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Towards the close of 2019, my ally, Dr Tunde Masseyferguson Ojo, asked me if I have seen the call to application for the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) Bridge Fellowship. I have seen the call to application but I never took it serious until he shared it with me again. I began the application and I can say I am a better Nigerian today. Let me share with you some of what I have gained since the fellowship started in July 2020.

•         New Allies: I have been able to meet many young and noble minds from every part of the country with different career endeavors and they are upwardly mobile persons. You can meet us all by visiting this link-


•         Expertise Converge: Each one being adept at what they do daily to improve their lives and communities. We were able to put together a report titled, “Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 lockdown on households in Nigeria”. Everyone had a role to play, I was part of the Editorial team, if you will like to read this report, click on the link-


•         New Platforms: As a PR Consultant, one of the times that we always crave for is to have new platforms to communicate our ideas and zeal. The NESG annual Summit in Abuja created a new platform for my co-participants to speak to national stakeholders. This is one of the biggest platforms to address people from the Public sector in Nigeria and we got this on a platter of gold. If you will like to see the session, click this link-


•         New Skills: I have always loved writing but through the Bridge Fellowship; I have become a Rapporteur. This makes me a valuable resource for conferences, summit and other high profile events. This is another way through which the fellowship has created a better me.


•         Learning from the feet of C-Suite Executives: Youngsters in the private sector have people that they look forward to. With the NESG Bridge Fellowship, I have been able to learn from the C-Suites Executives that one have longed to learn from. They were open about their journey to the top. The Bridge Fellowship actually created the bridge.


•         Being a part of the Future: Within 9 months of being a part of this fellowship, the distinguished fellows and I have been a part of the future. We have been involved in documentation of the Diagnostic Report and Developmental Plan 2021-2025. All these are expected to help shape Government policies.


•         Mentoring: Having assigned us to various Thematic Working Group, we were not just thrown under the bus but we were assigned to a mentor and this is a mandatory part of the fellowship. Despite the busy schedule of both the mentor and the mentee, it is expected that you are prepared to do everything in the best interest of the nation.


•         Entry point for other opportunities: A current member of the Bridge Fellow has been selected by the UNCTAD/WTO for a special training on International Merchandise Trade Statistics, under their joint TrainforTrade Initiative. This is a recommendation earned because of his participation in the fellowship. I would equally added that opportunities are being shared by distinguished fellows and by NESG also.


•         Robust discussions: Beyond all that is taking place in the virtual classroom led by cerebral men and women, the Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) and the Policy Commissions; the fellows engage in cross-cultural and cross borders banters that have sharpened the thoughts of everyone. There is no dull moment on the messaging platform of the fellows.


•         Pay to Serve: Many youngsters love to say that they are selfless. NESG is a think-tank where you pay to serve. Don’t get it twisted, the fellows are not required to pay but it points one in the directions of raising selfless youngsters who will continue with the dream of creating the future that subsequent generations will be proud of. However, I would add that there are compensations periodically.


You need to be a Bridge Fellow if you have a dream of building a great nation in the best interest of everyone. Would you follow the steps of the Founding fathers like Ernest Shonekan; Pascal Gabriel Dozie, Ahmed Joda, Dr Imo Itsueli and others. Then, you need to apply for the Bridge Fellowship to join a  New Cadre of Young Visionary Leaders. To apply, visit-


Olutayo Irantiola is a distinguished fellow of The NESG Bridge Fellowship. He is a Lagos-based PR Consultant and creative writer. He blogs at Send him a mail via [email protected]

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Zenith Bank Refunds N3.23m To Angry Customer Chiamaka Agim



A leading Nigerian commercial bank, Zenith Bank has returned N3.23 million to Chiamaka Agim, a Lagos State resident whose N4.039 million was erroneously deducted on January 9.


According to reports, Zenith Bank had previously informed Agim that she would only receive N800,500 of the N4,039,900 that had been debited.


But on Monday, January 16, in the evening, the bank sent back N3,239,400.


Recently, the Zenith Bank client shared a post about the refund on her Twitter page.



Agim reported that on that Monday, the bank contacted her to provide an update on the refunded money.


“After the event, they had to put my account on pause, so I didn’t get any alerts,” the user said. I was told to visit the bank the next day,” she recalled.


“They had credited my account with N3,239,400 around 7.30 pm on Monday,” the customer said. “My account statement was printed when I got to the bank.”


She claimed to have discovered that Access, one of the two banks to which the funds were transferred, still held the remaining N800,500.


Zenith Bank stated that Access Bank is now withholding the funds and that it is not their fault at this time. They said Access Bank stated that the funds would not be released without a court order.

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UBA Appoints Abiola Bawuah CEO,UBA Africa



The Board of Directors of the United Bank for Africa Plc has announced the appointment of Mrs. Abiola Bawuah, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UBA Africa.


According to a statement y the bank, Bawuah will also join the Group Board as an Executive Director, overseeing the Group’s operations across the African continent, outside Nigeria.


Bawuah, a Ghanaian national, is the first female CEO of UBA Africa.


Prior to her appointment, she was Regional CEO, West Africa, supervising the Group’s operations in nine subsidiaries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. She previously held the role of CEO, UBA Ghana.


Speaking on the new appointment, the Group Board Chairman, Mr Tony O. Elumelu, said, “Abiola has contributed significantly to the growth of UBA Africa for close to a decade. She brings a wealth of experience in commercial banking, and stakeholder engagement. It also gives me great pleasure that with her appointment, the UBA Group Board has now become a majority female board.”


The UBA Group also announced other appointments.


Chris Ofikulu was appointed the Regional CEO of UBA West Africa.


A statement by the bank said Ofikulu has over two decades of banking experience spanning corporate, commercial, and retail banking.


Similarly, Uzoechina Molokwu was appointed as Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of UBA Ghana, subject to local regulatory approvals. He was previously the Executive Director, Business Development – UBA Côte d’Ivoire and has over 23 years banking experience.


Ayokunle Olajubu was also announced as the Managing Director/CEO UBA Liberia, subject to local regulatory approvals. He currently drives compliance across Africa subsidiaries and comes with 30 years banking experience in Nigeria and other African countries, including Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire and the Gambia.


Other appointments include that of Theresa Henshaw who was appointed as CEO of UBA UK, subject to local regulatory approvals. She was previously the DMD, Business Development, UBA America and joined the Group as ED, Business Development at UBA UK.


Usman Isiaka, currently CEO, UBA Sierra Leone, has also been appointed the Deputy CEO in UBA America, subject to local regulatory approvals.


Adeyemi Adeleke, the former CEO of UBA, UK is now the Group Treasurer. Adeleke will be working to unlock the immense value in the Group’s multi-jurisdictional balance sheet, leveraging on its presence in 24 countries within and beyond Africa.


In addition to the executive appointments, UBA has announced the retirement of High Chief Samuel Oni, an independent non-executive Director, from the board following the expiration of his tenure. He joined the UBA Group in January 2015 and served on the Board of the Group for eight years.


The Group Chairman, Mr Elumelu, expressed his appreciation to High Chief Oni, for his commitment, leadership and extensive contributions to the UBA Group and on behalf of the Board, wishes him the very best in all his future endeavours.

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