By Eric Elezuo
One of the basic achievements of the Beijing Women Conference of 1995 was creating untold courage among women who are determined and committed to making a paradigm shift towards affecting humanity for the positive reasons. One of such women is the strong woman at Nigeria’s foremost bank, First Bank, in the person of Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, who is the General Manager as well as sits atop Marketing and Corporate Communication department of the bank.
Ani-Mumuney, simply known as Folake or FAM by friends and well-wishers, is a humble combination of beauty, brains and workaholism. She is a stress-free achiever, who also chairs the Board of Directors of the insurance arm of the group.
Born to the family of late erudite former Medical Director of the National Orthopedic Hospital, Dr. Francis Owosina, who served between 1977 and 1989, Folake could very well be said to be a chip off the old block, striding in the very transparent footsteps of her forebears. Her father is reputed to have developed the modernised general and specialised Orthopaedic and Emergency Services department of the hospital in addition to introducing hip replacement and spinal surgery when he held sway in the hospital. He was also the brain behind the recognition of the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi as a World Health Organisation collaborating centre in 1979 as well as establishing the Post Basic Nursing School and the Residency programme in Orthopaedics.
Versatile and very prolific, Folake holds a degree in Philosophy and Law and also a diploma in Business Computing System Analysis and Design in addition to several management certificates and affiliation to many professional bodies.
She began her prolific and illustrious career with the British Airways, where she was responsible for Brands Policies and Communications across Europe and African region comprising 59 countries. She was practically running 59 countries, more than the size of the African continent at a time. It could only be as a result of her doggedness and desire to be the best one can be. She equally managed portfolios as Business Analyst, Strategy & Business Planning Manager, New Business Development Manager and Head marketing & Communications Manager Africa. And she was quite young then – a typical example of not too young to run product.
Her dexterity attracted the presence of the richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who promptly co-opted her into the group. Bringing her experiences to bear, she initiated the speedy turnaround of Dangote Industries as its Chief Marketing and Communication Officer. Her days at Dangote are remembered with fondness for the giant strides she took.
It was from Dangote that Ani-Mumuney moved to First Bank where she presently serves as Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications and General Manager. She is known to be the brain behind the meteoritic rise in the fortunes of the bank as she continuously dishes out one form of market oriented policy after another.
It is not for granted therefore, that her prolific nature was rewarded in 2017 when she emerged as the 10th President of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria in a keenly contested election. She therefore made history as the first female president of the association. Folake is known for creating firsts.
Between September 2017 when she took over the mantle of leadership of the association and today, Folake has walked her talk, creating a level playing ground for stakeholders as well as room for profit maximization in members’ respective businesses. Her intelligence and willingness to positively affect lives have remained her propelling philosophy to greater heights.
In the testimonies of those who had been privileged to work with her or just come across her, Folake is a quintessential enigma, down to earth and full of respect – a virtue she confessed to receiving from her disciplinarian parents – her late father and her still bubbling over 80 years mother.
With the likes of Wasiu Abiola of Nigerian Breweries, Nkiru Olumide Ojo of Stanbic IBTC, Nnena Osi Anugwa and Onome Asgbara of Dufil Prima on the driving wheels with her, Ani-Mumuney has been able to steer the progress of ADVAN forward, initiating new vistas and building on the achievement of the past executives.
The communication and marketing expert, who has conquered the fields of aviation, manufacturing and banking, was recently appointed to chair the insurance brokers’ arm of the group, FBN Insurance Brokers, while maintaining her position. Her appointment was contained in a notification to the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), shareholders and the general public. Her elevation is a function of ability and trust.
A philanthropist of immeasurable standard, Folake has engaged in veritable corporate social responsibility, including individual based assistance to persons and communities. She is known to have put smiles on the faces of everyone that has come across her in one way or another, and has a retinue of gratitude in the bargain.
Folake is happily married with lovely children who are gradually carving a niche for themselves in their various little ways.
Ma, for being who you are (intelligent, productive and humane) and striving to make life bearable for as many people, you are our Boss of the Week. Congratulations!
Guinean Military Junta Dissolves Government, Seals Country’s Borders
Guinea’s military junta, which took power through a coup in September 2021, has officially dissolved the government, as announced via a presidential decree read on state TV by the presidency’s Secretary General, Brig Gen Amara Camara.
The announcement was not followed by details regarding the rationale of this dissolution, or the timeline for establishing a new government.
As part of the dissolution, ministers in the now-dissolved government have been instructed to surrender their passports and official vehicles, and also given directives for their bank accounts to be frozen.
The junta has also directed security agencies to “seal” all of Guinea’s borders until the complete handover of government ministries to the junta.
According to Camara, during the interim period until a new government is appointed, lower-level officials will manage state ministries.
The dissolved government, led by Prime Minister Bernard Goumou, was appointed by coup leader Mamady Doumbouya, who led Guinea’s armed forces in overthrowing elected President Alpha Condé in September 2021. The coup came after a series of protests against Condé’s controversial bid for a third term.
Guinea, as well as several other countries in West and central Africa, including Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Gabon, have experienced coups in recent years. These coups have faced strong condemnation from West Africa’s regional bloc ECOWAS, the African Union, and the UN.
The junta and ECOWAS had earlier set a 24-month transition period, and Guinea is expected to hold elections to restore democratic rule within 10 months, as the transition period comes to an end.
Atiku’s Aide Accuses Tinubu’s Govt of Diverting Funds Through Fake Petrol Subsidy
Phrank Shaibu, a Special Assistant on Public Communication to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has alleged that the refusal of the Federal government to react to recent reports on the return of petrol subsidy shows that public funds have started going into private pockets.
Shaibu made the allegation through a statement while reacting to reports by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the Nigerian government has begun paying petrol subsidy again.
According to media reports, monthly subsidy payment is nearly N1 trillion, far in excess of exceeds the amount paid monthly by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Reacting to the allegation, Shaibu said it has become clear that one of the reasons the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has not been paying the required amount of money into the government’s account is because monies are being diverted under an opaque and secret subsidy regime.
He alleged: “Tinubu has been boasting at every economic forum that he deserves to be in the Guinness Book of records for removing petrol subsidy.
“He even said before ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ in New York last September that the ‘corrupt subsidy’ regime and FX issues had been resolved.
“But as every other thing relating to Tinubu, this has turned out to be another lie from the pit of hell. Currently, the exchange rate based on what the Central Bank of Nigeria recommended to the Nigeria Customs Service is N1515/$1.
“Hence diesel price is now over N1,200 but petrol is still selling for between N600 and N700.
“Nigeria is the only country in the world where such disparity between diesel and petrol exists. It has become obvious that petrol subsidy has returned through the backdoor.
“With the return of petrol subsidy, oil marketers have opted out and that is why the NNPC has returned to being the sole importer of petrol once more and has the temerity to be announcing that it will not increase petrol cost regardless of the international price of crude oil and the exchange rate.
“To be clear, petrol subsidy in itself is not a bad thing when it is done transparently.”
Shaibu added: “Former CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi, expressed shock last month that NNPC was still not remitting FX into government’s accounts.
“It is now obvious why this has been happening. Subsidy has returned but it is now being done in a corrupt and secret manner as funds are now being diverted into private pockets even worse than under Buhari. This is the Tinubu Lagos legacy from Lagos State.”
Shaibu said it was disappointing that the Finance Minister, Wale Edun; and CBN Governor, Yemi Cardoso, who both claimed to have gotten their appointments based on their expertise had failed to speak up but had continued to cover up the petrol subsidy.
He also alleged that the Tinubu government had continued to frustrate the takeoff of the Dangote refinery which would have at least reduced Nigeria’s FX demands.
“The media reported last week that lingering regulatory approvals have stalled Dangote Petrochemical Refinery’s plan to release aviation fuel (Jet A1) and diesel for sale in the Nigerian market.
“At the same time, Dangote refinery has been struggling to get the needed crude oil and has decided to import from the United States while the NNPC which has no business with monetary policy, committed Nigeria’s crude oil for a $3.3 billion Afreximbank loan ostensibly to stabilise the naira.
“It is obvious that Tinubu and his so-called economic team are quacks, charlatans who put their personal interest ahead of that of the country. With such Lilliputians at the helm of affairs, Nigeria’s economic woes are about to go from bad to worse,” Shaibu added.
UK Economy Slips into ‘Technical’ Recession
The United Kingdom slipped into a technical recession in the second half of last year after its economy registered two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, official figures have shown.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced through a statement on Thursday that Britain’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.3 percent in the last three months of 2023, after contracting 0.1 percent in the third quarter.
It meant that the economy entered a technical recession, as defined by two or more quarters in a row of falling GDP.
It marked the first time the UK had entered recession since the first half of 2020 when the initial COVID-19 lockdown sent the country’s economy plunging into reverse.
The figures dealt a blow to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who had promised to grow the economy as one of his five priorities.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said inflation and high-interest rates were behind the output fall but insisted the economy was turning a corner.
He said: “While interest rates are high so the Bank of England can bring inflation down low growth is not a surprise.
“But there are signs the British economy is turning a corner; forecasters agree that growth will strengthen over the next few years.
“Wages are rising faster than prices; mortgage rates are down and unemployment remains low.
“Although times are still tough for many families, we must stick to the plan of cutting taxes on work and business to build a stronger economy.”
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the Prime Minister’s promise to grow the economy was in tatters.
“The Prime Minister can no longer claim credibly that his plan is working or that he has turned the corner on more than 14 years of economic decline under the Conservatives that has left Britain worse off.
“This is Rishi Sunak’s recession and the news will be deeply worrying for families and businesses across Britain,’’ he said.