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Access Holdings Appoints Bolaji Agbede As Acting CEO

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Access Holdings Plc on Monday announced the appointment of Ms. Bolaji Agbede as the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer.

This follows the death of its former Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Herbert Wigwe.

Wigwe died in a helicopter crash alongside his wife, son, and a former chairman of the Nigeria Exchange Group, Abimboloa Ogunbanjo on Friday

A statement made by the company’s Board of Directors and dated February 12, 2024, stated that the appointment was subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Further to its announcement dated February 11, 2024, the Board of Directors of Access Holdings Plc (‘the Company’) has today announced the appointment of Ms Bolaji Agbede as the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of the Company following the unfortunate demise of its former Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Herbert Wigwe, on February 9, 2024.

“The appointment is subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” the statement read in part.

Agbede who joined Access Bank in 2003 as an Assistant General, has nearly three decades of professional experience cutting across banking and business consultancy services.

She served in different roles at the bank including, Head, Group Human Resources between 2010 and 2022 before she was appointed the company’s founding Executive Director, Business Support in 2022, a role she held until her new appointment.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos and a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Cranfield University UK in 2002.

She is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Management UK and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria.

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Personality in Focus

Aare Emmanual-King Celebrates Muslim Faithful, Harps on Peaceful Co-existence

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The Chairman and Group Managing Director of Adron Homes and Properties, Aare Adetola Emmanuel-King has extended warm wishes to the Muslim community as they celebrate the annual Eid-Al-Adha festival throughout the country. He emphasizes the importance of peaceful coexistence, religious tolerance, and prayers for the country’s development, urging all religious leaders to embrace these values.

In a statement signed by His Special Adviser on Media, Oladapo Sofowora; Aare Adetola encouraged all Muslims to stay committed to their faith and utilize the celebration as an opportunity to contribute to Nigeria’s development during these challenging economic times. Additionally, he calls on opinion leaders and religious bodies to use the festival as a platform to pray for our leaders to guide the nation towards prosperity and stability, fostering a flourishing economy and a secure environment.

He said; “ I want to implore opinion leaders and religious bodies in the country to use the occasion of the festival to pray for our leaders to guide us right and put the country on the path of prosperity. When the country is stable, celebration will be seamless and made possible. We need to pray for a more flourished economy and a secure country to ensure we have a smooth sail and bounce back into winning ways.”

The Ilishan-Remo Born Property mogul further advocates for unity among all religions to work towards common goals of development, prosperity, peace, justice, and equity and encourages religious bodies to hold leaders accountable while celebrating in peace. Aare Adetola highlights that peace is fundamental for development and progress, as a nation in distress can breed negative outcomes and hinder growth. He urges everyone to promote positive virtues that will contribute to Nigeria’s greatness.

“I want to use this moment to ask our religious bodies to use this occasion to hold our leaders accountable and also celebrate in peace because when there is peace; development will surely thrive. A country in distress will breed all vices of malevolent and stunted growth. Let’s use this medium to promote all vices that will make Nigeria greater again.” He concluded.

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Tinubu Appoints Yakubu As DG, Budget Office, Drops Akabueze

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr. Tanimu Yakubu as the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, following the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Ben Akabueze.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, on Thursday.

Yabuku is an accomplished economist and Chief Economic Adviser to a former President from 2007 to 2010; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria from 2003 to 2007, and Commissioner of Finance, Budget, and Economic Planning in Katsina State from 1999 to 2003.

The new Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Wagner College, Staten Island, New York, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the same institution.

The statement noted that President Tinubu thanked the outgoing Director-General, Mr. Akabueze, for his services and wished him success in his future endeavours.

“The President expects the new Director-General of this pivotal agency to further enhance the provision of efficient and qualitative budget functions, with a view to promoting fiscal sustainability, transparency, and accountability in public finance management for national development,” it added.

Akabueze was first appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari as a Special Adviser Planning (SAP) to the President on February 15, 2016, and later redeployed and appointed as DG Budget, June 10, 2016.

Buhari renewed Akabueze’s appointment as the DG of Budget Office in 2020.

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Onyeali-Ikpe Makes MIPAD’s List of Global Top 100 Trade Champions of African Descent

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In acknowledgment of her outstanding impact on global trade, Dr. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, has been recognized as one of the honorees in the 2024 Most Influential Global Top 100 Export and International Trade Edition.
Themed, “Championing the Vision of Global Africa as a Unified Economic Block and Single Market,” the initiative which was announced on May 25, 2024 in celebration of Global Africa Day, lists several leaders in the global trade space of African descent, including the President, African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah,); Minister of Trade and Export Promotion, Algeria, H.E. Kamel Rezig;  Chairman, World Trade Centre Accra, Ghana, H.R.H Togbe Afede; the Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite; Executive Director and CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (Nigeria), Nonye Ayeni; Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank (IATB), Kanayo Awani; Director, Trade Development (Africa & Caribbean), World Trade Centre Miami, US, Kemi Arosanyin; Secretary of State for Business and Trade and President of the Board of Trade (United Kingdom/Nigeria), Kemi Badenoch; President, US-Africa Business Centre at US Chamber of Commerce, Kendra Gaither; and President of the Buenaventura Chamber of Commerce (Colombia), Milady Garces Arboleda.
According to a statement by Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD), the organisers of the initiative, “These honorees are recognized for their groundbreaking achievements in Trade & Export and are called upon to champion the vision of a unified Global Africa as an economic block. This recognition aligns with the ethos of the International Decade for People of African Descent, highlighting MIPAD’s ongoing commitment to celebrating individuals, organizations, and governments demonstrating outstanding leadership in advancing people of African descent globally.”
Commenting on the initiative, Dr Onyeali-Ikpe said, “This recognition demonstrates our market leadership in the international trade space at Fidelity Bank and our devotion to helping Nigerian businesses play a more active role in the global trade space.
Since 2022, we have hosted the largest private-sector driven trade expo tagged the Fidelity International Trade and Creative Connect (FITCC) with hundreds of export businesses from Nigeria, off-takers in the UK and USA, investors, regulators, media and other key stakeholder in the trade sector. Through FITCC, we have closed deals totaling $450million. Our commitment as a bank is to do more in this space and we thank MIPAD for the recognition.”
The Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD), is a global civil society initiative in support of the International Decade for People of African Descent, proclaimed by United Nation’s General Assembly resolution 68/237, to be observed from 2015 to 2024. MIPAD identifies high achievers of African descent in public and private sectors from all around the world as a progressive network of relevant actors to join together in the spirit of recognition, justice and development.
Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank with over 8.3 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.
The bank has won multiple local and international awards including the Export Finance Bank of the Year at the 2023 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards, the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards; Best Bank for SMEs in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023; and Best Domestic Private Bank in Nigeria by the Euromoney Global Private Banking Awards 2023.
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