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Amid Internal Dispute, Festus Osifo Becomes New TUC President

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Festus Osifo

By Adedapo Adesanya

Mr Festus Osifo has been elected as the new President-General of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) as an internal rift threatens the cohesion of the group.

His election came at the 12th Triennial National Delegates’ Conference of the Congress on Wednesday in Abuja themed The Working Class Amidst the Challenges of National Security, Unemployment and Democratic Development.

With this election, Mr Osifo, who is also the National President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), is expected to pilot the affairs of the labour trade organisation for the next three years and will take over the helm from Mr Quadri Olaleye.

Mr Shehu Mohammed, the returning officer while announcing the results said that a total of 728 delegates participated in the election.

Mr Mohammed said that Mr Osifo pulled 688 votes to defeat his opponent, Mrs Oyikan Olasanoye who polled 18 votes, while 22 votes were declared invalid.

Due to internal disputes, Wednesday’s election was held for only the office of the President-General.

Mr Osifo assumed office as President of PENGASSAN on August 28, 2020, and had also served amongst others as PENGASSAN Producers Forum Chairman, between 2016 and 2018.

The new TUC President is a member of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN) and Society for Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

In his acceptance speech, Mr Osifo vowed to fight for the welfare of the masses as well as the protection of the interest of every Nigerian worker.

He commanded the past leaders of the congress for laying “a solid foundation” on which the body thrives and vowed to sustain the vision.

Mr Osifo also promised to carry everyone along in his quest for a greater TUC while also pledging to “initiate a platform to placate all aggrieved comrades.

On his part, the outgoing president, Mr Quadri Olaleye in a goodbye note commended all members for their support, while calling on the incumbent to ensure peace for the union to move forward.

According to him, “I want to seize this opportunity to remind that election in the trade union movement is not a do-or-die affair.

“There is never a loser, always remember that we are comrades and that an injury to one is an injury to all.”

Also speaking, Mrs Peace Obiajulu, the Pioneer President of the TUC called on members of the Labour centre to ensure that the election does not divide the unity of workers.

She said that organised labour must come together to use their numerical strength to redirect the cause of the working class in Nigeria in particular and by extension, the downtrodden in the country.

Ahead of the election, some aggrieved affiliates of TUC had earlier written to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Usman Alkali to stop the scheduled TUC Delegate Conference from holding.

The affiliates also further obtained a court order to stop the conference from holding over failure to implement the agreement entered into in the last conference on which affiliate will produce the next president of the labour centre.

The affiliates include the Petroleum and Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASAN), Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), among others.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Prudential Empowers Young Professionals Aspiring to be Change Makers

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Prudential young professionals

By Adedapo Adesanya

Prudential has reiterated its efforts to contribute to the growth and transformation of the economy and young employees by bringing a fresh perspective and a different way of thinking to any business.

This was the crux of the company’s recently concluded four-day immersive leadership programme, which saw young professionals from across the group hosted in Lagos.

The programme sought to inspire, empower and develop a community of young employees to become active change makers through innovation in order to create a future-ready Prudential.

Now in its third cohort, the Prudential Young Professional Programme is a grouping of 40 young employees aged 35 years and below from Africa, Europe and Asia i.e. Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, the United Kingdom selected on the recommendation of their leaders.

The young professional programme was designed to connect young changemakers across the group to each other, mentors who are CEOs as well as senior executives, to learn and create solutions for our customers.

“With an average employee age of 37 years in Africa, we value thoughts and ideas from our younger employees. The program is not only designed to serve our customers to get the most out of life, but we also enable all employees to pursue their dreams and reach the highest potential, both personally and professionally. Prudential is counting on the young professionals, our next generation, to continue building our legacy as future leaders and create a future-ready Prudential,” said the Chief HR Officer for Prudential Africa, Mrs Maria Shipiri.

“As a just and inclusive employer, Prudential strives to create a work environment where our diverse and talented team can bring their authentic selves to the workplace in order to create, innovate, learn, succeed and grow,” said Mrs Nikki Davies, Group Diversity and Inclusive Director.

Harnessing on the creativity and energy of our young colleagues, the cohorts will collaborate across locations, businesses, and departments, generating ideas and prototypes and resulting in proposals to create a future-ready and competitive Prudential.

With over 540 employees in Africa 35 or less, the programme focuses on building a tight-knit cohort while simultaneously supporting individuals and uniting emerging leaders from various businesses to engage in value-based leadership discussions and hands-on workshops while also gaining visibility across senior stakeholders and co-creating solutions for the company.

As part of Prudential’s growth roadmap, we are significantly investing in our people and technology to build the capacity to serve more customers. Today, Prudential serves over 19 million life customers in Asia and Africa.

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IFC Picks Dahlia Khalifa as Regional Director for Nigeria, Others

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Dahlia Khalifa

By Adedapo Adesanya

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced the appointment of Ms Dahlia Khalifa as its Regional Director for Central Africa, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

In her new role, she will drive IFC’s strategy to create a more resilient and sustainable private sector to support the development and job creation in the region.

Ms Khalifa will lead IFC’s investment and advisory teams in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, and Sierra Leone. While these countries face challenges such as rising inflation and the effects of climate change, a young, vibrant, and entrepreneurial population presents opportunities for a more dynamic private sector.

In a statement made available to Business Post, it was revealed that the new regional head would be based in Lagos, Nigeria.

Speaking on her appointment, Mr Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for Africa, said, “I look forward to working with Dahlia and her team to deliver on new opportunities in the years to come, such as empowering more of the region’s entrepreneurs.”

On her part, the appointee said, “We are stepping up our work to empower the private sector and to work jointly with government and development partners to deliver greener, more inclusive, and sustainable growth in the region. I  commit to further strengthening IFC’s work so that together we can build the strong foundations for private and public sector partnerships.”

Ms Khalifa, an Egyptian and American national, was most recently the Senior Manager for IFC’s Creating Markets Advisory program in the Middle East, Central Asia, Türkiye, Pakistan, and Afghanistan region, where she and her team supported the removal of barriers to investment to strengthen the private sector and boost economic development.

Before joining the World Bank Group, she founded and managed financial services companies providing brokerage, corporate finance, private equity investing, and management consulting services in the Middle East and Africa.

As of September 30, IFC had an investment and advisory portfolio in Central Africa and Nigeria of more than $2.53 billion across financial services, infrastructure, and agribusiness and is continuing to grow its portfolio in health, manufacturing, and value chain development.

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Prudential Appoints Emmanuel Mokobi Aryee as CEO

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Emmanuel Mokobi Aryee

By Adedapo Adesanya 

Prudential Plc has announced the appointment of Mr Emmanuel Mokobi Aryee as the new Chief Executive Officer for Africa to oversee the operations of Prudential in its eight African markets.

The appointment seeks to centralise Prudential’s operations in Africa as well as strengthen and grow the business in markets where it currently operates.

In a statement, Mr Solmaz Altin, the Prudential Managing Director, Strategic Business Group, said he was pleased with Mr Aryee’s new role, noting that it will take effect on January 1, 2023.

“Africa is a strategic growth driver for our Group; building the talent and capacity to drive the next level of business growth is key and will foster greater efficiency and effective decision-making to help us deliver on our purpose of helping people in Africa get the most out of life by making healthcare and financial security more accessible and affordable,” Mr Solmaz added.

Currently, Mr Aryee is the Regional Chief Executive Officer for two regions: East & Central and West & Southern Africa.

The appointee is a well-known industry veteran with more than 29 years of experience in commercial leadership in Africa. His past experience includes turning around businesses on the African continent, moving Prudential to the number one market position in some of our countries, and gaining recognition as an innovative player. Over the years, he has nurtured employees and created room for talent to thrive.

Data from the Swiss Re Institute ranks the African continent as the second-fastest growing insurance market in the world after Latin America, with a total value of $68 billion. Yet, Africa has a large uninsured population, as reflected in the low insurance penetration levels currently at 2.8 per cent. This points to significant headroom for the expansion of the underwriting market, also given the population is expected to double to 2 billion by 2050.

To this end, Prudential noted that as a purely Asia and Africa-focused business, “we are investing in people and technology to build the capacity to serve more customers on the continent.”

Prudential serves over 1.7 million customers in Africa through a distribution network of more than 13,000 agents and 600 bank branches. After entering Ghana in 2013, the underwriter is now present in eight countries – Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria.

“We are confident that the Africa business will continue to thrive under the stewardship of Mokobi,” the company noted.

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