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Eleganza On Fire Over Razak Okoya’s Controversial Interview

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“We Built The Empire Before You Married Shade”

– Family Fires Back

Otun Aare of Lagos and the CEO of Eleganza Industries, Chief Rasaq Akanni Okoya may have stirred the hornet’s nest with his recent interview with Modele Yusuf on Arise TV.

Okoya is a notable personality in Nigeria and he is an elderly industrialist, who started making money over 50 years ago.

As a muslim and a man of means, the celebrated billionaire married many women and he has produced children most of whom are now married and having their own children.

But, just about 20 years ago, Okoya, an indigene of Lagos met a young graduate of the University of Lagos, Shade and the chemistry of the two personalities bonded, which resulted in a marriage that has since produced four children.

It is not a news that as soon as Shade got into the life of the billionaire, his other wives went into oblivion and it was as if Shade is his only wife, leaving many to wonder how possible it was for Okoya, who was already 59 years old, when he met Shade not to have been married before they met.

Of course, it is a common knowledge that Shade is not Okoya’s first wife and that he was already a successful industrialist and a billionaire before he met the woman.

However, many discerning members of the public could not believe that Okoya could claim that Shade brought luck to him and that her children are better than his other children.

Okoya claimed in the interview with Arise TV that Shade was the one who consolidated his empire, saying that she walked in and solidified everything one could see in his business empire today.

“I am holding these younger ones (Shade’s children) close so they don’t go astray like the older ones.

“Shade goes to the factory by 7am and comes back by 7pm. She is in charge of everything you see in Eleganza.

“Shade decorates my home and maintains it. I don’t know how she does it. I just walk in and see my home like this.

“I will never make my company public. I will keep it in the family. My eldest daughter, (by Shade) she’s schooling in Europe, but Shade and I bring her to Nigeria to come and know how the business works so that she could take over. I hope she will not make a mistake like other children,” he said.

He added that he was teaching his children (by Shade) experience and skill.

According to him, “Handwork, engineering, carpentry are valuable skills. I need them more in my company even more than accountants.

“Technology can do that, but man needs to still man machines. I am teaching my children that. They will take over from me and Shade. ‘

“I have properties all over Nigeria but the market is getting saturated now.

“Many people are in it. The young salary earners cannot afford homes now. I sell some of them to put in the factory. I hope my children will manage them better when they are done with school.”

Okoya revealed in the interview that he was learning technology now but that he had left most of them to his children.

He stressed that he liked them around him, and that they taught him a lot of things, adding that the children he had with Shade were smart.

“‘I have been married to Shade for 20 years. She gave me four beautiful children. They are good children. They are not like the rest,” he said.

Okoya’s wives and elder children were reported to have fired back and warned their patriarch to stop making sensitive statements that could cause serious divisions in the family.

Sources close to the family informed us that his household was surprised by the statements he made at the interview and that they have warned the billionaire not to divide his family before his death.

A source quoted one of this wives to have vowed to deal with him over the statements and that they were all planning to call a meeting of the household “so that we can tell ourselves the truth once and for all. We laboured to build the great dynasty together as a family before he married Shade and this can never be contested.”

Razak Akanni Okoya is a billionaire industrialist and Aare of Lagos, a Yoruba man from the south-western part of Nigeria born on the 12th of January 1940 to Tiamiyu Ayinde and Alhajha Idiatu Okoya.

He had his only formal education at Ansar-un-deen primary School, Oke popo, Lagos.

He worked with his father’s tailoring business, which also included the sales of tailoring accessories. The experience he got gave him the confidence to start mini tailoring activities on his own. He saved every penny he made until he had 20 pounds. His mother gave him the extra 50 pounds, with the blessings of his father, he needed to start importing and trading goods from Japan.

Razak Okoya’s business expanded swiftly, he traveled far and wide and learnt how things were manufactured having the strong feeling that Nigeria could match that quality if not better.

His first wife, Kuburat Okoya, was obsessed with costly jewelry and he was always baffled at how much she said they cost.

He strongly felt the prices were outrageous since the metals could be designed at a cheaper price and the metals were readily available in Nigeria. Challenged his perceived healthy demand, he traveled abroad, bought the machines. That marked the birth of Eleganza Jewelry.

The success was phenomenal. They could not keep up with the demand because, the products were beautiful, durable and cheap. They were instant best sellers. He also started manufacturing buttons and jewelry.

He began the importation of shoes in large quantities, subsequently. On one of these occasions, the shoes were not delivered despite his payment.

He traveled to Italy to see the manufacturer only to discover that they had used his money to settle their bills. He was so angry that he decided there and then to start manufacturing his own shoes. He imported all the machines and brought in some experts who trained his workers.

The Eleganza Industries produces a wide range of household goods and utensils including cutlery, collieries, food warmers, ice chest, electric fan, cosmetics and ballpoint pen.

His factory locations include, Oregun-Ikeja, Isolo, Alaba and Iganmu, the Company now directly employs over five thousand Nigerians and non-Nigerians including those working in his RAO Property Investment Company.

Okoya’s Eleganza Group is one of the biggest homegrown conglomerates in Nigeria today, with over six factories, and its products are household names in Nigeria and the neighboring African markets.

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Titan Trust Bank set for grand entry into Nigeria

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Barring any last-minute changes, one of the five new banks licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Titan Trust Bank Limited is set for entry into the Nigerian banking industry in grand style, in a matter of weeks, The Witness can authoritatively reveal.

This newspaper had reported that the CBN recently approved licenses for five new banks to operate in the country.

While others are still recruiting and putting things in place, inside sources say Titan Trust, a national financial institution, has completed its processes and is set for take-off soon.

Led by seasoned banker and former deputy governor of the CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo as chairman, the new commercial bank, sources informed The Witness is starting operation with a solid post capitalization financial base in real cash.

Some of those already on board the new bank are experienced financial gurus, giving the signal that the bank is ready the compete with the long-standing and well-rooted Nigerian banks.

According to the lender, the bank was formed to take advantage of the identified gaps in the banking sector and address the unmet needs of the retail mass market, SMEs and corporates.

The new bank headquartered at Plot 1680, Sanusi Fafunwa Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria has the following facilities: Commercial Banking, SME Banking, Digital Banking amongst others. On its commercial banking services, the lender said on its website: “As a national commercial bank, we are committed to supporting businesses, giving them the power to build a better future. Each day, companies are working together to create sustainable economic value.

“We are committed to that vision by ensuring we provide business capital and resources, primed to support these visions, as we continue to tell Africa’s story.”

Titan Trust Bank believes there is nothing like a small business. “All businesses are exactly that; businesses! Our team is made of professionals with an entrepreneurial mindset, working to help you and your business take advantage of the many benefits of banking with Titan, and give your competition a run for their money,” it said.

Titan Trust further posited that it will leverage on digital platforms to empower the emerging pan-African economy, whilst showcasing the industry pioneering solutions, expertise and professionalism.

Established on the 12th of December 2018, the bank obtained its national banking license on the 26th of April 2019, to operate as a commercial bank with national authorization.

OTHERS IN THE TITAN TEAM

Mr. Andrew Ojei

Mr. Andy Ojei is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria as well as a Fellow and Council Member of The Institute of Credit Administration of Nigeria.

He was the pioneer managing director of Zenith Bank, Ghana. He left Zenith Bank Plc in June 2013 as an executive director after 21 years of service. He is a seasoned businessman with interests in real estate and information technology.

Ojei, an alumnus of the University of Lagos, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, INSEAD (France), Stanford (Singapore) and Wharton (Philadelphia) currently serves as a member of the Governing Council of Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State.

Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed

Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience managing and leading businesses across the country.

He is the managing director of Syndicated Investment Limited, a construction firm. He has held this post for over 33 years.

He has also been the chairman/CEO of Impex Limited, a security, contracting and trading company since 1993.

Alhaji Aminu Bashari

Alhaji Bashari Aminu (Iyan Zazzau), is the chairman of the Board of Directors of Vital Products Limited.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Accountants (UK) and a Fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria. He is a senior title holder in the Emirate of Zazzau and was a Senior District Head of Sabon-Gari, Zaria in Kaduna State from 1979 to 2018.

He is currently on the board of several companies.

Mudassir Amray – MD/CEO

Mudassir Amray is a banker with over 25 years of global exposure across six geographies (US, Nigeria, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Pakistan).

He has held senior positions in global banks such as: Citi New York – Managing Director & Head of Global Capital Management (LATAM), Citi Nigeria – Managing Director & Head of Corporate & Investment Banking, Nigeria and Ghana, Al Rajhi Malaysia – Country Business Head, Citi HK – Head of Capital Management, Asia Pacific, Citi Singapore – Head of Islamic Banking, Asia Pacific, Citi Pakistan, Country Business Head.

Adaeze Udensi – Executive Director

Adaeze has over 23 years’ banking experience, and was until recently, an Executive Director in Heritage Bank.

In her four years as executive director, she supervised the South businesses; oversaw Retail, Private Wealth, Collections, E-Business, Customer Experience and IT functions; and served as Executive Compliance Officer.

Adaeze also acted as managing director of Heritage Bank in 2017. Prior to this, she spent 16 years in Zenith Bank growing its Oil & Gas, Public Sector, Commercial and Retail businesses into the 2nd largest portfolio in the Bank, leaving as a general manager.

Adaeze has a first degree in banking, and MBA’s from Rivers State University of Science & Technology, and the University of Bangor, Wales.

She has also attended several Executive Management Programmes in Wharton Business School, Kellogg School of Management, Harvard Business School, and INSEAD.

Stella Nwihim – Head of HR

Stella is a seasoned professional with over 21 years’ experience spanning Human Resources, Sales and Banking Operations.

She has held key HR positions in Zenith Bank Plc and UBA Plc including Head Workforce Planning, Head Shared Services and Head Business Partnering, where she made significant contributions in organizational development, performance and change management and business strategy.

She holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. (Biology) and an MBA (Management) and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Mark Oguh – CFO

Mark has 22 years’ experience in the banking industry covering Operations, Audit and Financial Control.

He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in accountancy and business administration and an MBA in banking and finance. He was the financial controller at Diamond Bank from 2015 to March 31, 2019.

Ademola Ajayi – Chief Compliance Officer

Ademola Ajayi is the chief compliance officer of Titan Trust Bank Limited. He holds Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting (First Class Honours) from Babcock University, Ilishan Ogun State. He also holds Higher National Diploma in accounting with Upper credits class from the Polytechnic, Ibadan. He is a fellow (FCA) of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN). He is also an Associate of Compliance Institute of Nigeria (CIN). He is a Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered Compliance Officer and a registered professional of Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN). Internationally, he is a Certified Compliance Officer (CCO) and Certified Fraud and Crime; Investigation and Prevention by GAFM USA. He is also a fellow of GAFM USA.

He has been in the Nigerian Banking Sector since 1996, well over 2 decades, with experience cutting across financial control, credit review and monitoring, business development, banking operations, internal controls, internal audit, inspection and compliance functions. His career in banking started in NAL Merchant Bank, where he did the mandatory one year national youth service. Immediately after his service year, he was recruited by Zenith Bank, where he performed creditably well in banking operations generally, controls and risk management related functions, and later with specific focus on compliance risk management role. He played a key role in setting up compliance department in Zenith Bank and took same to an enviable height. Ademola AJAYI is a team player, and will positively impact any team he finds himself. He has attended compliance trainings, locally and internationally. He is also a competent trainer on compliance matters.

George Aiyudu – Head of IT

George is a certified COBIT implementer with over 21 years banking experience covering Banking Operations, International Operations and Information Technology.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and also holds a Masters Degree in Business Information Systems. He was the Group Head, IT Change and Transformation at Diamond Bank.

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Ibom Air begins commercial operations on Friday

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Ibom Air, the first commercial airline to be owned and operated by a state government in Nigeria and Africa, will begin full commercial operations on June 7, an official said.

Ekerete Udoh, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Udom Emmanuel, made this known in a statement on Thursday.

Mr Udoh said that the airline, having fulfilled all the regulatory conditions and requirements, was certified fit to commence commercial operations, leading to the maiden flight billed for tomorrow, June 7th.

“It will maintain regular daily flights to both Lagos (MMA2) and Abuja respectively.

“The aircrafts in its fleet (Bombardier CRJ 900) have the distinction of being relatively new, all three, under 10 years old,” Mr Udoh said.

He said the commencement of the commercial operations by Ibom Air had been celebrated by Akwa Ibomites and other Nigerians as a testament to the visionary leadership of Mr Emmanuel.

“The governor who seems determined to break conventional wisdom concerning things long thought to be impossible to achieve,” he said.

He noted that the development was Gov. Emmanuel’s avowed determination to open the three gateways to industrialisation-land, sea and air appears to be on course.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that Ibom Airline which represents one of the signature projects Mr Emmanuel’s First Term.

The Ibom Air was launched on February 20 with three aircrafts by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

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Peterside: Nigeria will soon export crude with its national fleet

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Dakuku Peterside, director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), says the country will be able to lift its own crude for export immediately the national fleet begins operation.

Speaking at a media breakfast meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing Nor-Shipping Conference and Exhibition in Oslo, Norway, Dakuku said this move will bring an end to the present arrangement where Nigeria sells its oil on free on board basis to customers.

A statement by Isichei Osamgbi, NIMASA’s head of corporate communications, quoted the DG to have said that the new national fleet will be owned 49% by a technical partner and the balance of 51% by Nigerian investors.

According to the plan, the Nigerian investors will hold equity in lots, so there will be no domineering shareholder.

The former lawmaker said the government has also acquired security assets to boost the policing of its waters.

These assets, which include patrol boats, helicopter, unmanned air vessels and naval ships, were acquired under the ‘Deep Blue Project’ that will be operational by September.

Peterside urged investors to tap into the potentials of the maritime sector in Nigeria saying the government has incentivised the sector with offers of tax holidays and institutional support.

He said Nigeria accounts for 70% of seaborne trade into West Africa and is endowed with the world’s ninth largest hydrocarbon deposits.

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