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Ecobank Forum: Basketmouth, Others Urge Youths to Pursue Passion, Not Money

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Ecobank Forum Basketmouth

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Nigerian youths have been advised to pursue their passion rather than money or immediate gains as the former will keep them standing to the end when the chips are down.

“I will advise them (youths) to follow their passion. Do not choose a career to impress anyone, rather let the people validate you,” a celebrated comedian, Mr Bright Okpocha, fondly known as Basketmouth, said at a special advocacy programme organised by Ecobank Nigeria to mark International Youth Day (IYD).

Basketmouth was at the event held in Lagos as one of the panellists to speak on the theme Finding Your Voice, a Career, Creativity, and Skills.

He was joined by Adeoluwa Enioluwa, a writer and public speaker; Ozinna Anumudu, an expert in fashion and branding; Jemima Osunde, an actress, model and presenter; Bankole Williams, a consultant, career coach; and Hadiza Blell, otherwise known as Di’Ja, a singer and songwriter.

Speaking further, the comedian praised Nigerian youths for being “quite enterprising,” but he advised that “if you have an idea, don’t rush at implementation, sit down with it, put down the structures before you make a move.”

He also counselled them that the driving force for choice of career should not be a financial inducement, fame or immediate gains but passion, stressing that it was the clear way to find a voice, achieve focus and desired career goal.

The other speakers unanimously urged youths not to be desperate but pursue careers they are happy with and “be ready to work hard at it as that is the only way to have your voice heard,” reiterating that there was “no room” for laziness, as bills have no respect for persons.”

Earlier, the Head of Direct Banking at Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Adetola Oshomah, said the digital seminar was part of the bank’s Mobile Xpress (MX) Online Series to give the youths the opportunity to speak, noting that panellists comprising young people, who have excelled in their various careers and professions, were carefully selected to share their experiences and challenges before they found their voice.

Mrs Oshomah added that Ecobank boasts of digital solutions, products and services that are targeted at creating convenience for the youths.

She further stated that as a bank, Ecobank seeks to empower young people by offering them convenient, affordable and accessible financial services anytime and anywhere from their mobile phones, which is their primary mode of communication.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

Jobs/Appointments

ICPC Busts Job Racketeering Syndicate in Sting Operation

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job racketeering syndicate

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A job racketeering syndicate has been busted in a sting operation carried out by operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

In a statement issued on Monday, the agency said it was able to apprehend the prime suspect of the team, which specialises in defrauding unsuspecting job seekers through offers of non-existing employment.

According to the disclosure, four applicants were also arrested in the sting operation, which is part of an ongoing crackdown on employment syndicates by the commission in collaboration with the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) and intelligence arising therefrom regarding a replacement exercise in a federal government agency.

The statement noted that efforts are in place to find other suspects related to the case, as the arrested persons are being interviewed and are giving the commission useful information.

The syndicate’s mode of operation, according to the ICPC, is hoodwinking their victims into believing that they have a strong connection with the OHCSF and can use such influence to secure employment for them.

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Carol Oyedeji Becomes Deputy Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria

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Carol Oyedeji

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Ecobank Nigeria has announced the appointment of Ms Carol Oyedeji as its Deputy Managing Director in line with its policy of ensuring participative leadership and building a pipeline of future leaders.

The Chairman of Ecobank Nigeria, Ms Bola Adesola, expressed optimism that Ms Oyedeji’s wealth of experience would positively influence the goals and vision of the Pan African Bank.

Also, the Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Bolaji Lawal, described the appointment as an acknowledgement of her hard work and dedication to the Ecobank brand.

He expressed confidence that the appointment would also encourage and propel other diligent and result-oriented professionals within the organisation to continue to drive sustainable growth for the lender.

Business Post reports that the appointment of Ms Oyedeji has been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the banking industry’s watchdog.

The new DMD joined Ecobank Nigeria in 2017 as Executive Director, Consumer Banking and subsequently oversaw the Commercial Banking Business.

She is a seasoned banker and corporate administrator with over 30 years of experience. Before joining Ecobank, she was the Regional Head of Client Acquisition & Relationship for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered Bank, where she covered Retail Distribution in 14 countries across the Region.

Ms Oyedeji was also, at various times, Head of Business Banking for Standard Chartered Africa, Regional Head for Consumer Banking in West Africa, and Non-Executive Director at Standard Chartered Bank Gambia.

She is a graduate of Chemistry from the University of Lagos and holds an MSc in Financial Management from the University of London and an MBA in Banking and Finance from the University of Lagos. She has attended several Leadership courses at Oxford University, INSEAD, Singapore, UCLA and Stanford University and is a member of various industry bodies.

Ecobank Nigeria is a subsidiary of the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African banking group with operations in 33 African countries and an international presence in four locations (London, Paris, Beijing, and Dubai). Ecobank Nigeria is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small, and micro businesses, and individuals.

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Asha Mweru Mbowa to Lead AMI Enterprise as Managing Director

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Asha Mweru Mbowa

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A leading business learning company, African Management Institute (AMI), has appointed Mrs Asha Mweru Mbowa as the Managing Director of its newly launched AMI Enterprise, a new division dedicated to boosting workplace and professional skills for growth-stage and established companies.

The Kenyan national was promoted to the new position from her role as AMI’s Director of Operations and Talent, where she oversaw a 118 per cent growth of AMI employees from 2020 to 2022.

Her promotion continues the precedent set by AMI in which women represent over 60 per cent of all senior leadership positions at AMI.

The new division of AMI leverages its long-standing position in the continent’s training sector and its Africa-focused approach, proven to drive performance among leaders, managers, and Africa’s growing workforce.

She will lead an AMI Enterprise division with a deep bench and an ever-growing footprint across the continent, including sales and learning delivery team members in Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, and Nigeria.

AMI Enterprise will complement AMI Impact, the company’s other internal division, which works alongside development partners to deliver large-scale learning and business growth programmes to support the entrepreneurial economy.

“AMI’s team not only prepares the next generation of African leaders and workforce. our team is part of the next generation. We know that Africa’s business and professional talent are the driving factor behind the growth of the continent’s established and emerging businesses,” said Mrs Mweru Mbowa, who is based in Accra, Ghana.

“It’s time for Africa to do away with the learning methodologies of the past, not rooted in our own experiences.

“As an African learning company and a pioneer in this space, we’re excited to expand our enterprise offerings to reach even more professionals and accelerate the pace at which companies working in Africa’s business ecosystem can achieve their goals and put Africa at the centre for the global economy,” she added.

The Africa-based learning company equips businesses, managers, and Africa’s future workforce with the practical tools and training they need to succeed and drive growth.

AMI’s proven learning approach incorporates virtual and in-person workshops with on-the-job practice and support accompanied by practical online and mobile learning tools. Programmes are delivered by experienced world-class and African-based facilitators.

“AMI was founded nearly a decade ago with a vision for enabling Africa’s ambitious enterprises to thrive through practical management tools and training. We’ve grown rapidly, supporting leaders and managers at thousands of organisations, from Raddison Blu and Uber to Africa’s own rising stars, such as MKOPA and RwandAir.

“Our practical business learning is proven to accelerate Africa’s entrepreneurial economy. The recent establishment of AMI Enterprise as a core division will allow us to scale up our support for these companies as they grow to be a force in the global economy,” said Rebecca Harrison, AMI’s CEO and co-founder. “There’s no one more qualified than Asha Mweru Mbowa to lead AMI Enterprise as we respond to the rapid growth and demand across Africa for AMI’s corporate and growth-stage business training programmes.”

AMI’s Enterprise clients can select from AMI’s 4-6 month flagship leadership, management, and workforce performance programmes, shorter 1-2 month focused professional power skills programmes, and AMI’s Enterprise Academy solution, which provides virtual, on-demand, and localised blended learning for hundreds of participants.

The firm also develops bespoke learning programmes rooted in AMI methodology and leveraging its proprietary online learning platform, which includes over 3,000 downloadable tools, over 80 online courses and content in 5 languages. AMI learning programmes incorporate African-contextualized content and case studies based on African businesses and management experiences.

Mrs Mbowa joined AMI in 2020 after extensive experience working in Africa’s investment sector and with business education providers. She served as an Investment Advisor with Novastar Ventures and in key leadership roles with Kenya’s business education company, Sinapis Group.

She is active as an experienced entrepreneur and is the co-founder of Women Work Kenya, a technology-driven company focused on the advancement of African women entrepreneurs and professionals through digital communities and access to growth opportunities. She also serves as an Advisory board member of LendHer Capital and Profish Ghana Limited.

Mrs Mweru Mbowa is currently pursuing a Masters in Liberal Arts, Management from the Harvard Extension School and is a graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Information Technology from Strathmore University.

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