VAL OZIGBO@50: Behold The Man, His Accomplishments And 2023 Ambition, By Nnamdi Ojiego

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Behold the man! The pacesetter! An achiever! A rare breed and epitome of humanity at 50. He is Chief Valentine Ozigbo, the immediate past President and CEO of Transcorp PLC., and frontrunner in the Anambra state governorship election.

Born on July 20, 1970, to family of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Ozigbo in Amesi, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, Ozigbo believes in humanity. According to him, humanity is the most important religion.

Val as he is popularly called, is also undeniably a man with a heart of gold, preferring to place others before and above himself. He has a burning desire and dream to create a sustainable ecosystem of value that empowers an elite army of young people with the knowledge and skills that will allow them thrive and prosper in the new global economy.

He uses his foundation, Chineto Ozigbo Foundation, to drive his charitable programmes on youth empowerment, capacity building, and mentorship. The foundation is very active at the grassroots especially in his home state of Anambra and has a history of implementing youth development and leadership training initiatives up to and including entrepreneurship competitions in diverse communities across the state.

Val is also a co-founder and Chairman of Feet n Tricks, the exclusive organizers of the freestyle footballer championships that is gaining wide popularity around Africa. The platform is committed to discovering and nurturing talents in the sport with a vision to use it lift as many talented young people out of poverty.

He also chairs the Unusual Entrepreneur Program which empowers startups with funding and mentorship, a scheme that has funded almost 250 startups to date and counting. His drive and energy is a major reason the program is continuously breaking new grounds as he regularly leverages on his relationships and reach to attract top individuals to act as mentors for the cohorts that populate the program.

Born like every other child of his time, the philanthropist did not allow his humble background to deter him from dreaming and aspiring higher. He learned many important life lessons from his father a retired school headmaster and his mother, a small scale trader, who instilled in him the virtues of discipline, integrity, and hard work, traits he has lived by in the 50 years of his life.

Ozigbo has been a shinning light right from his childhood. His capacity for intellectual rigor found quaint expression when he was employed to teach Physics and Mathematics at his alma mater, The Christ the Redeemer College, a secondary school in his home town, while awaiting university admission after his college education, and by all accounts and records of performance, he did an excellent job imparting the knowledge and skills he had acquired to the wards under his tutelage.

He went on to study Accounting at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, graduating in 1994 with the best result in both the Department of Accounting and Faculty of Business Administration. He obtained his MBA in Banking and Finance from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2000 and an MSc in Finance with distinction from Lancaster University, the United Kingdom in 2004 through the prestigious Chevening Scholarship.

He has also obtained professional qualifications from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (1998), the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (2000), and Institute of Credit Administration (2015).

He attained professional qualifications in accounting from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria in 1998, in taxation from The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria in 2000 and Credit Administration from The Institute of Credit Administration which he bagged in 2015. He is a fellow of all three illustrious institutions.

No doubt, his impressive performance set the tone for all that he would go on to accomplish academically, even as it opened the doors for his successful career.

As far as professionals go, he is a thoroughbred, groomed in the stables of the Nigerian banking industry and refined in the revered halls of the some of the best business schools on the planet; Val brings competence and capacity to the party and none can begrudge his meteoric rise to the top or indeed his potential for greatness.

He has over twenty years of professional experience spanning through banking and hospitality industries. As the immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation (Transcorp), Plc., a position he attained through diligence, exceptional hard work and a steadfast commitment to excellence, he introduced far-reaching innovations and oversaw other businesses within the conglomerate that includes a robust energy portfolio of several oil & gas and power assets such as the Ughelli Power Plant and the recently acquired Afam Power Plant.

Before he delved into the hospitality business as the CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc, where he superintended the transformation and reemergence of the hotel as a premier brand in the Nigerian hospitality segment, Ozigbo has had about 17 years of professional banking experience working in some of the biggest banks in Nigeria.

He was Head of Commercial Banking at Diamond Bank Plc for five years between 1995 and 2000, before proceeding to United Bank for Africa where he worked for a year from 2000 to 2001 as a Business Manager. Between 2001 and 2003, Mr Ozigbo was the Acting Regional Director of FSB International Bank. He later left this role and returned to United Bank for Africa in 2004, where he worked for four years as Head of International Banking. In 2008, he left United Bank for Africa for Keystone Bank for what would be the last leg of his nearly two-decades-long career in the banking industry. He served as the General Manager of the bank’s Global Transaction operation.

Having done so well for himself in the private sector, it’s now time to replicate those feats in public governance. And what a better place to start his political sojourn than the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra.

Ozigbo has declared his interest to govern Anambra state under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, come 2021.

Addressing ward members and supporters at his Amesi ward, Ozigbo said he was in the governorship race to impact on the society and make Anambra the envy of other states.

He informed that as he has led Transcorp to success in the energy sector, hospitality industry and Agriculture is the same way he would champion Anambra interest for the good of all as he would galvanize Anambra billionaires for the common good of the state.

The businessman said he was basing his campaign on four foundations, namely youth empowerment, scholarship, business empowerment and seasonal concerts.

“I am fascinated with the concept of entrepreneurship, innovation & the pursuit of excellence. For this reason, I am more than happy to provide advice and mentorship to young entrepreneurs, startups and business people in general who think my experience can be of value”, he had said.

Ozigbo is a devout Catholic who has literally brought his unique style of innovation and enterprise into the house of God where he serves in many different capacities. He is an intrinsic component of the annual Unusual Praise Gospel Concert that holds every Christmas in the Lekki area of Lagos hosted by the Divine Mercy Catholic Church Lekki.

In recognition of his status as a thought leader, Val has been invited to participate in many international conferences, including the World Economic Forum at Davos (WEF) and the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA) in Nigeria; the African Development Bank annual meetings in China; the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meetings in Washington DC; Euromoney and Economist Conferences in London; Euromoney debates on Capital Flows to Africa in London; and SIBOS 2009. In September 2018, he received the award of Distinguished Alumnus of the Lancaster University at a special ceremony held in Ghana.

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