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Princess Modupe Ozolua Bags US President’s Lifetime Award

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Modupe Ozolua, a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and princess of the Benin Kingdom from Sabongida Ora, Edo State, Nigeria has received a lifetime achievement award from the United States President Joe Biden. The award presentation took place on Sunday in Houston, Texas.

According to Princess Ozolua’s publicists, Hamiltonstyle News & Views, “This is a great reward for Princess Modupe Ozolua’s lifelong commitment to helping humanity, as she received last Sunday, an award certificate and letter from the White House, personally signed by President Joe Biden.”

A Nigerian-American, Ozolua owned her first business in Los Angeles, California at the age of 21 before pioneering cosmetic surgery in Nigeria in 2001 at the age of 27 years. She has dedicated the last 19 years of her life to numerous charity milestones.

In 2003, she founded Empower 54, a US 501 C3, a non-profit organization which provides humanitarian aid in health, education and empowerment of women, girls and refugees; especially disadvantaged Africans across the continent. Late Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu was the Patron of Empower 54.

Prior to her latest honour by the seal of the US President, Princess Ozolua’s last 19 years of dedication to humanity have earned her many accolades, including One of Africa’s Leading Female Entrepreneurs by Elle Magazine (2015); One of 50 African Women Who Shape the African Continent, Elle Magazine (2016); Official Proclamation for Service to Humanity, City of Atlanta, Georgia, USA (2016); and Letter of Commendation for Service to Humanity from Governor Nathan Deal, Georgia, USA (2016).

Others are: Official Proclamation Declaring October 10, 2019 Princess Modupé Ozolua’s Day in Houston, Texas, USA (2019); Letter of Commendation from Mayor Sylvester Turner, City of Houston, Texas for Princess Ozolua’s Humanitarian Activities (2019); and One of Africa’s 100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria (2022). Ozolua’s latest US President’s award was presented on Sunday, February 19, 2023.

Responding to the honour done her by President Joe Biden, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, in a letter to Ozolua, signed by its Special Duties Head, Soso Muhammed, wrote: “Congratulations on the amazing news. The award is the recognition of your hard work, humility and commitment in your service to humanity.”

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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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Personality in Focus

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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