With bold optimism and audacious investment in critical infrastructure, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is gradually building the final layers of the foundation for awealthier Lagos, Israel Opayemi submits.
Let me make a confession. The title of this piece has drawn inspiration from James Carville’s popular campaign theme for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential election bid. In 1992, the United States was experiencing headwinds under President George W. Bush who was seen by a section of the American electorate as out of touch with the needs of the average Americans. Carville then told a meeting of Bill Clinton’s campaign staff, that, “It’s the Economy. Stupid!” to emphasise the primacy of economic issues in that election cycle. The result? Bill Clinton gave prominence to economic issues touching the lives of average Americanthroughout that campaign season and he won impressively.
As a close Associate of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and a Policy Communications Specialist, each time I reflect on the momentous efforts he is making towards giving Lagos State some fitting infrastructure or some of the social intervention initiatives being carefully executed by his government, one is forced to reach just the same conclusion. I often quipped when summarizing the strategic goal in view of all that the GovernorBabajide Sanwo-Olu is leading his team to do, “It’s the Economy. Period!”
Discerning citizens can indeed see the geometric economic progression the state is currently making. Through years of meticulous planning under Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and years of surgical implementation of the plans under Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) down to the incumbent, Lagos has indeed attained her full status as ‘Nigeria’s Economic Capital’. The state has in fact exceeded just that local adulation to the place of her rating as Africa’s fifth largest economy. It would seem the duo of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat are conscious of their roles in the history of Lagos. They must build the final layers of the foundation for the emergence of a truly prosperous Lagos in a few short years. They seem to be approaching the task with some sense of urgencyand admirable focus.
As at the time this writer was putting the thoughts of chronicling the timelines of the multiple investment roadshows the Governor and his Deputy were running with, they have crisscrossed Dubai, Morocco, and United Kingdom all within days and hours. The goal for them is simple. Stimulate the growth of the economy, put more wealth in the hands of citizens and lift more Lagosians out of poverty. Poverty is a clear and present danger to society. But there is a method to treating this madness called poverty. Build critical infrastructure. They are keys to opening the inherent wealth in a City. It is therefore not surprising that the duo Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat know exactly what to do. Keeping marketing our problems as opportunities.
On Wednesday 1, November, the Chief Marketing Officer of Lagos was in faraway Georgetown, Guyana to attend the AfriCaribbean Trade Forum and to discuss the imperatives of investing in food security, agricultural productivity and expanding agribusiness opportunities in Lagos. His message was clean and clear. “It is only by doing so that that we can address food security concerns but also stimulate employment, create opportunities for export and uplift rural income.” Perhaps,thinking in line with the Yoruba adage that ‘once hunger is excluded from poverty, the misery of poverty has been vanquished.’ Governor Sanwo-Olu has therefore set his face like a flint on the goal of food security by 2024. He hopes to complete the Lagos Food System and Logistics Hub, Africa’s biggest food and logistics hub in Ketu-Ejirin, Epe as part of a strategic initiative to put more wealth in the hands of farmers, ensure food security and sufficiency. While the annual value of food transactions is estimated at about USD 10 billion, farmers are losing over 40 percent of their incomes due to a lack of adequatepost harvest storage facilities. The Babajide Sanwo-Oluadministration is building a storage facility on a 1.2 million square metre site in Ketu-Ejinrin. The facility is expected to boost the economy by reducing waste that arise as a result of inadequate storage facilities. It is expected to ensure food security and increase internally generated revenue. When completed, the hub is expected to provide direct income to more than 5 million traders in the value chain, while ensuring uninterrupted food supply to more than 10 million Lagosians for at least ninety days in times of scarcity. The central food hub will encourage more investment in farming and food production, and open farmers up to modern-day storage facilities. Again, it’s the economy. Period!
But that is not all. It was during this round of investment marketing roadshow, precisely on Tuesday 31, October 2023 that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu secured and signed the partnership with the African Export-Import Bank and Access Bank for a massive investment of $1.352 billion dollars in Lagos. This is part of the funding needed for the realisation of the Fourth Mainland Bridge, the Omu Creek Project and the Second Phase of the LRMT Blue Line from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko amongst others. It was also at this investment marketing event the Governor declared with absolute confidence: “Our vision for Lagos is becoming a reality with the Lekki-Epe International Airport and the Lagos Food Systems and Logistics Hub in Epe. These projects will further boost our economy and serve generations to come.”
On Friday 3, November 2023, to the delight of the local and global investment community, the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Oluannounced a plan to build a new Lagos International Financial Centre while inaugurating the Aigboje Aig–Imoukhuede-led Council entrusted with brining the dream to life.
Worthy of note is the exhibition of the mastery of the art of governance by partnership with the organised private sector and multilateral institutions. This is because most of the ground breaking infrastructure funding feats being recorded by the Sanwo-Olu administration to the admiration of other States in Nigeria are actually based on strategic partnership and collaboration with players in the private sector and other development agencies. An example is this partnership with Enterprise NGR, a member-led group that specialises in strengthening financial and professional services in the state.
The partnership between the Lagos Government and EnterpriseNGR to build the new Lagos International Financial Centre is aimed at making the state a global financial hub that will direct investment flows from places like New York, London, and Paris amongst others. With the signing of the pact with Enterprise NGR, Sanwo-Olu aims to captivate global investors, unveil thepotentials of Destination Lagos as an investment destination of choice, and pave the way for a transformative era of economic prosperity.
Think of it. The new Lagos International Financial Centre is a bespoke destination where major global financial institutions can set up their African presence. It is an initiative to turn Lagos into a global financial powerhouse. Think of it again. Who will they employ during the massive construction phase? Our people. Think of the lanyard of economic activities tied to construction sites. From crane rentals, diesel supply, sand supply, gravel supply, food vending to craftmanship. Just imagine the ripple effects of this phase on hotels and hospitality sector in Lagos alone. It is a place where wealth will be placed in the hands of artisans and professionals.
As of Thursday 9, November 2023, Governor Sanwo-Olu was at the high level African Mayoral, the Africa Investment Forum 2023 in Marrakech, Morocco organised by the Africa Development Bank, AFDB. The goal was also the economy. It was aimed at rallying the partnership with AFDB, AFC, Africa50, Afrexim Bank, Development Bank of South Africa, European Investment Bank, Trade and Development Bank amongst other development partners to invest in infrastructure development in Lagos. Like a brilliant salesman that he is, Governor Sanwo-Olu always shows the numbers. He spoke on a Panel on Thursday. By Friday, he has led his economic team to London, United Kingdom again where, together with the Enterprise NRG will be meeting with select British and International business leaders from across different continents to also market Lagos as a destination for investment.
A close look at Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda easily highlights how Lagos has been able to synergise its resources and redirect them towards rapid improvement of the economy of the state during his first term. Upon his re-election and assumption of office for the second term, Sanwo-Olu again expanded the focus of the agenda and rechristened it, ‘THE T.H.E.M.E.S PLUS AGENDA,’ to signify some vital additions like the Social Inclusion, Gender Equality and Youth in the next four years. Even for all of these additions, the strategic goal remains the same, the economy! Be it for the women and the youth as well as other disadvantaged citizens across the gender and age isles, the goal has remained to ensure more citizens of Lagos State become empowered through access to productive economic activities. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu believes that infrastructure is the key to unlock the wealth that lies untold in every human community across our state. He is in the same developmental school with American Vice President, Kamala Harris who earlier this year while speaking at Chicago, Illinois said, “when we invest in our infrastructure, we invest in our economy, we invest in America’s future – a better future for workers, businesses, families and communities.”
Some of the critical road projects at different stages of completionin Lagos State such as the reconstruction and expansion of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway from four lanes to ten lanes is road of economic significance to link Nigeria to a vital part of the West African Sub-region thereby improving the pace of trade and commerce between Lagos State and her West African neighbours. This and other projects like it are being carefully delivered to bring about rapid economic development in that corridor. Again, economy is the goal.
The fact that the contract for the historic Fourth Mainland Bridge was eventually awarded to a giant construction consortium ofCCECC-CRCCIG of China in a deal worth US$2.5 billion, is good news to discerning Lagosians. It is to further open up somesections of Lagos to accelerated economic development. Designed to be a 38km long bridge, the Fourth Mainland Bridge will further open up Lekki, Langbasa, Baiyeku and Itamaga in Ikorodu to accelerated economic development. This is another infrastructure with economic significance as it will open the real estate corridors of Lekki and Ikorodu for unprecedented boom.
The delivery of intra-state train systems will undoubtedly remainone of the biggest achievements of the Sanwo-Olu governmentand another key to unlocking economic development. The Lagos Blue Line project is an electric rapid transit line that forms part of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit system run by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), which was opened for commercial use on September 4, 2023, with fivefunctional stations. The commissioning of the Blue Line is nothing but historic considering the fact that Lagos has emergedthe first sub-national government in Africa to fund and deliver a rail system. It is a tribute to the mastery of creative financial engineering and prudent management of resources.
Envisioned by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and initiated by former Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, completing the project underscores Sanwo-Olu’s understanding of what needed to be done to open the state up to rapid economic development as a 21st-century Mega City if Lagos must sit at the table of other global cities such as London, New York, Paris to mention but a few. From the economic perspective, the real big deal is not the fact that it is the first of its kind in the West African sub-region and the first by any sub-national government. The real big deal is the economics of moving 500,000 passengers daily from Mile 2 to Marina. The Governor has again assured Lagosians that the fleet would be expanded in such a way that waiting time at the train station will be further reduced and has hinted of plans to double the number of passengers ferried daily by the Blue Linewith the expansion of the tracks by 14 kilometers up to Okokomaiko from Mile 2. Moving a million people daily in a bustling city like Lagos means more people can transact more businesses timeously. In economics, time is money. It is a valuable resource for which money is paid in exchange.
But wait for it. The real economic game changer for the rapid economic development of Lagos State is the Red Line rail projectin my opinion. It is a 37–kilometre North-South rail route proposed to run from Agbado to Marina with 13 stations at Agbado, Iju, Agege, Ikeja, MMIA International, MMIA Domestic, Oshodi, Mushin, Yaba, Ebute Meta, Iddo, Ebute Ero, and Marina. Today, the project is about 95 percent completed, the red line would start with one million passengers daily by the end of 2023. Add that number to the one million that the Blue Line would move when completed! Also add that to the millions commuting via the bus rapid transport scheme, the First and Last Mile bus system, LAGRIDE and the Lagos Ferry Services. Once a City is able to move millions of her citizens in speed, safety and comfort through intermodal transportation system as the one being brilliantly executed by the Sanwo-Olu administration, the City is bound to record increase in economic activities in daytime. This will also impact the citizens’ and government spending on the treatment and management of cardiovascular diseases associated with sedentary lifestyle residents of congested cities are known for.
By showing uncommon knowledge of how to unlock an economy through bold investment in infrastructure transformation, the Sanwo-Olu administration has become an exemplar for other States in Nigeria in terms of bold vision and the audacity to do. This was the sentiment echoed by the Ekiti State Governor, Abiodun Oyebanji in Lagos on Sunday, November 5, 2023, during the commissioning of the Oyingbo overpass, Governor Oyebanji said, “Lagos State has become a model for other states” while also stressing that Governor Sanwo-Olu had become a worthy mentor to other governors because of his numerous achievements.” Will they give him the badge of a Class Captain in the Nigerian Governor’s Forum now? I argue the case that he deserves this honour. Even if Governor Sanwo-Olu does not get it, he and his team can at least take a bow as they read this piece before they step out to the next mission to keep our Greater Lagos Rising.
Opayemi, a public relations consultant, lives and works in Lagos
Does Nigerian music need saving? A case for Total Music’s revivalism
By Chinedu Chidi
When famed German composer and pianist, Beethoven described music as a “higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy” and as “the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents”, he may well have laid out a profound exposition of the depth and reaches of the art, one that is unrestricted by time or distance, by creed or colour, by status or zone. He envisioned a limitless art form. Today, we speak not only of its internal freedoms, but of its transcendent liberating force coursing through entertainment, education, politics, the economy, technology, and social change. Music has become a life form meandering like the bellows of an accordion into the many circles that define life as we know it.
In Nigeria, the music industry has grown in leaps and bounds. With over $2 billion in revenue annually, over 30 million monthly listeners worldwide, over 500 music producers, over 1000 record labels, over 50 radio stations amplifying its rhythms and sounds, and multiple digital music distribution platforms, Nigerian music has become the stuff of dreams, if only commercially.
Sadly, the fine art of the classical, orchestral and live performance genre, with its accompanying socially valuable messaging, is dying. The rapid rise of studio-recorded music, with its massive commercial success, has sadly provided an alternative to total music, one that substantively accommodates a wide array of ‘real’ instruments, trained voice, and electrifying theatre. It is perhaps the appeal of total music that inspired Victor Hugo to bellow, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”.
This challenge is one that is not only unique to Nigeria or Africa, but a universal one. In Sasha Frere-Jones’ piece, “Do Recordings Kill Music?”, she cited a profound quote from Richard Kostelanetz’s interview with John Cage, thus: “I’ve always said that a record is not faithful to the nature of music.” David Grubbs, a professor at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, she reports, “takes up a specific belief of Cage’s: that recordings can injure the ability of an audience member to experience a performance in real time. In theoretical terms, the recording reifies a specific moment, potentially interfering with a composition’s ability to live and change and breathe by fixing a single iteration as the ‘authoritative’ version”. Perhaps, nothing captures the triumphantly seductive and absorbing force of the authentic live performance than Robert Ashley’s description of Alvin Lucier’s 1969 piece, “Vespers” as referenced by Grubbs. Ashley wrote of “Vespers”: “No number of microphones and loudspeakers can reproduce the relationship between the sounds and the space in which the sounds create the musical experience.” This reminds one of Mozart’s delicate refrain that “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.”
This dying art form was once the force that rocked the bowels of mother Africa, from the Sahara to the Mediterranean. From Fela and Makeba to N’Dour, Salif Keita, Amr Diab, Sangare, Mapfumo, Kidjo, Mtukudzi and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the glory days of message-laden total music may, but for the flickers embodied by the likes of the eternal Kidjo and the heirs to the Fela dynasty, be well and truly over.
But there appears to be a rebirth glistening in the hallways of MUSON Diploma School, a core component of the MUSON School of Music. The MTN MUSON Music Scholars Program, conceived in 2006, a partnership between MTN Foundation and the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) School of Music, powers the diploma school. The partnership involves a 2-year Diploma in Music at the MUSON Diploma School. All the students admitted to the Diploma course receive MTNF Scholarships comprising annual scholarships worth N250,000 to cover tuition, books and transportation over a 2-year period. The graduating students are awarded an internationally recognized Diploma in Music. The scholarship is an open opportunity one. It allows applications from all musically talented youth through an open and fair process.
The school is home to the award-winning MUSON Diploma Choir directed by Sir Emeka Nwokedi, and the MUSON School Orchestra & Concert Bands. It has been able to produce outstanding Jazz ensembles such as the all-female GIRLZ RULE Band, the 5YZ MEN and The Theosolites.
At MUSON, MTN Scholars take advanced training in music with majors in voice or any of the instrument forms of: Piano, Organ, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Percussion, and Classical Guitar. “Students are also required to take 2 terms of an instrument minor other than their major instrumental family. All voice students must pass grade 2 piano, instrumentalists must pass vocal techniques and all students must belong to the choir. Orchestra is required for all string majors. All wind and percussion majors must belong to band. Others who may not be majors are welcome to audition for the orchestra band”, the school says. They also take part in high-level musical productions which provide the perfect opportunity to exhibit their talents and skills. At the end of their programme, the music scholars have the opportunity to showcase the result of their advanced training through performances at the annual Donors Appreciation Concert. This speaks to the neat integration of sound and rhythm, of theatre and messaging; the total music.
MUSON has been at the heart of developing and preserving the purest form of music in Nigeria, and helping to export same to the rest of Africa and the world. Created in 1989 by a group of friends, namely Mr. Louis Mbanefo (SAN), Mr. Akintola Williams (late), Chief Ayo Rosiji (late), Mrs. Francesca Emanuel (late) and Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi (late), the school was designed to promote, as Mr. Mbanefo, who is Chairman of the school, aptly captures, “the performance, understanding and enjoyment of serious music”. The dream, he notes, has continued to be realized, producing internationally reputed graduates and changing the dynamics of music in Nigeria and Africa. “The school has produced over 400 Diploma graduates, many of whom have continued their musical education in Europe, South Africa and America and attained international recognition. Most of our alumni have made and are making very impressive contributions to the musical life in Nigeria and indeed, the world. They have raised considerably the standard of singing and musical performance in churches, in schools and at social events. Indeed, many churches and musical societies throughout Nigeria are borrowing from the templates established by MUSON”, he proudly reveals.
As the proud owner of Nigeria’s “only professional Symphony Orchestra” and a choir of international renown, the school boasts a rich platform for empowering young Nigerian artistes and instrumentalists, especially in the dying art of classical and orchestral music performance.
Accredited by the Federal Government to award Diplomas in Music since 2002, the MUSON Diploma School grants all MTNF MUSON graduates diplomas which are equal to those awarded by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in the United Kingdom.
If the MUSON Diploma School is to continue to plot the course for Nigeria’s music salvation and become the sure hope of total music’s triumph for all of Africa, then it must display resilience, which its parent body— The Musical Society of Nigeria— chose as its Festival of Arts theme during the celebration of its 40th anniversary earlier this year. It must be resilient in the face of the onslaught of crass commercialism. It must be defiantly resilient if it must realize its goal of producing “well-rounded, thoroughly educated musicians…comparable to those found in a Conservatoire”.
And in its resilience, it must remember that lodged in the soul of this art, in its purest form, are the currents of humanity.
Siyanbola Oladigbolu: Seven facts about Oyo Prince aspiring to be next Alaafin
By Deji Agunbiade
1. Prince Kolade Afeez Siyanbola Oladigbolu is a biological grandson of the late Oba Abubakar Siyanbola Oladigbolu, the Alaafin of Oyo between 1911-1944. His great-grandfather (Oba Muhammad Lawal Akanbi Agogo-Ija ) was also the Alaafin of Oyo between 1905 and 1911. Alaafin Agogoija, who reigned for six years, is also the son of Alaafin Adelu Agunloye, son of the founder of the new capital, Alaafin Muhammad Soliu Atiba Atobatele.
2. Siyanbola Jnr was named after his grandfather, the second longest reigning Alaafin of Oyo after Alaafin Lamidi Adeyemi, who passed away in April 2022, Alaafin Abubakar Akanbi Adedokun Siyanbola Oladigbolu, who ascended the throne at the age of 65 years and ruled for 33 years.
3. Prince Siyanbola Jnr is the last born of a mother of seven and number 12 of the father of 15.
4. Prince Siyanbola is a mariner by profession and was a third officer on board of vessel before channelling his energy into other sectors in the year 2010.
5. Prince Siyanbola Oladigbolu is the founder of popular real estate firms in Lagos, Royal Colony Homes Limited and Chairman, Board of Directors, Oceantrack Holdings, Alkafiz Energy Limited, Captain Black Heavy Duty (CCL) and Afcom Media Limited.
6. The intelligent young Prince is highly familiar with Yoruba culture and tradition due to experiences he has gathered from royal palaces in Yorubaland. For his formal education, Prince Siyanbola attended St Mary R.C.M Primary School, Asogo, Oyo; Islamic Comprehensive High School, Olope Ibadan; Federal College of Fishery and Marine Technology, Victoria Island, Lagos; and Regional Maritime University, Accra, Ghana.
7 . He is a member of Nigerian Sea Ferrers (Sail Navy). The young and vibrant front-line contender for the vacant stool of Alaafin doesn’t sound like someone who is not ready for the task surrounding being an Alaafin. His historical facts about the Oyo Kingdom are marvellous for anyone who cares to know about Oyo, the position of Alaafin, and the Yoruba historical journey.
It was from this audacious Prince that one hears that the word “Aafin” (palace) singularly belongs to Oyo. He further explained that Aafin was the official residence of Alaafin. How can any Oba have an Aafin when he is not an Alaafin? The prince asked.
Other parts of Yorubas have names for their palaces, such as Iga, Iyewu, Ile-Oba, and so on. But the word “Aafin” was coined by Oyos. So, using it generally doesn’t mean it has no genesis
The findings revealed that the father of 38-year-old’ Prince (Prince Azeez Akano Siyanbola Oladigbolu) is a younger brother to the late Oba Bello Orimadegun Gbadegesin The predecessor of Oba Adeyemi, who joined his ancestors in April 2022.
The whole world is patiently waiting for the emergence of the reincarnation of Oba Siyanbola Adedokun Ladigbolu, who never lost any battle of defending Yorubas home and abroad during his reign.
Alaafin Abubakar Siyanbola Oladigbolu was the Alaafin between 1911-1944. The unification of the protectorate of North, South, and Lagos Colony was amalgamated two years after he (Oba Ladigbolu) became the Alaafin of Oyo.
Some historical facts established the fact that it was Oba Siyanbola Oladigbolu who represented the whole Yorubas during the ceremony of Nigeria’s amalgamation in 1914.
The unforgettable event earned Oba Ladigbolu a British honour of CMG. (The Commander of St Michael and St George. Now equivalent to Sir.
Alaafin Ladigbolu and the likes of former Yoruba monarchs, Oba Sir Musediku Adeniji Adele, (Oba of Lagos) Oba Sir Titus Matins Adesoji Aderemi, (Ooni of Ife), Oba Sir Samuel Ademola Oladapo (the Alake of Egba) Oba Sir Afunbiowo Adesida, (Deji of Akure) and Oba Fesogbade Ademolu, the Awuajale of Ijebu, were contemporaries in the circle of royalty across the Niger, now Nigeria during the pre-colonial political system of Nigeria before the introduction of the constitution.
• Agunbiade writes from Oyo.
Doris, Wike, Umahi, Bosun and Pate Makes List of Super Ministers to watch out for
As President Bola Tinubu’s Administration assigns portfolios to appointed ministers laced with the upcoming swearing-in ceremony on Monday the 21st of August 2023 at the Presidential Villa, some ministers are on the radar of those who would perform exceptionally well as they add their wealth of experience into bringing the current administration to a positive landmark achievement in its quest to make Nigeria great again. Oladapo Sofowora X-rays 5 super ministers who will be the cynosure of all eyes with their overall performance and also bring into life the hope and aspirations of President Bola Tinubu to make Nigeria soar again as the pride of Africa economically.
Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite
Youthful and highly cerebral Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite is a woman who has proved beyond doubt that she will be a proverbial Swizz knife of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration. The trained medical Doctor from the University of Benin (UniBen) was born in Oguta Local Government Area in Imo state. Her inclusion has further strengthened the women in politics and leadership and also youth in Governance mantra of the present administration.
Her Nomination brings forth novel perspectives and innovative problem-solving approaches, which are vital for addressing the intricate challenges confronting Nigeria most especially in the area of attracting foreign direct investment into Nigeria and also positioning Nigeria as an investment hub also to back the ease of doing business goals of the current administration. Her inclusion sends a strong message highlighting that women in governance are valuable and their contributions are indispensable for the country’s progress and development as they are potential home builders.
Dr. Anite is a trained medical doctor by profession but also holds a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charter, specializing in Financial Risk Management and Portfolio Management. Doris bagged a double MBA from the London School of Economics and the New York University Stern School of Business. She also acquired certifications in Fintech, Algorithmic Trading and Advanced Risk and Portfolio Mgt from the University of Oxford. This is in addition to advanced training in some of the best Corporations in finance such as Goldman Sachs, Citibank and the London Academy of Trading, building her capacity in Advanced Financial Engineering and Data Science for Finance. In 2002, she made a career shift from the medical profession to the banking industry, rising astronomically to become the General Manager of Zenith Bank Plc charged with various critical functions which include Fixed Income and Currency Trading, Asset and Liability Management, Treasury Corporate Sales, and Financial Institutions. She was responsible for the bank’s investment strategy, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and managing risks. Her banking career kickstarted in the Human Resources and Training department, before venturing into Treasury in 2011 where She successfully handled roles in trading Fixed Income and Currencies, and eventually became a Treasurer at Zenith Bank.
In 2021, she later become the youngest commissioner in Imo state under the leadership of Governor, Hope Uzodinma. During her tenure as a commissioner, Dr. Uzoka displayed her dexterity in finance laced with exceptional interpersonal skills, which she acquired through her human resources training. These skills have been instrumental in managing the diverse local and international relationships required in her role which saw Imo State grow in finance.
As a member of CFA Society Global, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and Fellow Chartered Institute of Banking. She is also a Fellow, of the Institute of Credit Administration, Fellow, of Corporate Administration of Nigeria, Member Federal Accountability and Allocation and Member, Financial Market Dealers Association of Nigerian Banks, she is set to bring all critical stakeholders on board in her drive to ensure Nigeria grows in its trade and industry sector inline with the vision and mission of the president for the country.
Barr. Nyesome Wike
His Excellency Barr. Nyesome Ezewo Wike has over the years proved to be a man who loves the development of his people. As a grass root politician, he graduated through the different classes of politics as a Local Government Chairman, Chief of Staff to the governor, Minister for State for Education, Governor of Rivers and now his Nomination as Minister for FCT by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration. Very dogged and a tough politician, Wike has shown the world that he is a force politically with his political prowess as he displayed at the just concluded presidential election. He was able to make his stand on Presidency’s return to the South and worked for the actualisation regardless of party affiliation. In the same vein, he also worked for the reelection of his successor which further cement his place as a force in Rivers politics and Nigeria at large. As governor of Rivers, he ensured infrastructural renewal in all nooks and crannies as he worked till his very last days in office as Governor. He constructed roads, hospitals, and schools among others which further cemented his name in gold in river politics. His addition as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT will further place him as one of the few ministers to watch out for as he is set to replicate his magic wand as Rivers Governor to the FCT. He will bring into bear his strength in building roads and infrastructure to strengthen the FCT and also enable a more beautiful outlook for the seat of power in the country. Wike is set to hit the ground running as he will not relent in working to bring the president’s administration to a positive scorecard with his knowledge.
Engr. David Umahi
Engineer Senator David Nweze Umahi is not a pushover when it comes to Nigeria’s political landscape. As governor of Ebonyi State, his performance can never go unnoticed. Taking a trip around the state will further show the level of development that the state witnessed under his watch. He never failed to display his knowledge as an engineer in the infrastructural development of the state with the quality of construction among others. As governor, he invested heavily to ensure the state enters the map. He also made his mark with the construction of an airport which is today adjudged one of the most beautiful in modern times with installations of modern aviation equipment that makes the smooth running of an airport. With the construction of many state roads, Umahi ensured Ebonyi never lagged behind. As an engineer, he is bringing onboard his wide knowledge as a seasoned engineer that will corroborate the quality of infrastructure in the country and also ensure that as minister for works; the development of key infrastructure that will contribute to the socio-economic of the country is carried out. With his sterling performance as Deputy Governor and Governor of Ebonyi, he will be one of the super ministers to watch out for as he will dazzle in the role ascribed to him by President Tinubu.
Dr. Bosun Tijani
Dr Olatubosun Tijani who is the minister for Communications Innovation and digital economy is no doubt a passionate youth who is concerned about the growth of the country. He has previously vituperated his anger on the state of the nation on social media platforms which was used against him during his screening but he explained that his anger and frustration was borne out of his passion for Nigeria to grow and work like it should. His screening generated mixed reactions but after tendering his apology he became a cynosure of all eyes regardless of that he is a very brilliant chap who co-founded Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB).
Tijani is widely acknowledged for his role as an industry leader in the African technology ecosystem. He initiated the first visit of Mark Zuckerberg to Nigeria in August 2016, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2019 and 2023 and also hosted a fireside chat with Microsoft founder and co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates. This further places him as a voice in the innovation and technology sector as a significant game changer. After his screening, all eyes have been on him to replicate his magic in the industry to drive Nigeria from an analogue economy to a more digitised one with his ideas and network across the world. He is being tipped to digitalise Nigeria’s economy with innovative ways that will bring about more investors in technology into the country where Nigeria can produce more tech enthusiasts and also place Nigeria as a more tech hub across the continent. Bosun is on the radar as he is set to bring his experience in the sector to drive the economy to a more digitalized one and also to create more chances for the youths to thrive in tech.
Professor Ali Pate
Minister for Health; Professor Muhammad Ali Pate is a well-celebrated Nigerian physician and politician of Practice of Public Health Leadership in the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard University. He has previously served as the Global Director for Health, Nutrition and Population and also as Director of the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF) at the World Bank Group. Pate is also the former Minister of State for Health in Nigeria who understands the terrain owning to his pedigree. With Nigeria’s deficit in the public health system, Pate is looking to bring his knowledge of the landscape into play to reposition all health sectors to meet the global standard of practices and also reduce the brain drain in the medical profession. He is also one of the super ministers many are watching out for because of his solid pedigree in the health sector also as a member of various health bodies both locally and internationally. The Bauchi-born father of six is fully onboard to correct the wrongs in health care delivery in Nigeria and also looking to bring an end to the constant strike of medical personnel in the country. Pate will also help to draw the attention of various medical bodies to the need to [partner with Nigeria in ensuring its medical system functions optimally with the creation of more federal hospitals and also equipping it with modern types of equipment and adequate manpower. The Tinubu administration is more than confident that he will prosper and also bring into play his experience to ensure a more proficient healthcare system in Nigeria.
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