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Sterling Bank leverages Nigeria’s chaotic advantage

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Riding out the rapid and unpredictable change associated with the Nigerian market was the focus of senior business leaders led by Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank Plc, during the second edition of the Sterling Leadership Series (SLS) held in Lagos, last weekend.

A coming together of captains of industry, the thought leadership session had Yaw Nsarkoh, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever Nigeria as guest speaker. Aptly themed “Nigeria: The Chaotic Advantage”, the session was moderated by Yemi Odubiyi, Executive Director, Corporate and Investment Banking, Sterling Plc.

In his welcome address, Suleiman said there is an urgent need for Nigeria to develop institutional role models for younger professionals to emulate in view of the dynamic environment in which they operate.

“When we embarked on this journey as a bank, there were hardly any institutional role models who managers could call upon when they needed to make business decisions. Consequently, we had to set uncommon goals for ourselves to successfully navigate the uncharted waters of the Nigerian economy.”

According to him, the management of Sterling Bank resolved early in the life of the bank to articulate the direction they wanted the bank to follow and took steps to ensure that people could understand and take the vision to the next level.

Speaking on the theme, Nsarkoh listed strategies that business leaders should adopt to deal with the challenges and opportunities of operating in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment.

Nsarkoh said the first thing business leaders should do in a VUCA environment is to face the reality of the environment and map out ways to deal with it. According to him, by facing the reality, they will be able to build resilient models that can cope with shocks and thrive in highly volatile circumstances.

He said companies should build organisations that are equipped to interpret the risks surrounding them. They should also design backup plans and possible changes in the short term such as having multiple vendors for a particular service. So, when shocks surface, they can easily move from one supplier to the other or spread their needs among several suppliers.

Nsarkoh said the economic cycle and evaluation criteria of what is right in a volatile business environment must be viewed through a long-term lens and planning cycles should be shorter because things could change every month or every quarter.

He said companies should review, change and review but evaluation of economic benefits must be done with a longer-term horizon in mind.

He explained that in any environment, volatile or not, there is always a cultural conversation within which brands must express themselves. He added that “in times of adversity, people develop a certain sense of humour about things such as poor infrastructure and their implication on services. So, brands seeking to serve people purposefully must immerse themselves in that environment and speak their language.”

Nsarkoh said business leaders must embrace and understand the context of the unpredictable times in which they live, the news culture of the people and the roles that their brands could play in day-to-day conversations within communities.

The CEO said business leaders must be curious and go out of their ways to seek best practices wherever they could find it, remarking that through this quest they will be able to demolish the pervading tendency of people to think they cannot aspire to world-class services and products in their environment.

He also enjoined business leaders to look out for people doing things better than them and benchmark or adopt a talent base that is vital to the survival and growth of the business, empower the frontline sales team and create a multi-stakeholder approach, among others.

Wrapping up the session, Yemi Odubiyi explained that the rate of change is outpacing the ability of economies, businesses, industries and people to adapt. He urged leaders both in the private and public space to adopt newer mental models based on agility, critical thinking, adaptable learning, responsiveness to change and people orientation as against dependence on intuition, belief and values for decision making.

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INVESTIGATION

Customer battles Cosmos Maduka’s Coscharis Motors over N24m

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These are not the best of times for Coscharis Motors, owned by Mr. Cosmos Maduka as Mr Olusina Sofola has dragged the company  to a Lagos Magistrate’s Court, sitting at Igbosere, over a defective Jaguar car valued at N24.15million sold to him.

The claimant is demanding N9.5million, as general damages, resulting from the inconveniences suffered as a result of the defective supposedly brand new Jaguar car sold and delivered to him, by the defendants.

Sofola is further asking for an order of court directing the defendants to replace the Jaguar XJ 2.0 Sedan Automobile with chassis No SAJAA12NIFPV79999 and engine No 040914054912204PT, with a new one of the same specifications.

He  is also seeking an order directing the first defendant to refund N148, 335, being the excess on the N1,097,035.17, paid by the claimant for the purchase and replacement of the cracked windscreen.

He also asked the court to declare that the defendants breached the warranty given to the claimant upon the purchase of a brand new Jaguar XJ 2.0 Sedan Automobile and that it also breached the duty to deliver a fit for purpose brand new Jaguar to the claimant.

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Sofola in his particulars of claim said that on December 7, 2016, he purchased a black coloured 2015 model Jaguar, the XJ 2.0 Sedan automobile from the first defendant for N24,150,000.
He said that the purchase of the car came with a three year warranty, adding that the warranty stipulated that he would enjoy the car without problem.

According to him, upon delivery of the car together with its documentations, he noticed on the same day of the delivery that the three years warranty pack included as part of the car maintenance package had been removed.

The claimant also noticed that there was a problem with the closing of the car bonnet, and that he made a complaint and was advised to take the car back for adjustment. A few days later, he said he also noticed that the car was showing maintenance due sign, with the dash board and certain other parts of the interior of the car peeling and being very sticky to touch. He said he made a complaint to one Mr. Umokoro, an official of the first defendant, who promised to sort out the issues and further assured him that the defective parts complained of would be ordered and re-installed in the car, while the warranty service pack would be restored.

The claimant who resides and carries out business at Ikeja, said barely a week after the purchase of the car, he had to return the Jaguar to the Awoyaya office of the first defendant. However, the defendants in their response denied some of the claims of the claimant, stating that the car was delivered to the claimant in good condition.

They stated that the terms of warranty only covered certain problems that the car may have during the period warranted. The defendants also said that at the time of the delivery of the vehicle to the claimant, the warranty/service pack of the Jaguar automobile sedan was in the globe compartment of the vehicle which also contains the hand book alongside the owner’s manual.

They averred that the claimant was not entitled to replacement of the Jaguar automobile sedan as there was no such provision in the warranty. The firm also averred that the ordinary summons of the claimant was baseless, frivolous and calculated to reap funds from the defendants. Consequently, the firm asked the court to dismiss the suit and award substantial cost against the claimant.

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INVESTIGATION

Fresh plot to blackmail Amnesty Programme boss, Charles Dokubo uncovered

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Prof. Charles Dokubo

A new plot has been hatched aimed at tarnishing the image of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Prof. Charles Dokubo.

The plot, which is already in its advanced stage, is orchestrated by individuals who have failed in their bids to force Dokubo to award contracts to them.

This newspaper gathered that Prof. Dokubo has severally turned down overtures by those behind the plot, and now to get at him, they have resorted to blackmailing him.

In one of the campaigns of calumny, an online portal had reported award of fictitious contracts to the tune of N3.2 billion within a period of one month to two companies allegedly fronting for the Amnesty Programme coordinator.

But in a statement signed by special assistant on Media to the office, Murphy Ganagana, urged members of the public to ignore the alleged N3.2billion contract scam report.

The statement however noted that it was not the wish of the agency to ‘dissipate valuable time and energy in recapping the “wholesomely fallacious report’’.

According to him the online portal from which the story emanated had become notorious in purveying fake news and promoting blackmail to nauseating level, adding that the attempt to drag the image of the highly revered wife of the president, Mrs. Aisha Buhari and the National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno, to the mud to score a point was appalling.

The statement read in part: “To put the records straight, we wish to state as follows: It is true that a contract for empowerment of 300 Niger Delta youths in oil and gas instrumentation was awarded to Messrs. Glassfa Continental Ltd, and another contract for training and empowerment of 400 delegates in coastal fishing was awarded to Innotek Royal Services Limited.

“However, the two contracts in question were beyond the threshold of the Special Adviser to the President and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme. Therefore, in line with statutory guidelines and regulations, a Due Process No Objection was sought and obtained from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) vides a letter OSAPND/GCL/VT/2018/11010 dated 19th October, 2018. Consequently, approval for award of contracts to the two companies was granted by the BPP.”

It added that contrary to the allegation that payment had been made to the two companies even though work has not commenced, “we wish to state with emphasis that no dime has been paid to any of the two companies. It is pertinent to state that processes leading to payment of 15 per cent of contract sum are yet to be completed for the two companies which have not been handed delegates for training. Files of the two companies on the contracts have not reached the Prof. Dokubo’s table.

“On the allegation of 30 companies discovered to have been perpetrating contract fraud worth billions of Naira by an external auditing committee said to have been inaugurated by Prof. Dokubo, it existed only in the imagination of the publishers of Pointblanknews as NO such committee was inaugurated at the Amnesty Office under Prof. Dokubo, and no contract fraud was unearthed at any time.”

The office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme under Professor Dokubo has witnessed substantial achievements in the last one year. On assumption of office on March 13, 2018, Charles Quaker Dokubo, an erudite professor and nuclear scientist had a clear mandate: to retool the programme to make it more robust and impactful for the enlisted ex-agitators in the Niger Delta with the ultimate goal of achieving sustainable peace and development in all facets of the region.

Barely three months on, precisely in 100 days, leaders and stakeholders in the Niger Delta, are convinced of President Muhammadu Buhari’s quest to transform the region through the instrumentality of the amnesty programme with the appointment of Prof. Dokubo who they describe as a messiah that has come to chart a new path for the programme. Their conviction is apparently based on his sterling performance and achievements within a short period.

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INVESTIGATION

Exposed: Kogi State Chief of Staff, Edward Onoja delves into oil sector, acquires Enyo filling stations

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The controversial and exuberant Chief of Staff to Kogi State Governor, Edward Onoja is desperately plunging billions of Naira into the oil and gas sector of Nigeria economy, LeadingReporters can authoritatively revealed.

A discreet investigation carried out by this online platform has revealed that Edward Onoja, aside from investing and acquiring Enyo Filling Station, is desirous of becoming a major player in the downstream oil sector within the shortest possible time.

Our investigation further revealed that there are currently more branches of the filling station springing up in States like Plateau, Benue and other States within the North Central region. A source who spoke to LeadingReporters on condition of anonymity revealed that Onoja is cashing in on the office he currently holds sway to amass wealth, knowing too well that tomorrow is not guaranteed politically for him.

“He is massively investing in the oil and gas, estate and agriculture. He owns the largest stake in Enyo Filling Station and he is plunging billions of Naira to ensure a faster spread of the filling station, first within the North Central Region and then to every part of Nigeria. He wants the services it offers to rank among the bests and the biggest in Nigeria. He seems determined. Above all, there seems enough money to pursue the vision”

Recall that Edward Onoja has been at the center of most political controversies in Kogi State. Kogi State has become notorious for promoting policies that do not better the lot its citizens, especially the civil servants. Furthermore, thuggery, and gun running have allegedly become the order of the day in Kogi State, under the Yahaya Bello APC-led government.

Kogi is ranked the worse in terms of payment of salaries, and gratuities to serving and retired civil servants.

– Source: Leading Reporters

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