By Eric Elezuo
Humble, humane and extremely accommodating, Bayo Fatusin is one of Nigeria’s prolific entrepreneurs, busy building industries to absorb the crowd of unemployed youths and professionals. In this brief chat at one his hotels, House J, situated at the highbrow GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, he highlighted what it means to be fulfilled, saying the happiness of the common man on the street is the only reason one can confidently say he is fulfilled among many other ground breaking revelations. Excerpts:
Can we meet you sir?
My name is Bayo Fatusin. I am an entrepreneur. I am from Ondo town in Ondo State. Among the many institutions I attended is the University of Lagos where I studied History and Strategic Studies. I am a practicing Christian, and I believe in God.
What kind of business are you into, and can you itemize it?
I will rather say we, because I am never alone and I can’t do it alone. So, we are into Construction, Real Estate, Agriculture; and as you know agriculture is the new frontier in Africa now, and we are investing heavily in it. Also, we are into hospitality among many other businesses I do for now.
As a business man in Nigeria, what are the challenges?
Doing business in Nigeria is a huge task, and the challenges are enormous, especially when you talk about power, funding and the likes. But what can we do, we believe in the system; we believe in Nigeria, and we believe in what we can do for our people. Therefore, we would stay and work things out until it gets better and better.
Most businesses have folded up as a result of the harsh economic realities, but your organizations are still standing strong. In what way have you been able to surmount these challenges?
By being proactive and continually thinking out of the box. The change we are talking about must practically start from us; within our own establishments – meaning that we have to be a good example to our staff, and we have to advice them to be good example to others and do the right thing. We know the government cannot take care of everything, so the need to support the government has made us refuse to give up. We are supporting the government with the use of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs). And of course with a lot of social corporate responsibility initiatives to affect the general public as well as making sure that we build and educate people.
While other companies were downsizing and relieving workers of their jobs as the recession bites harder, none of your organizations was reported to have sacked staff. How were you able to retain your workforce during the recession?
That credit belongs to God for not allowing us to retrench our staff during the recession. Moreover, discipline was our watchword, and we tell ourselves the whole truth. There was no room for waste in our system, and a lot of sacrifices were made. We insisted on prudency, and cut down on unnecessary cost and spending; that was how we managed ourselves out of the recession period. Whatever we don’t need, we don’t go for it, and we only sort what we needed. And to the glory of God we are still standing today.
How many people have you empowered as part of your corporate social responsibility?
We are busy creating more employments, and we do that by creating more businesses, and looking for ways to create more businesses. And it is for this reason that we recently diversified into agriculture, and through this, we will be able able to employ close to another 1000 citizens of Nigeria.
Which area of agriculture did you invest in?
We are into poultry, rice and cassava farming. We are also into processing and export. Our base is in Ondo and Oyo states.
Having traveled around the world, which country gives you more insight and inspiration?
I will say the United States of America. Again, Asia, more especially Singapore, inspires me too because of their rapid development. Singapore is one country you can credit with will power because they were once like us. I think the credit should go more to their leaders. To me, Singapore is an inspiration.
Do you believe we have leadership problem in Nigeria?
I am not a politician, and the Bible says we should pray for our leaders (laughs).
You are not a politician now, but is there any possibility of becoming one in the future?
I don’t know, and I can’t tell because business is my calling for now. But if at the end of the day, God says I have to serve my people, I will. I can’t take any step without God.
Based on the CSR you are committed to, and the assistance you are known to have provided, is it not possible for your people to invite you to come and lead them?
I still must consult with my God before I take such decision. If I do anything without God, it means I am ready to bear the consequences if anything happens. I won’t take any step without God. The truth of the matter is that I am not even thinking of any political position unless God approves it for me. All I am doing to make life easier for the people is what I am doing presently. Also I am creating jobs to get people off the street, and put food on their table. When that time comes; when we get to that bridge, we will definitely cross it.
Where do you see this agricultural sector you are investing in, in the next 5 years?
Like I said, it is the next frontier for Nigeria, and in the next five years with the way our government is investing in agriculture presently, I believe it will take us to the next level, because when we are able to feed ourselves; stop the importation of rice and other produce, then we are okay.
One of your business organizations is named House J, what does it mean?
It means House of Joseph.
Your background has nothing to with hospitality, how did you get into hotel business?
It is a passion. I have passion for hospitality even before I came into the industry. This is my passion in life. Far back in those days, my home was just about entertainment, and I’d always known I will make it a business.
You are known to hold fellowships in your establishment on a regular basis unlike most entrepreneurs, what prompted the routine?
This is because God is my only source and my pillar, and always at my back. Not only do I hold fellowships regularly on Thursdays, every Monday, I fellowship with my staff and every first day of the month, we give glory to God; and give praises to Him. And as you can see, business men come from far and wide between 12 and 1 every Thursday just to sing Hosanna to God, because He is the owner of our life; without God I am nothing. And with God, I am everything.
Is there a possibility that these weekly or daily fellowships can lead to a full blown ministry someday because of the passion you have for God?
I really don’t know, but if God says we will operate on that level, who am I to say no… (laughs).
How many children do you have now?
I have four children; four beautiful girls. The eldest is 24, the second is 21, the third is 19, and the youngest is 10 years old.
So, as a busy businessman, how do you relax?
I engage in sports like track and field, and tennis.
When you are not doing your business or engaging in spots, what do you do?
I relax. I read my Bible; I study the Word of God, and that relaxes me more because I want to know Him more, I want to know about what happened in the ancient times. I want to know how to have solid relationship with my creator. So, that gives me peace. Every time I am with Him, I find peace and I enjoy that a lot.
Do you hold a position in church and which church do you attend?
Not at all, I am a catholic. I am not a pastor, but I am a deep believer in the Word of God.
Can you name the people who can be called your product, I mean those you have empowered to stand on their own today?
Uncountable! I can’t mention names; my religion will not allow me to do that.
So, what are we expecting from you in the nearest future?
By the grace of God, to build more businesses; I am looking forward to a day I will have like 10,000 staff, and that will make me really happy.
And are your businesses spread across Nigeria?
Yes. We are in Lagos, Ondo, Oyo and Abuja.
How many languages do you speak?
Three. I speak Igbo, Yoruba and English.
How did Igbo come about?
My late mom is from the East
FirstBank’s Ani-Mumuney Honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award in Ghana
By Eric Elezuo
Chairperson, FBNInsurance Brokers and Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited as well as Vice President, World Federation of Advertisers, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award at the 2019 Marketing World Awards held in Ghana.
The Marketing World Awards (MWA) is known to recognise outstanding performances by individuals and corporate organisations across the marketing communications industry in Africa.
Folake Ani-Mumuney bagged the prestigious award having delivered superior product values to the market, exhibited excellence in upholding concrete marketing strategies, displayed uniqueness and conveyed clear message to its consumers. She without doubt stood out among competitors thereby deserving of her recognition, award and celebration.
Popularly called FAM by admirers, Mrs. Ani-Mumuney has put in over 25 years in the world of marketing communications across various industries globally.
With a great personality that speaks for itself, she is widely respected and admired for her wit and intelligence.
Ani-Mumuney is not new to awards and recognition as her career is one big story in excellence and achievements.
Like Ani-Mumuney, FirstBank has also been in limelight of awards and honours. The bank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years.
Jeff Bezos Now the Richest Man in the World
After the markets closed Friday, Forbes says Jeff is now worth $109.9 billion, moving him back ahead of Bill and his $105.8 billion net worth.
Briefly, before his Amazon stock increased, he was at number 2, looking up to Bill Gates. His drop in rank previously could be as a result of this year’s costly divorce with ex-wife MacKenzie, who took a huge chunk of his fortune.
MacKenzie’s net worth now stands at $32.7 billion, placing her among the top 20 in the world.
David Ibiyeomie: Celebrating God’s Vision for Global Impact @57
By Eric Elezuo
Have you ever seen a man diligent in his work? Do you know he will sit at table with kings and not mean men. He will do wonders and positively affect men and the world in general. One man at the height of such achievement is Pastor David Ibiyeomie, who by every standard, as the Bible would say, is the son of Bishop David Oyedepo, himself the son of Pastor Enoch Adeboye. Of a truth, Pastor David Ibiyeomie has an enviable gyneology and pedigree.
Born on October 21, 1962 in Bonny Island, Rivers State, to the family of late Chief and Mrs. Apollos Iganibo of Bolo Town in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria, David Ibiyeomie has grown by limps and bounds to become today, one of the reference points of world’s gospel generals, impacting lives and bringing hope and succour to God’s children.
From the earliest humble beginnings, Pastor Ibiyeomie has steadily seen the need to attain great heights, and so he also fashioned his way academically. He attended Banham Primary School Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria between 1969 and 1974 before he went to Government Comprehensive Secondary School, Borikiri, Rivers State, Nigeria, where he was from 1974 to 1979. Thereafter, he was admitted into the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt for a degree Course in Microbiology in 1980.
Pastor Ibiyeomie saw the light of salvation in 1995 when he became born again. Shortly after he gave his life to Christ, a divine mandate was handed over to him, and being so obedient to the kingdom, he put every mechanism in motion to actuaslise the mandate. And with a super daddy in the person of Bishop David Oyedepo, whose divine guidance and training was made manifest, today he is a thoroughbred Pastor and teacher of the Gospel.
Under the tutelage of Bishop Oyedepo, Pastor Ibiyeomie continued his education, this time, on a higher spiritual level. He attended full time Bible School at the Word of Faith Bible Institute, operated by Oyedepo’s Living Faith Church, the same year he became born again. That was where he was greatly influenced by the Ministry’s standards and impact.
After his Bible School training at WOFBI, Ibiyeomie started a house fellowship with his family in Victoria Island, Lagos home. However, he moved to Port Harcourt, Rivers State, later and established Salvation Ministries (Glorious Chapel) precisely on April 13, 1997. It was a congregation of just 34 members including himself and wife. The mandate was clear: TO ESTABLISH THE KINGDOM OF GOD HERE ON EARTH through infallible proofs.
In a space of three months, the grace of God in Pastor Ibiyeomie was already manifesting, and the ‘church’ moved to a larger plot of land on Plot 17 Birabi Street, GRA Phase 1, Port Harcourt where about 100,000 attendees worship every Sunday alone. This is excluding it’s satelite branches spread across the length and breath of the universe. Of all Ibiyeomie’s expansion move, it was reported that In February 2011, the church started 14 satellite branches in one day, all running five services each. That was a new record in the history of church growth. The ministry will soon implement a seven services programme every Sunday. According to Ibiyeomie, the plan has been perfected according to God’s dictates and will kick off soonest.
In just 22 years of existence, Pastor Ibiyeomie and the ministry have practically become a phenomenon and reference point to the world. Today, David Ibiyeomie pastors millions of worshippers spread all over the globe through his television ministry, online ministration and with over 180 satellite churches within and outside the country and over 300 pastors assisting him.
A selfless leader, Ibiyeomie is a father to the millions of worshippers that throng the Salvation Ministry ground every Sunday, Thursday and other special events days. He is not just a father by sound, he is indeed a father; meeting the needs of members whenever they arise. It is on record that he kind of live on equal basis with his pastors as practically all of them drive the same kind of jeep he drives, and equally own houses. He provided residential quarters, equipped with state of the art facilities for the staff and pastors’ comfort such as GLORIOUS COURT, SUCCESS COURT, KINGS COURT and TEACHERS QUARTERS. He is a giver par excellence.
It is worthy of note that Ibiyeomie has remained systematic in bringing to past God’s instruction towards expanding His kingdom. To this end, he changed his indoor healing miracle programme tagged “HEALING MIRACLE AND DELIVERANCE SERVICE which started in August 2001 to PORT HARCOURT MIRACLE CRUSADE in November 2003. The programme was remodeled to NIGHT OF Glory in 2010 and in January 2012, the NIGHT OF GLORY programme metamorphosed into the 5NIGHTS OF GLORY. It has today become a household programme all-round the globe. In addition, he holds crusades in different major cities of the world where souls are continually won and miracles abound. The most recent is the Aba Miracle Crusade.
With an unquenchable love for education, Ibiyeomie runs one of the best Christian schools in the region; Chockhmah International Academy; the primary and secondary educational arm of Salvation Ministries. He is also putting finishing touches to the opening of the PACE-SETTERS UNIVERSITY.
The ministry also runs The WORD OF LIFE BIBLE INSTITUTE to cater for the spiritual needs of not only members, but all and sundry. The school is reputed to have produced thousands of scholars across denominations since inception.
Papa, as he is fondly called by members who adore him, has not hidden the fact that he is a very rich pastor. He has also not hidden the source of his enduring wealth, and uses every opportunity to teach members how to be wealthy. To him, you only have to give to be super rich – give God unsparingly and unconditionally, and also give to humanity.
His passion to see humanity flourish has seen him awarding scholarships to 634 students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in one year. He has also renovated and donated modern hospital equipment worth over two hundred thousand US Dollars to the pediatric section of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) Nigeria; creating a wonderful ambiance to expedite the recovery of the patients .
He also rebuilt the fence of the Central State Primary School, Igwuruta and reconstructed several roads in the city of Port Harcourt to make the environment more habitable. He has in the same vein, built a state-of-the-art home for the elderly in Port Harcourt. Ibiyeomie’s humanitarian services can only be imagined. He has practically superceded the concept of giving.
His unquenchable desire to see that humanity is well catered for on a more larger scale metamorphosed in the establishment of the David Ibiyeomie Foundation (DIF) through which he has rendered untold assistance to thousands. In a space of less than one year, that is between 2018 and 2019, the giver extra-ordinaire has spent over N1.5 billion on scholarships alone. Here is a man who has redefined the concept of giving and brotherly love.
Apart from a preacher and teacher of the Word, Ibiyeomie is a writer of repute, and credited with over 85 inspirational books cutting across all strata of living. Some of them are Dealing with Habits, Enjoying the Favour of God, Secrets for Generational Impact, Total Dominion, The Power of Praise, The Real You, How to Hear from God, The Power of Small Beginning, How Faith Works, Touch of Excellence, How to Fulfill Your Destiny, The Power of Obedience, Prosperity of the Righteous, Business Secrets, The Wonders of Wisdom, The Power of Resurrection, Wisdom for Creativity, Attitude for Supernatural Supplies, The Totality of Man, Keys to Impactful Living, See You at the Top, The Pathway to Greatness, The Power of Commitment, Wisdom to See Ahead, The Price for Power, The Prosperous Family, Walking in the Anointing, Be the Best, Success Pillars and Demonstrating Love for Your Nation.
He is the quintessential evidence to God’s vision towards global impact.
He is happily married to Peace Ibiyeomie, and they are blessed with a son, David Ibiyeomie jr.
Today, the man with a stupendous vision to turn the world around for Christ is 57 years, and we can’t just keep quiet but clink glasses and give God Glory for all He has done. We are so privilege to have an Ibiyeomie in this age and time.
Congratulations sir, and happy glorious birthday!