Nothing can be more frustrating than a hitched and bumpy browsing experience. It is even more annoying when this is experienced while trying to get something really important and urgent done, not just having a random surf of the internet.
Most often, we are quick to point accusing fingers at the MDs and CEOs of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and why not? They are the public figures associated with the company, after all – for good or otherwise.
Today, we bring you the Chief Technical Officers (CTOs) of the leading ISPs. They are the tech-savvy guys who manage and maintain the technology infrastructure of the ISPs, and these are the things that really determine whether or not you have a hitch-free internet experience, or struggle to hold yourself from smashing your device on the floor.
These are the men you should call out next time you are having a sour experience online. They are also the ones who ensure your internet experience is great fueling your addiction to guzzle data.
They are rarely in the public eye, or in the office for that matter. Their main domain is the field, where they spend time fixing technical challenges or designing new infrastructure to enhance your experience.
Mohammed Ghidan – CTIO, Airtel Nigeria
Mohammed Ghidan was appointed Chief Technical & Information Technology Officer (CTIO) of Airtel Nigeria in March 2014.
He had worked as CTO of Orascom Telecom Algerie S.P.A. (VimpelCom) in Algeria, coordinating the network technology to service 17 million subscribers. Other experiences cut across mobile and fixed operations in different countries including Egypt, North Korea, Pakistan, Greece, Tunisia, Italy, and Canada.
This technician currently has over two decades of professional experience in the telecoms sector and has attended training programs in almost every country where he worked.
He is an Electrical and Electronics Graduate from Menufia University and has several other professional certifications.
Mohammed Rufai – CTO, MTN Nigeria
Mohammed Rufai was appointed as MTN Nigeria’s Chief Technical Officer (CTO) in May 2019, and immediately took responsibility for the company’s tech strategy roadmap.
He joined the company in 2002 as an RF/BTS Support Engineer in Kano, and his impressive results pushed him through the ranks to become General Manager in 2009. Given the high performance of the network operations team that he led, he was soon reassigned to MTN Ghana as Chief Technical Officer in 2015.
The company’s statement acknowledges that his tenure in Ghana saw data usage increase by over 900% and voice traffic almost triple, among other notable feats; this explains why he is a two-time winner of the ‘CTO of the Year’ award at the Ghana IT and Telecoms Awards (GITTA).
In May 2019, he returned as CTO, MTN Nigeria to work his magic in developing and maintaining the tech infrastructure.
Rufai has almost 20 years’ experience in Information and Communication Technology and Telecoms, all gained while in the employ of the MTN Group.
He holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, and professional certifications from the General Management Program at Cranfield University, the Global Advance Program at Duke Corporate Education, India, and the Senior Management Program at Lagos Business School.
Arun Panda – CTO, Spectranet Limited
Panda was appointed Chief Technical Officer of Spectranet in March 2015.
So far, this is the third company where he has held this position, as he had previously served as CTO in Libercell in Liberia, and Hits Telecom, Kuwait after the company acquired majority shareholding in Atlantic Wireless, Liberia and its brand, Libercell.
His nearly 30 years’ experience also includes 8 years spent at Reliance Communications Ltd as General Manager, Network Operations Centre, and another 8 years+ at the Indian Telecommunication Service, in the Department of Telecommunications (DOT).
He is a seasoned technical expert in centralised NOC operations, remote troubleshooting in Optical SDH network, installation & commissioning of TDM switches, RLUs, transmission MUX and other aspects of telecom service.
Arun Panda holds a B.Eng Electronics and Telcom, as well as Masters in Communication Systems and Engineering from the Sambalpur University in India.
Omoyeni Victor Collins – CTO, VDT Communications
Omoyeni Victor Collins joined VDT Communications in 2001 and headed the Technical and Operations department before he was appointed CTO.
His almost 20 years’ experience cuts across Networking design, Microwave design and installations, large-scale engineering projects in FTTH, SDH, and voice and data integration.
Victor holds a B.Eng in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Minna. He is a certified Microsoft Professional (MCP) and has other technical professional certifications, including ITIL and Cisco.
He is also an Alumnus of Lagos Business School and has undergone various Technical and Managerial training and seminars, both within and outside the country.
Paul Jaikaran – CTO MainOne
Paul Jaikaran is a British tech guru, with about 23 years of experience. He became Chief Technical Officer at MainOne, after holding the same position in three other companies: GSTelecom, Vodacom Business Africa, and ipNX.
His career did not start off in telecoms, but in the Shell Petroleum Group in UK, where he worked as a data network engineer. He occupied other positions within the SPDC and Shell Nigeria Exploration (deep water).
Some of his roles in the Shell Group include Operations, Network Design and Project Management.
All of these experiences contribute to make him proficient in network and data center planning, engineering and implementation/build-out, operations management, and network and service performance assurance.
He is a graduate of Imperial College (University of London), and holds an MSc in Communications Engineering.
Opeyemi Ajiboye – CTO, Tizeti Network (wifi.com)
Opeyemi joined Tizeti Network as CTO, after a stint with ipNX Nigeria, Infrastructure Division, where he was the pioneer Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He also doubled as Head, Engineering.
He has over 16 years’ experience in the technical communications industry and business operations and infrastructure. The earlier part of his career was spent at LM Ericsson in several positions: Senior Service Manager, Technical Sale of WCDMA, Service Delivery Line Manager for Access Network, Technical Lead on multiple projects; he managed service operations, and was Head, Network Rollout Implementation Management.
He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Ilorin, and MBA (Technical Management) and Diploma in Project Management from George Washington University.
He also participated in the Ericsson Management Development Programme and was Global Automation champion for Ericsson Sub Saharan Africa.
Akin Alayoku – CTO, Smile Communications Limited
Alayoku became CTO of Smile Communications in September 2017. Before then, he had worked as Director of Operations at Waters, and Principal Consultant at K.A Primewater.
His technical experience in the telecoms sector started with four years spent at Celtel Nigeria (now known as AIrtel Nigeria), where he was Supervisor, BSS Maintenance and Manager Network Maintenance, for two years each.
He subsequently spent over 6 years in MTN Nigeria, starting as Senior Manager, Network Region Coordination, then he became General Manager, Regional Operations, and finally, General Manager, Core Network Operations.
His input at the time was quite invaluable and helped position MTN Nigeria as the number one network operator in the country. Simply put, he was instrumental in bringing the ‘MTN, everywhere you go’ vision to life.
Akin bagged his first degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Ilorin, Kwara state, and Masters Degree in International Management from the University of Liverpool.
He has participated in several management programs, including Leading Strategic Growth and Change, and Finance and Accounting for non-Finance Executives, both at Columbia Business school, and the Risk Management for Corporate Leaders at the Harvard Business School.
Charles Oluwaseun Oluboyo – Chief Technical Architect (CTA), ipNX Limited
Oluwaseun Oluboyo is the man in charge of maintaining the technical infrastructure and architecture at ipNX limited. He assumed this position in 2014.
Before that time, he was Senior Manager, Research and Development, controlling the infrastructure services units, and new product lines in ipNX.
His experience in ipNX spans the last 15 years, in different positions. He was Manager, Media Hosting for about a year, and the Team Lead and Head of Unit, Media Hosting for another two years. He was also Software and Systems Engineer between 2004 and 2006.
Oluboyo is experienced in building core back-end systems, data center operations, and unified communications product lines, the development, and integration of software applications, as well as offering back-end support for extensions to the wireless product line.
He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Ilorin, and has also attended different developer administrator training programs.
Note: This article does not include the CTOs of Globacom Nigeria and 9mobile Nigeria, as there is no source to confirm the occupants of these positions. Both companies have not tendered recent financial reports with the NSE, neither do their websites provide answers to these questions.
Jimoh Ibrahim: The successes and controversies of a billionaire entrepreneur
With investments in several sectors, Jimoh Ibrahim has had his own fair share of wins and loses.
One Nigerian businessman who has recently found himself faced with a series of controversies is Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim. An astute investor with interests in the oil and gas, hospitality, aviation, banking, real estate, insurance, publishing and the media industry. Ibrahim recently had a bulk of his assets seized by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over a N69.4 billion debt.
Though his assets are said to run into millions of dollars, everyone is looking to see how the 53-year-old businessman will pull through this major dip. Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim is Nairametrics founder of the week.
A native of Okitipupa in present-day Ondo State, Ibrahim was born on the 24th of February 1967 to Alhaji Yakubu and his wife, Omofemiwa Jimoh. The family was a big one with his father having seven wives and several children.
Ibrahim started schooling at Igbotako and finished his secondary school at Saint John’s School before proceeding to bag his Law degree and then, Masters in Public Administration (MPA) at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife (now in Osun State). He then headed for Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA for a combined Master of Laws & International Taxation (LLM/IT).
Ibrahim earned an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School and a Master of Science in Programme Management at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.
He attended various executive education programmes including the University of Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme (ALP), University of Oxford Negotiation Programme, University of Oxford Advanced Leadership and Management programme, Harvard Business School Senior Executive Leadership Program for the Middle East and the University of Cambridge programme on How to Lead Successful Projects. Ibrahim also attends the guest category of the annual meeting of the World Bank/IMF.
Early business and career moves
Ibrahim picked an early interest in making money out of his knowledge, even as an undergraduate. He first observed that only the federal and state governments had laws, and so proposed organising law seminars across local governments in Nigeria, to teach them how to make their own laws. Simple as this might have seemed, he made quite some money from it. He also made some money from organising workshops for top government officials.
One might imagine what the young man was thinking as an undergraduate, but it was clear to him even at that age that he did not have to wait till he left school to make money. He also used his fathers’ bricklaying materials to execute some small scale contracts which he secured.
Ibrahim always had his eyes prowling in search of opportunities. When it came to his notice that the federal government was having challenges recovering its withholding tax from multinational oil companies, he sent in a proposal on how he could help recover the funds. He executed the proposal to the letter, recovering billions of naira for the government and earning himself a fortune as well.
In his capacity as a tax professional, he also worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and was a part of the Harvard team that backed the tax reforms in Bangladesh.
The full-fledged entrepreneur
As a businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim is known to have interests in key business outfits across several sectors and uses the Global Fleet Group, where he sits as chairman and chief executive officer, as the umbrella company for his investments. Global Fleet is now a diversified conglomerate with presence in several countries.
He started out the Global Fleet Oil and Gas in 2004 as a petroleum marketing company. The company did not focus on setting up fuel stations, but instead set out to buy out other fuel stations. Within a year, they bought about 150 stations and started averaging about $1 million daily in oil and gas sales. Since then, the company has acquired more fuel stations.
Ibrahim founded Energy Commercial Bank, Accra, Ghana in 2009 and it is considered an arm of the Energy Group, one of the largest Africa conglomerates with diversified interest in banking and financial investment. The Group also acquired 100% of the Oceanic Bank (STP) in June 2011, changing its name to Energy Bank Sao Tome & Principe (STP) and making it another arm of the Energy Group and a subsidiary of the Global Fleet Group.
Air Nigeria was established in 2010 as Virgin Nigeria, with Ibrahim as a major shareholder. Ibrahim is also the Group Managing Director of NICON Insurance and one of its subsidiaries, Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation in Lagos state.
In the hospitality industry, Ibrahim acquired the former Le Meridian Hotels in 2003 and changed its name to NICON Luxury Hotel.
Ibrahim is also the owner of Global Media Mirror, publishers of the National Mirror, and has acquired 51% of Newswatch Communication Limited to give him a substantial stake in Nigeria’s media industry.
Ibrahim served as the Chairman of the board of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria, from April 2009 to December 2012. It was quite a turbulent tenure that saw the CAC workers embarking on industrial action in May 2011 to push for his removal.
In 2011, he was also appointed the Honorary Consul of Sao Tome and Principe to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The controversial loan and seizure of assets
On November 4 2020, a federal high court sitting in Lagos granted an interim order allowing the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to take possession of twelve prime assets belonging to Barrister Ibrahim and freeze all accounts belonging to him and his companies over a N69.4 billion debt.
In compliance with the court order, AMCON took possession of all the assets through its Debt Recovery Agent – Pinheiro Legal Partner, and also took shares belonging to Ibrahim and his two companies as domiciled in Nigerian Re-Insurance Company Plc, NICON Insurance Company Plc, Nigeria Stockbrokers Limited (NSL) and NICON Trustees Limited.
The properties affected include the building of NICON Investment Limited at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja; NICON Hotels Limited building at Plot 557, Port-Harcourt Crescent, off Gimbiya Street, Abuja; the building of NICON Lekki Limited also at No. 5, Customs Street, Lagos; the building of Abuja International Hotels Limited located at No. 3, Hospital Road, Lagos; as well as a property at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Abuja.
The former Allied Bank Building on Mile 2, Oshodi ExpressWay, Apapa Road, Lagos; Energy House located on No. 94, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; NICON Building at No. 40, Madeira Street, Maitama, Abuja; a Residential Apartment at Road 2, House A14, Victoria Garden City, Lagos; NICON Hotels Building at Plot 3, Road 3, Victoria Garden City, Lagos as well as the NICON Luxury Hotel’s Building, Garki I, FCT, Abuja were also affected.
Ibrahim and his companies sued to recover the seized assets on grounds of “non-disclosure and misrepresentation of material facts” requesting an indemnity of N50 billion from AMCON, but the Federal High Court declined his application, upholding the subsisting order.
The case between Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim and AMCON has been a longstanding one dating as far back as 2016. The loan was one of the 393 loans AMCON purchased from Union Bank of Nigeria plc during the first phase of Eligible Bank Assets (EBA) purchases. Since then, attempts made to recover the loan have proved futile. AMCON also seized assets belonging to other debtors in the same year, taking advantage of the amended Act, which had been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In his response to the asset seizure, Ibrahim had said there were no grounds for such an action since his organization already had over £220 million as bank deposit in Union Bank. “The order is discharged already as Union Bank is owing us £220 million that is over N150 billion; four times over what AMCON is claiming, so AMCON is pursuing nothing,” he said.
Another hearing has been fixed for March 9, and while AMCON pushes on with its moves, Ibrahim is clearly not going to give up without a fight.
Other interests and Honours
Jimoh Ibrahim has been conferred the honour of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic OFR, and Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic CFR. He has also received honorary doctorate degrees from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State; Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso, Oyo State and the Ondo State University.
In 2003 and in 2016, Ibrahim attempted to become the governor of Ondo State, on the platform of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) respectively but was not successful. He has authored three books.
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji is redefining the future of startup investments
After founding several start-ups, Aboyeji now manages Future Africa as General Partner of the company.
It is no longer news that young people especially under 30 entrepreneurs are tackling the world’s biggest challenges with innovative creations. They create companies and organizations aimed at solving the problems confronting society today.
Among them is Iyinoluwa Aboyeji who is a young Nigerian entrepreneur and co-founder of Andela, an engineering and service business that helps companies to build remote teams quickly at a cost-effective rate.
Aboyeji is also the founder and former managing director of Flutterwave, a technology that uses digital payments infrastructure that assists banks and businesses to build seamless and secure payments for their customers.
In March 2019, he founded Future Africa, an innovation fund that provides capital and coaching to innovators.
As a young boy, he was involved in lots of innovative creations and as such co-founded quite a number of companies. Among them was the Bookneto Inc. alongside Pierrie Alrs, a social learning platform for sharing and organizing learning resources within learning communities. It allowed users to manage course interactions and the ability to see questions, insights, and discussions on course material from students taking related courses at other schools.
In 2014, he met with Jeremy Johnson, a technology entrepreneur and enthusiast who shared the same passion and drive as him. They both started Andela, a company that invests in African software engineers to help companies solve the technical talent shortage and build high-performing distributed engineering teams.
The rise of Andela attracted investments from both local and international investors. Aboyeji worked with Andela for two years after which he resigned and moved on to his next venture. Before he resigned, the company raised $24 million Series B funding from investors including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and former US Vice President, Al Gore.
In 2016, Flutterwave was launched. Flutterwave is a platform that partners with businesses to process payments globally. It allows for payments to be made and accepted anywhere around the world on its integrated platform.
Aboyeji was the CEO of Flutterwave for two years before resigning in October 2018. Under his leadership as CEO, Flutterwave had become one of the fastest-growing payments technology business of all-time, attracting significant investments from Y Combinator, Greycroft, Greenvisor Capital, and Mastercard.
Flutterwave is currently valued at $150 million, and it is also Y Combinator’s most valuable startup in Africa.
He moved further to work as the Deputy Director-General on Oby Ezekwesili’s presidential campaign from 2018 to February 2019.
In March 2019, Aboyeji founded Future Africa and became a General Partner of the company. Future Africa is a platform for providing capital, coaching, and community to innovators and entrepreneurs looking to solve problems throughout the continent.
Some of the start-ups in their portfolio include; Lori Systems, Andela, Flutterwave, Eden, MAX, and Kobo360.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
Access our Live Feed portal for the latest company earnings as they drop.
- Seplat falls into a loss in FY 2020
- 2020 FY Results: Cornerstone Insurance Plc reports a 61.1% decline in profit
- Ellah Lakes increases operating expenses by 33.36% in HY 2020
- 2020 FY Results: Nigerian Breweries reports a 54.3% decline in profits in 2020
- Abbey Mortgage Bank projects N51.08 million profit in Q2 2020.