Roosevelt Ogbonna: Leadership personified


Sir: The birthday is a very important day. It is a day of joy and a period to reminisce about days gone by and also to strategise for the future.
Little wonder, the Psalmist urges mortals to be mindful of this day so that they will number their days and apply wisdom in all their dealings.

Eudora Welty, the 1973 American Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction, placed greater emphasis on time. According to him, “The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves, they find their own order, a timetable not necessarily – perhaps not possibly -chronological. The time as we know it subjectively, is often the chronology that stories and novels follow: it is the continuous thread of revelation.”

Time, no doubt reveals events, personalities and characters. Roosevelt Ogbonna, although not a Nobel laureate like Eudora Welty, he is in all ramifications a noble man that is worth celebrating. He is an asset of immeasurable value to Africa and by extension, the world.
The alumnus of the American Harvard Business School is not only a household name in the financial sector but a worthy fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). He is also an honorary fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (HCIBN) and is currently the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Access Bank.

Ogbonna, who recently marked his birthday, deserves every ounce of adulation that came his way during the event for his outstanding leadership qualities and prudent management of resources. The goodness and ardour of Ogbonna, who always want to impact lives for good, make friends and some of his mentees to want to celebrate him everyday.
It is not surprising that people say he does not merely share nomenclature with the two highly respected presidents of the United States of America – the two Roosevelts – he acts like them. Ogbonna is surely a personification of these towering figures and one of the noble Nigerians that have added value to the nation’s socio-economic landscape.

Aside his humane nature, Ogbonna’s astute managerial skill has enabled him to extend the tentacles of his banking conglomerate to Paris, the host of this year’s summer Olympics and Paralympic games. With this, Access Bank becomes the first Nigerian bank to achieve that feat.

Undoubtedly, Ogbonna passed through the Le Carré Magique of the Nigerian banking institute in the persons of Fola Adeola, Tayo Aderinokun, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhude and Herbert Wigwe to become a financial colossus.
In recognition of his sterling leadership qualities, the CFA holder was in 2015 nominated as one of the Institute of International Finance (IIF) Future Global Leaders (FGL).
Socrates, the Greek philosopher, in one of his views noted that leaders should be those with the greatest knowledge, abilities and virtues; those who possess a deep knowledge of themselves.

The University of Nigeria, Nsukka, banking and finance graduate is cerebral and a repertoire of knowledge.
Opeyemi Ajala (FCA) is a former presenter of Eagle Sports Hour on Eagle Cable Television Lagos, Nigeria.

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