You might have never heard of them or see them in public, but they are ones seated in the big executive chairs behind the CEOs and MDs tables at the head offices of various financial institutions, oil companies, insurance companies and other big multinational institutions managing and controlling the economy of Ghana.
This has being a revelation through a research I conducted on heads of both Ghanaian and multinational institutions operating in Ghana. The result indicated that most of these institutions are being managed by foreigners with Nigerians being the majority where Ghanaians are assigned to the deputies and assistant positions. But what baffles me the most is whether our fellow Ghanaians are not qualified to hold such positions or never played a role in bringing such institutions to Ghana but it is a debate for another day. Nigerians no doubt play a big part in the Ghanaian economy.
Below is a list of them and their profiles.
Chief Dr. Prince Christopher Obareki is the CEO/Chairman of CHRISBAKI Group Of Companies. Dr. Obareki is the CEO of CHRISBAKI group of companies’ including Bar Purity, Baki Farms, Spec Autos Ltd, Bamar properties, Cobagco Nig Ltd etc. A Nigerian royal, Prince Christopher Obareki, began his career in Business at a very tender age. He attended St. Francis Catholic School in Nigeria. Later went to study auto-mobile engineering in Sapele Technical School. He then became the manager of Jabara Construction Company but resigned to put up his own company at a very young age. He is indisputably one of Nigeria’s finest exports in the Diaspora. He is also very much strongly represented in the Corporate social responsibility endeavours as a philanthropist of having sponsored Children’ Republic reality TV show, built churches and schools with over four thousand beneficiaries of his unflinching generosity cutting across different tribes and cultures of Ghana and Nigeria. He was recently honoured with a doctorate degree by the Rescue Mission Theological University. He is a silent achiever and married with 4 children.
Yemi Adetuwo is the MD/CEO and board member of Equity Assurance Ghana Limited. Mr. Adeyemi Adetuwo B.A (Hons.), MBA, ACII (Lond.) attended both University of Lagos and Enugu State University of Science and Technology for his Bachelor and Masters Degrees respectively. He is an associate of both the Chartered Insurance Institute of London and Nigeria as well as that of the Nigerian Institute of Management. He is also a member of the society of fellows of the London Institute. He has acquired over twenty years working experience in the Insurance Industry. He joined Equity Assurance Plc in 1995 where he rose to the position of General Manager, technical operations where he seconded as the Managing Director of Equity Assurance Ghana Limited in 2008.
Mr. David Ishola Akintunde is the Chief Operating Officer of Equity Assurance Ghana Limited. Mr. David Akintunde (Bsc. MBA, FCIMN) the General Manager/ Chief, graduated from the University of Lagos in 1991 had a PGD in Marketing from the University of Calabar in 1996 and obtained an MBA from University of Ado-Ekiti in 2002. He is a Fellow of the National Institute of Marketing Nigeria, a Member of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and an Associate Member of the Nigeria Institute of Managers. Prior to joining Equity Assurance in 1997, he worked with Lion of Africa and ELMAC and also has attended many insurance and marketing seminars.
Dele Momodu owner of Ovasion Magazine bagged his first degree in Yoruba from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in 1982, and a Master’s degree in Literature-in-English in 1988. He’s the only Nigerian ever to have such a rare combination. Between 1983 and 85, he was the private secretary to the former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Chief Akin Omoboriowo. In 1986, Dele Momodu served His Imperial Majesty the Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II, when he managed the Motel Royal Limited owned by the influential monarch. He contributed powerful articles to The Guardian, Sunday Tribune, African Concord magazine and others. He started Ovation International in 1996, and it was a big struggle to keep the business afloat. Today, Ovation Magazine is a global brand. Ovation is also the leading events magazine dishing out the most glamorous pictures of the lifestyles of the rich and famous Africans. Ovation has covered stories and events in over 60 countries and on all the continents of the world. Dele Momodu has enjoyed worldwide acclaim and has met the High and Mighty, including Her Majesty the Queen of England, African Presidents, former American Presidents, world scholars. He is also seen at almost all entertainment events in Ghana, including the Ghana Music Awards and Laughs and Music Comedy shows which mostly hosts Nigerian comedians in Ghana. He also runs a restaurant in Ghana.
HRM, Dr. Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu owns Chi-Bert Group of Companies with interest in oil and gas, transport, agriculture, entertainment among others. He is also the Eze Ndi Igbo of Igbos in Ghana. He is known to be a supporter of Nigerians initiatives in Ghana either through financial or moral support.
Pastor Jude Odim stands as one of the influential Nigerian Clergy living in Ghana. He heads Hallowed Chapel International in Achimota and Spintex both in Accra with a massive weekly attendance by resident Nigerians in Ghana. He also founded Hallowed Kids Foundation, the first NGO to host the first Leadership Reality Show in Ghana dubbed Children’s Republic which was premiered on National Television, GTV. He is also a serial entrepreneur with lot of influence in the business and media community in Ghana. He is married to Leticia Anderson-Odim.
Mr. Cornelius Iyiola Saraki is the Managing Director of Nem Insurance Co. Ltd. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Second Class Upper in Education from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria and a Diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute (ACIIN). In addition, he holds a post-graduate Degree in Education from his alma mater, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He started his Insurance Career in 1992 when he joined Piccadilly Insurance Company as a marketer. He worked at various times with Golden Insurance Company Limited and Royal Trust assurance Limited before joining NEM Insurance Plc (Nigeria) in 2006. Mr. Saraki is a staunch believer in the promotion of performance. He pioneered a number of innovative insurance products whilst he was heading the Northern operations of NEM Insurance Plc (Nigeria). He enjoys teaching and listening to music.
Iyiola Ayoade is the C.E.O of CHARTERHOUSE the biggest name in terms of events, above and below line advertising and showbiz in Ghana and an Executive Producer. His company has a rich clientele and it is also the brain behind the annual Ghana Music Awards, Miss Malaika Beauty Pageant, Stars of the Future, National Youth Achievers Awards, the next big thing in GH and a lot of other big events in Ghana. Iyiola also owns a 24 hour entertainment television station GhOne, which is rocking the entertainment industry of Ghana with a lot of support with programs such as the pundits, E-Talk, Glitterati and about to host their first gospel preaching television series to host pastors like Ps. Jude Odim of Hallowed Chapel etc.
Salma Iddriss Okwonko a woman is in charge of affairs at UBI Energy Ghana Limited and Televeras Group; she resigned her job at a multinational oil company and began looking at other aspects of marketing petroleum refined products. Her capital came from her family and her wonderful husband which has now made her one of the top female Nigerians in Ghana. She has four stations and counting in Kasoa, Kumasi, Lashibi and Dumfoasi in the Volta Region in Ghana Currently.
Otunba Micheal Ajayi is the C.E.O. of Vintage Visions Ghana Limited. The company is the organizer of the Business Summit and has vast interest in other key areas of business. He is also the Director General of the Ghana-Nigerian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
Chief Emmanuel Okeson is one of the biggest individual employers of labour in Ghana. The highly successful businessman, who doesn’t give into publicity, has over 1000 Ghanaians working in his company. He is the owner of City Lights the biggest lighting company in West Africa. He is also the former boss of Board of Trustees of the All Nigerian Community in Ghana.
Mr. Bode Oseni of Regency Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd is one of the finest hands in the business of Insurance. He was trained at the London School of Insurance and became an Associate of Chartered Insurance Institute of London in 1989. He also holds an MBA from one of Nigeria’s three leading Universities, University of Lagos. An Insurance marketing Guru, Oseni started his career as a Broker. He was Assistant Manager, Man Mountain Insurance Brokers of Nigeria from 1989 to 1991. He was appointed Manager, Marine Insurance of Hogg Robinson Nigeria in 1992. He had a stint with the defunct Nigeria Arab Bank Ltd as its Manager in charge of insurance. Other positions held by him include Assistant General Manager, Operations, Triumph Assurance Company Limited and Head, Eastern Operations, Phoenix Nigeria Assurance Plc. He became Regional Director, Regency Alliance Insurance Plc, Nigeria in 2007.
Mr. Sam Ayininuola of Energy Bank Ltd. obtained his First Class degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Ife in June 1976. He also had an MBA degree from the University of Lagos, in December 1985. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. He started his banking career with NAL Merchant Bank Limited in 1981. He rose to the rank of Head of Foreign Exchange before joining the team to set up Rims Merchant Bank Limited in 1988. He rose to the positions of General Manager, Executive Director and later Managing Director/CEO of the Bank before resigning in November 1995 to join the team that set up Consolidated Discounts House Limited, one of the leading discount houses in Nigeria. He became the Managing Director/CEO in January 2001. He was appointed an Executive Director in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc in March 2006.
Kennedy Okosun owns and runs the biggest upscale stationeries outfit in Ghana, KRIF Stationeries. Mr. Kennedy Okosun, Chairman in 2011 receives Best Entrepreneur Office Suppliers & Stationery Award.
Mr. Dolapo Ogundimu a seasoned banker is the Managing Director of Access Bank. Dolapo Ogundimu is truly a seasoned banker with over 25 years of high level professional banking experience in the sub-region. He has been recognized as a change manager and contributor to the development of the financial services industry in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Ghana. In Ghana, he pioneered Guaranty Trust Bank to become one of the most successful banks in the industry. Dolapo is an alumnus of the Kellogg School of Management, Executive Management Programme of the Columbia Business School (USA), International Institute for Management Development (IMD) Switzerland and the Lagos Business School. He holds a B.Sc. and an MBA from the Ogun State University in Nigeria.
Mr. Lekan Sanusi of Guarantee Trust Bank is the current MD of Guaranty Trust Bank Ghana Limited. Since he took over, he has kept the flag of the bank flying as one of the biggest financial institutions in Ghana.
Mr. Gabriel Edgal is the CEO of First Atlantic Bank Ltd. The Board of First Atlantic Bank Limited appointed Mr. Gabriel Edgal as Managing Director of the Bank. Mr. Edgal is an astute and seasoned banker with over 23 years’ experience. Until his new appointment, Mr. Edgal was with United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) where he held various key Management and Executive positions including those of MD/CEO, UBA Africa, Regional MD, UBA West Africa and MD, UBA Ghana Limited. As MD, UBA Africa, Mr. Edgal provided strategic direction and leadership for 18 African countries. As MD/CEO UBA Ghana Ltd, he led the restructuring of the Bank’s business and returned the bank to the path of profitability. Prior to that, he was the Group Treasurer of the bank. He had equally held diverse management positions at Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Capital Bank International Ltd, Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration.
Mr. Oliver Alawuba UBA (Gh.) Ltd. Mr. Oliver Alawuba has over twenty years’ experience in investment banking, corporate finance retail and commercial banking as well as project management. Oliver started his banking career in 1993 with Diamond Bank Plc in Nigeria. He has worked with some other major African banks in various managerial capacities including being Regional Director, South Central Region of Standard Trust Bank Limited now United Bank for Africa Nigeria PLC and Executive Director of Finbank Nigeria PLC for South South and South East Regions covering over 11 States in Nigeria. Until his appointment, Mr. Alawuba was the MD/CEO Designate of UBA Cote D’Ivoire. Oliver is a member of several professional bodies including the Nigerian Institute of Management, Nigerian Institute of Directors, and Association of Bank Directors in Nigeria.
Charles Adeniji of Wapco (Gh.) Ltd is currently the Managing Director of the West African Pipeline Gas Company, WAPCo in Accra, Ghana and a Secondee from Chevron. Charles A. Adeniji has more than 30 years of experience covering both Downstream and Upstream sectors of the Petroleum Industry. His experience gained both local and overseas range from Facilities Engineering, Crude production operations, Shipping, Trading, Gas Commercialization and Business Development. In Nigeria, Mr. Adeniji had worked in several capacities starting as a Production Engineer, Corrosion Engineer, Platform Supervisor, Coordinator of Crude Oil Deliveries, Manager Gas Commercialization, to General Manager Gas Marketing & Commercialization and Executive Director of the Oil Producers' Trade Sector (OPTS) of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Before his current tenure as Managing Director of WAPCo, he served as Legislation Compliance Advisor for Chevron Nigeria. His specialties are in the areas of Operations, Gas Commercialization, Negotiations, and government relations
Dotun Somoye is the Country Manager GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Ghana which deals in Pharmaceuticals. He was the Marketing Manager at GlaxoSmithKline before his current appointment in June 2007 where he is responsible for GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare business management and development in Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Gambia. . He attended Lagos State University, University of Lagos and Baptist Boys High School Abeokuta.
Mr. Banigbe Obafemi is the Chief Operating Officer at Tigo (Gh.) Ltd, Whiles in school in June 1996 he got his first job in a small computer shop. Even after completing his university education he decided to leave his parents’ home just with 20 cedis equivalent to look for his destiny. Today many young people attend his conferences where he share inspiring stories about his life, and one that I personally enjoyed was LESSONS I WISH EVERY STUDENT WERE TAUGHT BEFORE GRADUATING as a motivational speaker; He has also worked in east Africa. He loves taking risks.
Babalola Babatunde owns and runs First Deep Water Discovery Ghana Limited. His company is a big time player also in the Nigerian Oil and gas sector. A graduate of Electrical/Electronic Engineering from the University of Technology, Akure, Mr. Tunde bagged an MBA degree from the same university whilst he obtained an MSC in communication engineering from the University of Lagos. Engr. Babalola was a Mobil Scholar, and a Dean’s award winner. He started his working career with Mobil producing after his service year with them before moving on to Chevron on contract basis where he was exposed to engineering procurement/Oil & Gas transactions and installations of equipment. He later left Chevron to work as a consultant to a number of Oil and Gas companies. Engr. Babalola is widely travelled and has attended a number of courses/seminars abroad majoring in the Oil & Gas industry. Engr. Babalola has experience of over 13 years in the Oil and Gas industry and he is also an Alumni of Lagos business School and FATE foundation.
Alex Mbakogu, a seasoned Accountant is the Managing Director of Leaseafic Ghana Limited which is a leading name in Finance and leasing services in Ghana. Alex Mbakogu is a qualified Accountant and a member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigerian (ICAN) and the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants of Nigeria (ICMA). He has an MBA (Finance) from the University of Lagos. He holds a degree in Accounting from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Alexander has worked with C & I Leasing since 1998 in various capacities in its Finance Department, his last position being Manager, Finance and Accounts, with oversight responsibility for Treasury & Funds Management since 2005. He has considerable experience in leasing. Alexander has been seconded to Leasafric.
Others include Ben Hastrup who owns and runs Alliance Legal, which has its headquarters in Accra. Ben Hastrup is one of the highly-rated Nigerian lawyers in Ghana today. Chief Crystal Djirackor the CEO of Crystal TV runs three TV channels dedicated to African movies, Emmanuel TV and a Music Channel which are mostly watched in Accra. Joshua Bola Olalere is the Chief Executive of Delight Communications the conveners of Miss Nigeria, Ghana beauty pageant. Sola Peregrino Taiwo is the C.E.O of 3 Equatumn Associates. Wale Adeoye also runs Premium Advertising Ghana Limited. Mr. Oluade Nikiti is the Managing Director of AP (Gh.) Ltd. Mr. Razak Abiodun runs Wapic Insurance Co. Ltd. Mr. Chuks Okoko is currently the manager of A-Z Petrolieum Co. Ltd Ghana. Ibem Anya is the Managing Director of Oando GH Ltd, Ghana and the Owner of Aiban Universal Services Ltd. Roy Bernard manages Capital Assurance, Ghana Limited, Dennis O. Carter is yet another big player he is the Chief Executive Officer at Maxigate Petroleum Ghana Ltd and Mr. Uche Okogu also runs International Energy Insurance (I.E.I) Ghana Limited.
Nigerians no doubt play a big part in the Ghanaian economy; in fact Nigerians are rated third biggest investors on the Ghanaian economy. We must commend them for the work they are doing for Ghana but for Ghanaians this should inspire us, we still have a long way to go in empowering our citizens to greater heights so that we can also become competent just as them.
Disclaimer: The author of this article acknowledges all the sources of this information and researches. The purpose of this article is not to discriminate against the integrity and achievements of the individuals’ but just to publicize the works they are doing to improve upon the economic independence of Ghana and Africa as a whole. To them I say AYEKOO.