman of Cadbury Nigeria’s Board of Directors
NSE announced the resignation of Mr. Atedo Peterside which took effect on the 30th of June 2020.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Mr. Atedo Peterside, has resigned.
In a notification signed by Cadbury Nigeria’s Company Secretary, Fola Akande, and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, it was announced that the resignation took effect immediately. In other words, Mr Peterside resigned from the board effective 30th June 2020. He resigned in order to concentrate on other interests.
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Note that this brings to an end Atedo Peterside’s ten-year reign as the Chairman of Cadbury Nigeria’s board of directors. He took over leadership of the board on the 21st of April 2010 after joining the company in 2009 as a director.
“The Board of Directors of the Company acknowledge and sincerely express their gratitude to Mr. Peterside for his leadership, service and immense contributions to Cadbury Nigeria Plc while he was on the Board and wish him all the best in his future endeavours” part of the statement by Cadbury Nigeria said.
Recall that back in April this year, Mr Peterside resigned his position as a Non-Executive Director of Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, to focus on ANAP Foundation, a non-governmental foundation he founded.
Also in April, he resigned from the board of Nigerian Breweries Plc as well as Unilever Nigeria Plc for the same reasons.
Meet Aig-Imoukhuede, the lawyer-turned-banker who turned an unranked bank into a tier-1 bank
A switch in career path would normally require some sort of retraining, but not for Aig who learned on the job
After, thirteen years of operations, Access bank still grappled with capitalization and corporate governance challenges until Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede stepped in with his team. Almost 2 decades later, the bank’s assets have grown unimaginably, and the bank which was once ranked 65 is now ranked among the top 5. Meet the man who led the team that changed the narrative.
Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede was born on 24th of September 1966 in Ibadan, present-day Oyo State, though he hails from Sabongida-Ora, present-day Edo State. He had his early education in Kaduna and later in Lagos State, before enrolling for a degree in law at the University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria.
Early in his life, Aigboje had decided that he was not going to work with the civil service. Both of his parents were civil servants – His mother was the first curator of the National Museum of Nigeria after independence, and his father later became the Minister for Culture. He would recall that this was a period in Nigeria where the best talents went into the civil service to pursue a career.
However, the military’s entry into the civil service turned things around as they did not seem interested in investing much there. “For people like me, I saw the impact on great men and women, and the almost decimation of their relevance and importance of their contribution to the governance, and I decided that I was not going to work for the government,” Aig-Imoukhuede said.
Having struck out what was then the most viable option for the best talents, Aigboje had to decide where he wanted to pursue a career. Multinationals were among the best companies in the private sector at the time, and the idea of working at the helm of one of them held appeal for the young Aig, and he later stated that his decision to study law was based on his observation that the foremost multinationals were then headed by lawyers.
“I felt that law was a good way to get into the hallowed boardrooms,” he later said.
In 1987, he was called to the Nigerian Bar, and served his compulsory National Youth Service Corps, working as a lawyer with Chase Merchant Bank during his NYSC year. Owing to stories he had previously heard from friends who had experience in the banking sector, he had been encouraged to work with the bank and he soon got involved in core parts of the business of banking. In his words, “Very soon I discovered that I enjoyed making deals more than doing legal work so I made the transition to core banking.”
The switch in career paths would normally have needed some sort of retraining but not for Aig. He had to learn on the job, and due to his efficiency in getting things done, he was not the kind of staff the management was willing to allow to go for any prolonged training.
“I was doing things at the age of 22, that most people did when they were 35 to 40 years. My life has been one where people look at my talent and basically, put me at things,” he said while speaking at the OXFORD Business Africa forum 2019.
Having shown great skills in closing deals, he joined Guaranty Trust Bank as a pioneer staff, driving his career over the next decade to become a top executive there. He, thus, had the best point grooming his skills in what had become one of the best banks in Nigeria.
Despite being an Executive Director with enough challenges on his plate, Aigboje wanted more. He was both restless and dissatisfied, despite having a career most people would break an arm for.
He did not figure out the missing link until he went to the Harvard Business School at the age of 32 years, for an Executive MBA.
At this time, he read the book Buyout, written by Rick Rickertsen a corporate buyout specialist. It was a Eureka moment for Aig, where he realized, “I wanted to become an owner-manager.”
There and then, he resolved to buy a bank upon his return to Nigeria.
Founding Access Bank
Buying a bank turned out to be more difficult than was envisaged. Although Aigboje had set his eyes on the top-tier banks, he found that even after pooling resources with his trusted partners, they still could not afford to buy controlling shares.
They eventually had to move down the rung, and look for something they could afford.
“We were both worth about two million dollars, and even then, our $2 million plus $8 million worth of leverage got us 52% of the bank,” Aig recalled.
Access Bank was incorporated on February 8, 1988, as a privately owned commercial bank and commenced business operations on 11 May, 1989 after obtaining its licence. It later converted to a public limited liability company on 24 March, 1998, and by November of the same year, was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Dealing with several boardroom squabbles in its years of operation, and the challenges of undercapitalization based on the apex bank rules, Access bank was then rated number 65 among Nigerian banks.
“I was betting my financial future and that of my family on this move, but I had a burning desire to transform our bank into a world-class financial services provider. What was more important to me was that this was the beginning of something, but not the end. I was going to buy the bank but I had no plans to tie my life around the bank so I knew we needed a framework for continuity. I wanted it to continue irrespective of what happened to me” he later said.
Having recapitalised the bank, the team had a 13-point plan to turn around the fortunes of the bank, and have it listed as one of the top 5 banks in the next 5 years. This became the aim of the team led by Aigboje as pioneer MD.
Though they did not meet this target, in 2006 exactly 5 years after recapitalising the bank, Access Bank won the Thisday ‘most improved bank’ in Nigeria, and was classified by Augusto & Co, a respected rating agency, as a tier 2 bank alongside Diamond Bank, Afribank, Fidelity Bank, Bank PHB and the Nigerian International Bank (Citibank).
The bank also expanded into other African countries including Gambia, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia and Sierra Leone.
Notwithstanding, the change in ownership and management of the bank was visible in the balance sheet from the first year. In 2002 alone, the bank posted an impressive N1 billion profit before tax, much more than the cumulative profit made by the bank in the previous 12 years.
This also marked the beginning of what would be a six-year record triple-digit growth trend. Similarly, earnings per share had rebounded to 21 kobo from a negative 2 kobo position, leading to a declaration of a 5 kobo dividend to shareholders for the first time in three years.
When the team embarked on its first capital raising exercise in July 2007, it turned out very successful with an oversubscription of over 300%. The public offer comprised an Over-The-Counter GDR placement of US$250 million which was similarly oversubscribed by 700%.
Access Bank today is now the largest bank in Nigeria, and Africa’s leading bank by customer base. It has a network of more than 600 branches and service outlets, across three continents, 12 countries and 36 million customers.
Reflecting back, Aig would say that his experience in Chase Merchant Bank prepared him in advance for the task of owning and running a bank.
“One thing you will find about many of the men who have founded great banks in Nigeria is that they have worked for banks that crashed. That way, you learnt what not to do in banking,” he said while speaking at the presentation of Jim Ovia’s Africa Rise and Shine.
He recalled also how Jim Ovia, founder of Zenith bank, had advised and mentored him when he took the driver’s seat at Access bank, and stated that this played a great role in the success of the bank.
Leaving Access bank for higher call
After 12 years at the helm, Aig handed over to co-founder, Herbert Wigwe as MD.
Leaving the bank gave Aig the time to pursue other passions. He founded Coronation Capital Nigeria Limited, an Africans focused private equity fund manager, whose aim is to invest and create value for multiple stakeholders who believe in Africa. He also founded the Africa Initiative for Government (AIG), a non-public institution established as a catalyst for high public sector performance in Africa, and is the chairman.
He has won many awards including the EY entrepreneur of the year.
Apart from his philanthropic ventures, he sits on many boards including Marina Securities Ltd, Global Business Coalition on HIV, and Petralon Energy Ltd.
He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School Executive Management Programme and graduated as Class Speaker PMD 75. He has also attended several other business schools and institutes including, the Citicorp Institute of Finance, Euromoney Capital Markets Bootcamp, and IMD Lausanne, Switzerland.
He is a member of the sub-committee of the Banker’s Committee on Professional Ethics, Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria, as well as on the boards of FATE Foundation where he assists in inspiring entrepreneurial driven youths to realize their potential. He is also a Fellow of ASPEN Leadership Initiative.
He is a Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), and has also won the National Productivity Order of Merit Award in 2009.
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He is a member of the Presidential Committee on the establishment of the African Investment Bank, a honourary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, and a Governing Council member of the Financial Institutions Training Centre.
Aigboje is a pastor of the Promised Land Ministries in Lagos, and is married to Ofovwe Aig-Imoukhuede; they have four children together.
Meet the new Co-CEOs of Tizeti Network
Kendall Ananyi voluntarily relinquished the position of CEO of Tizetti Network limited, Ifeanyi Okonkwo and Patricia Aiyedun will hold the fort pending the outcome of the investigations.
The scandalous drama, which commenced on June 3, 2020, with a tweet thread from Kelechi Udoagwu, co-founder of Skrife, eventually forced Kendall Ananyi, founder and CEO of Tizeti Network limited (also known as wifi.com) to step down on Monday, June 8, 2020. The decision was not taken because he is guilty as charged but to allow investigations into the sexual harassment allegation.
With Ananyi voluntarily relinquishing the position of CEO, his co-founder – Ifeanyi Okonkwo, Tizeti’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Patricia Aiyedun, its Chief Financial Officer (CFO), have been announced as the co-CEOs who will hold the fort pending the outcome of investigations.
Let’s learn a little about the duo, who will now pilot the affairs of wifi.com.
Just like Ananyi, Patricia Aiyedun worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers for over 13 years. She served as a Senior manager, Senior Associate and Experience manager at different times, and her years at PwC accounts for the most part of her professional accounting and financial management experience. She also had a brief stint at Diamond bank as an executive trainee.
Patricia Aiyedun obtained her first degree from the University of Ibadan. She has also acquired several other certifications and trainings since then.
She obtained Technical Skills Training at PwC including the Go Audit trainings, Business Control Matrices, Global Best Practices, Petroleum Academy, Flow-charting with Vision, and other leadership, and team building.
She also participated in soft skills trainings such as Management Bytes, Presentation, IFRS, among others.
She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), as well as the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA).
— Tizeti Network (@tizeti) June 8, 2020
Ifeanyi Patrick Okonkwo
Ifeanyi Okonkwo is a telecommunications expert and has been in the industry for over 14 years. Before co-founding Tizeti, he worked with prominent telecom firms such as Blackberry and Eircom.
He obtained his first degree from the University of Benin, Edo state, and later an MSC in Quality Management from the University of Sailford.
Okonkwo has a varied work experience, starting with a 21 months experience with Eircom in Dublin, Ireland as the Customer Support/Product training officer. He went on to work in Vertex Data Science, Manchester, United Kingdom as the Customer Service Advisor.
READ MORE: 7 female executives under 40 in FinTech
He returned to Nigeria in 2009 as a Training Executive in TertiaryDNS Limited, and later went to work for Blackberry in 2012 as the Training Manager, West Africa.
He co-founded TIzeti in 2014 to provide high-speed broadband internet services in Nigeria, and also provides public Wi-fi Hotspot to locations across Africa. He became the Chief Operating Officer (COO) supervising all departments at Tizeti including the most critical ones, IT, Marketing, Sales, Finance.
He has now stepped in as co-CEO after Ananyi step-aside move to allow investigations take place.
The issue of sexual harassment has dominated the social media landscape in the last couple of weeks, and at the height of it, Kelechi Udoagwu took to her handle @anti_ratrace to recount an experience she had with Ananyi during her time as Entrepreneur-in-Training at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST).
Ananyi was one of the guest speakers during the program, and according to Udoagwu, he was supposed to offer her advice and mentorship in her start-up journey.
Udoagwu is now the co-founder of Skrife, after meeting her cofounder during the MEST programme. Skrife is an online content development platform she launched in 2015. She also served as MEST Africa’s Head of Communication shortly after.
Her first tweet did not disclose the name of the person involved, but appeared to give enough pointers. There were other responses in the thread to also suggest that some others might have suffered a similar fate, but kept quiet for fear of what would become of their careers if nothing came of it.
In response to his denial tweet, which he eventually deleted from his handle, Udoagwu sent another tweet, this time a series of pointed questions directed at him.
He is yet to provide answers to the question. Meanwhile, MEST Africa replied to the thread, promising to stand behind her if she chooses to take legal action.
It said, “We have zero tolerance for sexual harassment and assault at MEST and within the MEST community. We will stand behind you and help escalate action if you wish.”
There were pressures from several industry big-shots asking Ananyi to give room for his co-founder to step in, in order to avoid upsetting the shareholders who have entrusted their funds under his management. This culminated in a statement from the company issued on Sunday evening, announcing the new co-CEOs.
About Kendall Ananyi
Erstwhile CEO Kendall Ananyi has a Masters in computer engineering from the University of Victoria, Canada, and over 15 years’ experience in Telecommunication and Software. He has also worked in various notable firms including Microsoft Canada, Pricewaterhouse Coopers. He is said to have in-depth knowledge of wireless networking, project management, and software experience.