20 Most Outstanding Nigerians in 2018
Compiled by Eminent Leaders Team led by Patience Iveren Kine
Aliyu A. Abdulhameed
Aliyu A. Abdulhameed was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Leading (NIRSAL) on 23rd December, 2015.
Through a blend of technical competence, result focused leadership and passionate advocacy, he has energized the institution and achieved important initial milestones which have provided a strong foundation for realizing NIRSAL’s unique vision of transforming the agriculture sector through de-risking the agricultural value chain.
Under his watch, NIRSAL has attracted positive attention of respected global players in the agriculture sector including African Development Bank (ADB), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and other African countries like Rwanda, Liberia etc. Prior to his appointment Mr. Hameed served as Executive Team Member of NIRSAL when it was a Project Office under the Development Finance Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In a career spanning over 22 years, Aliyu has deep and hands on experience in important sectors of the emerging African agriculture economy. For instance, as a staff of Kewalrams Afcot Group, pioneer backward integrators in the Cotton Textile Garment (CTG) value chain, he was part of the team that was instrumental to the creation of Olam, the No. 1 global commodity trader which links end to end value chains from primary production to industrial users of globally traded agric commodities. Later on as an entrepreneur, Abdulhameed also acquired practical experience in the provision of agricultural commodities and related services to a wide variety of clients.
Mr. Abdulhameed brings to NIRSAL strong experience in corporate agribusiness and deep expertise in the field of agricultural finance and risk management.
Since inception to date, NIRSAL has made significant impact in the agricultural financing and agricultural development space and has as its scorecard:
- Facilitation of N84.25 billion from private sector financiers to the Agriculture/Agribusiness sector.
- Provision of Credit Guarantees for 662 Agricultural projects.
- Pay out of over N1.06billion as interest rebate to borrowers who paid back their loans in good time.
- Training of 900,000 farmers across the country on best practice farming techniques and business management.
- Provision of high quality agricultural inputs and affordable finance to more than 500,000 smallholder farmers under three (3) farming seasons from 2017 to 2018.
- Development and launching of the Area Yield Index Insurance product – N5.4billion revenues of 25,000 farmers protected to date.
- Less than 1% risk crystallization or claims pay out on funding catalysed achieved through NIRSAL’s smart, innovative and sustainable approach with NO recourse to the Federal Government of Nigeria for additional financing.
- Growth of its N72.5billion seed capital debenture loan from the CBN to a total asset value of N136billion.
- Support to the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) of the Federal Government, paying out a total of N4.8billion in claims on non-performing loans, to protect the government from embarrassment which is being gradually recouped from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD).
- 800 staff spread across well-equipped offices in all 36 states of the federation and the FCT, providing on-the-ground, real time monitoring, reporting and remediation as well as delivering extension services through agents in the 774 local governments in Nigeria
- Roll out of innovative business models and interventions for Mechanization, Integrated agribusiness projects like Wheat and Livestock, Youth in Innovative Agribusiness, etc.
Partnering with CBN, Bankers Committee and NIPOST, NIRSAL under the leadership of Aliyu has successfully established the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) with operations in FCT and other six (6) pilot states of Enugu, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kogi, Rivers and Oyo States. The NMFB is expected to roll out in 47 more locations across the federation by May 2019.
- Godwin Emefiele
Godwin Emefiele has been Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria since June 3, 2014. He was the CBN Governor by the past administration of Goodluck Jonathan and was reappointed by the APC led government of Muhammadu Buhari to serve for another for another tenure as CBN Governor.
He served as Chief Executive Officer and Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc. Emefiele served as Deputy Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc since 2001. He served as Executive Director in charge of Corporate Banking Treasury, Financial Control and Strategic Planning of Zenith Bank and has been on the management team since inception. He has over eighteen (18) years of banking experience. Emefiele served as director at Zenith Bank Plc and Zenith Gambia Limited.
Before commencing his banking career, he lectured Finance and Insurance at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and University of Port Harcourt, respectively.
Emefiele serves as Director of ACCION Microfinance Bank Limited.
Godwin Emefiele, the former Zenith Bank Plc Chief Executive took up the mantle as the 11th CBN Chief, and its 10th indigenous governor. Emefiele, who replaced Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, whose tenure elapsed on June 1 brings to the job over 20 years of banking experience. He has held several strategic positions in his 18 years in the banking industry. He is an alumnus of Executive Education at Stanford University, Harvard University and Wharton Graduate Schools of Business.
His foray in CBN and the stability of the Nigerian economy cannot be overemphasized.
He was honoured by Forbes in 2017 with the ‘Best of Africa Achievement Award’.
In ensuring that SMEs are properly funded, he singled out NIRSAL in the formation and establishment of the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank which is designed to improve access to credit and the technology that would be used by financial technology experts.
- Pius Adesanmi
Pius Adesanmi, was a Nigerian-born writer and Canadian Professor who taught at Carlton University in Ottawa, Ontario. He was one of Nigeria’s leading public intellectuals and an internationally acclaimed author.
In 2010, he won the inaugural Penguin Prize for African writing in the non-fiction category with his collections of essays “you’re not a country, Africa”. And in 2001, his first book “The way farer and other poems” won the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize.
For many years, Adesanmi was a regular columnist for Premium Times and Sahara Reporters. His writings were often satiric, focusing on the absurd in the Nigerian Social and Political System. His targets often included politicians, pastors and other relevant public figures.
Adesanmi died on 10 March 2019, when the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed shortly after he was on his way to an African Union Conference.
The entire social media was perplexed after his surprise exit. The media mourned his loss beyond comprehension.
- Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo
Adeola Sowemimo has made history as the first Nigeria female pilot to be hired by Qatar Airways and the first Nigeria female pilot to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
In recent times, African women leading and dominating the spaces they find themselves.
Even though it took a very long time for them to enjoy basic human rights, they have proven that they can achieve incredible feats across many industries.
- Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina
Adesina Akinwumi was former Nigeria Agriculture Minister from 2010 to 2015. After his tenure as the Minister of Agriculture, he has continued to work for food security. He is the 8th elected President of the African Development Bank Group, the first Nigeria elected to the position and he has folded his sleeves working for the development of Africa through many programs geared at advancing projects to achieve financial gains for Africa through its market.
One of such programs is the Africa investment forum in which he described as collective deal of the century for investment in and the development of Africa. The forum focuses on advancing projects to bankable stages, raising capital and speeding up the financial closure of deals.
Forbes Africa’s October 2018 issued described him as “Africa’s Mr. Development”.
He was recently awarded the Sunhak Peace Prize where he stated, “I am honoured to be awarded the Sunhak Peace Prize”. Whenever there are wars and conflict people go hungry. Wherever there is peace there is food and security.
- Genevieve Nnaji
In her years in Nollywood, Genevieve has set the standard several times. She is the first Nigerian actor to open a website, the first actress to be awarded Best Actress by the Censors Board of Nigeria and first actress to win the African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) for Best Actress in Leading Role (2005). In 2009, she was featured in Oprah Winfrey’s special episode, Meet the Most Famous People in the world. She was referred to as the Julia Roberts of Africa by Oprah Winfrey.
On September 7, 2018 her directional debut Lion heart was acquired by online streaming Service Netflix marketing. It’s the first Netflix original film Nigeria. She set another milestone this year after signing a deal with the United Talent Agency (UTA), an agency which manages Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Gwyne Paltrow among other A – list celebrities. The deal will see her collaborate with Hollywood film makers to produce films for an African perspective.
- Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is a co-founder of Sahel Consulting and she served as its managing partner. She has 23 years of experience in international development, and through her work with Sahel has shaped agriculture strategy and policy in West Africa for a range of Clients in the public, private and non profit sectors.
She is also the co-founder of AACE foods a social enterprise which processes nutritious food made from the best of West Africa’s Cereals, herbs, pulses and spices. She is working with the LEAP Africa which works across Africa inspiring Empowering and Equipping the next generation of dynamic, principled and innovative young leaders.
- Arunma Oteh
In July 2015, Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank appointed Arunma Oteh, Vice President and Treasurer of the institution.[ In that capacity, she managed the organization’s US$200 billion debt portfolio, as well as an asset portfolio of almost US$200bn for the World Bank Group and 65 external clients, including central banks, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds.
Prior to joining the Bank, she served as Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria from 2010 to 2015.
During this period, she rebuilt the Nigeria Capital Markets after the global financial crises and served on Nigeria’s Economic Management Team.
In 2011, in recognition of her contribution to economic development and transforming the Nigeria Capital Markets, she was awarded the officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) National Honor. She was also named the Africa Investor Capital Market Personality of the year in 2014 and received the 2016 New Africa Woman Award in Finance and Banking. In 2018, she was named the Ai Global Institutional Investment Personality of the year.
Samson Itodo is the head of the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), a youth based non-governmental organisation that promotes democratic governance, human rights and youth political participation. It focuses on in-depth research, capacity development and public policy advocacy. YIAGA has successfully pushed for the passage of the not too young to run bill which reduced the age limit for electoral officers. It is also pushing for presidential assent on the bill.
YIAGA AFRICA is educating and empowering the youth in order to promote participation in democratic and governance processes.
Samson was the pioneer National Coordinator of the first youth coalition on constitution and electoral reform in Nigeria – Youth Alliance on Constitution and Electoral Reform (YACORE).
We celebrate Samson for devoting his life to contributing to building Africa’s future by empowering the youth.
One mention of the name, Segun Awosanyan (Popularly known as Segalinks) to corrupt police officials and law and order is restored. At the height of the SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) victimization and public harassment of the Nigerian citizenry. Awosanyan kicked off the #ENDSARS campaign with an aim to stop the “extortion from, disappearance and the deaths of countless… illegal arrest and detention of citizens”. During the struggle, he organized protest across different states and started an online petition, which attracted over 50,000 signatories.
Despite threats by the IG of police to stop any form of protest, the selfless leader who believes that “our children.. must not wear the chains of slavery and oppression” followed through until the Federal Government announced the reformation of SARS. It is of little wonder he is unofficially dubbed the man of the year on social media.
Mikel John Obi
The Super Eagles captain is recognized as a gift to the Nigerian sports industry. A man whose support and love for the country shows no bund, he came to the Nigerian Olympic team’s rescue in 2014 after he paid $4,000 (N800,000) when a hotel in Sao Paulo prevented the team from leaving due to unpaid bills.
In 2018, he once again showed his patriotism after he actively played for the team in the World Cup clash against Argentina hours after receiving inform on his father’s kidnap.
In a bid to salvage the Nigerian Amputee team which has resorted to crowdfunding, due to lack of finances, Obi pledged moral and physical support to the team.
Adekunle made history when he was announced as the world’s highest paid in the field of robotics. He broke boundaries when he did the phenomenal in engineering by designing the first gaming robot.
He combined robotics, gaming and augmented reality to build a physical product. He didn’t stop at programming the software; he went further to manufacture the gaming robot.
Named as “someone to watch in 2018” by the Black Fund Hedge Group, Adekunle is the founder and CEO of Reach Robotics.
Not only has his works gained recognition, but they also listed him in the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe: Technology.
He signed a deal with the world’s reputable software manufacturers, Apple Inc. Apple priced his bots at $300 (N109,353) and put them in nearly all the stores in USA and Britain.
The heavyweight champion has not slowed down his year in the boxing ring, with him holding down three of the four major championships in the sport: the IBF title since 2016, the WBA Super title since 2017, and the WBO title since March 2018. He also held the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles from 2014 to 2016.
Anthony Joshua secured a win by fighting Russian Alexander Povetkin for a seventh-round match at Wembly Stadium in September 2018. Joshua’s unbeaten professional record of 22 wins from 22 fights, with 21 knockouts makes him the man of the ring for 2018.
The Ring ranked Joshua as the world’s best active heavyweight in September 2018.
Until 2016, Kemi Adetiba was known as a budding producers, presenter. She is a producer whose works speak for her in Channel O, MTV Base and Soundcity TV. She cut her teeth in Nollywood after producing Nigeria’s 2016 highest grossing film the Wedding Party 1, a romantic comedy, which raked in N453 Million.
Through Adetiba, Nollywood showed that it was ready to take on the world with its quality production and belly-laugh storyline.
Two years later, the award-winning producer and director produced her own film, King of Boys, a non-comedy film which would last (over two hours) 169 minutes. This dream was, however, shut down by concerned friends who opined that creating a non-comedy film which will last over 2 hours will not work for Nigerians. How wrong they were!
With standing ovations from the audience at compelling scenes and powerful dialogue, the film has seen people return to the cinemas to watch it over three times.
In its fifth week, King of Boys broke three Nollywood records, generated over N200 million at the Box Office and is predicted to join the ranks of Black Panther and The Wedding Party 1 in no time.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
The visual artist, Njideka Akunyili-Crosby, made major strides this year with her botanical painting, Bush Babies, which was sold for the whopping sum of N1,239,334,000 ($3.4 million) at the Christie’s in London, hence, making it the most expensive art piece sold at the auction. At the moment, over twenty art museums have been put on the waiting list for her works.
Njideka was also a recipient of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s James Dickey Contemporary Art Prize (2014), Next Generation prize at the New Museum of Contemporary Art (2015), Foreign Policy’s Leading 100 Global Thinkers of (2015), Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2015), Prix (2016), Canson 2016 Financial Times Women of the Year award (2016), Distinguished Alumni Award, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (2016) and McArthur ‘Genius’ great in 2017 from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The New Yorker describes her as “layered in her works by college and acetone-transfer prints, creating a fabric of images throughout her paintings,”. Also, Victoria Miro Gallery in London also said “… Her cultural identity combines strong attachments to the country of her birth and to her adopted home, a hybrid identity that is reflected in her work”.
David Adedeji Adeleke (Davido)
Fresh off the success of his 2017 N30Billion Concert that ranked as the Highest Grossing Concert in Nigeria, Davido has had another remarkable year in 2018.
In February, Smade Entertainment kicked – off Davido’s 30 Billion UK Tour at the Athena in Leicester, England. With Six nights of amazing performances, he made history by selling out one of UK’s most prestigious music venues; London’s 5000 capacity 02 Academy.
In mid-2018, Davido made another great milestone achievement when Tidal announced that the Nigerian music act would joint American superstars such as Nicki Minaj and Post Malone to perform ahead of Jay-Z’s Made in America Festival.
Let’s not forget that Davido has been in the news for all the right reasons this year as his Assurance single is a nationwide anthem, while his love story with his girlfriend, Chioma is relationship goals for many. His drumming up support for his uncle, Ademola Adeleke in the 2018 Osun Gubernatorial election, has also encouraged more young people to take an active part in politics.
Damini Ogulu (Burna Boy)
Burna Boy is in a world of his own for being a musical genius and his reggae dance-hall artiste has been pulling out commendable tricks from his bag of talents in the year 2018.
In February 2018, Burna Boy’s Outside album debuted on Billboard’s Raggae Albums Chart at the Number 3 spot.
The Afro-fusion singer also signed a publishing deal with Universal Music USA in 2018 and this deal came when outside was getting great reviews.
He also released Burna Boy Space Puffs Cereal and held a Pop Up sales of his new venture in London.
Spotify’s Global Cultures editorial team launched a new Afro Hub to create a global brand representative of hits from all countries around the world and it was announced that it will allow Burna Boy to create a playlist of his favourite songs under the Afro Hub, which will then be featured as a Spotify highlight. The announcement coincided with a three month YouTube campaign that focused on Burna Boy as a global artiste on the rise.
2018 also saw Burna Boy make history as the first African artiste to sell out and shut down a show at the O2 Academy, Brixton. Still, on the heels of this, his Ye music video was played on the big screens at Times Square, New York. YouTube Music sponsored the sport.
Olubukola Abubakar Saraki
Abubakar Olubukola Saraki is a Nigerian politician who has been the President of Nigeria’s Senate since 2015. Previously he was the Governor of Kwara Statee under the platform of the PDP (People’s Democratic Party) from 2003 to 2011. He was first elected to the Senate in April 2011, also under the platform of the PDP, representing the Kwara Central Senatorial district, and then re-elected in the March 2015 election, under the platform of the APC (All Progressive Congress). He decamped back to his former party, the People’s Democratic Party, on 31 July 2018. Saraki declared his intention to vie for the Office of President of Nigeria, under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). but lost to Atiku Abubakar, he was subsequently announced as the DG of Atiku’s Presidential Campaign Council.
He was one of the biggest lost to the ruling APC party when he decamped to PDP in the run to the last general election in Nigeria.
He was much talked about politician in the Nigerian political landscape until he lost at the polls in 2019 national assembly general elections.
His feat in the following areas stand him out among his peers
Under Saraki, Kwara became the first state to complete the Nigeria Independent Power Project. In collaboration with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Saraki re-energised the Ganmo Power Station at Ilorin, and connected over 3750 rural communities to the national grid through the development and installation of 725 transformers and 7 substations.
While in office, Saraki introduced new health programmes, including a statewide campaign in 2008 to reduce maternal and child mortality from malaria. This included distribution of insecticide-treated nets and free malaria drugs to pregnant mothers and to children under the age of five. A statewide programme of hospital development was also implemented, leading to the redevelopment of hospitals in Afon, Patigi and Lafiagi. Other measures included improved training and re-training for medical staff; refurbishment of hospitals and staff living quarters; and employment of qualified medical doctors and other health workers. Many of the primary care programmes were sponsored by international agencies such as WHO and UNICEFF.
Saraki introduced agricultural policy reforms to increase the commercial viability of farming, and also the volume of exports to international markets. The New Nigerian Farmers Initiative was designed to improve the technical capability of farmers and to ensure farmers had a significant financial stake in new investment in agriculture. The scheme utilised the under-used agricultural expertise in the Zimbabwean farming industry, and worked with Zimbabwe’s Commercial Farmers Unionn to identify highly skilled farmers able to support Nigeria’s farming industry and to move to Kwara and develop the farming industry A commercial hub was also developed[ to build capacity support training for the indigenous farming community.
Saraki led significant and statewide infrastructure development, including improvements at the Ilorin International Airport Cargo Terminal, extensive road construction, and development of new sporting facilities such as Kwara Football Academy.
Saraki became chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum in 2007. Under Saraki’s Chairmanship, a reformed Forum was established, with a fully resourced secretariat, with a technical and administrative division that was entirely focused on deliver
Under Saraki’s chairmanship, new processes such as the State Peer Review Mechanism were developed to ensure closer working and collaboration, and that best practices could be shared between states. The mechanism allowed case studies to be shared between states in a number of policy fields. including power projects, primary healthcare centres for villages and other rural locations, roadworks, water, solar schemes and the construction of specialist hospitals and state universities. Projects such as these had previously remained undisclosed.
The Forum developed better and more extensive polio immunisation in Nigeria. A key part of this was the introduction in 2011 of the Immunisation Leadership Challenge. The Challenge was designed to reward states in Nigeria that made significant improvements in polio and routine immunisation coverage by the end of 2012.
Observing the effects of the election cycle, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation drove the challenge – launched in partnership with the NGF – which pledged to award US $500,000 to states that met a pre-defined threshold of improvement.
The NGF and Global Development Partners: Under Dr Saraki’s chairmanship a number of Memorandum of Understandingg (MOUs) have been signed, including but not limited to the World Bank, DFID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, GAVI, UNICEFF, UNDP.
The Nigerian Senate under his leadership has surpassed all Senates in Nigeria’s history, passing over 201 bills and clearing 138 public petitions.
He courted many controversies towards the general election Bukola Saraki was the first Senate President in Nigeria to be issued arrest warrants in September 18, 2015; His name was in the list of politicians named in “Paradise Papers” allegations in November 2017; Bukola Saraki and some of his aides were allegedly indicted by EFCC for laundering up to N3.5 billion from the Paris Club Loan Refund.
The Nigeria Bobsled Team
The first national team was established in 2016 by Seun Adigun, in 2-Woman Bobsleigh. The team was entirely self-funding, without financial support from Nigerian authorities. Raising the money to run the team showed the Nigerian government that they needed to establish a governing federation for bobsled, which they did, the Bobsled & Skeleton Federation of Nigeria (BSFN).
The team’s first attempt to qualify for the Winter Olympics, was in 2017, for the 2018 Winter Olympics in bobsledding, the two-women event. The 2018 Olympic team consisted of driver Seun Adigun, and brakemen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga. In November 2017, the team met the basic standard to participate in the qualifications. If the team qualifies, this would represent the first appearance of Nigeria at the Winter Olympics; and the first African team in bobsled.
The team qualified for the Olympics, being its representatives at the Winter Games. Nigeria became one of eight African countries to be represented at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Onwumere carried the Nigerian flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony Parade of Nations, and marched with her two teammates, along with fellow Nigerian Simidele Adeagbo, who qualified for women’s skeleton. The team finished last among the 20 teams who competed. After the Games, the 3 on the team retired from bobsled, but pledged to develop the sport in Nigeria, grow the Nigerian sporting federation, and grow winter sports and the Winter Olympics in Africa.
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chiamanda is a Nigerian Novelist, Writer of short stories, Feminist Campaigner and nonfiction. She has written several novels and has received numerous awards and distinctions. As a seasoned Nigerian writer, she has been called the most prominent of a procession of critically acclaimed young Anglophone authors that is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature.
Her work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared in various publications including the new Yorker, Granta, the O. Henry Prize stories, the financial times and zoetrope.
Chiamanda has received numerous awards and distinctions.
In April 2017, she was elected into the 237th class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the highest honors for intellectuals in the United States.
Chiamanda published her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in fifteen suggestions in March 2017, had its origins in a letter Adichie wrote to a friend who had asked for advice about how to raise her daughter as a feminist.
She has been making Nigeria proud in the global scene with her various achievements of rare quality
A Phenomenon at 50
Hitting the age of 50 is a landmark and a milestone to be celebrated. Fifty years and still counting, Aremo Olusiji Balogun, is a phenomenon and a case study in humanity.
He is an Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management in Nigeria among others. He is the Founder of Ase Youth Association and several other organisations.
His company Promec Innovative Concepts was a child of necessity when his attempt to register Prince Royal Media Concept (Promec) at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) met a brick wall.
Olusiji Balogun is a media guru and an organizational growth and business development expert with adaptable skills. He is able to use own initiative or work as part of a team. An efficient and effective Human Resources Manager, community worker, excellent communicator at all levels within and outside organizations; he has good problem solving and analytical skills with pioneering spirit.
Olusij’s specific interests include teaching and learning for new product development, business development, participatory social activities, keen insight into the needs of others and with high energy, initiative and focus, proven leadership skills including managing and motivating others to achieve objectives.
An effective community and social worker, he is fluent with information technology and capable of handling executive assignments and leadership. His other qualities include being positive with potential ideas, he has the ability to work with anyone under any condition or situation and contribute greatly to achieving the best goals of the establishment.
Oluwasijibomi Gideon Balogun was born on the 8th September, 1972 in Ondo town to the family of Samuel Olusegun Balogun and Mrs Grace Remilekun Balogun of Ase Akoko in Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State. Both parents are retired Civil Servants. Olusiji was raised up with strong Christian virtue.
He had his early education at St. Luke’s Primary School, Akure but finished at Muslim Primary School, Ikaram Akoko, all in Ondo State, where he obtained the First School Leaving Certificate. He subsequently earned his West African Senior School Certificate in 1990 after attending Omoluorogbo Grammar School, Akure before proceeding to Ala Community Comprehensive High School, Ala-Elefosan, Idanre Local Government Area of Ondo State.
He also attended the Institute of Journalism and Nigerian Institute of Journalism, (NIJ), Akure Campus for his Diploma in Journalism and Public Relations, after a sojourn at Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) briefly in the Institute of Science Laboratory Technology. He also went to Akwa-Ibom State Polytechnic, for his Higher National Diploma in Business Administration.
He later proceeded to the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State for his Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Administration.
He is a Member of various professional bodies.
After leaving school, Olusiji started working as a freelance Journalist and Printer. He started Eminent Leaders Magazine in 1996 and registered Prince Royal Media Concepts with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), in 1999 which he upgraded to Eminent Leaders World Communications Limited publisher of Eminent Leaders magazine.
He worked with several organisations where he left indelible footprints of punctuality, hard work and professionalism. He worked with Mentors Communications, Abuja in different capacities. At Mentors Communications, he was the pioneer Editor of Rootswatch Magazine. He was Technical Assistant to the Managing Director of Quarry Managers Company in Abuja, headed by the late Abdulhakeem Amao. He was Special Event Manager with ITAD/MotMacdonald/PWC in Calabar and Water Supply and Sanitation Reform Programme (WSSRP) in Abuja. Both projects under the Integrated Water Resource Management European Commission.
He also had a stint with Hatlab Delight as a Business Development Manager and Head of Administration, O.T. Otis Engineering Limited. He resigned his appointment with Successory Nigeria Limited, Abuja, as Head of Project Management, in year 2019 to move his outfit forward.
Olusiji Balogun experience in politics is vast. His team helped installed Olusegun Agagu and Olusegun Mimiko as Ondo State Governors. He was the nucleus of Olusegun Mimiko Campaign Organisation for his second term when he was Editor of Grassroots Vanguard Newspaper of Grassroots Network.
He attempted to contest for the coveted seat of Ondo State Governor in 2020.
His experience in administration is versed as he is an Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), Full Member Institute of Professional Administrators and Managers (IPMA) and many other professional bodies. He is a partner in many companies and Chief Executive Officer of Promec Innovative Entrepreneurship and Science Academy (PIESA) and several other firms.
He currently has his hand in farming as he started Ase Farms Nigeria Limited, asefarms.com.ng.
His hobby includes travelling, reading, surfing the internet and adventures.
Ambassador Bayo Lawal Appointed American Diplomatic Representative in Brazil Ambassador Bayo Lawal, is truly a chip off the block. Born in Osogbo, Osun State of Nigeria, into the royal house of Olumodi Oyipiloye and Asuni Compound (Maternal) Osogbo. Bayo Lawal has become the first Nigerian to receive an American diplomatic status in Brazil. At a diplomatic ceremony held on the 17th of December, 2021 in the executive auditorium of the State Legislative Council, Saopaulo , Brazil, the American Government, through its Diplomatic Mission of International Relations (ADMIR) sworn In Ambassador Bayo Lukman Lawal as one of its appointed diplomatic representatives of the American diplomatic mission in Brazil. The humanitarian and diplomatic mission , which for the first time, included a Nigerian living in Brazil, inaugurated other important personalties in Brazil as members of its humanitarian project scheduled for Africa and Europe in the year 2022. Bayo Lawal is from a royal and polygamous house where hardwork is the hallmark. Though born by a successful business man popularly known as “Were Nise Oluwa”, Bayo Lawal has been a focused, hard-working and persevering youngman. His stint with the Osun State Board of Internal Revenue after his days at The Federal Polytechnic, Offa, set him in a progress pedestal. At the Board of Internal Revenue, his hardworking nature, made him a darling of all. Ambassador Bayo Lawal, before leaving the shores of Nigeria, originated the idea of honouring women in Nigerian society in 1999, tagged “Women Entrepreneur Merit Award” organised by Spotlight Media Ventures. He was then the PRO and Reporter for the firm. Ambassador Bayo Lawal and other personalities like the notable former Brazilian football captain, Capitão Cafu , the Saopaulo State First Lady, Mrs. Bia Doria, the Director of Federal Police, the Honorable speaker of the House of Assembly in Saopaulo , Representatives from several African and European countries witnessed the event. According to the President of the mission in Brazil, Dr. Fernando Navarro, the principal function of the American diplomatic mission of International relations is simple, it is humanitarian, it is helping to make the world a better place to live, he said the mission is to combat hunger and help the needy. Ambassador Bayo Lawal, who has lived in Brazil for over twenty years has worked in different functions in the international relations, he is an administrator who has led his team of excellent professionals within and outside Brazil. He is the presently the CEO of Mab Consulting Services, an International Trade and Business Development company with spread in the South America, Africa, China, USA, Europe and UAE. Bayo Lawal, who served as a Business Consultant at Grupo Empresarial Costa Negocios, taught courses in several English Schools in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was Business English Teacher For Executives between 1999 – 2014. He worked at the Costa Negocios Group, FGV Projetos, Bimex Comercial Ltda., and many others. In his interview with Heritage news, Ambassador Lawal said “I am dedicating my achievements in Brazil to the Almighty God and also to my late parents, Prince Yekeen Lawal and Mrs. Bolanle Lawal. I also owe this success to my family in Brazil , my friends and colleagues who are always by me.” Ambassador Bayo Lawal said he is ready to work with all humanitarian organizations in Nigeria and overseas, using his office as an ambassador to help better the standards of every Nigerian, African immigrants in Brazil and around the world. He promised to lead projects of housing estates to Osogbo and other necessary locals in Nigeria.Ambassador Bayo Lawal is married to an Italian descendant Brazilian, Mrs. Sara Guerino Lawal and blessed with three children; Nathalie Mariam Oyenike Lawal, Derick Afeez Oyewale Lawal and Allan Khalil Babatunde Lawal.
Iyalaje Tolulola Olajibike Bayode was born in Akure and hails from Oba-Ile. She’s the daughter of Chief Joseph Bayode and Pastor Mrs Bayode.
Tolulola Olajibike Bayode, RN, BSN, MD, is a trained medical professional but with an unusual passion for the well-being of the less privileged. Having travelled far and wide,Tolulola share an uncanny obsession of giving abandoned children and widows another shot at life,employing both her professional training and God given resources in assisting the less privileged at will leading her to initiating Dorian Home for Displaced Children & Mothers Initiative.
The African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council appointed this Akure born philanthropist Dr. Tolulola Bayode as Head, Social Affairs and Health Cluster Committee. The job description entails implementing the overall goals of the Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development portfolio in line with the AU Agenda 2063, Sets annual performance targets for the Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development portfolio and report on annual progress to Specialized Technical Committees and AU Policy Organs.
In 2009, Dr.Bayode established Dorian Home for Charity and Social Development as a Non-governmental Organization (NGO). She’s the CEO/ President. Her personal encounter and experience in the course of discharging her professional duties, most especially in the Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) Camps, Community/Rural Medical Outreach programs, just to mention a few, afforded her a first-hand and comprehensive understanding of the plethora of unsavoury plights of women and children in our society.
Dorian Home is the biggest orphanage home in Africa, consisting of 700 homes for children,500-capacity skill acquisition centre for women, large hall for events, modern clinic and a worship centre. Dorian Home for Charity and Social Development is situated at Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Described as the biggest orphanage home in Africa, the ultramodern facility worth $5million and was finally commissioned on the 14th of October 2021.
Dorian Home is not limited to taking care of just abandoned babies and widows but also focused on research, training, empowerment and mobilize women towards self-emancipation. A glamorous persona imbued with the philosophy of giving hope to the hopeless, creating a better living condition for the abandoned, Tolulola is in the forefront of Safe Haven Law in Nigeria – the leaving of unharmed infants with statutorily designated private persons so that the child becomes a ward of the state with proper upbringing.
At the commissioning of the home, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice-President of Nigeria, called for the provision of adequate welfare for vulnerable children and women in the society. The vice president commended Bayode for making provision of the basic needs of homeless children and women her passion. He said that about nine per cent of Nigerian children were homeless; a figure Osinbajo said seems to be growing rapidly. The vice president, however, called on well meaning Nigerians to join hands with the government to provide adequate care for the homeless children, saying that government alone could not do it. Osinbajo described the laudable project as one that would stand the test of time for the less privileged and empowerment for women in society.
During her speech, the Founder and President of Dorian Home, Dr Tolulola Bayode, said that vision of the project was about leaving a legacy of hope for the orphaned children, widows and less privileged women in the society. According to Bayode, reality dawned on her after the shocking demise of her elder brother, the purpose of man on earth is to touch life and uplift humanity. Bayode said the covenant she had with God to have the home was based on her love for humanity, widow, indigent and displaced children to live a better life. She also appealed to the government to provide adequate security checkpoints along Akure/Idanre Road, adding that the future of any child should not be toiled with. She emphasised that not that she has the resources but has a heart of giving.
Represented at the ocassion, was the governor of Ondo State represented by his Deputy, Mr Lucky Ayadatiwa, who said that the project compliment the administration’s REDEEM agenda of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. He commended the Founder of the home for her initiative. Akeredolu described the project as unique because it focus on the neglected section of the society. Akeredolu said the project would receive the support and patronage of the state government. He said the state government would continue to support the social initiative programmes of the Dorian Home.
Also, speaking at the ocassion, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, urged people to emulate the kind gesture that counts for the good of humanity by trying to make the society a better place for humanity. Alasoadura said that Nigeria would be a better place, if everyone tried to provide a home like heaven on Earth, especially for the displaced and indigent children, just as the orphanage.
Tolulola Olajibike Bayode, as a natural social and talented care giver has continually provided training, education and health consultations in the non-profit entrepreneurial sector to youths in different parts of the world and has successfully maneuvered the delicate balance between dedication to mission in a wide range of settings. Aside her passion for the creating a better living for commoners, she has years of extensive managerial experience in the non-profit sector, with outstanding records in getting initiatives off the ground and flourishing.
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