You cannot have enough of this village boy from Ovim, Abia State. Bear with him and keep sharing your precious time by reading him – thanks. So, I go now: I have started initial work on my Business Person of the Year for 2019. In 2018, Herbert Wigwe of Access Bank won the award, for orchestrating one of the finest deals in the Nigerian banking history, by swallowing Diamond Bank, for largely nothing.
In 2019, I have come to admire the Chairman of Air Peace, Nigeria’s leading airline. Sir Allen Onyema occupies a very strategic position in the Nigerian economy because if supply chain & logistics is commerce, Nigeria runs on Air Peace.
His position has strengthened with his gesture of sending his planes to pick his fellow citizens who are planning to escape xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Sir Onyema offered to evacuate these Nigerian citizens and that process has started. If you read carefully, he is acting like Nigeria to his fellow citizens. That is the zenith of a business mission.
Mazi Onyema gets extra 18 points in my excel and right now is leading with 11 points. The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, drops to second place. Mr. Adesina has impressed me by making agriculture a business through well crafted messaging and structural initiatives AfDB had undertaken under his leadership.
There are others. But who wins? We have three more months for this village boy to announce his 2019 Business Person of the Year.