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.
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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.
ExxonMobil Nigeria gets new Chairman and Managing Director
The disclosure was made in a statement by the Manager Media and Communications.
Oil exploration and production giant, ExxonMobil, has announced the appointment of Richard Laing, as the new Chairman and Managing Director of its 3 affiliate firms in Nigeria with effect from August 1, 2020.
The disclosure was made in a statement by the Manager Media and Communications, ExxonMobil, Mr. Ogechukwu Udeagha, on Saturday, August 8, 2020, in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.
The 3 affiliate oil firms of ExxonMobil include Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited and Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Offshore East).
According to the statement from ExxonMobil, Richard Laing was appointed to replace Paul McGrath, who has been appointed Vice President, Global Projects for ExxonMobil in Houston after spending more than 3 years in Nigeria.
The statement from Ogechukwu Udeagha reads, “Prior to his appointment, Laing was executive director of oil and gas production and related support groups for all of the ExxonMobil affiliates in Nigeria.’’
”Laing joined ExxonMobil in 1989 and has held variety of engineering, planning, safety and managerial positions in upstream and downstream operations while working in the U.K, Qatar, U.S. and Nigeria,” he added.
Udeagha said that Laing holds a bachelor’s degree in Mining and Petroleum Engineering from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and Master’s in Petroleum Engineering from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
In his reaction, Liang said; “It is a privilege to lead the ExxonMobil team in Nigeria and build on the work that Paul McGrath had done over the last three years.
“I look forward to the work that lies ahead and continuing the company’s outstanding relationships.”
MRS Oil announces resignation of its MD, appoints an acting MD
The disclosure was made in a notification by the oil marketing giant.
Oil marketing giant, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, has announced the resignation of its Managing Director, Mrs Priscilla Thorpe-Monclus with effect from August 5, 2020, and the subsequent appointment of Mr Marco Storari as the Managing Director in an acting capacity.
The oil firm also announced the resignation of one of its directors, Mr Christopher Okorie, also with effect from August 5, 2020.
The disclosure was made in a notification by the oil marketing giant, which was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on August 7, 2020, and signed by its Company Secretary O.M. Jafojo.
The statement from MRS Oil Nigeria Plc reads:
“At the Board Meeting of August 5, 2020, the Board of Directors of MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, considered and approved the resignation of Mrs Priscilla Thorpe-Monclus as Managing Director and Director of the Company, and the resignation of Mr Christopher Okorie as Director of the Company, effective August 5, 2020.
“The Board of Directors also considered and approved the appointment of Mr Marco Storari as Director and Managing Director (Acting) of the Company.’’
According to the statement, Mrs Thorpe-Monclus, during her tenure as the Managing Director, showed great commitment and dedication in her drive for the new MRS Brand, which resulted in the unveiling of three new retail outlets in Lagos, one in Owerri, two in Kano and two new outlets in Abuja. It also resulted in an overall business turnaround for the oil company.
The board commended the efforts of Mrs Thorpe-Monclus and Mr Okorie to the growth of the company and wished them the best in their future endeavours.
Mr Marco Storari, on the other hand, is a seasoned leader with more than 3 decades’ experience in the management, shipping, trading and terminal operations in the industry. He has held various high-level positions where he recorded business successes in companies in Italy, Monaco and Nigeria.
He was, until his appointment as Acting Managing Directors, the Group Executive Director, Storage and Terminal for MRS Holdings Limited. He has been a driving force in the transformation of the MRS Group over the last 10 years.
The Board of Directors of MRS has expressed its confidence in the ability of Storari to bring to bear his wealth of experience in the industry, to improve business efficiency.
MRS Oil Nigeria Plc is a fully integrated and efficient downstream player, with leading positions in the Nigerian Oil Industry. The oil firm, with its head office in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, previously traded under the name Texaco Nigeria Plc. It has 3 business units namely sale of petroleum products at retail outlets, sale of aviation fuel, and blending of lubricants.
Nnaemeka Ewelukwa assumes office as new MD/CEO of NBET
Dr, Eweluka replaced the sacked Dr. Amobi as NBET Chief before full assumption in August 2020.
Dr Nnaemeka Ewelukwa has assumed office as the new Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc. This was announced earlier today by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) August 6, 2020
The Backstory: In December 2019, the former CEO of NBET, Dr Marilyn Amobi, was suspended by Nigeria’s Minister of Power. This followed a series of complaints made against Dr Amobi who was appointed to the position in 2016. Following her sack, the Minister of Power also noted that he was seeking to bring sanity back to the system. A committee was also set up to investigate the many complaints against the former NBET CEO.
“In view of this, the minister has also directed the Constitution of a 5-man investigative committee to look into the myriads of complaints against the MD/CEO (of NBET) with the view of restoring sanity in the management of the company. Consequently, she is to handover to the most senior director in the organisation,” a statement issued by Aaron Artimas, the spokesman of the Minister of Power had read.
Interestingly, President Muhammadu Buhari reinstated Dr Amobi in January this year, but then finally sacked her later in June. Now, Dr, Eweluka, who was earlier announced as Amobi’s replacement, has now taken over.
Before now, Eweluka was appointed the General Counsel and Company Secretary of NBET in march 2012. He has also served as a Technical Adviser with the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP) where he was a member of the Regulatory and Transactions Monitoring Unit.
He graduated with an LLB from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, an LLM in International Business Law from the London School of Economics and a PhD from Queen Mary, University of London.