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H.R Engr. Otis Anyaeji, KtSGG, FAEng Obi Ubahu-Okija

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Eminent Leaders Achiever

ENGR. OTIS ANYAEJI, a mechanical, automotive, plastic, cost and valuation Engineer, and strategic planner, was born on 4th March, 1951 in Onitsha, Anambra State. He entered the Holy Ghost Juniorate Ihiala, in 1962 with the aim of becoming a priest but had to withdraw at the end of that year. Between 1964 and 1971 (excluding the civil war years), he attended Christ the King College (CKC), Onitsha – primus inter pares, where the authorities record him as possessing an outstanding ability in mathematics. In June 1971, he obtained the West African School Certificate.

Proceeding for the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in September 1971, he studied for and bagged the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in June 1976.

From August 1976 to September 1977, Engr. Anyaeji served as NYSC Pupil Engineer with the Nigerian Railways at the Central Mechanical Workshops Ebute-Metta. At the end of the national service period in 1977, he joined the consulting engineering firm of Alecon Associates as Design Engineer, later becoming Resident Engineer of the Kaduna office. In August 1978, he joined Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Ltd as Production Engineer for the Body Shop, and then the Paint Shop, subsequently working as Methods Engineer for the whole factory.

The next experience station was Nigerian Airports Authority where he worked briefly in 1980 as Senior Mechanical Engineer for Maintenance, first in the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, and later the Maiduguri International Airport. It was from here he moved over to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in November 1980 as Mechanical Engineer 1.

He became NNPC Site Representative on the Petrochemicals Phase 1 Projects Ekpan/Warri (comprising Polypropylene, Carbon Black, and HF Alkylation plants with associated infrastructures) in December 1980. Following the re-organization of the site with the return of the NNPC project teams from the overseas offices of the engineering contractors in 1984, Engr. Anyaeji assumed responsibility for the Carbon Black Plant as Field Project Engineer, a position he held until he voluntarily left the services of the Corporation in May 1987.

As NNPC Site Representative, he was responsible for the supervision of the successful implementation of the following activities: liaison for land acquisition, boundary and topographic surveys, geo-technical surveys, fencing, hydraulic sand filling, pilling, process and utilities tie-ins, general civil works, erection works, and liaison with third parties and statutory authorities. This entailed at a time overseeing up to 4,500 personnel on site working for NNPC, the Managing Consultant (BEICIP of France), the Engineering Contractors (TECNIMONT of Italy, and LUMMUS of UK and France), the Civil Works Contractor (DAEWOO of South Korea) etc. Though a Mechanical Engineer by training, in 1982 he designed the 3-km long 7.3m wide asphalt covered access road to the site and supervised its construction. The road is still functional for the public till date, after taking all the materials of the Petrochemicals and subsequently the Nigerian Gas Co. HQ and Escravos Warri Phase III Tank Farm Project.

Engr. Anyaeji left NNPC to found the Consulting Engineering and Management Consulting outfit – OTIS CONSULT LTD/OTIS ENGINEERING, which renders a range of services including, Feasibility Studies, Market Surveys, Basic & Detailed Engineering, Procurement and Contracting Engineering, Inspection and Expediting, Project Management, Training, Cost Engineering, Engineering Economy Studies, Valuations, Strategic Planning etc. He has led the firm since 1987 to perform these services in various sectors like Oil & Gas, Pulp and Paper, Electric Power Supply, Petrochemicals, Fertilizer, Automotive Manufacture, Housing and Infrastructure, Food and Agriculture, Water etc.

In the oil and gas sector, he has been a technical training Consultant to the Petroleum Training Institute, NNPC and its subsidiaries, CHEVRON, ASHLAND, SHELL, etc. Between 1993-1994, he performed as Lecturer on Feasibility Studies, NNPC Chief Officers’ Course. In June 1997, he made proposals to the Honourable Minister of Petroleum on the restructuring and re-organization of the public petroleum sector, which was acknowledged in writing as well received and worthy of implementation. He was (2005 – 2014) Project Director on 12No. gas supply projects for various power plant projects under the NIPP. In 2010 he successfully completed a project management assignment on the Front End Engineering Design of Ajakuota-Abuja-Kano gas pipeline.  Since 2014, his firm has provided experts to operate and maintain the Gas Metering Station at the NIPP Power Plant in Calabar.

While performing as Chief Project Consultant on the AJAOKUTA STEEL PROJECT between February 1993 and June 1994 (the first time a Nigerian played that role), he prepared at the request of the management of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, a Technical Management Proposal, which was well received by the Honourable Minister of Power & Steel, and the Department of Steel. As a testimony of the ministry’s satisfaction with the proposal, the Hon. Minister set up a committee on Strategic Management for the Steel Sector to widen the work Engr. Anyaeji had started on ASCL for general application to the steel sector as a whole. He served as Member/Consultant on this Ministerial Committee. In the capacity of Consultant to this committee, he drafted a strategic plan for the Nigerian Public Steel Sector. This plan was adopted by the committee, but was overtaken by a new privatization policy. His firm Otis Consult Ltd/Otis Engineering, has been consultant in various fields to Delta Steel Company Limited since 1989, and prepared in 1994 under his leadership, a strategic plan for establishment of profit centers in DSC business portfolio. In 2003, he was Chief Technical Adviser to BPE on the Privatization of DSC. He had earlier performed in the same capacity on the privatization of the MINT.

From March 1990 – July 1993, Engr. Anyaeji served as Deputy Chairman of the Standing Technical Committee on the Nigerian Automotive Industry (STC), with the Hon. Minister of Industry as Chairman. During this period, he midwifed the establishment of the Center for Automotive Design and Development, Zaira, acting in the capacity of Chairman, Low Cost Vehicle Project Committee. The National Automotive Policy approved by the Federal Executive Council in 1993 was drafted under his Chairmanship. Subsequently, Mr. President appointed him on merit as founding Chairman of the National Automotive Council (NAC) which the policy created to replace STC. During his brief tenure as Chairman NAC (up until August 1994 when all Federal Boards were dissolved), he established the magazine – AUTO NIGERIA, gazetted a Federal Government Circular directing all Federal, State and Local Governments and Agencies to buy only Made-in-Nigeria vehicles, oversaw the establishment of the Council Secretariat, and initiated the commencement of the implementation of the National Automotive Policy. He is a UNIDO expert on Automotives and has served as Chairman of UNIDO sponsored Nigerian Low Cost Vehicle Foundation. In November 2015, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) invited him as a Resource Person on the Workshop on the Development of the Automotive Industry in West Africa (Lagos, December 2015) with the mandates to prepare and present the documentary review of all national import policies as well as regulations, and preparation of plan for establishment of an integrated automotive industry in West Africa, amongst others.

In 1988 he was Management Consultant to the Technical Committee on Completion Proposals for Pulp and Paper Mill Project Iwopin, in the Federal Ministry of Industry. In 1989 he was Consultant on Cost and Engineering Evaluation to the Technical Committee on the Re-negotiation of NAFCON II Project. On both assignments he successfully produced the reports which formed the working bases of the committees.

As the Chairman of the Technical Committee of the Board of the Center for Automotive Design and Development, Engr. Anyaeji supervised the R&D activities of the Center up to the completion of the design work on the CADD Mark I Low Cost Vehicle Model. Before this assignment, he was a member of the National Committee on Engineering Infrastructures working with the Engineering Materials Sub-committee, and the marketing of the committee’s report with Various Publics. In 1996, he served as Chairman of the Raw Material Research and Development Council’s Multi-disciplinary Task Force for the Techno-Economic Survey on Motor Vehicles and Miscellaneous Sector which successfully updated the 1989 Report on the same subject. He produced in 1997 as an invited Resource Person, a strategic plan for the Review of the 1986 National Policy on Science and Technology.

In 1989 he initiated and was Course Director of the Nigerian Society of Engineers Certification Course in Engineering Valuation. He has worked as Valuation Engineer/Consultant for Delta Steel Company, National Electric Power Authority (Egbin Thermal Power Plant), NICON, and Warri Refining & Petrochemical Company, Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company, Zaria etc. 5. Engr. Anyaeji was consulting Engineer on the rehabilitation of NEPA Power Stations at Afam and Jebba – the first time ever Nigerians performed such role. His firm was commissioned by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to value the assets of Afam Power Plc and the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, preparatory to privatization.

Engr. Anyaeji served as Commissioner, in the Presidential Commission for the Review of Higher Education in Nigeria (Longe Commission) between December 1990 and November 1991. During his tenure in this Commission he made significant contributions in the areas of Polytechnics, Universities of Technology, and vocational education. He was in the Commission’s 3-man delegation that visited UK, West Germany, and USA for a comparative study of their higher education systems, encompassing visitations to 30 universities and other higher education institutions.

A 13-time recipient of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (1988, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011×2, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018) Merit Award, and Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (1997) Service Award. Engr. Anyaeji is a member of several learned professional societies associated with advancement of engineering. They include, the Automotive & Locomotive Engineers Institute (Auto EI), the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the Nigerian Society of Engineers NSE), the Institute of Appraisers and Cost Engineers (IA&CE) and the Energy Institute (UK). He founded IA&CE (2001) and Auto EI (2006) both Divisions of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.

He was elected Secretary General of the Nigerian Society of Engineers in December 1988 and was subsequently re-elected for two more terms. Engr. Anyaeji was Chairman, Institute of Appraisers & Cost Engineers (2003-2010) and Chairman, Automotive Engineers’ Institute (2006 – 2011). Engr. Anyaeji was elected Vice-President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2013, he was elected Deputy President/President-Elect of NSE. Engr. Anyaeji assumed the Presidency of NSE on 1st January, 2016. He served as Vice President of West African Federation of Engineering Organisations (WAFEO) from 2012-2017. Engr. Anyaeji became President of WAFEO in November 2017, concurrently serving as Vice President of Federation of African Engineering Organisations (FAEO). A member of the Governing Council of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), he was the pioneer Chairman of COREN’s Regulation and Control Committee (1990-1992), and later became Vice President of COREN (2015 – 16). He is currently a ranking member of the COREN Governing Council, being in his 3rd term of service in the Council.

HR Engr. Otis Anyaeji

Engr. Anyaeji has numerous publications to his credit in various areas of engineering policy and socio-economic development. During his tenure as Secretary General NSE he affected public policy positively in the following areas: Engineering Practice; Building Code; Intellectual Property Rights; Public Utility Regulation; Commercial Law Practice; Assets Valuation; Statutory Inspection of Pressure Vessels and Lifting Devices etc. On Assets Valuation, his initiative led to the amendment of the Decree No.1 of 1990 with Decree No.46 of 1991 to include engineer in the definition of ‘Valuer’, while on Company law reform his struggles resulted in the concession of a seat to the engineering profession in the Corporate Affairs Commission, vide the same Decree No.46. As member of COREN Governing Board, and Chairman of COREN’s Regulation & Control Committee, Engr. Anyaeji established the Regulations & Control Committee (1991), prepared the schedule of Man-day/ Man-week/ and Man-month remuneration rates (2015); prepared the draft regulations for licensing of firms (2015), draft construction industry regulations (2016), draft engineering appraisal/valuation regulations (2017), draft engineering economy regulations (2017), and draft cost engineering regulations (2017). These regulations have been passed by the Hon. Minister with responsibility for Engineering in Nigeria since 2018. These are the first regulations to emerge from COREN since 1970.

As President of NSE, he was one of the four persons that prepared the draft Presidential Executive Order No.5

For several years, he was Editor-in-Chief of the “Appraiser & Cost Engineer”, the official journal of the Institute of Appraisers & Cost Engineers.

A member of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Nigeria (ACEN), Engr. Anyaeji’s firm, O. T. OTIS ENGINEERING from June 2005 till 2014 jointly with a German firm, Lahmeyer International performed as Design & Management Consultants on Nigeria’s National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) – a project encompassing 10No. Power Stations, 110No. Transmission Lines/Substations, 1230No. Distribution Projects, and 12No. Gas Transmission Lines. He functioned as Joint Project Director in that Joint Venture and acted as Chairman of the Forum of Consultants, Manufacturers & Contractors on the NIPP. He is also Chairman of Electric Power Foundation, an NGO for advancement and orderly development of electricity supply industry in Nigeria. Since 2010 his firm has performed as Project Management Consultant, on the 10MW Wind Farm Power Plant Project in Katsina, and had prepared the Feasibility Study on Small Hydro Power Plant on the Zobe Dam in Katsina State, Ivo Dam in Ebonyi State, and Adada Dam in Enugu State.

In philanthropy, Engr. Anyaeji in 2014, donated a fully-equipped metrology laboratory to the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Ekiti State. The official commissioning was held in May 2015. Subsequently that year, Engr. Anyaeji and his amiable and supportive wife endowed a Research Chair in the University of Port Harcourt, which in their honour has been christened ‘Nkechi & Otis Anyaeji “Distinguished Professorial Chair” in Engineering Valuation, Engineering Economy and Cost Engineering’. They are in the process of establishing the Centre for Engineering Valuation, Cost Engineering and Engineering Economy in the University of Port Harcourt.

In 2014, the University of Port Harcourt appointed Engr. Anyaeji as Expert-in-Residence in Engineering in recognition of his contributions and accomplishments in the Engineering Profession in Nigeria and beyond. In 2015, The Department of Electrical Engineering of his Alma Mater, the University of Nigeria Nsukka, bestowed on him the award of the Distinguished Engineer in National Development.  The Nigerian Society of Engineers Maitama Branch instituted in 2015, the annual legacy Distinguished Lecture series in honour of Engr. Otis Anyaeji.

In 2010, the Guardian Newspaper recognized Engr. Anyaeji as one of the 30 most exceptional students of the University of Nigeria. Earlier in the same year, the ThisDay Newspaper had identified him as one of the most outstanding Professionals in Nigeria. In 2012, TheNews Magazine recognized Engr. Anyaeji as “a Man of Substance Who Had Made His Mark in the Area of Engineering Services”. The Nation Newspaper the same year recognized him as “One of 50 Distinguished Professionals in National Development”. The next year (2013) The News Magazine again recognized Engr. Anyaeji as “One of 50 Nigerians of Honour & Dignity”, as Vanguard Newspaper honoured him twice, first as “One of 50 Result-Driven Professionals of Inspiration”, and then as “One of 50 Engineering Icons in Nigeria! In the same year, the Guardian hailed him as “One of 40 Most Outstanding CEOs in Corporate Nigeria”.

Engr. Anyaeji is

  • Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Engineering;
  • Fellow, Nigerian Society of Engineers;
  • Fellow, Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers;
  • Fellow, Automotive Engineers’ Institute;
  • Fellow in Valuation, Institute of Appraisers & Cost Engineers;
  • Fellow in Cost Engineering, Institute of Appraisers & Cost Engineers;
  • Fellow, Solar Energy Society of Nigeria;
  • Fellow, Institute of Management Consultants;
  • Honorary Fellow, Nigerian Society of Engineering Technicians
  • Distinguished Fellow, Professional Excellence Foundation of Nigeria (DFPEFON)
  • Fellow in Engineering Economy, Institute of Appraisers & Cost Engineers
  • Fellow, Nigerian Institution of Safety Engineers
  • Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Polymer Engineers,
  • Fellow, Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria
  • Fellow, Energy Institute (UK), and
  • Paul Harris Fellow

His Royalty, Engr. Anyaeji is presently Obi Ubahu – Okija, the traditional head of Ubahu Clan.

Engr. Anyaeji, who was knighted by Pope Francis in December 2015 as Knight of St. Gregory the Great, is a Knight of St. Mulumba. He is happily married to Dame Nkechi (nee Chukwuemeka, an Administrator) also a Dame of St. Gregory the Great, and they are blessed with four children and two grand-children.

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PROFILE OF DR OLUSEGUN RAHMAN MIMIKO

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Dr Olusegun Mimiko

H.E. Dr. Olusegun Rahman Mimiko is the immediate past Executive Governor of Ondo State in the South Western part of Nigeria. Iroko, as he is fondly referred to by both friends and supporters as born on 3rd October, 1957 in Ondo Kingdom. He attended primary and secondary school in Ondo State and proceeded to the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) from 1972-1976 and graduated in 1976 with B.Sc Health Science degree in 1976 and the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in 1980.

Dr  Olusegun Mimiko cut his political teeth in the University of Ife where he was always politically active and went way up the political totem in the Students Union and also in the International Students Association (he was Public Relations Officer of the body between 1977-1978).

Dr. Olusegun Mimiko was renowned in the practice of medicine both within Nigeria and outside the country and having garnered extensive experience both in private and public practice and rising to the enviable height of Acting  Medical Director at Alleluyah Hospital in Oshodi, Lagos he set up his own private medical practice, Mona Medi-Clinic in 1985 and the said clinic was headquartered in Ondo town, Ondo State, where he was brought up.

Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has always been a progressive and this is evident in his political leanings; he identified with Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Unity Party of Nigeria, a party he later became the Publicity Secretary in Ondo Local Government Area. He was the head of  a political think-tank referred to as The Ondo Study Group (OSG). OSG had a special interest in voters enlightenment and was seen as a force and it was the vehicle in which Dr. Olusegun Mimiko unsuccessfully ran for office as Chairman of Ondo Local Government (as it was then referred to).

In recognition of his untiring efforts and his famed connection with the masses, he was appointed as the Secretary to the Ondo State Government (SSG). He had barely settled in when the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo summoned him to higher office by appointing him as the Federal Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. Dr. Olusegun Mimiko contested for the gubernatorial seat of Ondo State and despite the fact that he was earlier said to have lost by the electoral body (INEC), he approached the courts, citing several irregularities and asking the court to declare his winner.

His prayers were granted and Dr. Olusegun Rahman Mimiko was sworn into office on the 24th day of February, 2009. It is a testament to his dogged spirit and belief in the institutions of the country that his mandate which was almost thwarted was recovered and he went ahead to rule Ondo State twice as a governor before relinquishing the seat after his mandatory 2 terms in office had elapsed. Dr. Olusegun Mimiko goes along with his convictions hence the reason he attempted to run for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the just concluded elections and got the nod of the Zenith Labour Party to be its flag bearer. While he withdrew for personal reasons and opted for the Senate, it is safe to say that the last has not been heard of ‘Iroko’.         

Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has authored many research and published articles on medicine, international relations, social and political development strategies His legacies in Ondo State health sector has put the state in the consciousness of the world to the point that the united Nations and other highly reputable international bodies have recommended the health delivery system which Mimiko initiated and executed in Ondo State as a model for the whole world to emulate. Mimiko has  received numerous awards including John F. Kennedy Essay (School Level) 1971, Justice of peace (JP)1993,  Distinguished meritorious service  Award 1993 by Ondo State Chapter of Nigeria Medical Association and he is patron to several Youths and professional Body organizations.

Dr. Mimiko is married to the beautifully delectable Mrs Olukemi Mimiko and the family is blessed with amazing children.

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VOLUNTEERING AND APPRENTICESHIP: THE WAY TO GO

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By Engr. Opeseyi Opebiyi

Engr. Seyi

Since our educational system keeps churning out graduates yearly who obviously do not have the requisite skills to get absorbed into the main stream of their chosen professions (or vocations), I believe it is high time we rethink the attitude to the age long idea of volunteering and apprenticeship.

In Nigeria of today, it’s almost impossible to employ a fresh graduate and find any direct input or value they bring to the organization. There is always the need to train and induct them to the workings of the organization to kick start their career and this ultimately results in some sort of downtime on productivity as time that should be spent working is spent holding their hands and guiding them.

Inculcating the values of volunteering and apprenticeship definitely would not be an easy task considering the impatience for fast money as currently demonstrated in our youths. However, all hope is not lost as I believe if government and NGOs can drive the initiative and highlight the benefits, we will achieve a lot.

 There is also the need to reorganize the SIWES program as currently constituted. SIWES should actually be the first work experience an undergraduate has and if more checks and incentives are introduced, it could be a launch pad for promising undergraduates who would be headhunted by organizations they observed their SIWES with.

Another very important issue is in the event we have youths ready to volunteer or undergo apprenticeship but with a dearth of organizations willing to accept them, what happens then? Should  there be incentives for organizations who accept volunteers?

I seriously believe there is a need to sensitize our organizations on the need to accept these youths and mentor them, firstly as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and two as a means of getting the best hands.

From opebiyiseyi@gmail.com

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20 Most Outstanding Nigerians in 2018

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Compiled by Eminent Leaders Team led by Patience Iveren Kine

Aliyu A. Abdulhameed

Aliyu Abdulhamid MD NIRSAL

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

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.

Segun Awosanya

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.

Silas Adekunle

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.

Anthony Joshua

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.

Kemi Adetiba

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

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