By Eric Elezuo
He is an epitome of what administration and goal getting is. He is Dr. Fidelis Anosike, the president /CEO, Chairman of Folio Holdings Limited, Publisher of the respected Daily Times of Nigeria among others. In this interview, the administrator par excellence revealed the intricate nature of himself, the intrigues towards the acquisition of Nigeria’s oldest newspaper, his political future as well as other sundry issues in today’s Nigeria.
Kindly introduce yourself
My name is Fidelis Anosike. I am the president, Chief Executive Officer of Folio Holdings limited,The group comprises Folio Communications Plc, Times Multimedia Limited, 1st October Limited, folio media group folio investment and trading company.
Folio Communications Plc acquired the of Daily Times of Nigeria Limited. The company is the publisher of the Daily Times, The Sunday Times (TST) and The Business Times, The Daily Times Digital (DTND), folio Nigeria which is an afro pop digital content platform lunched in 2018 with CNN as an exclusive affiliate.www.folio.ng
The Folio Media Group (FMG) has access to the technology space and also doing a consolidated media offering to clients. the Folio Investment and Trading Company (FITC)is an investment company focused on media/creative/cultural industry investment and innovation.
We also have as part of the group, Folio Media and Creative Academy (FMCA)which is working in tandem with relevant authorities, bodies, companies/organizations to train journalists and creative industry practitioners. The aim is to train 50, 000 in those key fields in five years.
Does the Creative African eXchange perform the same function?
No, that is Folio Media and creative Academy. The Creative African eXchange (CAX.caxafrica.com) is part of the Folio Media Group. It is part of the initiative we are trying to use to consolidate the continental space of the creative and cultural industry.
Can you shed more light on 1st October and Miss Nigeria as offshoots of Folio Media Group?
1st October Limited is a publishing company that we set up in 2007 to publish the birth of Nigeria. So it has evolved overtime because we have done over 10 different publications on Nigeria and state governments, and it also went ahead in 2014 to give birth to a global public perception movement for Nigeria called Nigeria, Our Heritage.
This was launched at the Kennedy Centre, and it was the first ever African event at the Kennedy Centre, Washington DC on the sideline of Obama African heads of Government meeting. What we are trying to do with 1st October and Nigeria, Our Heritage is to see how we can transition the love of Nigerians to love of Nigeria.
We saw a gap there in terms of country branding, we want to create a platform that will enable us to use, especially Nigerians in the Diaspora to drive the love for country because at the end of the day, other countries spend tons and tons of millions of dollars in country branding.
Even the United States spends up to $240 million annually to brand their country. You see, once you are in Europe, you take a 30 per cent cut. If Aliko Dangote walks into an office in New York, and says he is a Nigerian, he takes a 30 per cent minus. That is huge! That’s one of the reasons our national development is stunted, because our brand, the brand Nigeria has so much deteriorated. Why? There are so many reasons: political instability, military government of thirty something years, advanced fee fraud, imperialistic gang up and many more. So you can see the reason it has happened over the years.
There is always a reason for everything. So we as Nigerians, what are we doing to change this for the future because people only do business with people who they trust.
Without that trust, we cannot have foreign direct investment coming to Nigeria. You can have $10 billion like in Lagos State, and you are happy, but you could have $100 billion. You can begin to see how that affects national security, the issue of banditry and so on.
The problem is image. Nobody wants to do business with anybody that is dirty. If you wear dirty clothes, you become non attractive. There are options; people can sit down in New York and put their money in Scottish windows or savings accounts and make returns.
But if you want people to come from China or America, you must present yourself in a way that even give them the opportunity to fly down in the first place before they can find out there are challenges.
There are challenges everywhere. Afghanistan is probably receiving more investment than Nigeria even as they are a war-torn country. So it is a matter of how you package yourself as a country. Nigerians must help to improve the whole because when the whole collapses, the part, which may be fantastic, will automatically collapse. That is what 1st October is doing. It is a big project. We just recently partnered with the Nigeria Diaspora Commission, and in October, we will start an immersion programme, which is going to bring 100 very young Nigerians from all the Ivy League schools in the Diaspora and bring them to Nigeria.
We will train them on issues of national development and deploy them to about 100 companies, and expose them to what Nigerians are doing right. We know that a lot of things are going wrong, but let’s amplify the right ones and let’s also inculcate this into the young people. So, it is going to be a deliberate effort to raise 1000 people young people that can become advocates for the country Nigeria.
The only thing we are going to do is positive and we can see the reverse impact. This is what 1st October is all about. This is a positive national development platform.
We have remodeled Miss Nigeria to become more than just beauty pageant, it’s more of an young female empowerment platform was founded in 1957(54years ago) it gave life to all other pageants in Nigeria. (MBGN) etc.
Our very first Miss Nigeria is still alive at 86, chief Mrs Grace Oyelude we shall also institute a commemorative lecture in her honour as a DTN icon.
Every Miss Nigeria is an ambassador of the Green Girl company, with projects like Green Dignity Kit (GDK) and Green Girl academy among others
Can you please trace your background a little; how did it all start?
My father was an Inspector of Police in the Nigeria police force. I got into the university by drawing portraits so I am a graphic and creative artist. I graduated from the
University of Benin.
I tell people that the creative industry is not just my passion; it is my job, did loads of self-development got enrolled at Harvard Business School owner president management course (OPM 39)
I am a Harvard alumnus, and being @HBS opened my eyes to how businesses are run properly.
At 24 years, I established Folio Communications, which went on to acquire Daily Times of Nigeria, the oldest surviving newspaper and noteworthy media organization in Nigeria. I regard myself as a creative and communication player.
And since then, I have been trying to see the much I can do with the resources available to me both access to capital and knowledge.
I also have investments in other areas such as water, renewable energy, and I am also financing some global companies on major research on mobility and renewable energy space.
You founded Folio Communications at 24, how did it happen?
All we need to do as human beings is pray for God to give us consciousness. If you can get consciousness at 10; you can get consciousness at 30; you can get consciousness at 70. If you pray for the grace of God, you can get consciousness early. I think I was lucky to get consciousness early.
How did I find Folio at 24? I had an uncle of mine that worked with the Central Bank, and he introduced me to the Head of Communication, Mr. Bolarinwa of blessed memory, and Mr. Amobi, and they allowed me to enter for CBN creative jobs.
At that time, when they want to make a Christmas cards, Eid cards or something like that, they make it open, and whoever wins, that is if they pick your design, you will be commissioned to do packaging.
I won on three occasions, and the price for each was 14,500 naira. With that, I was able to get my office, and went to create an ecosystem of my friends that studied graphics with me. Whenever a company that needs our services, we all make design submissions and as fate would have it, one of them always won. Together we won on many occasions for companies like First Bank, NNPC, and CBN etc.
That was how I was able to build up capital to go into the communication business. I created a standard for myself and friends and became a relationship manager for them because they were all in a paid job. Whoever’s design that was successful shared the proceeds with others. It was a case of all for one, one for all. We designed, restructured and produced all the diaries of NNPC for 2years running through open and competitive bid process.
Introduced Nigerian idioms into those diaries rather than white labeled ones from FT and co, gave it local content. All because of the love we have for the country. I am fully Nigerian; and I am proud of my ethnicity as an Igbo man. If there is no Nigeria, there will be no Igbo. None of us chose to be here, but we are here.
No one chose his father or mother, and so cannot restructure his parents. We must not use all the energy we have to think of how to dethrone what we had no hand in creating. In the past 60 years, we have been talking about restructuring; we could have used that same energy for better things.
Both Obasanjo and Jonathan had the opportunity to restructure, but they didn’t. Now, Buhari is here and you are asking him to do this and do that when you couldn’t do anything when you were there in that regard.
If all the presidents we have had, had taken up one thing and built on it, it would have been better.
Obasanjo should have picked one place and converted it to Eldorado, and same with Jonathan. If they accuse you of ethnicity, it doesn’t matter. Babangida did it with Abuja on the pretense that Lagos was not safe and proper as Federal capital. That could have been an ethnic agenda.
And today, everyone is enjoying Abuja, and no one remembers it was an Hausa man that built it.
So it doesn’t matter. If it will bring about economic development. With economic development, there will be no banditry. The question is why are we even talking about these things? The answer is for years, we have all been sitting down. The governors of the states were busy manipulating local governments, collecting security votes and doing nothing with them, and nobody made a sound. There are consequences for inaction.
What is happening today is a consequence of long-time inaction; of doing the wrong thing, and not having ideas for doing the right thing. Most of the governors were busy building airports they don’t need, but neglected the primary schools that are supposed to train people that would shape the future. They neglected education, and dwelt on less important things. So when you lose empathy, you start approaching things from the middle. That explains why conspiracy theory comes in. Then someone will start by accusing Fulani herdsmen. Those cows they rear are owned by politicians; the herdsmen are just transporters. The cows are expensive, so in the same way a bullion van carrying N5 million goes about with armed escort, well…
When exactly was Folio Communications established?
That should be in 1991. In 2004, Daily Times was put up for sale. Before then, they had tried to sell the shares through public offer through the stock exchange, but it failed, So BPE resorted to Core Investor Sale which refers to a situation where whoever buys it, takes full management control, folio Communications was already a thriving communication company, and so felt that we needed a media voice and had to create a media company.
Long before then, I was already involved in some creative work for ThisDay, and that was how I met Chief Dele Momodu. I had a lot of background knowledge. I reasoned that if I had to make my dream known, I needed a media voice. So I entered the bid as the singular company involved, others were consultants and consortiums
We were pre-qualified, and made a deposit of $10,000 and put in our technical bid. We were number one. We actually scored 81 per cent. This terrain was known to me. I learnt under Dele Momodu and Nduka Obaigbena; these are men who are far ahead of their time.
I’m sure that until Dele celebrated 60, people may have been thinking he was 90, and so was Nduka. They are my pillars including Okagbue Aduba, when it comes to how I was able to understand Nigeria and how it works. I connected with their energy which was infectious. At that point I already had $1 million for the bid bond. This is a security for your integrity, and so no bank will lend you money for a bid bond You can only finance it with equity. It is money you lose if at the end of the day, you did not pay the bid price Daily Times Bid Bond then was N100 million.
You know they had earlier tried selling it via shares, hoping people will buy and someone will acquire the majority, but nobody came in. This was because the media industry in Nigeria is not bankable; it has not been restructured so it doesn’t have capital flowing into it. We bided and attracted N1.25 billion into the media industry as far back as 2004
In our first bid, was i think N327 million, our competitor, bided N800million in their first bid. That was N500 million above us. But we knew the bid was in two rounds. Our second-round bid was N1.25 billion, while our competitor second round bid was N1.05b and we won.
When we bought and took over Daily Times, its liability was N1.9 billion; the assets were N2.3 billion; the enterprise value was N700 and something million. We bought Daily Times at almost twice the price the government was hoping to get.
It is on record, and I was about 35 years old then. Nobody would have given an Igbo man (Boy) a chance to buy Daily Times. I am a testimony that things can work in Nigeria if you believe. I had no godfather, only by faith and audacity of hope.
Daily Times has had several managing directors and top executives from southwest majorly.
The company was created by Adeyemo Alakija and the London Mirror Group. It went on to have Dr. Ernest Ikoli, Alhaji Babatunde Jose, Amb. Dele Cole, Aremu Segun Osoba, Chief Tunji Oseni, Prince Tony Momoh, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, Chief Innocent Oparadike, Dr. Onyema Ugochukwu, and Chief Sam Amuka Pemu among others. The Daily Times was the biggest mouthpiece in the country.
At one time, Alhaji Babatunde Jose was asked if he would run for president, and he said he was already chairman of Daily Times. That was how big the Daily Times was. It was the fourth estate of the realm.
Because I did appreciate the enormity of what I took upon my shoulder when I took it over, the commercial problems arising from property didn’t weigh me down I am not a property person the only thing (personal property) I own in Abuja was bought with my money. No government or minister can claim to have given me any Land.
When we took over Daily Times of Nigeria there were about 400 staff in the company then, and money from the government was not going to be coming anymore. So we had to restructure. We had to downsize, and fought with the union for two years. During the fight with the union, the business was closed down. Then Hallmark Bank, which loaned us the money, took over the company. We didn’t recover the company through legal means until September, 2007. So, I acquired the company in 2004, it was hijacked by Hallmark Bank.
Everyone was interested in the assets and no one was thinking about the liabilities. We had to go to court. There was the man, Mr Adrian wood, one time CEO at MTN who joined us at Folio Communications; his mission and mandate were to revive Daily Times, and put it on the same pedestal as the New York Times. He employed people from all walks of life; both Nigerians and Africans to make it a model. We knew that without a dominant and strong media organization in Nigeria, the issues of national development will fail. That is why in America, we have Fox, CNN, etc. on their ideological beliefs, and tied to politics.
Without a strong media, there will be fragmentation, and that explains why the masses don’t have a voice – an ideological voice then becomes commercialized and a merchandise. We wanted to make Daily Times what it used to be. Thereafter, all sorts of people started taking us to court. All these people came from third parties because folio acquired Daily Times alone, Like the typical Nigerian context everything is contentious not to talk of when you acquire a national asset. We adapted to many things in the cause of all these.
The first Times Heroes Awards DTN@91 in 2017 was massively supported. We interacted with many governors in the process. We see what Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is doing today. We are proud of him. We saw the character the man brought with him to the office from day one, and gave him an award. We gave award to people like Bello of Kogi State. You know sometimes you have to encourage people with potential or you lose them. What makes you tough is working and performing in tough circumstances like Wike.
And this is why people respect Aliko Dangote, because walking out on Aliko is walking out on Nigeria. When his refinery starts operation, 90,000 people will be employed. It is about job, job, job – that is what will bring National development, difficult circumstances should not be a limitation. We use Dangote cement, and other products eg GB tomato farm/world class processing factory on thousand hectares in kebbi state and Kebbi rice and Olam Agric production establishment are domiciled in the northern Nigeria without remembering that they in the so-called Fulani area. There is good in every part of the country, and in everybody.
Why did you retain the name Daily Times after acquiring it? Is it because of its influence?
No, it is not because of the influence. Daily Times owns the largest archives. It is 95 years now, and will be 100 years in five years. How many media companies in Nigeria are 100 years old? Daily Times is beyond a newspaper company. It was here before Nigeria. It created the Nigeria Stock Exchange. It has produced two or three state governors. It is a national development company.
In the run off to our 100 years, we have created an event to celebrate icons of Daily Times – our heroes. Times Heroes. The first one that we have designed is for Ambassador Dele Cole. We are hoping to do these in their states of origin like in Port Harcourt. In Port Harcourt, it will be a two-day event. On day 1, we are going to train about 500 journalists of that area so that he can inspire local journalists of that area; tell them how young he was when he went into the media and more.
On day 2, there will be a proper lecture where the likes of Akinwunmi Adesina, Wole Soyinka and co will invited as keynote speakers. There is nothing like making impact in your home state. We have lined up about 15 of our former’s heroes. The first one will be in Rivers State because that is where Dele Cole comes from. We don’t want to keep celebrating people when they are dead; we want to celebrate them while they are alive, and learn something from them. We will talk about national development and the role the media plays.
In Nigeria, we let out heroes die without transferring knowledge. We need to have History of Nigeria because if you don’t know where you are coming from, you won’t know where you are going, we must return history to our schools. And that is what we are doing at Folio Communications. It is important therefore we get this first one right – 1st Ambassador Dele Cole Lecture towards Daily Times at 100. Secondly, we are developing a book, which Dr Onyema Ugochukwu will co edit with Chief Tunji Okegbola DTN Librarian of over 40 years to be launched at our 100-year celebration. Amb Dele Cole proved himself to be an epitome of politics without bitterness, media game changer and diplomat per excellence.
He created the legacy of The Guardian and revived the legacy of Daily Times and when the government was becoming overbearing, he created a new legacy the guardian.
The planning for the 1st Onyema Ugochukwu lecture is also on in 2022, we will celebrate Ernest Ikoli, the first ever indigenous and founding editor of the Daily Times, we are also looking at celebrating Allahaji Babatunde Jose, Aremu Segun Osoba, Dr yemi Ogunbiyi, Chief Sam Amuka-pemu,chief, Mrs Grace oyelude, 1st miss Nigeria, Prince Tony momoh.
Our goal between now and the next five years, is to institute a minimum of 10 lectures. Each of them will be in respective home state of the icon, most of them and their governors have accepted.
And they are all excited about it. And we will send a letter to Governor Wike believing he will be gracious enough to accept and host the 1st Amb Patrick Dele Cole lecture On the continent, Folio Media Group is an exclusive news affiliate to CNN. We are not advertising partners; we are content partners; we are creating products with CNN. We are currently working on a continental media project with CNN which should be finalized and announced soon towards capacity building in the continent aimed at increasing the African voice in the world and also curb fake news.
In The Daily Times, our focus has remained capacity building in media and creativity industries that is what can transform the industry to meet global standards and support national development. We, as a country need to build a competitive advantage in media and creative industry because it’s our low hanging fruit and moreover most young people want to be in that industry so jobs are massively provided. Why are we spending billions building monuments? We have 30 airports or thereabout, some of them are not working – they are not even conforming to the national aviation master plan because the governors just want to build monuments.
Why don’t we channel those funds for monuments to other stuff – things that will create jobs? The media and creative industry where our young people have been exceptional through self-help, let now be deliberate.
Let’s talk about Nigeria Politics. At the moment there are several agitations: for secession, one Nigeria and restructuring. What is your take?
My take is very simple. Of a fact, people’s views are a function of their knowledge. First of all, I will blame the government for not being proactive in the area of communication, but people should understand we are talking of banditry in Nigeria, and we still have coronavirus active. Last year was the first year that the whole country was shut down. What it means is that there will be consequences afterwards. Politicians will lose their livelihood, drivers will lose their livelihood, and when people don’t have livelihood, they look for a way out. When EndSARS was on – yes, Nigeria needed to end SARS because it cannot in the guise of solving a problem become a problem. We have to understand that Nigeria is being exploited by all manner of people, and crime is also all about exploitation.
If those people crying about secession are given a position today, they won’t talk about it again. At the end of the day, most of those cries and hues are not genuine. They are mostly based on vested interest; that is my problem, there is no problem that cannot be solved, so dialogue is key. If we shout about restructure, we should ask ourselves why hasn’t the country been restructured till today. Obasanjo was in power for eight years, why didn’t he restructure? What was his constraint? So was Jonathan after convening a national conference, there may be reasons they did not restructure, so the cries and hues are okay.
People must express themselves, but they should all work on the path leading to a true Nigeria. If we must secede or break you must explain the meaning and modalities to us; not after seceding, we begin to have issues among ourselves. So all those calls must be interrogated. Now, we have non-state actors; people that did not even go to school leading calls.
How? Governance is intellectual. You see those who do not have temperament, who do not understand good and bad leading calls because they have a voice. The cries and hues are okay though because they can form topical issues for 2023 elections. However, today, APC and PDP are the same; there is no ideology. The issues raised could become ideological, and any party willing to give what the people want would be chosen or voted into power the cries and hues are good and bad, but we need to ask ourselves what the real cause,
Nigeria from far back is seen as a rentier state. If your relation is announced as minister today, people will start congratulating you. Why? We need few good people in Nigeria to understand that where you are is better than where you are trying to be, and then work violently to convince the rest to calm down because in the next one and half years, there will be an election.
Buhari has just two years to pack and go. So let not those clamors be an opportunity for people to further rape Nigeria and take advantage of the weak system. Let it be a clamor to formulate the issues that would form the agenda for 2023. When Buhari was coming, he ran his campaign on security, corruption and economy, and so it is easy to score. Others can come with restructuring and more, and Nigerians can see how to vote in the right people. Let the past be bygone.
Given the opportunity sir, can you score the president in six years?
Yes, I think the president has done very well. I believe in foundation, and these are the foundations the president has established. What is the reason the president was able to borrow money? I challenge anyone to try and borrow N50 million, and you will understand. It is typical discipline. When the World Bank gives you money, they don’t just leave you because the money is specified for a project. This is number one. We talk about social programmes. We have an out-growers scheme today impacting on millions It was designed when Akinwunmi Adesina was Agric minister Go and check what is going on in Kebbi. By year end, you will see the number of tons of rice Nigeria will have.
The Dangote refinery has taken years; when it is completed, you will see the impact. It is a social programme because every day, we talk about subsidy, and subsidy removal cannot work without supply, and then money is channeled to every other thing.
On infrastructure, we talk about the rail lines. The rail lines of today were started by Ahmed Joda and Obasanjo. It was an $800 million loan to build various rails. This is about N6 trillion, today because of interest and non-completion, but today the projects were renegotiated and are being delivered as we can see. That was why the president was going to China back and forth. Today, you can enter a train from Lagos to Ibadan, and nobody is talking about that.
In my own region, for 15 years, we had senate president, economic adviser, and others. There are three major roads in the south: East West Road, Enugu-Onitsha Road and Enugu-Port Harcourt Road. It is only in the past six years that we have had consolidated build out. From Enugu to Port Harcourt today will take 1.45 minutes now This is a journey that previously takes three to four hours.
There is the Second Niger Bridge. I can go on and on. In technology, the issue of NIN for which Mr. Afolabi went to jail has been delivered. Yes, people may have a problem on how it is being delivered but no one can give what he does not have.
In aviation, the former governments took loans to build four airports, and the government added the 5th because the then Minister was from the southeast, she added the Enugu Airport. Abuja International Airport is delivered, Port Harcourt and Lagos international airports are delivered as well as Kano all in six years, and massive infrastructure upgrade with a reliable road map in place. Thanks to the Aviation minister, nobody would have been moving around with this banditry. He has made it possible for airlines to be coming on board. Their style may be different, but there is a method to this madness.
These are foundations that i can connect to one good thing is that Buhari has actually changed to a democratic person. In his first coming, he wasn’t democratic at all. It is a big achievement that he was able to get that transformation. I think the government has done more than average in all ramifications, and I can challenge anybody to that.
The problem we have is expectation. We can only get the government we deserve. We cannot get an Obama in Nigeria. We are all complicit. So let’s forget about Buhari and talk about 2023. Let us take the good Buhari has done and build on it; let us take the bad things he had done and correct them.
That is the kind of positivity I want from few good men. Let us not tear the house down. Different versions from different people. Will a Femi Adesina tell you that Buhari is not doing well? No.
But the main concern is how the common man is faring now and how he will fair tomorrow. Buhari’s continuation of his predecessor’s project and supporting all competent regardless of affiliation are the way to go and a big lesson to politicians. Government is a continuum, PMB’s legacy of walking across the aisle is a master stroke.
On a final note, one of the biggest reasons I say Buhari has done well is the 40-year-old Mr Bawa he appointed as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The future belongs to the likes of him and his peers, Nigerian corrupt practices have to be reduced that’s the main threat of Nigeria. I don’t care if he appoints only Katsina people once they are competent.
The Igbos are already leading in commerce. They love competitiveness, building new frontiers. As of today, Igbo control 50 per cent of land in Nigeria; we have bought land everywhere so if you add to the five southeast states we have, we almost control half of Nigeria. To aspire for power, you must be sure you have the capacity to carry it, otherwise it will feel like an elephant on your head. National development is a journey let’s sustain building institutions
Do you nurse any political ambition?
Life is dynamic. For me to have political ambition, I must have finished what I am doing now. I have not revived Daily Times, why nurse political ambition? One can create impact from wherever he is. Politics is not a vocation. It is supposed to be corporate social responsibility. But people who have failed in their fields have found it as a sure means to buy cars and houses. These are depraved individuals; people that have complex.
To have political ambition, you must have thorough knowledge of the terrain and situation in Nigeria. You must also be sure you are going to impart on people. Until I complete the transformation of Daily times, nothing else. Even God will ask me what I have done with the one he gave me. I am constantly building relationships, learning on how I can return Daily Times to become what it used to be.
How wonderful a family man are you; married, with children…
No, I’m not married. I have not been married for 10 years, hopefully, I should be. I have been married to my job for 10 years. I won’t say I’ve been a fantastic family man. I’ve been married before. I have a daughter, who will be 14 next month, and a son, who is 11. Hopefully, I should be married soon as I am in a serious relationship/courtship.
ABOUT MR FIDELIS ANOSIKE
Dr. Fidelis Anosike is the President of Folio Holdings Limited, Folio Media Group, 1st October Publications Limited, Folio Communications Plc – publishers of The Daily Times Nigeria, The Sunday Times (TST) and The Business Times, with business interests in publishing, multimedia content creation and distribution, Renewable Energy, Smart Mobility and Investments among others.
Dr. Fidelis Anosike
Dr. Anosike is the protagonist for the Creative Africa Exchange (CAX), a creative industry consolidation catalyst (www.caxafrica.com). He also champions the Nigeria our Heritage project, a positive perception movement for Nigeria (www.noh.ng).
Folio Communications under Anosike’s leadership acquired from the Federal Government of Nigeria, The Daily Times Nigeria (founded 1926) which is the country’s oldest and most noteworthy news organisation. Over the past 16 years, Anosike has tirelessly worked to restore this National Heritage to its past glory and further take it digital/multimedia in line with current trends.
FMG incubated and launched Folio.ng in 2018, an afro pop culture and digital content platform (www.folio.ng), which is part of Folio Africa and launched with CNN as an exclusive affiliate.
Dr. Anosike is at the forefront of launching MVMO Africa, a digital distribution and monetization platform for movies, video, music and opportunities powered by V-NOVA cutting edge compression technology (LECVE). MVMO which is live in the 2nd quarter of 2021 will deliver content across Africa on low bandwidth of 2G and 3G.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative & Applied Arts from the University of Benin, a graduate of Harvard Business School, after wards i embarked on self-development program Owner President Management Program and Alumni of the Harvard business School; which opened my eyes to how business is been run, also holds an honorary doctorate in Philosophy from Trinity International University Georgia USA.
Antan Producing Appoints Sagiru Jajere As Managing Director
Antan Producing Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, with responsibility for the operation of OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137 taken over from Addax Petroleum, has appointed Engineer Sagiru Jajere as its new Managing Director.
A statement from the company described Jajere as a seasoned professional, who has paid his dues in the up and down stream of the oil and gas sector, adding that his outstanding performance, deep theoretical and practical understanding of the industry has made it easier for him to rise through the ranks to his present position.
The statement further described the new managing director as follows:
Engr Sagiru Jajere FNSE, MASCE was born and brought up in Potiskum town of Yobe State. He started his early education at Damboa Primary School, Potiskum and from there he proceeded to Government Science Secondary School, Potiskum, also in Yobe State.
After completing his secondary education, he proceeded to University of Maiduguri, Borno State, where he got his BSc in Civil Engineering. He also did his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at Osun State.
Upon completion of his NYSC, he worked briefly with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Lagos, as Executive Engineer and later moved to National Engineering and Technical Company Limited, NETCO a subsidiary of the NNPC. After 13 years, he moved to the corporate headquarters to support the Local Content Drive under the GMD’s office.
Following the signing into law, the Nigerian Content Act in 2010, he was selected to form the implementation committee that successfully produced the implementation document for the NCDMB and was eventually seconded as one of the pioneer staff that set up the Board.
Engr. Jajere’s secondment ended after five years with the Board at Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and was deployed to Cost Engineering Division at the Corporate headquarters as Deputy Manager, Cost Estimating, and later promoted to Manager Value for Money and Cost Optimization. He contributed immensely to instituting Cost Estimating and Benchmarking of all NNPC projects.
His outstanding performance, deep theoretical and practical understanding of the petroleum industry, earned him a promotion to become the General Manager Capital Projects in the Engineering and Technical Division. In the year 2020 Engr. Jajere was transferred to National Investment Management Service, NAPIMS (Now NUIMS) to head the Production Shearing Contracts as General Manager PSC.
He also held various positions and worked in various sectors and committees of the NNPC and IOCs within and outside Nigeria, particularly with partner companies like Bechtel Corporation of USA, Kellogg Brown and Root and many others.
He attended various technical and managerial courses both in-country and abroad that greatly enhanced his working career.
Following the execution of the Transfer, Settlement and Exit Agreement (TSEA) dated November 1, 2022 between certain Addax Petroleum companies and Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Engineer Jajere led the NNPCL Transition team in the successful handover of OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137 operations from Addax Petroleum to NNPCL. He was appointed Managing Director of Antan Producing Limited, that will be operating the oil assets taken over from Addax Petroleum.
Engineer Jajere is not a one-sided personality. He is a rounded gentleman who combines his love for work with his work for his community. He is often described as compassionate and affable. It is this his soft side that informed the conferment of the title of “Zanna Dujima of Fika” on him by the Emir of Fika, HRH Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammadu Ibn Abali Idrissa.
As Managing Director, Engineer Jajere is definitely the kind of technocrat needed to steer this new ship called Antan Producing Limited and lead the team to perform efficiently and profitably and ultimately, increase production and revenue to stakeholders.
We wish him the very best in this new endeavour.
Code of Kings: Oluwo of Iwo Steps Out with New Book
By Eric Elezuo
The distinguished paramount ruler of the ancient and revered Iwo Kingdom, the Oluwo of Iwo HIM Oba (Dr.) Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi Telu 1, is set to launch his book, Code of Kings, come Monday, January 16, 2023, in Lagos. The Oluwo is known as a man, who takes pleasure in purging his path, thereby giving honours a safe passage to continually locate him.
Consequently, arrangements are finalised to make it a double for the revered monarch as he mark his 7th year coronation anniversary.
The event scheduled to hold at Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos will witness the unveiling of the book written to register a pathway for the black race in the traditional institution. Nigerians from all walks of life will grace the occasion.
The Chief Executive Officer of Peculiar Ultimate Concern Limited, Engr. Abel Lanre Adeleke, has been penciled as the chairman of the event while Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, who is the Chairman of Sifax Group will be the Chief Launcher.
A statement signed by Oluwo’s press secretary, Alli Ibraheem, further revealed other dignitaries expected at the occasion to include President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammed Buhari, his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Kano born business mogul, Aminu Dantata, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’adu Abubakar, Ooni of Ife, HIM Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Alhaji Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Governor Abiodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State, former Governor of Osun State, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and few other Governors from the Northern part of Nigeria.
Notable Royal Fathers, serving federal and state legislators, captains of industries, friends of Oluwo from Canada, United Kingdom, leading entrepreneurs, academic professors and doctors, veteran journalists etc are billed to attend the August event.
The book will form part of Oluwo contribution,to learning,knowledge and history with the strong hope, that the it will correct some distortions in our rich history and liberate Nigerian youth from mental slavery.
The Oluwo is one youthful ruler, who bears tradition with fear and reverence of the Almighty God, and as a result, attracts accolades his way. He has been privileged to have been honored in high places, including an Honorary Doctorate Degree by the premier private university, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, in 2018.
A nationalist to the core, Oba Akanbi, who believes politics should not be left to politicians alone, has been in the forefront of canvassing for royal fathers to highly get involved in politics. This, he said is because, politicians cannot be trusted but traditional rulers who has the interest of their people at heart can.
“Kings have to be in politics and so does everybody else, regardless of what you think about it. Politicians are people that you can’t really trust but then as a father, who has the best interest of his community and the nation, one has to be involved,” he was once quoted as saying.
The above and more, has formed the background for which Oba Akanbi has been considered for such a grand honour.
In their own words, the management of the Igbinedion University while honouring him a few years ago, said the choice, is in “acknowledgement of a throne committed to serving humanity and his contribution to academic excellence in Nigeria.
“The award is in recognition of your outstanding contributions as a traditional and cultural icon, outstanding and visionary leader, developmentalist, general role model, and national builder.”
It is therefore, not a fluke that the revered Oba is being honoured in this way seeing that the award is the third so far to be bestowed on him, and according to as many that know him, more are readily in the offing for the first class traditional ruler, who attested that he rules by the directives of the Almighty God.
Born on June 21, 1967 in Iwo, Oba Rasheed Adewale Akanbi hails from Molaasan Compound of Gbaase Ruling House in Isale Oba in Iwo.
He attended Omolewa Nursery and Primary School, Oritamefa, Ibadan between 1972 and 1978 before proceeding to Iwo Grammar School, Araromi, Iwo, where he stayed till 1982. He completed his secondary education at Oba Akinyele Memorial High School, Idi-Ape, Ibadan.
He later attended The Polytechnic Ibadan in 1985, and obtained Ordinary National Diploma in Mass Communication in 1987. He also obtained a certificate in Cybis & Axis System from the Convergys Institute, Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada (2001-2005) in addition to Seismic certificate in Operations, Oil and Gas Processing Facilities (2005).
In the quest for further and standard education, Oba Akanbi attended George Brown College, Toronto, Canada, where he obtained a B.Sc. in Business Administration. This was between 2005 and 2009.
He worked as a Data Processor, Bio-skin GMBH in Hamburg Germany (1996-2005), International Development Analyst (Oxfam Canada); travelling to help war and disaster stricken countries around the world by supplying and supporting refugees with relief materials.
Oba Akanbi also worked as Associate Supervisor, Purdy Wharf Towers, Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada.
He is the Chief Executive Officer of Prince Enterprises, Toronto, Ontario M5H4E7 Canada, Director and Founder of People Against Loneliness Inc. 508-58 Waterson Road, Toronto Ontario, Canada, West Africa Coordinator (Karcher Group FutureTech) presently working on supply of future technology on peace keeping force to the Defence Ministry and Managing Director, Morganz Gamo Quarry, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Podo Village, Ibadan.
A polyglot, he speaks fluent Yoruba, English, French and Deutsche (German)
Oba Akanbi may be the Oluwo of Iwo, but he sees himself as more of a national figure than being limited to his community.
Hear him: I consider myself a king over a nation. Anything that happens in Kano, affects me because an investor is coming from overseas will always ask how Nigeria is; they won’t ask how is Iwo? There are many embassies that I know that have put Nigeria at the high- risk position of ‘you come at your own risk’. It affects me as well. So traditional rulers have to get up and become part of politics especially when it has to do with security of lives and property of subjects.”
He is also a stern believer in the crusade to root out corruption from the Nigeria body polity, saying he is doing his bit in the community where he holds sway.
“Yes. That’s what we’re doing now. We’re tackling corruption the same way Buhari is tackling it. I have started with the crusade of fighting corruption in our traditional and cultural systems. Our culture is not moving because it is steered by corruption. So all those rituals and killings of human beings all around are what we need to take out.”
In March 2022, the Oluwo wedded Firdaus Abdullahi, a princess of the royal family of Kano, at a colourful ceremony in the ancient city.
The bride is a daughter of the late ‘Madakin Kano’, Abdullahi Sarki Sani Yola, and a grand daughter of late Emir Ado Bayero.
The wedding was held at the residence of Madakin Kano in the Yola Quarters of Kano, with representatives of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and that of the Emir of Kano among dignitaries who attended.
Oba Akanbi is cherished by his people for his series of humanitarian projects, poverty alleviation programmes and community development activities. He is also in the forefront of projecting peace and tolerance among Yoruba obas.
He once created a stir in the media space when in 2017, he named his child Oduduwa. The child was given birth to in Canada.
In 2021, Oba Akanbi’s foresightedness located the industrious journalist, Chief Dele Momodu and wife, Mobolaji, for grand honours of Aare Tayese and Yeye Aare Tayese of Iwoland.
The Rise of Amazons of Nigeria’s Ivory Towers
By Eric Elezuo
Nigerian women are really doing the impossible. While the politicians are busy talking about 30 per cent affirmative as campaign slogans, the womenfolk are busy carving a niche for themselves as they are practically taking over the academic institutions, following the steps of the Professor Grace Alele-Williams, who lorded it over the prestigious University of Benin during the hay days of men superiority in every facet of existence. Prof Alele-Williams’ strides in the sands of academic have resonated among the women-folks of today, and coupled with the echoes of the Beijing Conference, the sky remains the limit of the women are set to do in our various campuses of higher learning.
As at today, the women can boast of heading tertiary institutions across the nation, both in the private and the public institutions, making them a toast, and sounding a note of warning to the men. Consequently we bring you the world of 10 amazons whose impacts in the academic environment have catapulted them to the zenith of their professions. Among these women are the Vice Chancellor of Kogi University, Professor Marietu Ohunene Tenuche; the Vice Chancellor of Chrisland, Professor (Mrs.) Chinedum Peace Babalola; Vice Chancellor of Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Prof. (Mrs.) Ibiyinka Fuwape; Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Professor (Mrs.) Nnenna Nnannaya Oti; Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Akure, Professor Adenike Temidayo Oladiji; Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Folasade Tolulope Ogunsola; Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University, Prof Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello; Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Professor Lilian Imuetinyan Salami; Vice Chancellor of University of Calabar, Florence Banku Obi and Vice Chancellor of Fountain University, Osogbo, Prof. Olayinka Ramota Karim.
The following abridged analysis of the superwomen is as derived from their various schools’ webpage and/or wikipedia:
PROFESSOR MARIETU OHUNENE TENUCHE OF KOGI STATE UNIVERSITY
Professor Marietu Ohunene Tenuche, the Acting Vice Chancellor, was born on 29th September, 1959. She obtained her West African School Certificate from Government Girls Secondary School, Yola in 1976.
She obtained a University of Cambridge General Certificate in Education (G.C.E.) Advanced Level Certificate from the School of Basic Studies, Kwara State College of Technology (now Kwara State Polytechnic) Ilorin in1978.
Professor Tenuche graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Second Class (Upper Division), in Political Science, from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, in 1981. She obtained her Master and Doctorate degrees from the same institution .
She started her career as a lecturer with Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin in 1982 where she was until 1992.
She was appointed Lecturer I in the Department of Political Science of the University at the inception of the institution in 2000. She rose through the ranks to become Professor of Political Science in 2011.
She had served as the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences (2000-2006), Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic (2004-2006, and 2008-2011) and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration (2011-2013).
Until her current appointment as Vice Chancellor, Professor Tenuche was the Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies and Chair, Committee of Deans and Directors.
The new Vice Chancellor has assessed senior academics for the positions of readers and professors for some universities across the country, including Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Bayero University, Kano; Nassarawa State University, Keffi, Benue State University, Makurdi, among others.
She has also served as external examiners to many universities, in addition to serving on panels for the accreditation of academic programmes in public and private universities in the six (6) geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
Professor Tenuche was a delegate, representing the North Central Geo-Political zone at the 2014 National Conference. She has attended conferences in and outside Nigeria, and served as professional adviser and consultant to the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
She is a member of the Nigerian Political Science Association, and served on the national EXCO of the Association between 2008 and 2010.
Professor Tenuche has received several awards and honours, with the “Worthy Alumnus” award conferred on her by the Department of Political Science, ABU, Zaria, in 2018 as her most cherished.
She holds the traditional title of “OyinOiza” Ebira conferred on her by the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alhaji (Dr) Ado Ibrahim, in 2003.
Her research interest is majorly on political economy and gender issues. She is married to Pharmacist Muhammed Tenuche, and the marriage is blessed with four children.
Prof. (Mrs.) Ibiyinka Fuwape was born in Lagos State to the family of Mr. and Mrs. David Ademokun of Ogun State on 18th December, 1962. She had her primary school education at Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls Primary School, Yaba, Lagos. She also obtained her O’Level certificate with a division one grade in 1979 from the Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, Lagos. She proceeded to Queen’s College Yaba for her Higher School Certificate from 1979-1981.
Prof. Fuwape holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Physics (First Class) from the University of Ibadan in 1984. She went on National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) from 1984-1985. She holds a Master of Science (M.Sc.) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in 1986 and 1989 respectively from the same University of Ibadan.
She was employed as an Assistant Lecturer in 1989 at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) and rose through the ranks. She was promoted a Professor in October, 2003. She served FUTA in many capacities as Coordinator, Acting Head of Department, Head of Department of Physics for a period of nine years. She served as Dean, School of Sciences between 2011-2015 where she got the award of the best Dean of the year in 2012. She eventually became the Chairperson/member of many Committees and Boards of FUTA. She has been a member of the University Senate from 2003 to 2017. She acted as Chairman of Senate many times when she was made the Chairman, Committee of Deans during the 2014/2015 academic session.
She is a member of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, from 2012 to 2017. She also served as a member of Council of Ogun State (Moshood Abiola) Polytechnic Abeokuta from 2013 – 2016. She has successfully supervised many undergraduates, Masters and PhD students theses. She has been in the University system for over thirty-one (31) years.
Prof. Fuwape was a visiting scholar at Ohio University Athens, Ohio, United States of America (USA) from 2007-2009. She was an Associate member of the Abdul Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Trieste, Italy from 1996-2002 where she conducted research with reputable scientists. She is a fellow of the Schlumberger Faculty for the Future (FFTF). She has attended many scientific conferences at home and abroad. She has also organized many conferences at local, national and international levels. She mentors individuals including women into pursuing scientific disciplines and achieving excellence in life. She has published several papers in reputable journals both locally and internationally.
Today, she is the second Vice-Chancellor of the Michael and Cecilia Ibru University. She is a Christian and she is happily married to Prof. Joseph Fuwape and blessed with children.
PROFESSOR NNENNA NNANNAYA OTI OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, OWERRI
Professor (Mrs.) Nnenna Nnannaya Oti is from Afikpo, Ebonyi State. A highly seasoned, versatile and accomplished scholar, Nnenna is a Professor of Soil Science and Environmental Conservation, who was recently appointed the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).
Prof. Nnenna Oti made a First Class Honours Degree in Soil Science, and has an M.Sc in Soil Microbiology/Biochemistry from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), before proceeding to the Katholieke Universitiet Leuven, Belgium, where she bagged a PGD (Distinction) in Irrigation Engineering. In 2002, Nnenna broke an unusual record when she won the NUC – Best PhD in Nigeria Award.
She transferred her services from UNN to FUTO 30 years ago. Her service in FUTO includes 3 cycles as the Head of Department of Soil Science and Technology; 4 years as Dean of Post Graduate School and Chairman, Committee of Deans. Her duties have also included membership of University Senate, joint Council/Senate Committees, Faculty and Departmental Boards and Chairmanship of several Committees.
A Fellow of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria, Prof. Nnenna Oti, is a Chartered Soil Scientist, Member Agricultural Society of Nigeria, Member Soil Science Society of America, Member Crop Science Society of America and Member Agronomy Society of America and a host of others.
With over 70 peer-reviewed national and international publications, Nnenna has also delivered over 100 invited papers at local, national and international platforms on Gender Issues, Youth Empowerment, National Development, Good Governance and Leadership. This responsible union advocate is driven by her passion to create a just and fair world for all.
She is a Team Leader and active member of a number of research teams, including the latest World Bank Centre of Excellence, FUTO CEs-PESS (Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Procurement, Environment and Social Standards) worth millions of Dollars in 2019, the European Economic Commission Linkage Research Trust to Develop Sustainable Supplementary Irrigation Farming Systems for the Derived Savannah Zones of Nigeria, at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka worth millions of Euros, in 1986 etc.
In the course of her scholarship, Nnenna Oti has won the Federal Government Merit Award; Best Graduating Student Faculty of Agriculture, UNN prize; U.A.C of Nigeria prize for Best Student in Agriculture and Best Graduating Student, Department of Soil Science Prize all in 1982. In 1986 she won the European Economic Community Scholarship (EEC) for Developing Countries to Study in Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium and a World Bank Grant for Overseas Development of Academic Staff in Nigeria in 1995. She crowned it all with the NUC – Best PhD Award in Nigeria 2002.
She was a Visiting Scholar at The Ohio State University, USA, 1996-1997; a Visiting Professor at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Abia State (2013-2015) and an Adjunct Professor Imo State University from 2009-2020. As a Distinguished Delegate to the 2014 National Conference, Prof. Oti has helped to develop the blueprint of a great Nigeria. She has also served as a Resource Professor/Consultant to several Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Mrs Nnenna Oti has received commendation letters from different Vice-Chancellors (1) “… for positively projecting the image of FUTO in the National Arena by her excellent academic records … (2009)”; (2) “… for her excellent performance as the Chairman of Gender Policy Committee … (2011)” and (3) “… for her Efforts and Positive Contributions to the Nigerian Society… (2013)”. Nnenna has served the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASSU) in various active capacities, finally becoming the ONLY female member (in a 31-member team) for ASUU/ FGN Negotiating Team (2006-2009).
Prof. Nnenna Oti is driven by excellence, passion for positive impact and love for humanity. A good team player, with a very friendly disposition, Nnenna sees every obstacle as an opportunity to move ahead. She enjoys robust health through her daily exercise regimen of jogging 10 km, yoga, flexibility and bodybuilding training!
She is a Christian who firmly believes in family values, truth, honesty, integrity, forgiveness, humility, loyalty and hard work. She is married with 3 adult children. THE ONLY LIFE WORTH LIVING IS THE LIFE OF SERVICE TO HUMANITY!
PROFESSOR ADENIKE TEMIDAYO OLADIJI OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, AKURE
Professor Adenike Temidayo Oladiji was born on 27th April, 1968. She attended Christ Anglican School, Ijomu-Oro, Iludun Oro Nursery and Primary School between 1972 and 1977 and St. Claire’s Anglican Grammar School, Offa from 1977 to 1982, all in Kwara State, for her secondary education. She holds a B.Sc Biochemistry, Second Class Upper Division Degree from the University of Ilorin, 1988, MSc. Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, 1991 and Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ilorin, 1997. She joined the services of the University of Ilorin in July 1992 as Assistant Lecturer and was appointed a Professor in September 2011.
She has over 29 years of continuous service in the university system. She has held various positions and served on almost all University Committees as Chairman and Member. She has also served in various capacities including Head of Department; Sub Dean of Faculty; Deputy Director, Center for International Education; Director, Center for Research and Development and In-House Training; Director, Central Research Laboratory; Dean, School Of Basic Medical Sciences (Kwara State University); Dean, School of Life Sciences and Member, Governing Council, Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa and Crown Hill University, Eiyenkorin, Ilorin.
A prolific reseacher with over 100 publications, Professor Oladiji has won many distinctions and awards which include University’s Merit Award, Certificate of Merit and scholarships among others. She is a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science and Fellow, Nigerian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She has served as Member of various Scienctific Committees at the National Universities Commission, NUC, Tertiary Education Fund, TetFund and has been an external examiner in over 20 Universities in Nigeria and outside the country. She is a Member of Professional Bodies such as the West Africa Research and Innovation Management (WARIMA), American Society of Nutrition, Organization for Women in Science for Developing World (OSWD), Science Association of Nigeria and Nigerian Society for Experimental Biology.
She is happily married and blessed with children.
PROF. FOLASADE TOLULOPE OGUNSOLA OF UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS
Folasade Tolulope Ogunsola (born 1958) is a Nigerian professor of medical microbiology, and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos. She specializes in disease control, particularly HIV/AIDS. Ogunsola was provost of College of Medicine, University of Lagos and is reputed as being the first woman to occupy the position. She was also the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Development Services) of the institution between 2017 and 2021. She was acting vice chancellor of the University of Lagos for a short period in 2020 when the University was plunged into crisis as a result of the removal of the Vice Chancellor by the University Council.
Ogunsola was raised in University of Ibadan where her father, Akin Mabogunje lectured. As a child, she mimicked medical practitioners by using dolls as patients, while offering medical care to them. She attended Queen’s College, Lagos. Between 1974 and 1982, she obtained her first degree from University of Ife and a master’s degree from College of Medicine, University of Lagos, then proceeded for her doctorate at University of Wales between 1992 and 1997.
Ogunsola was Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos for a short period in 2020 when the University was plunged into crisis as a result of the removal of the Vice Chancellor by the University Council. She was also the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services) of the University, a position she previously occupied before ascending to the institution’s Acting Vice Chancellorship. Before being the deputy vice-chancellor, she was the provost of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos. Her research areas have been centred on the regulation and management of viral diseases, particularly HIV. She is the principal investigator at the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN) at the University of Lagos. She has also been the chairman of the Infection Control Committee of Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Additionally, she is the chairman of the National Association of Colleges of Medicine in Nigeria.
In 2018, she expressed concern on disease prevention and control in Nigeria. She identified poor hygiene and overuse of antibiotics as practices that foster antimicrobial-drug resistance. Providing a solution, she maintained that “sustained Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) infrastructure and programs should be built around a set of core components which includes guidelines, training, surveillance, multimodal strategies for implementing IPC, monitoring and evaluation among others”. Speaking during a session with the media, she explained that the solution to reducing the 58% unemployment rate was for Nigerian graduates to begin innovating ideas that will enhance human life. She also noted that knowledge in itself isn’t sufficient, but its application in an appropriate manner to better mankind and enhance livelihood of others is what youths should be concerned about.
She was a founding member of the Nigerian Society for Infection control in 1998 and is also a member of the Global Infection Prevention and control Network.
She was elected as the acting vice chancellor of University of Lagos on 24 August 2020, by the university’s senate following a crisis between the pro-chancellor, Mr. Wale Babalakin and the vice-chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe. She became the first woman to be vice-chancellor in the university’s history.
PROF IBIYEMI OLATUNJI-BELLO OF LAGOS STATE UNIVERSITY
Prof Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello was “born in Lagos on April 23, 1964. She had her primary education at Anglican Girls Primary School, Surulere, from 1970 to 1974 and her secondary education at Lagos Anglican Girls Grammar School, Surulere, between 1974 and 1979.
“Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello then proceeded to Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, and Lagos State College of Science and Technology, Ikosi Campus where she did her ‘A’ level in 1982.
“For her university education, she attended the University of Ibadan from 1982 to 1985 where she bagged a B.Sc (Hons) in Physiology. In 1987, at the University of Lagos, she was awarded M.Sc (Physiology). In 1998, she was awarded a PhD in Physiology, also at the University of Lagos after attending a 6-month research training in the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in the US in 1994.
“She rose through the ranks from Assistant Lecturer (1988-1991), Lecturer II between 1991 and 1996, Lecturer I from 1996 to 1999, Senior Lecturer (1999 – 2005), Associate Professor between 2005 and October 1st 2007, all in the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Idi-Araba.
“She assumed duty as the First Professor of Physiology in Lagos State University College of Medicine on 2nd of October, 2007.
“On 22nd December 2008, she was elected the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for a period of two years and re-elected, for a second term in 2010.
“She was until recently, the Director, Lagos State University Directorate of Advancement.”
The new VC is a member of the National Institute and holds a Fellowship Award of the Physiological Society of Nigeria. She was also appointed a Fellow of the Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Mitigation in the year 2019.
Olatunji-Bello is the wife of Lagos State’s Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello.
With her appointment, Olatunji-Bello joined the league of female vice-chancellors in the country like Prof Lilian Salami of the University of Benin, Prof Florence Obi of the University of Calabar, amongst others; who team up with their male colleagues to push the frontiers of higher learning and innovation forward in the 21st century.
PROFESSOR LILIAN IMUETINYAN SALAMI OF UNIVERSITY OF BENIN
Professor Lilian Imuetinyan Salami was born on the 8th of August 1956 to the family of Late Benjamin Idemudia Emovon and Mrs. Alice Omoariagbon both from Obadan Community in Uhunmwode Local government Area of the Benin Kingdom. She attended Baptist High School and Itohan Girls Grammar School both in Benin /city from 1969 – 1975. Thereafter, she gained admission into the North Dakota Universisty in Fargo, North Dakota, USA, where she obtained a BSc degree in Home Economics in 1979. She subsequently obtained a Master of Science degree in Nutrition from the same University in 1982.
Professor Salami returned to Nigeria to observe her National Youth Service (NYSC) in 1982 and proceeded to obtain her PhD degree in Human Nutrition at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1991. Due to her passion for education, she studied for and was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Education by the University of Benin in 2001 and a Postdoctoral degree in Tourism and Hospitality, this time from the Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa in 2005.
This highly productive Academic started her career as Research Assistant in North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, United States of America, in 1979. Subsequently, she returned to Nigeria and was employed as Assistant Lecturer by the ObafemiAwolowo University, Ile-Ife, in Oyo State, Nigeria. Thereafter, she proceeded to the Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria, and later to the University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria where she rose to the position of Senior Lecturer in 1994. She returned to the University of Benin in 1994. She rose to become a Professor in 2005.
Prof. Lilian Imuetinyan Salami is hardworking, Purposeful and result-oriented. In recognition of her attributes, she has been appointed to several positions of trust and responsibility in the University of Benin. They include:
- Unit Coordinator (Home Economics) 1996, 1998-2004.
- Head, Department of Vocational and Technical Education, (1996-1998).
- Member of the University Senate, (1996-1998, 2005-2016).
- Director, General Studies, (2009-2011).
- Director, Part-Time Programmes, (2011-2014).
- Chairman, Integrated Enterprises, (2011).
- Hall Warden, Ekehuan Residence Hall
- Member, Governing Council, (Representing Senate) (2012-2016)
- Dean, Faculty of Education, (2014-2016).
It is worthy of note that Professor Salami is the first female Professor and first female Dean in the Faculty of Education, University of Benin. At the commencement of her second term as Dean of the faculty of Education, Professor Salami was on the 1st of August 2016, appointed by the Federal Government as the Director General/Chief Executive of the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA, NIGERIA) Ondo State; a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Education. Her excellent performance in transforming NIEPA has attracted the attention of the host community and other persons. Three years into her appointment as Director-General/CE, she was on the 26th of October, 2019 appointed as the tenth substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin by the University’s Governing Council after a credible and transparent interview process.
She has served as editor, co-editor and consulting editor to many journals both nationally and internationally.
She has been keynote Address Presenter in numerous conferences including the 2017Ondo State Education summit, 14th International Nutrition conference in Calabar, 2nd National Home economics Conference in Abakiliki, 5th National Vocational and Technical Educators’ conference in Uyo and 5th Biennial Home economics Research Association of Ghana, Winneba, 2019, Benin women Conference amongst others. On the 30th of August, 2018, Professor Salami presented her inaugural lecture titled “If the scientist don’t know, how can I? Is it a case of too much information”? Which was the 206th inaugural lecture series of the University of Benin. This, as it were, marked a turning point in the career of this multi- disciplinary and erudite Scholar.
Professor Salami is a fellow of the International Federation of Home Economics (IFHE),Nutrition society of Nigeria (NSN) and Home Economics Professional Association of Nigeria (HEPAN). She was the pioneer president of Home Economics Teachers’ Association of Edo State and a steering member of Home Economics Council of Nigeria. She was also a pioneer member of African Nutrition leadership programme, South Africa.
FLORENCE BANKU OBI OF UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR
Florence Banku Obi is a Nigerian academic, author and a professor of special education. She is the 11th substantive vice-chancellor of University of Calabar and the first female vice-chancellor since the inception of the institution. After her appointment as the new VC, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege who chairs the Senate Adhoc Committee on Constitution Review, described Prof. Obi as “an astute educational icon.” She was previously the deputy vice-chancellor, academics and commissioner for women affairs in Cross River State. She was a candidate in the 2015 VC election but was not elected until 2020 when she became the first woman to be elected. In 2007, she served as the social development and member of the executive council, Cross River State.
Obi is from Bansan–Osokom, Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State. She started her education at St Bridget’s Primary School, Ogep Osokom, Boki, Cross River State where she got her F.S.LC, graduating in 1969, she moved to St Thomas’s Teachers Training College, Ogoja, Cross River State, where she graduated in 1983. She obtained her degree in special education at University of Calabar. In 1990, she got her MEd in special education,l at the same institution. She moved to the Jordanhill College where she obtained a PGCEE in 1993. In 2002, she finished her PhD in psychology of education, University of Calabar.
In 1990, Obi started her academic career as an assistant lecturer at the Institute of Education, University of Calabar. In 1992, she won a six-month postgraduate scholarship to Jordan-Hill College of Education, under the World University Service (WUS), World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) during an interview for staff of the Institute of Education.
After the scholarship offer, she was placed in charge of the WWF/NCF funded schools and community education programmes. In 2007, she became a professor of special needs education.
Obi is married with four children and six grandchildren.
PROF. OLAYINKA RAMOTA KARIM OF FOUNTAIN UNIVERSITY OSOGBO
Karim Olayinka Ramota is a native of Ijebu Ode, Ogun state. She is a Professor in the Department of Home Economics and Food Science, University of Ilorin, Kwara State. and has a Ph.D. and B.Sc. in Food Science & Technology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. As a NASFAT Muslim, Ramota believes that interreligious dialogue and mediation is important in increasing her skills and knowledge in her service to humanity.
The great achievement of the pioneer Fellows of this program and their enormous contributions to peacebuilding endears her to apply for this program. She is confident that a Fellowship program in interreligious dialogue and mediation will enlighten her on the processes and methods needed for preventing and mitigating conflicts, as well as contributing to sustainable peace in her immediate community.
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