Entertainment and exclusivity have always stood out among its equals.
Here comes again Excellence Recognition Awards, a yearly event fashioned by the management of Global Excellence Communications Limited, publishers of Global Excellence magazine (‘oga for magazine’!) to honour individual, corporate and private achievements.
It’s going to be the 16th edition since it berthed exclusively in 2004.
Though, ERA, as the awards event has come to be known, is coming late in the year due to the challenge posed by the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown, it nonetheless promises to maintain its uniqueness in the art of celebrating excellence and achievements.
While ERA Awards credits excellence, it also inspires recipients to be more creative and ingenious in their respective callings.
Variety is the spice of life, they say, but it also is the spice of ERA show, as interesting combinations of traditional and unusual award categories do stir the passion and encourage future attendees.
Like every of its editions, while posing to increase the tempo, the 2020 edition coming up in October promises to also meet its objectives of increasing brand awareness and expanding thought leadership, given the quality of awardees and personalities that have given their Yes to attend.
Below as highlighted by the Editor, FOLORUNSHO HAMSAT, is a glimpse of what went down at the last Excellence Recognition Awards, which held on Sunday, March 24th, 2019 at The Balmoral event hall on Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos.
Businesses and personalities at the august shindig, received the prestigious ERA awards for their remarkable expertise.
READ ABOUT WINNERS AFTER THE NEXT CUT-
GOVERNOR OF THE YEAR- Ibikunle Amosun:
Senator Amosun, a Chartered Accountant stepped into the political space with the singular aim of giving back to humanity what God has endowed him with. He was elected into the Senate, the upper chamber of Nigeria’s National Assembly in April, 2003, representing Ogun Central Senatorial District.
On 29 May, 2011, Senator Amosun was sworn-in as the fourth elected Governor of Ogun State, having won the election held in April 2011. He contested on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). This party merged with other parties to form the All Progressives Congress (APC) in February 2013. He was re-elected for a second term of office on 11 April 2015 and duly sworn-in on 29 May 2015. Upon assumption of office as Governor of Ogun State, he outlined the Mission to Rebuild Agenda of his administration, which is anchored on a 5 point – Cardinal Programme: • Affordable and Qualitative Education • Efficient Health Care Delivery • Agricultural Production and Industrialization • Affordable Housing and Urban Renewal • Rural and Infrastructural Development / Employment Generation. These programmes are aimed at ensuring the welfare, prosperity and security of the citizenry and the State. Senator Amosun’s generosity and quest to uplift others transcend the award of scholarships. His administration has since recorded significant achievements in various critical sectors such as free education, stimulation of the investment environment, agriculture, women empowerment, security, massive infrastructural development and urban renewal.
MOST INSPIRING LEADERSHIP- Babajide Sanwoolu:
Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu’s appointment as Acting Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget less than a year after he joined the trail blazing administration of Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Special Adviser on Corporate Matters in 2004, took the political circuit unawares.
His appointment as the managing director of the Lagos State Development Property Corporation, LSDPC by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is a remarkable feat demonstrating that he is worthy to be called upon to add value to governance in the State.
His regal perch as CEO at LSDPC turned the fortunes of the Corporation around with increased innovation and efficiency. Babajide’s business process reengineering acumen enabled his task of reducing the housing deficit in Lagos State.
As an innovation and solution-driven mind, it is to his credit that the policy framework and structure that established the Lagos State Security Trust Fund was set up as a frontal solution to the security challenges of Lagos State. Babajide applied the same rigour of tackling security challenges in the State to untangle the chaotic public transportation problem by midwifing the setting up of Lagos Asset Management Limited, LAGBUS.
MOST PRODUCTIVE AGENCY- NPA:
Before the appointment of Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman as the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on July 12, 2016, the agency was in a state of disrepair. Riddled with the hydra-headed challenges of poor revenue generation, widespread corruption, redundant staff and overall inefficiency, the NPA was in less than excellent form. Two years after that historic appointment, Usman has changed the face of NPA through her exceptional leadership.
In the 2017 fiscal year, N299.56 billion revenue was generated, the highest figure in five years, exceeding the 2016 figure of N162.20 billion by 84.65 per cent. E-payment system for cost reduction, identification and blockage of revenue leakages were introduced, including unveiling of automated web-based billing and revenue collection system fully integrated with the Authority’s Oracle Financial module in Oracle E-Business Suite. The NPA also acquired Four 60-tonne buller-pull tug boats worth $30 million to attract larger vessels.
As with most government agencies in Nigeria at that time, the NPA was a cesspool of corruption but is now the first and only government agency to sign an open budget partnership with BudgIT. She also commissioned a comprehensive review of all concession agreements that violate due process and global best practices.
BANKER OF THE YEAR- Nnamdi Okonkwo:
Since assumption of office as MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank on January 1, 2014, Mr. Nnamdi J. Okonkwo has significantly transformed and grown the fortunes of the bank, implementing a digital banking strategy that has resulted in exponential growth across all business segments.
He is well experienced in all aspects of banking and has had a very successful banking career for nearly three decades. He started out at Merchant Bank for Africa and he later worked at Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), where he held various managerial and leadership positions. He was Head of Corporate Banking and Multinational Corporates Division, UBA Group, Managing Director, UBA Ghana and later Regional CEO of UBA’s West Africa Monetary Zone covering Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
In 2012, Nnamdi took advantage of an existing opportunity and joined Fidelity Bank as Executive Director, South with responsibilities for the Bank’s businesses in Southern Nigeria; a position he held until he was appointed Managing Director/CEO.
Under Nnamdi Okonkwo, Fidelity Bank has grown in leaps and bounds. Its Balance Sheet and income indicators, including deposits, loans, total assets, gross earnings and non-interest income can all attest to this. Prior to his assumption of office, profit before tax in 2013 was N9.03 billion; gross earnings stood at N126.92 billion; total assets, N1. 081 trillion, while total customer deposits were put at N806.32 billion. But all that have changed.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS-
Alhaji Kamorudeen Yusuf:
Alhaji (Dr.) Kamorudeen Ibitoye Yusuf was born on the 16th of October 1964 into the family of Mr. & Mrs. Ibitoye Yusuf of Iwo, Isin Local Government Area of Kwara State, Nigeria. He is Yoruba of Igbomina tribe stock that are well- known for being industrious and enterprising which makes them stand out as the baron of buying and selling in Nigeria.
Between 1987 and 1997, he became a foremost distributor to notable companies in the wire and steel industry in the country. The companies include Oscar James Nigeria Limited, Nigeria Wire Industry, Lagos, Adediran Steel &Wire Industry, Ilesa, Ola-Oluwa Aina Wire Industry, Osogbo, United Wire Industry, Kaduna and Eruka Metal Steel, Lagos. Through a dint of hard work, self-discipline and uncommon vision, Alhaji Kamorudeen Yusuf ventured into manufacturing in 1997 and his company began to produce nails and iron rods.
Within 10 years of productive activities, he favourably competed against local and foreign producers of nails and nail-products and by 2008, he became the leading producer of nails and nail-products in Nigeria. The Company, Kam Industries Nigeria Limited has also emerged as one of the largest employers of labour in Kwara State. He is the first Nigerian manufacturer to successfully produce Galvanized Roofing Nail in West Africa. In form of a vertical integration, Alhaji (Dr.) Kamorudeen Yusuf has established a factory producing Zinc and Coloured Coated Roofing sheets. He is the first African to build the largest Integrated Cold Roll Steel Mill Complex in Nigeria. He also recently completed a manufacturing factory for the production of Stone Coated Roofing Sheets, the first of its kind in Nigeria.
In October 2008, Alhaji (Dr.) Kamorudeen Yusuf consolidated his business relationship with his Chinese business friends. He established two companies in Wuxi, China. The company, Kam Industries (Wuxi) Limited is a prominent producer of nail washers in China while Wuxi Kam Import and Export Company Limited exports to Nigeria and very soon to other parts of the world.
As one of the outstanding indigenous industrialists contributing immensely to nation-building, Alhaji (Dr.) Kamorudeen Ibitoye Yusuf was graciously honoured and appointed by the Federal Government as a member of the Nigerian Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council in May 2017.
His company, Kam Industries is the first to successfully produce galvanized roofing nail in West Africa. The company also produces zinc and coloured roofing sheets. Kam Industries with head office in Ilorin also recently ventured into another line by establishing the Kam Integrated Steel Company, Jimba-Oja. The new plant is a 200,000 mtpa Steel Melt Shop with two Rolling Mills Complex, when it begins operation, it would produce high grade (SAE 1006 and SAE 1008) 5.5mm steel wire rods in coils and ASTM 615 and BS 449 Rebars of 12mm – 32mm diameters.
LOCAL GOVT. CHAIRMAN OF THE YEAR- Hon. Adeniyi Saliu:
Hon. Saliu Adeniyi Rasak, a member of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) and Chairman of Eredo Local Council Development Area, (LCDA), Lagos State, was born 40-something years ago at Igbooye, Eredo, Epe, Lagos State. He had his first degree from the prestigious University of Lagos, Akoka. He also holds a Masters’ degree in managerial psychology from the same university.
Since he was elected into office, Hon. Saliu has been running an open, equitable and responsive government, with the objective to deliver dividends of democracy not just to people but also to deliver them at every doorstep in Eredo local government.
Before he assumed office, Hon. Saliu through his Human Development Initiative Programme had organized and trained hundreds of registered participants from across the five political wards in various vocational skills who were equally well equipped and certified.
The first 100 days of Hon. Saliu’s administration witnessed rapid developments in every area of governance, including health, education, empowerment, agriculture, security, infrastructure, foreign investment and tourism.
SPEAKER OF THE YEAR- Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa:
Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa’s journey into politics began in 1999 during the new democratic dispensation orchestrated by the administration of Gen. Abdulsallam Abubakar which ushered in the formation of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). He contested for the post of councillor for Ward E in the old Agege Local Government, which he won.
In the years after, he aspired to represent his people of Agege Constituency 1 at the Lagos State House of Assembly, the leading state parliament in Nigeria, which he won also on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).
The same mandate has been renewed three times consecutively by his constituents because of his qualitative representation, feedback ability and above all the courageous disposition to serve his people meritoriously.
Rt. Hon. Obasa was unanimously elected as Speaker of the Lagos State 8th House of Assembly on June 8, 2015.
As Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Obasa has impacted positively on the Assembly with laudable landmark achievements. He was elected Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria in August, 2018.
GOVERNMENT AGENCY OF THE YEAR- N I P O S T
The Nigeria Postal Service department came into being with the establishment of the Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) in January, 1985. Thus far, NIPOST has been able to achieve its core objects of providing affordable, reliable and efficient postal service nationwide and worldwide, and ensure the delivery of mails within the following stipulated time: Intra-city in 24 hours, Inter-city in 48 hours and nationwide within 72 hours.
From its core operations in 2017, available data showed that NIPOST generated a total of N7.04bn, with another N13.58bn generated from electronic stamp sales, the postal organization, making a total of N20.62bn in the 2017 fiscal year.
In 2018, NIPOST launched the pilot phase of its Agency Banking service to aid financial inclusion and bank the unbanked across its vast network of outlets in Nigeria in collaboration with Wema Bank.
The solution named ‘Easy Life’ was launched in-line with NIPOST’s bid to leverage new-age technology in order to enable it to serve Nigerians more efficiently and become an institution that will be integral to everyday life of Nigerians through valuable services.
Under the leadership of Mr. Bisi Adegbuyi, the Post Master-General, NIPOST, had been involved in diversification plan of the government, drawing a four-year corporate strategic plan from 2017 to 2020. One of such strategies is the National Addressing System on which NIPOST is partnering with Nigeria Identity Management Commission, Federal Road Safety Commission, Nigerian Communications Commission and some banks.
BANK OF THE YEAR- Access Bank:
Access Bank Plc is a full service commercial Bank operating through branches and service outlets located in major centres across Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa as well as the United Kingdom, with representative offices in China, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai). The Bank provides a wide range of banking and other financial services to over 10 million customers from 400 branches and service centres with total assets of ₦4.6trillion, all as at September 30, 2018.
Access Bank is one of the five largest banks in Nigeria in terms of assets, loans and deposits, and is ranked as one of Africa’s top 20 banks by total assets and capital. The Bank’s strategy focuses on the pursuit of building sustainable practices, innovation, superior service delivery and employee empowerment.
Access Bank Plc is publicly listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Bank’s debt instruments are listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Irish Stock Exchange. The Bank’s financial products and services include corporate and trade finance operations, treasury and investment services, retail banking products and services (including current and savings accounts, credit cards, automated teller machine (“ATM”) services, electronic banking and retail lending), money market activities and private banking services/wealth management.
As part of its continued growth strategy, Access Bank is focused on mainstreaming sustainable business practices into its operations. The Bank strives to deliver sustainable economic growth that is profitable, environmentally responsible and socially.
POLITICIAN OF THE YEAR- Ademola Adeleke:
Senator Ademola Adeleke a.k.a. Imole was born in Ede, Osun State. His entrepreneurship life started in the United States of America as MD of quicksaver courier company and origin international Atlanta, USA.
Consistent with the traits of the Adeleke Dynasty as epitomized by his late brother and mentor, Alhaji Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke (Serubawon) Senator Ademola Adeleke is an ardent lover of humanity, a crusader for the rights of the downtrodden and sustainable empowerment of the youths as a catalyst for sustainable economic development.
As a member of the 9th Senate, Senator Adeleke is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Communications and an integral member of six other major Committees. In less than three months as a sitting Senator, indeed to the amazement of his fellow Senators, Senator Adeleke brought major dividends of democracy to his constituents of Osun West with the flag off of the N250million Scholarship Scheme and other major youth and women driven empowerment projects.
Senator Ademola Adeleke, who has just been declared by the Election Petitions Tribunal as the validly elected Governor of Osun State, is a philanthropist and renowned youth mobiliser with a creative practical and proactive plan for governance.
HOSPITALITY PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR- Stephen Omamuli:
A vastly experienced businessman, lawyer and a successful hotelier, Mr Stephen Omamuli is the chairman of the board of Class Hospitality Ltd & Class Suites Ltd. An astute entrepreneur, he is versatile in business, investment and management.
Omamuli’s business acumen has reflected in several enterprises as he is also on the boards of several other organizations- Real estate, Transportation, Hotel and services sub sectors. Mr Omamuli is a graduate of law with a Masters in Commercial & International law from the prestigious University of Buckingham, United Kingdom.
In 1999, Omamuli started with Cottage Guest House, one of the pioneer hotels in ikeja where he cut his tooth in hotel management. In 2004, he launched into consultancy and corporate hotel management when he established Class Hospitality Ltd, where he had the opportunity to consult, manage and set up a lot of hotels in Lagos and across Nigeria. Having a portfolio of over 11 hotels under direct management with staff strength of over 300.
In 2010 he made his debut in hotel ownership with Class Suites, an exclusive high scale affordable hotel. In 2018 he took Class Suites a step further by launching the luxury arm of the brand CLASS SIGNATURE. He went into franchise and expansion of the brand and currently has four CLASS SUITES to his portfolio.
HOTEL COMPANY OF THE YEAR- Esporta Group:
Esporta Group is an active participant in the Nigerian economy, especially in the hospitality sector (with seven branches in Ondo and Lagos), among others. Esporta Group comprises Fat Wheels Limited, Esporta Bar & Lounge Limited, Esporta Suites Hotel & Resorts Limited, and Esporta Services Limited. Esporta can boast of a robust experience spanning over 12 years successful track record of Industry, Business, Operational and Project Management experience.
The Company is a hybrid of entrepreneurship, business development, private sector participant with a dynamic orientation that leveraged on results-focused paradigm with proven success in aligning strategy, structure, people, policies and systems to optimize individual and organizational performance, projected goals and exceed client/partner/shareholder’s expectations.
In 2006, Esporta Bar & Lounge, Lagos, Nigeria was established, making it the first of such in the hospitality industry. Through dynamic strategies, Esporta successfully established a standalone relaxation point for upwardly mobile corporate executives/individuals within Omole, Lagos and its environs. The result of its cumulative resource from its first hospitality venture, aided the realization of Esporta Suites Hotel & Resorts Limited, Nigeria, established in 2010.
COMMISSIONER OF THE YEAR- Bimbo Ashiru:
Otunba Bimbo Ashiru is a man with a desire for developing people around him. In 2011, Otunba Ashiru was appointed by the Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun as the commissioner for commerce and industry, and was reappointed to the same office in 2015.
Under Ashiru’s stewardship, the business environment of the state grew significantly with over 279.84% increase in internally generated revenue of the state. More than 120 new companies established their presence in Ogun State. This placed Ogun State in first position in Nigeria, according to the study by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.
During his time, approximately 75% of foreign Direct Investment into the country between 2011 and 2016 came into Ogun State. Also, the World Bank Group, in its ‘Doing Business in 2014 Report’, ranked Ogun State as one of the best five States in terms of ease of doing business against the 36th position in its 2010 report. Otunba Ashiru also facilitated the creation of a one-stop Shop Investment Center ( OSSIC) which sits within the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to assist potential investors with procedures for investment and documentation processing.
COMPANY OF THE YEAR- BET9JA:
Bet9ja, Nigeria’s preferred sport betting operator began operations in Nigeria in November 2013 and has grown to become the widest spread bookmaker in the country.
Under the leadership of the Chairman, Hon. Kunle Soname and Managing Director, Ayo Ojuroye, the Bet9ja brand has become a staple in Nigerian sports entertainment.
Operating with a National Lottery Licence from the National Lotteries Regulatory Commission, and various state licenses from each area of operations, Bet9ja has its foothold in all states of the federation; with over 25,000 outlets, employing over 40,000 Nigerians across the country.
Our wealth of experience and understanding of the industry, products and market place make us stand out from the rest and remain the best over the years. From our live sports offerings to the online casino, virtual football and racing (Virtual Dog and Horse Racing), we offer the most exciting and rewarding experiences to our customers with the best odds, best bonus and fast payout of winnings.
We aim to provide our customers with a fun experience whenever and however they choose to be with us, and our most significant assets are our integrity and commitment to ensuring we provide the best service.
SECURITY COMPANY OF THE YEAR- ATAMAP Associates Limited:
ATAMAP Associates Limited is one of the largest security solution providers in Africa, bringing technologies from around the globe to end users through our established distributor network and business partnership with major manufacturers of security equipment, protection and safety products from around the world.
ATAMAP was established in 2002 by Mr. Kunle Abeshinbioke, who has over 20 years’ experience in the marketing strategy and development distribution channel strategy, and has expanded over the years, with a network of offices in four continents.
ATAMAP’s vision is to be the national leader in providing quality solutions that provides a secured and safe environment that enables our customers achieve their strategic goals while it envisions itself as a household name that provides bespoke world class services to reduce to the barest minimum security risks for the public and private sector.
ATAMAP’s mission includes helping organizations in the public and private sectors reduce to the barest minimum risks to their assets, facilities, people and information. It intends to achieve this by providing world class equipment and training to our clients to ensure that their assets are protected with a view to assisting clients in achieving their organizational goals.
Currently, it has the privilege of providing security services (High End Security Equipment) to several prestigious organizations, which include governments, the police, armed forces, banks and other commercial institutions and industries.
SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR- Babatunde Bank-Anthony:
Mr. Babatunde Bank-Anthony, a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Sports and Winner, African Prize for Leadership Excellence in Sports 2018, Bank-Anthony is a politically aware person with active involvement in the pursuit of democratic values. He is a founding member of NADECO Abroad; member, All Progressives Congress, (APC) and member, British Labour Party and Democrats.
Babatunde Bank-Anthony instituted the creation of Lagos State Sports Trust Fund (LSSTF) from the defunct Lagos State Sports Endowment Fund (LSSEF) through his key role in the passage of the Bill that created the Agency. He also participated actively in the Bill that created Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC).
Between 2008 and 2015, he was the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Sports Endowment Fund (LSSEF) in Year 2008-2015. And he became the Director–General of the Lagos State Sports Commission with effect from 2017 till date.
BUSINESSMAN OF THE YEAR- Abiodun Onas:
Dr. Abbey Onas is the chief executive officer/chairman of ZGM Investment Group of Companies Limited, a conglomerate of many independent and interrelated subsidiary firms in mutual partnership with foreign companies, delivering cutting edge services that meet international standards and create value added advantage to its numerous customers.
As a well-rounded professional with track record of excellent performance and integrity, Onas has touched various aspects of the Nigerian economy in the past two decades, leading local and foreign partners to deliver top level performance and growth. With a wealth of experience in project management, planning and advising, his reputation for high integrity and sound strategy continues to propel the company he founded to greater heights thus allowing him to have tangible impacts in many segments of the Nigerian economy, including construction and mining industries, distributive trade, waste management and assets management.
Dr. Abbey Onas is a linguist with high proficiency in three international languages, a high achiever with higher degree in Business Administration and Political Science. He is imbued with acumen, sound strategy and commercial relationship management, making him a valued asset to the nation.