Excellence Awards 2021: The Making of Award Winners

Introduction: Celebrating Excellence

Since inception six years ago, we have made profiling our specialty and business. Every month, since then, we profile organizations, businesses and personalities who have distinguished themselves as the leading lights of their respective endeavours, both in the public and private sectors, cutting across various sectors and endeavours. The top 10 players in each sphere are assessed, selected and showcased and celebrated in the month’s edition of the magazine as the best.

Although the top players are not ranked or graded for any form of reward or recognition, the profiling is so professionally done that it has earned our magazine respect and acclaim. Beyond that, our six-year experience in organizational, business and personality profiling has so deepened our knowledge and proficiency in assessment of people and organizations that it has placed our publication arguably, in the best position to rate and accord recognition to the best in their various fields.

That is exactly what our Board of Editors have decided to do by instituting, first, the Annual The Top10 magazine Man of the year award six years ago. Last year, we have added another annual award, The Top10 Magazine Excellence Awards with effect from 2021.

While the man of the year award is conceived as annual award to honour one outstanding individual who has distinguished him or herself by impacting greatly in society in the year under review, the Excellence Awards on the other hand was conceived to be an annual event to celebrate and honour outstanding personalities and organizations that have made the difference in various endeavours in Nigeria. The objective is to celebrate and reward excellence in line with the core value of the magazine which is to celebrate individuals and organizations that represent excellence in the various sectors of the Nigerian society.

 Consistent with the tradition of thoroughness associated with The Top10 magazine, the winners of the Awards were selected based on their outstanding accomplishments in their various endeavours. They emerged after a rigorous selection process of many other equally prominent and outstanding nominees across the various categories, in an exercise that involved various stages of screening.

Dr. Ten Adesanya, chairman of Oxford Holdings emerged our man of the year 2021 in recognition of his exploits in the business world by moulding Oxford Holdings as one of Nigeria’s fastest growing conglomerates with tentacles in many sectors. For the Excellence Awards, Ben Ayade and David Umahi as well as Godswill Akpabio, Ndudi Elumelu and others have emerged the notable winners of the awards. Governor Ayade of Cross-River State was voted as the Governor of the Year in recognition of his business-friendly governance and ability to stimulate growth of the Cross-River State’s economy through innovative investment initiatives. Gov. Dave Umahi, of Ebonyi State is named Political Leader of the Year in recognition of his patriotic and nationalistic disposition as a leading voice in the promotion of national interest. Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, was named Minister of the Year in recognition of his bold and courageous efforts at restoring sanity, transparency and accountability to NDDC, while Ndudi Elumelu, Minority leader, House of Representatives was named Legislator of the Year in recognition of his role as a stabilizing factor in the Nigerian National Assembly by providing responsible opposition leadership. Bashir Jamoh, DG/CEO, NIMASA, on the other hand won the award of the Public Service Personality of the Year in recognition of the milestone achievements of NIMASA under his leadership within a short period of time.

Other winners of the awards include – BAM Properties as Real Estate Company of the Year in recognition of its contribution to housing development in Nigeria. Chinmark Group emerged Nigeria’s Global Brand of the Year in recognition of its foray into the global market with presence in many countries of the world.  Niyi Adesanya, CEO, FifthGear Plus Consulting as Leadership Coach of the Year in recognition of his leading role in redefining leadership training in Nigeria.

Space would not permit us to list all the winners here even though they are all as deserving of the awards given them as any other.

The Board and management of Toncam Nigeria Limited, publishers of Top10 magazine, hereby congratulate all the award winners and wish them more honours and higher recognitions in the years ahead.

Gov. Ben Ayade –  Governor of the year

Governor Ben Ayade is a Professor of Microbiology with an uncommon passion for and knowledge of the economy.

Born on March 2, 1968, Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade, ran successfully for the office of governor in April 2015 on the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Before that, he was a member of the 7th Senate of Nigeria. He was re-elected as the governor of Cross River State in the 2019. On Thursday, May 20, 2021, Ayade announced his defection to All Progressives Congress (APC) in Calabar, capital of the State.

Since he was first elected Governor of the state in 2015, Ayade has made economic development the cornerstone of his administration’s policy, deploying it as the chief driver of growth and development of Cross River state and the welfare of its people.

His 30-year Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) roadmap for Cross River state envisages “a prosperous Nigerian state with healthy and well-educated citizens, living in harmony with people and nature, pursuing inclusive and sustainable growth, moderated by good governance.” Cross River state was once classified as an oil-producing littoral state before its 76 oil wells were awarded to its neighbour, Akwa Ibom, but the Governor would not allow that setback to slow the pace of its economic development.

Governor Ayade launched the GDS to fulfill his administration’s promise of inclusive development programmes, consistent with the ideals of the universal declaration on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). His administration’s goals and prosperity aspiration is to deepen the state economy from its current N2.7 trillion GDP level to N9.6 trillion by the close of his second term in 2023.

Governor Ayade has been traversing the globe since winning a second term of office to attract investors to the state. His administration has made significant progress in creating a conducive business environment for investors by de-risking the opportunity fields for private sector investments and collaboration. His administration’s friendly collaboration with the Federal Government has fast-tracked the development processes for signature projects such as the Bakassi Deep Seaport and the 275 km super highway.

The thrust of Ayade’s administration since inception in 2015 was built around rapid industrialization of the state and building of socio-economic infrastructure. He has maintained that trajectory since his reelection in 2019.

In this regard, the administration has embarked on the establishment of a number of employment creation initiatives, namely: Cala Chika, a frozen chicken factory that processes 22,000 birds per day, a feed mill, a noodle factory, and a fertilizer plant. To ensure that economic empowerment blossoms and takes root, he began a new agro-economic empowerment scheme for the youths, known as G-Money or Green Money, which seeks to make 1,000 youths millionaires in the first instance.

The programme was designed for the empowerment of youths and creating a value chain in agriculture through a beneficiation process that allows young men to hold plots of land while the government helps them in land clearing and processing, so that the industries can now buy back the raw materials from them as feedstock. It also provides direct cash, a million naira, as take-off grant.

Then, there’s CrossRice, the state’s flagship agricultural project, a multi-billion naira project promoted by the Cross River State Rice Company Management Board, the Central Bank of Nigeria and Sterling Bank. So far, over 2,000 Cross Riverians have already been either directly or indirectly engaged in the scheme as part of an ambitious employment generation move, that targets 5000 people in the next one year, making maximum use of commercial and mechanized farming methods.

The ongoing construction of the longest runway in Nigeria at the Obudu international passenger and cargo airport is another milestone in the Ayade administration’s efforts at boosting the state’s economy.

It is on the basis of these and other landmark contributions to the economic development of Cross River State that Professor Ayade is being honoured today with Governor of the Year Award by the Top 10 magazine.

Gov. Dave Umahi – Political Leader of the Year

In a country like Nigeria which is suffering from the erosion of nationalistic tendencies Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State stands out like an iroko tree in a desert. He eats, breathes and dreams a united, strong and better Nigeria.

Ample evidence of Umahi’s patriotic and nationalist credentials can be found in his disposition towards the self-determinist movements seeking to break up from Nigeria that have rocked Nigeria’s South-East where he hails from. 

The two most notable among the groups are the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). While many of Umahi’s peers give silent concurrence or submit themselves to the separatist agitations out of fear, Governor Umahi frequently comes out confidently and boldly to denounce the agitations and their modus operandi. He would rather want to see a strong, united and economically flourishing country that would bring prosperity to its citizens, including his fellow enterprising people of the Southeast.

He admits that most of the secessionist groups’ agitations are genuine but believes they could be addressed within the context of Nigeria.

Another area in which Governor Umahi has manifested his nationalistic outlook is in the raging legal tussle between the Federal and the Rivers and Lagos State governments over rights to the collection of the Value-added Tax (VAT). Since the introduction of the tax in Nigeria, the Federal Government has enjoyed exclusive rights to its collection and thereafter distributing a proportion of it to the states and local government areas based on the existing federal revenue allocation formula.

 However, over the years, some states have questioned the status quo, arguing that it was illegal and was being used by the Federal Government to deprive them of the revenue that they ought to collect. The matter is still pending in the appeal court. In the course of the litigation, and sensing that a new and lucrative revenue-earning outlet was in the offing, many state governors moved to join Rivers State litigation or institute their own. The implication of a successful VAT litigation against the Federal Government is that the centre will be rendered fiscally weaker.

However, the spirit of nationalism in Umahi, would not allow him support the VAT litigation bandwagon, his Ebonyi state’s relatively weak revenue base notwithstanding. He said Ebonyi would continue to stick with the VAT collection by the Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS) and its subsequent distribution among the 36 states of the federation. “Ebonyi state is not in support of any state collecting VAT. We are in support that FIRS should continue to collect tax and share,” he declared.

Another issue that has brought Governor Umahi’s nationalistic posture is his handling of the herdsmen/farmers’ clashes in some parts of the federation. In Ebonyi state, the Governor made Local Government chairmen in his state to see how to make peace between the herdsmen and famers and advised that the approach be replicated across the country.

Orji Uchenna Orji, the Ebonyi state commissioner for information describes Umahi as someone who is nationalistic by nature. “By his character, family training, nature and inclination, he is a nationalistic leader and a bridge builder; he believes in one Nigeria. For us in Ebonyi, we refer to him as Azikiwe of Nigeria because all his doings point to the fact that he wants a united Nigeria where there is love, peace, prosperity and tolerance for every culture.”

These are among the credentials that have earned Engr. Umahi the recognition as The Political Leader of the Year 2021 by the Top 10 magazine.

David Nweze Umahi, 67, popularly known as Dave Umahi, was born in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. He was educated at Ishiagu High School, the Government Secondary School Afikpo and graduated from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.

In 1990, he co-founded Norman Engineering and Construction Nigeria Limited and served as its general manager until 1993 when he left to set up Brass Engineering & Construction Nigeria Ltd.

Umahi entered public service in 2007 as the acting chairman of the Ebonyi State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, rising progressively to become state chairman of the party and chairman of the governing board of the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba.

In 2011, Umahi became Deputy governor of Ebonyi State on PDP ticket with Governor Martin Elechi. He succeeded his principal when he was elected Governor in 2015. Umahi who has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) is currently serving his second and final term as Governor following his reelection in 2019.

Dr. Teni Adesanya (Chairman, Oxford Group)  – Man of the Year

That Dr. Teni Adesanya, Founder and Executive Chairman of Oxford Holdings, has established his business presence in diverse and unrelated sectors of the economy and is excelling is not by accident. It is a reflection of the diversity of his educational and professional background.

A holder of a BSc degree in Microbiology from the Lagos State University, he holds another BSc in Estate Management from the University of Ibadan and a DSC in Property Management and Estate Development from the European American University in the Dominican Republic.

He has attended the Owners’ Management Programme, Advanced Management Programme and the Agribusiness Management Programme of the Lagos Business School. He holds a PhD in Corporate Leadership and Management from the Alliance International University, as well as two diplomas in Sustainable Business Strategy and Negotiation Mastery, respectively, from the Harvard Business School, Massachusetts, the United States.

He possesses professional skills in real estate portfolio management, management consulting, finance and investment portfolio advisory, top-level marketing and sales consultancy; customer relationship management, start-up growth advisory and asset management.

This diversified professional background has moulded Adesanya into a business thought leader who, in nearly two decades of hands-on experience, has made a significant foray into different sectors that include finance and investment management, banking, hospitality, insurance, oil and gas, project management and real estate.

Adesanya’s career trajectory involves executive marketer and regional manager, Aim and Assets management Limited, 2007 to 2010; fund advisory manager, UBA Metropolitan Life Assurance Limited, 2011; managing director, Pacific Asset Limited (later known as Maxtra Plc), 2011 to 2013 and managing director, Peakaflex Investment Limited, 2013 to 2016. Others are executive director (finance division), Richlife Commercial and Logistics Limited, February to June, 2016; Chief Executive Officer, Oxford International Group, 2016 to 2020 and Group Chairman, Oxford Holdings, June, 2020 till date.

His biggest career achievement is building Oxford Holdings from one estate company into an octopus with many subsidiaries engaging over 5,000 entrepreneurs and associates; providing strategic leadership to the Group, which has seen the organization maintaining a continuous growth path with a capital base of over N15 billion. He is credited with developing and managing a large-scale loan scheme for SMEs, with successful disbursements and loan recoveries, and a low rate of bad loans at Pacific Assets.

Adesanya was appointed as an independent director of organizations outside Oxford Holdings, including Finvest Plc, EAIN Capitals Limited, EAIN BDC Limited and EAIN Distribution Limited.

A professional whose expertise is sought after by many, Adesanya sits on the boards of several organizations. He is an independent director, Finvest Corp Plc; director, Eain Capital Limited; director, EAIN BDC Limited; director. ImageQ Oxford and director, Craighton Schools. Others are director, Oxford Dredging; director, GTBet Limited; director, Safegate Microfinance Bank and chairman, Oxford Holdings Limited.

His professional memberships include Member, Nigerian Institute of Insurance Agents; Fellow, Institute of Management Consultants (FIMC); Fellow, Chartered Institute of Management Consultants; Fellow, Institute of Credit Administrators and Fellow, Association of Corporate Governance Professionals of Nigeria. Others are Fellow, Professional Managers and Administrators; Fellow, Chartered Institute of Customer Relationship Management and Fellow, Chartered Institute of Public Resources Management and Politics, Ghana.

Adesanya has received several professional certifications that include Specialist in Leadership and Management Certificate (CIMS) UK Redgs; Construction Management (onilne), University of Cape Town; Real Estate Economics and Finance (certificate in view), London School of Economics and Political Science and Oxford Entrepreneurship: Venture Finance Programme, Said Business School.

It is in recognition of these outstanding accomplishments in the Nigerian business world that the board of editors of The Top10 Magazine chose Dr. Adesanya as its Man of the Year 2021. Specifically, Dr. Adesanya towered above about 100 other nominees for the award on account of his ability to grow the Oxford brand to international standard as one of Nigeria’s fastest conglomerate with tentacles in many sectors of the economy.

“It is our considered view that your massive investments in key sectors, coupled with your recent notable achievements in 2021 in areas of rise in ROI to investors, new projects, infrastructure development, creation of employment opportunities for the youths etc, are a demonstration of your commitment to Nigeria’s economic development, which is worthy of commendation,” the management of Toncam Communications Limited, Publishers of Top10 Magazine, explained.

Dr. Adesanya, (age), is happily married to (…), a marriage that is blessed with children.

Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu  – Legislator of the Year

With respect to Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, the popular statement by reelection seekers in Nigeria, ‘one good term deserves another’, is not just a campaign slogan: it is a reality.

Elumelu represented the Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives for two terms between 2007 and 2015 on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Four years later, in 2019, his people voted him back to the Green Chambers on the same party platform on account of his impressive performance during his first outing at the National Assembly. This time, though, Elumelu went as a minority legislator in a National Assembly dominated by the All Progressives Congress (APC). Again, his outstanding performance during his first stint in the House earned him the respect of his minority colleagues who made him Leader of the House of Representatives Minority Caucus.

By the time Rt. Hon. Elumelu clocked one year in the House in 2020, he was already up there reenacting the enviable representation he provided his constituents and Nigeria during the previous period. He has since disproved the notion by many Nigerian politicians that being in opposition is inimical to effective representation. Elumelu has given a lie to that assertion by his exceptional performance in both his legislative duties at the House of Representatives and service delivery to his constituents.

A vocal and effective opposition leader in the lower chamber of the National Assembly, Elumelu has sponsored 12 bills covering diverse areas of national and constituency interests that are at different stages of legislative process. One of them is for the amendment of the Nigerian constitution to make for the creation of Anioma state for his people. He has also moved a similar number of diversified motions on the floor of the House, all of which were meant to impact positively on the lives of Nigerians, including the people of his constituency.

At the constituency level, Rt Hon. Elumelu has notched an impressive number of achievements in the areas of employment of his constituents, empowerment and provision of infrastructure projects. For instance, apart from facilitating the direct employment of 24 constituents in different Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies, Elumelu engaged over 242 persons as Personal Assistants across the Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency. He distributed over N45 million worth of food items across his constituency to alleviate the effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the people.

In the area of infrastructure, Elumelu facilitated the provision and installations of Solar Street lights in Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha North and Atuma in Oshimili North.  Phase 1 of the Projects executed by the lawmaker, including skills acquisition centres, civic centres, new staff quarters and clinic for the Department of State Services (DSS), vocational centres, construction of drainages across the communities that make up Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, were all lined up and commissioned by the Delta State Governor, His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, in a three-day Inauguration and harvest of projects in the Federal Constituency.

He facilitated the supply of relief materials from National Emergency Management Agency for flood victims at Oko and other neighbouring communities in Oshimili South Local Government Area. He also facilitated the quick approval of relief materials for persons affected by a Fire incident at the Ogbongonogo old Market through the National Emergency Management Agency. 

Impressed by these achievements, Governor Okowa said of Ndudi Elumelu: “As a law maker, you have remained outstanding, and as a politician you are a leading light and a role model for upcoming politicians. As a government, we appreciate your contributions to the growth and development of our country…We remain proud of your leadership role in the National Assembly, and we will continue to make supplications to God to grant you good health and greater years ahead,”

The PDP State Publicity Secretary, Dr. Ifeanyi Osuoza, in a statement, also eulogized Hon. Elumelu for the excellent representation he is giving at the House of Representatives. He said: “It is also a fact that Hon. Elumelu’s voice, in line with his core legislative mandate as a lawmaker and Minority Leader, House of Representatives, has resonated loudly and clearly in championing the cause of the people and the brilliant, courageous work he is doing in the House, continues to give hope to our people, substance to our democracy and consolidation of our credentials and credibility as a nation where democratic tenets bestowed in the opposition, cannot be muffled or stifled.”

Other PDP leaders in the state have poured encomiums on Elumelu for his sterling performance.

It is in recognition of his role as a stabilizing factor in the Nigerian National Assembly by providing responsible opposition leadership that Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu has been voted as the Federal Legislator of the Year 2021 Award by the Top10 Magazine.

Rt. Hon. Ndudi Godwin Elumelu, from Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, was born in Jos, Plateau State, on February 23, 1965.

He has various degrees from prestigious institutions both in the country and

overseas. He is a member of several professional bodies, an outstanding politician, a third time member who was Chairman of Power and Health committees during his first two terms. He has several national and international awards and holds many chieftaincy titles from several communities.

He is happily married with children.

Sen. Godswill Akpabio – Minister of the Year

When he was Governor of Akwa Ibom state between 2007 and 2015, Dr. Godswill Akpabio was fondly referred to as The Uncommon Transformer. This was because his tenure brought about the transformation of the state on an unprecedented scale. In appreciation of his performance, his people elected him into the Senate in 2015, where his colleagues set aside the seniority rule to make him, a first-term Senator, the Minority Leader. Again, this was in acknowledgement of his high-performance record.

President Muhammadu Buhari obviously took notice of Akpabio’s leadership acumen and made him minister for Niger Delta Affairs in August 2019. “Nigerians should expect higher performance, commitment to service and dedication to the country,” he declared on assumption of office. “Being a Niger Delta person, I will ensure that things are better for further and effective development of the region… Therefore, expect a lot of uncommon representation and uncommon performance that will culminate in uncommon achievements,’’ he said when he assumed office.

So far, the minister is living up to his promise.

Since he assumed duty in August 2019, the Ministry, under Akpabio, has achieved several milestones. His first work plan was to ensure that the region remains peaceful while stakeholders were frequently engaged on ways to develop the region.

Also, Akpabio, as the supervising minister of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), made sure the incoming board of NDDC meets the yearnings and aspirations of the people through effective dispensation of services. And that was why he initiated and completed the Forensic Audit into activities of the commission. The report has since been submitted to the Federal Government, which is expected to use the report to chart a new course for the board of the commission.

 In the area of projects execution, Senator Akpabio has completed many ongoing projects despite the challenges of Covid-19 Pandemic and the obvious paucity of funds. The Ministry ensured the completion of the 13 and 8-storey buildings at NDDC headquarters which was commissioned by President Buhari.

In 2021, the ministry also inaugurated 1,050-bed space hostel at the University of Uyo, to address accommodation challenges in the school.

Akpabio said the hostel which had been completed with 24,000 gallons of water per day, 22 units of 1,200KV standby generating sets and 5,000 vehicular parking spaces, among others, would be replicated in all the Niger Delta states. He said that, going forward, among 13,777 projects, the ministry would select the ones that would impact positively on the communities and ensure they were completed.

A rundown of 52 other projects in the nine Niger Delta States (Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers) ready for commissioning as at the first quarter of last year included The Skill Acquisition Centre (TheSAC) at Agadagba in Ondo State with 38 buildings, which would be handed over to Federal Polytechnic Ile Oluji. Others are the construction of over 77 roads spread across the region; the construction of a Cassava Plant Processing Plant at Usugbene Irrua, Edo State; construction of Health Centre, Amauzari Community, Isiala Mbano, LGA, Imo State; construction and furnishing of Health Centre, at Odi, Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA, Bayelsa State; Land Reclamation/Erosion Control Works at Nsit Attai LGA, Akwa Ibom State; construction of Health Centre, at Eworkpe, Emede, Isoko South LGA, Delta State; construction of Umudike-Umueze-Umuoyere Road Project, (Phase 1) River  of Mini Water Works at Ikot Effiong, Effiong Village, Akasoko Clan (Idundu/Anyanganse Ward) Akpabuyo LGA, Cross River; construction of Boreholes and Reticulation in Ndulu-Amaoba, Oboro Water Project, Ikwuano LGA, Abia State.

“I see more completed projects in 2022, more people being empowered and a more peaceful region as we go forward,’’ the 59-year-old minister said in his review of his ministry for 2021.

Dr. Akpabio is honoured here with the Minister of the Year Award in recognition of his bold and courageous efforts at developing the Niger Delta region, restoring sanity, transparency and accountability to NDDC.

Dr. Bashir Jamoh (DG, NIMASA) – Public Service Personality of the year

The year 2020 has unarguably come to be known as the Year of Pandemic. It was the year the COVID-19 pandemic caused havoc to global health, causing millions of deaths across the world and prompting the emplacement of preventive measures and protocols, including total lockdown of work places, businesses, social, political and sporting activities for long periods in most countries, Nigeria inclusive.

However, in the midst of the virtual shut down of normal human activities, some organizations were able to devise strategies for containing the ravages of the pandemic and its preventive protocols to carry on near-normal operations. In Nigeria, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was one of such cases.

In the 24 months since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Nigeria, NIMASA, the apex regulatory agency in the Nigerian maritime industry, has made giant strides in the implementation of maritime Security, Safety and Shipping Development (the ‘Triple S Strategy’) designed by its executive management led by Dr. Bashir Jamoh.

Despite the disruptions occasioned by the global pandemic, the issue of maritime safety was central to the Agency’s activities, with a total of 510 Port State inspections carried out from 4,728 vessels that called at Nigerian ports. This was against the 726 inspections that were carried out the previous year, from the 5,035 ships that called.

The agency also integrated the use of technology into the process for verification of Certificates of Competency (CoC) as part of efforts to reduce human interface and improve on the Ease of Doing Business indices in the sector. This led to significant drop in manual verification. The number of manual verifications treated dropped from 4,112 in 2019 to 2,750 in 2020, showing a 33 per cent decrease. Total online verification was 9,723.

The formation of the Nigerian Maritime Industry Working Group (NIWG), with robust input from NIMASA, was another giant stride that set in motion a strong foundation for effective stakeholder involvement. NIWG comprises NIMASA, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Ports Authority, Marine Police, Interpol, stakeholders in the oil industry, as well as the Nigerian Ship-owners Association. It was established in May 2020 to facilitate coordination between government and industry, and align efforts to deter and respond to incidents of piracy and armed robbery in Nigerian territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone. 

NIWG is the first coordinated effort between the maritime industry and the Nigerian Government (represented by member-agencies in NIWG) to address the issue of maritime security.

In 2020, the Agency issued 132 Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Certificates of Competency to Seafarers. With the need to enhance the safety of seafarers during the period of the COVID-19 lockdown central to its actions, NIMASA extended the period of validation of all seafarers’ certificates, as well as ship certificates to October 1, 2020, to enable those with expired certificates to keep their jobs pending renewal of their certificates.

The Agency was also one of the first Maritime Administrations to designate seafarers as critical workers amid the pandemic, which enabled ease of movement and ensured their safety.

 In 2021, the security component of the Triple “S” strategy took centre stage with the official launch of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project, by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 10, 2021.

The deployment of assets under the project resulted in a reduction in piracy and other maritime crimes (hijackings, kidnappings, theft), as evidenced by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reports this year, which showed marked drops in reported cases.

NIMASA also got engaged in the Floating Dock Project, in partnership with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). This is a multi-million dollar floating dock that NIMASA bought, which could not be put to immediate use due to lack of appropriate location. It is warehoused at the Navy’s dockyard pending deployment.

An agreement with NPA will see NIMASA using the former’s Continental Shipyard, which would serve as a functional location for what is expected to be a sustainable and profitable venture.

The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) recently issued a Certificate of Compliance for an Outline Business Case (OBC) for the operation of the Modular Floating Dockyard’s management. The contract is for its operation, maintenance, and transfer under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) and in compliance with the ICRC Act 2005 and the National Policy on Public Private Partnership.

The Honorable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, recently flagged off the National Wreck Removal exercise in Lagos with arrangements concluded for the recycling of wrecks and derelicts that would be recovered during the exercise.

This would be done in partnership with the Bayelsa State Government and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), which already has a foundry in Lagos for wrecks recycling, with the ultimate aim of creating wealth from waste while providing jobs for Nigerians.

The NIMASA’s Triple S strategy, a brainchild of the Jamoh-led management, is working, and the effect is being felt across the maritime industry, regardless of the constraints imposed by the pandemic saga of the last two years.

 Dr. Basir Jamoh’s choice as the Public Service Personality of the Year by the Top10 Magazine was in recognition of the milestone achievements by NIMASA under his leadership within a short time.

 Bashir Jamoh is a Ph.D. holder from the University of Port Harcourt, specializing in Logistics and Transport Management with over 32 years of professional and technocratic experience in the transportation and maritime sectors of the Nigerian economy. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Management.

This seasoned administrator and maritime expert was appointed as the Director General & Chief Executive Officer of NIMASA at the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak in Nigeria in March, 2020. He is also the current President of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA) and member/ fellow of many Nigerian and International professional organizations.

He is a recipient of Distinguished Merit Award for exemplary leadership achievements in Maritime Education in Nigeria, among other awards.

He has organised and facilitated leadership training and manpower development programmes in several countries including U.K., U.S.A., U.A.E., South Africa, Brazil, Malaysia and Sweden among others.

Nafiu Bala Rabiu (CEO, Balnara Universal) – The Northern Young Business leader of the year

Nafiu Bala Rabiu, Managing Director/CEO, Balnara Universal is a chip off the old block. He is the son of an entrepreneur father who was a successful business mogul who was into textile, real estate and general trading in the commercial city of Kano, Kano state.

 Just 31 years old, Rabiu is on the verge of replicating his father’s exceptional success in business.

 An Executive Director in his elder brother’s company, Rabiu already has two companies of his own that are high flyers in their sectors of operation with a third one coming on stream any time soon.

Born on August 23, 1990, Rabiu grew up under his father and started working at the age of 18 in his elder brother’s company, Ramu Unique Resources, a multi-billion Naira company and the number one BUA Cement distributor. The company which gave him the headstart in business experience, is into real estate, logistics, rice mill and, of course, BUA Cement distribution. He later rose to become the company’s Executive Director.

Rabiu is still with Ramu Unique Resources as an Executive Director but has equally established his own business, Balnara Universal Ltd, a company that made its breakthrough in 2017 when it ranked among the top ten in the chart of over 200 Distribution Companies of BUA Cement in the country. Balnara has plans of venturing into other lucrative, new business ventures such as real estate, rice production, and logistics.

Rabiu has always credited his parents and elder brother with instilling in him toughness, hard work, willingness to achieve success in business, and perseverance. These characteristics have helped him in staying focused over the years in attaining his dream of becoming one of the most successful businessmen in the world.

While overseeing the affairs of Ramu and Balnara, Rabiu co-founded another company, PIYO GLOBAL Ltd, a multi-billion Naira company that is into general contract with a primary focus on construction, construction materials distribution and real estate. In PIYO GLOBAL Ltd, Rabiu holds the position of General Manager, Cement Distribution operations.

PIYO GLOBAL Ltd under the management of Rabiu has over the years grown into a leading player in cement distribution dealership with Obu Cement Company Limited (BUA Cement), Okpella; and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN, Sokoto cement) Sokoto. Over 100 clients buy cement trucks from the company which distributes cement to over 25 different locations mostly in Northern Nigeria. It also exports cement to Niger Republic. PIYO GLOBAL has also developed a Cloud Management System of cement business operations with Afivenet Digital Services Limited. In the construction business, Rabiu’s company has constructed Ploutos Indoor Recreational Centre and redeveloped Ungwan Rimi Market Kaduna in partnership with the Kaduna State Markets Development and Management Limited.

The three companies -Ramu, Balnara and PIYO – are also involved in humanitarian activities such as feeding people every Ramadan, giving out gifts, money and food packages during festive periods. They pay electricity bills for the houses, small businesses and local business owners around their offices.

One major challenge facing his distribution business in Nigeria is insecurity. Rabiu is constantly needed in the BUA Company’s plants in Edo and Sokoto state, then Kano, Kaduna and Lagos state, to attend meetings and supervise some ongoing projects. He cannot travel to some of these places without security personnel or bulletproof vehicles. So, for him, it has been a big challenge considering the high cost of hiring security personnel in Nigeria.

As the years go by, Rabiu has seen the need to diversify and is keen on establishing his own logistics company to help convey products other than cement for other companies. According to him, the logistics business would have kicked off, but he believes that good things take time and nothing comes easy. “If you want to build something valuable such as success in business, you will have to be patient, work hard and be committed to achieving it,” he said.

With his articulation and ability to communicate properly it would be difficult to believe that Rabiu did not have formal education beyond secondary school. He, however, acknowledges the importance of education in one’s life and the advantage it offers many people in the business world, but that has never been a barrier to his success as a businessman.

The emerging business genius who is in his early 30s who enjoys horse-riding, swimming, travelling and restaurant sampling, got married only recently.

Rabiu is being honoured with the Northern Young Business Leader of Year by the Top10 magazine in recognition of his entrepreneurial drive and progressive accomplishments in the Nigerian business world.

Niyi Adesanya (CEO, Fifth Gear Plus Consulting) – Leadership Coach of the Year

Initially, Dr. Niyi Adesanya got what he believed to be a divine calling to be a pastor, a fisher of men for Christ.  He plunged himself headling into spiritual ministration. But, with time, it turned out that was not what God wanted for him. The real divine design, as advised by his mentor, Sam Adeyemi, was for him to be a teacher that would groom managers and leaders – to do for Nigeria what John Maxwell is doing in America – by branding himself for the corporate world.

 “I bless God that I listened to him because that advice smoothened my transition”, Adesanya said.

 Since then, there has been no looking back. Today, Adesanya is a consultant, strategist, founder of The Speaker Business Academy, Marketplace Academy and Chief Executive Officer, FifthGear Plus Consulting. He easily stands out as one of Nigeria’s leading pragmatic and inspirational speakers, a leading voice on leadership transformation and youth empowerment.

 For more than fifteen years, he devoted himself to researching and studying leadership and how to apply it in the entrepreneurial space. He launched his flagship programme – the Niyi Adesanya Leadership Bootcamp in 2018 – an annual workshop that provides managers, supervisors, team leaders, C-suite executives, directors and entrepreneurs with hands on tools to enable them best manage systems, processes and people effectively, inspire qqteams, guide change initiatives, navigate the complexities and politics in managing internal and external stakeholders.

Adesanya shares widely his knowledge of improving corporate and individual performances. “I have a formula that has helped to improve performance as an individual: it is very simple and applicable. I call it the individual competitiveness formula and it is thus, what you know + how you express it multiplied by who you know and who knows you”, he said.

His yardstick for measuring the success of a leader is how many of his followers he is able to turn to leaders. Turning followers to leaders, he believes, is what leadership development is all about. He identifies culture as one big barrier to personal and organizational – even national – performance improvements.

For him, the task of leadership development is to get the individual or the organization to change the culture – the way they think and how they do things.

Over the years, he has provided training, consulting and business re-engineering services to top ranking organizations across Nigeria. His clients include at least one of top three organizations in major sectors of the economy. He is a major contributor to effective corporate governance in Nigeria in many companies where he serves on the board. Adesanya is a faculty member of various institutions in Nigeria, including Daystar Leadership Academy and the C.I.T.C. Leadership Centre.

He developed and executed a competitiveness upgrade concept that helped a telecoms company strengthen its connection to its target customers leading to a massive sustainable boost in their income within a 5-year period.

Adesanya’s professional experience has seen the transformation of individuals and multinational organizations with results of increased effectiveness and productivity to show for it. “Having trained over 35,000 people on leadership, my concepts have widely been adopted and endorsed as relevant, practical and result-oriented”, he said.

With an average of over 100 presentations annually to local and international audiences, Adesanya has been recognized as one of Nigeria’s foremost inspirational speakers and a leading voice on leadership transformation in the country. He has an enviable record of speaking in over 80 tertiary institutions and delivering keynote speeches to top officials of corporate institutions across sectors and industries. Over top 50 companies in Nigeria recognize Niyi Adesanya as one of the leading speakers in the country.

Part of his engagements is the training of senior lawyers across the country on public speaking and presentation. He has been a Brand Ambassador with Etisalat (9mobile) during which he toured over 80 higher institutions across 30 states of Nigeria, speaking to an average of 2,000 youths per occasion.

He is the convener of the acclaimed interactive platform “Meeting Point”, which linked up luminaries in various industries and visionaries aspiring to make their marks in chosen fields. The platform helped to place the youth on the right trajectory in career and development.

A number of top leaders of Corporate Nigeria who participated in Adesanya’s programmes have testified to their effectiveness. Prof. Pat Utomi, founder, Centre for Value in Leadership, for instance, had this to say about one of them. “Niyi Adesanya shows again with this effort that case studies abound in our context from which philosophies of leadership and necessary wisdom for guiding our world to greater progress can be synthesized. This labour of love has earned its influence on us.

Chinwe Iwe, System Architect, CISCO, said: “His mentorship and magnanimous extension of some of his speaking platforms afforded me the opportunity to stretch and hone my communication and public speaking skills”

It is in recognition of his leading role in redefining leadership training in Nigeria that Niyi Adesanya is hereby honoured with the award of Leadership Coach of the Year by the Top10 magazine.

Maya Horgan Famodu  (Founder, Ingressive Capital) – The Young Female Business Leader of the Year

Listed among the 30 under 30 in Technology, Maya Horgan Famodu is quite a sensation among Tech entrepreneurs in Africa. As the founder of Ingressive Capital, a venture capital fund investing in Africa-based technology firms and opening them up to global capital, Famodu has become something of a force of nature in Africa’s tech industry.

She was born on March 24, 1991, to a Nigerian father and Minnesotan mother, but spent most part of her first 20 years growing up in Minnesota, United States. She recalled in an interview that the family had hard times putting food on their table, and they had to live in a trailer park at some point. She attended Pomona College and proceeded to Cornell University for her Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental sciences. She also did a Prelaw Programme at the university.

After school, she had a short stint in finance and in private equity research at JPMorgan Chase in New York, for barely a year. Maya also found herself concerned about the high rate of unemployment in Africa, and how the odds could be turned to produce a generation of high-skilled techies.  

Disturbed by how African tech innovators were finding it difficult to raise funds to take their business off the ground, Maya decided to do something about it. She had seen some tech innovators in Africa who had difficulty raising funds because investors were generally not open to the idea of funding tech businesses in Africa.

“We started leading global investors to Africa before tech was a thing here, back when questions were less ‘how many M&A deals have occurred in the African market this year?’ and more ‘do Africans even have internet and electricity?’ It was necessary to not only change the Africa narrative to focus on its incredible innovations and opportunities, but also sell a future few imagined. I knew I had an obligation to use my access to empower the next generation of African innovators,” she said while explaining why Ingressive Capital was a necessity.

Maya moved to Lagos in 2014 to launch the first $50M Venture Capital (VC) fund, but encountered a lot of resistance as she was barely a year out of college, and had very little experience.

When investors declined, she realized she needed another route to her end goal. “So, we launched Ingressive Advisory to show our deal flow without taking the funds upfront. I basically pitched to global investors: ‘Africa is booming, and I know the great opportunities. Come with me to Nigeria, and I’ll show you the best deals. Then YOU choose whether you want to invest and do your deals directly,” she recounted.

Maya started Ingressive Advisory to provide “market entry services and tech research for corporates and investors.” This proved to be a worthy path for Ingressive, and the firm was able to get top global investors and tech companies to expand into or invest in Africa, as a means of developing the tech ecosystem. It was quite encouraging when the clients started making money from the deals Ingressive found for them. A number of the client companies also started seeing massive growth in the regions across Africa where Ingressive was producing research and running programs for them.

Ingressive Capital was later launched in 2017. “Half of our investors backed us because they learned over time that I could see something years ahead. The other half backed us believing I’m the most headstrong and persistent person they know and will never give up until I hit my target. I used to be offended when people called me “persistent,” but it’s actually a differentiator that has contributed majorly to my success.”

Since it launched, Ingressive capital has more than doubled the assets under management it started out with. Ingressive Capital invests in pre-seed and seed-stage technology companies in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Egypt, and provides them access to international capital as well as Pan-African business development, its programs and network of limited partners.

Ingressive has backed companies like Bamboo, which gives Africans unrestricted access to invest in global capital markets; Paystack; FuelMetric; 54gene, the first African genomics research, services and development company; Vesicash, which provides secure digital escrow services for Africa; and OZÉ, which enables “small businesses and local ownership to grow with technology, particularly in emerging markets,” among others.

In the second quarter of 2020, Maya co-founded a Not-For-Profit arm – Ingressive for Good – to provide tech training and placement for youths in the African tech space. The firm also provides micro-scholarships and technical products for young people who wish to pursue a tech career. The aim is to open up the youths to boundless opportunities in the tech space, help them through the learning process, and increase their earning potential.

There is also the Ingressive Campus Ambassador (ICA) program, an initiative focused on providing funding, resources and mentorship to computer science students in tertiary institutions across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda and Congo. The program was launched in 2018 and now has hubs in several universities.

In 2016, she co-founded High Growth Africa Summit, a two-day conference that gathers the top entrepreneurs, investors and stakeholders from Africa, Silicon Valley and Europe to discuss how to build, scale and fund a High Growth African Businesses.

Maya Horgan Famodu appeared on the Forbes Africa 30 under 30 Technology list in 2018 in the technology category. She is said to be about the youngest person and youngest black woman to launch a tech fund in Sub-Saharan Africa. The fact that she also did it solo is not something that can easily be ignored. She was also listed among “10 Inspiring Women Ruling Nigeria’s Tech Ecosystem” (2019).

Maya Horgan Famodu has a passion for arts, and she says that it all comes together with her other interests.

She is here honoured with the Young Female Business Leader of the Year Award by the Top10 magazine in recognition of her dynamic and entrepreneurial drive in piloting the Ingressive Capital as one of the leading companies in African startup funding.

Bam Properties Ltd  – Real Estate company of the year

Real Estate development and management is becoming big business in Nigeria, especially in the big cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, etc. A few companies are making things happen in this sector. One of them is Bam Properties Ltd, a real estate investment company that provides standard and affordable housing to the general public.

 The company offers services primarily in real estate, civil engineering consultancy with limited specialist services in building construction. Its project portfolio includes mass housing development.

Its Managing Director/CEO, Barrister Abba Bello Mohammed explains how his company has aided housing delivery in Nigeria. “Ever since the establishment, we have endeavoured to contribute to the prosperity of our clients and society from a global perspective. At Bam Projects & Properties, we have earned a reputation for helping our clients transform the way in which people access housing. The programmes we support are critical to keeping the nation secure, as well as making real estate services more efficient”, he said.

Mohammed has developed an internal culture that gives the company an edge in Nigeria’s real estate industry. “We hold each other accountable for creating a company we can all be proud to work with. Whether you are a potential customer, a small business partner or a future employee, we look forward to finding out how we can work together to bring service to life” he said.

Bam Properties

engages in construction, sales and effective management of luxury apartments across its market definition. It demonstrates special competence in making a finished building an assembly of innovative solutions. It offers a full range of time-and budget-conscious consultancy services, contract execution and resources management.

Headquartered in Abuja, the company operates coordinating offices in Lagos and Kebbi as well as site offices across the country from which it undertakes complete services in real estate development consultancy, feasibility studies and property development operations nationwide. It ensures its projects always meet internationally acceptable professional standards.

Mohammed has at his command a team of specialists renowned for professional competence in a wide range fields – engineering, project management, planning and scientific disciplines. The large human capacity has powered the company’s integrated operations from feasibility studies, planning, designs, construction, supervision and project management of various engineering and water resources projects successfully executed for the federal and state governments, companies and individuals across the country.

The company’s ability to constantly deliver projects ahead of schedule is attributed to the high professional capacity it commands. Its culture of teamwork enables it bring together the best professionals, thinkers and advisers – which underscores its ability to deliver the best solutions to complex clients’ problems at the shortest possible time.

It boasts a team of seasoned engineers, builders, managers and geologists backed by technologists, draftsmen and other skilled technicians. The interaction results in a more efficient use of manpower and a quicker response to design changes, construction methods and contemporary housing innovation.

The company serves a range of clients from small municipalities and companies to large corporations, government departments and industrial organizations. Some of the company’s project milestones include Belham Heights (in progress) – a four-unit, 5-bedroom terrace villas located at Asokoro, Abuja and development of 45Ha land mass located at Karsana South District, Abuja – consisting of pearl apartments – 3-bedroom block of flats.

There is also Belham Estate – Brookshore Residence (in progress) – structured in three-bedroom terrace apartments, 102 apartments of three-bedroom terrace duplex apartments, 3-bedroom bungalow with maid’s room and four-bedroom detached duplex with maid’s room and boys’ quarters.

Others include sports complex, horse riding and country club, proposed Belham shopping complex and six fully serviced units of three bedrooms and maid’s room apartments located at Gudu District, Abuja, and the proposed Project 77, Asokoro.

Looking ahead, Mohammed said, “we are focused on accelerating the execution of our growth strategy while continuing to build on the strength of our brand—in helping our clients share knowledge and create innovation and in bringing positive change to the communities in which we work and live. I am incredibly excited about this journey and truly believe the best of BAM Projects & Properties.

It is in recognition of its contributions to housing development in Nigeria that the Top10 magazine has named Bam Properties Ltd as the Real Estate Company of the Year.

Masters Energy Group – the most customer- centric company of the year

If any company in Nigeria takes the saying “the customer is king” as an article of faith, it must be Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited. The founders of the company built its core values around excellent customer care and customer satisfaction, an approach that has been yielding handsome benefits for the company and all its stakeholders over the years.

Incorporated in Nigeria in 2005 to operate in the oil and gas sector, Masters Energy Oil & Gas Limited has evolved into a diversified Group, the Masters Energy Group, providing services not only in the Oil and Gas sector, but also in other strategic sectors of the economy such as Manufacturing of FMCG, Aviation, Shipping and Marine, Real Estate, etc.

The holding Company, Masters Energy Oil & Gas Ltd, commenced business in 2005. As at then, there were few private jetties for discharge and storage of petroleum products. The company took the bull by the horn and embarked on the construction of a 158,000 MT storage facility at Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt. Christened “Masters Energy City”, the facility has been nurtured into an integrated energy facility and has helped to ensure steady supply of petroleum products in the South-East, South-South, and North Central Geo-political zones of the Country.

The Company has since increased its stake in the downstream sub-sector with the establishment of lube blending plants in different parts of the Country to manufacture industrial and automotive lubricants, the Masters Brand, which is a toast of motorists and industries around the Country.

To key into the Federal Government Gas Master Plan, Masters Energy Oil & Gas Ltd has embarked on the construction of Liquified Gas processing plant at the Energy City, Port Harcourt. The Company has established various gas retail points across the Country to bring Gas to the doorsteps of consumers, while encouraging the preservation of the environment.

To contribute further to the economic transformation of the Country, by reducing rural-urban migration, ensuring rural development and providing mass employment, Masters Group diversified into production of FMCG and industrial goods. The Masters Energy Industrial City, located at Onuaku Uturu, Abia state, is an industrial hub with various production plants churning out high quality goods such as Noodles, biscuits, plastic and PVC products, cartons and packaging materials, tricycle assembling, etc., offering direct and indirect employment to over 5000 (five thousand) people.

The Group places high premium on business sustainability and has a well-articulated CSR policy. The Company’s HSE policies are World class, and it offers scholarships to indigenes of its host communities at various levels of education. The Company provides and sponsors vocational training to empower the indigenes. It also spends handsomely on the provision of light and power, water, housing, and medical facilities for its host communities.

Being a highly innovative and Customer-focused company desirous of creating superior values for stakeholders and partners, the Group has continued to break new grounds and attain greater heights. Riding on the back of excellent service delivery, it has attained major milestones and record setting achievements that have earned it awards, certificates and recognition in Nigeria and Internationally.

For its commitment to excellence in product and customer service delivery, Masters Energy Group is hereby honoured with the award of The Most Customer-Centric Company of the Year.

Chinmark Group(Nigeria’s global brand of the year)

Dr. Marksman Chinedu Ijiomah, Founder of Chinmark Group, has practically demonstrated that Nigerian entrepreneurs have what it takes to create, build and manage multinational corporations. He has built Chinmark Group into a brand of global repute and reckoning with operations in diverse sectors spread across various countries in Africa, Asia, America and Europe.

Founded in Nigeria over a decade ago, Chinmark Group now has corporate offices in Africa, New York, Dubai, and Asia, to mention a few. It became a pace-setting organization with an objective to build a dynamic system of administration, committed to creating exceptional transparency, clarity and dedication in the global business environment.

In the past decade, Chinmark has grown and expanded into major subsidiaries which comprise: Chinmark Homes and Shelter (Construction), FinAfrica Partnership, Chinmark Loans, Chinmark Farms (Agriculture), Chinmark Rides (Executive/ Transportation), Logistics, Chinmark Food services, Chinmark Medicals, Chinmark Hospitality, Chinmark Consultancy, and General Contracts.

To further expand her tentacles to the international market, Chinmark Group established Operations in Dubai, UAE where five subsidiaries – Chinmark Investments LCC, Chinmark Car Rentals LCC, Chinmark Medical Supplies LCC, Chinmark Food and Beverages Trading LCC, Chinmark Restaurant LCC run operations simultaneously. There are currently three restaurants running in Dubai, with two corporate offices.

The Hospitality Sector of Chinmark Group has successfully completed and launched a 66-unit luxury serviced apartment – The Chinmark Paradise, in the heart of Enugu, the coal city, Enugu State. Chinmark Paradise consists of suites complete with air conditioning and free high-speed wireless Internet, deluxe and state-of-the-art facilities where you can work, relax, dine and unwind in comfort.

It was fully built and furnished in a space of 12 months by the construction arm of the Company – Chinmark Homes and Shelters. The construction of Chinmark Mega Mall, a multi-billion Naira project, is currently ongoing in the South-South region of the country which is scheduled for completion next year.

Chinmark Group has over 3,000 staff strength and over 20,000 clients base worldwide, with a track record of excellence and quality integrated services at all levels in the past decade.

Chinmark’s vision is “to lighten up the burden of living and bring essential service close to the average man in the best quality available.”

Through its services the company aims to continuously touch lives and with integrity exceed the needs and expectations of its internal and external stakeholders. It is also committed to being the leading conglomerate globally.

Chinmark Group’s Founder, Dr. Marksman Chinedu Ijiomah, is a Civil Engineering industry expert with a thorough and excellent understanding of structural engineering fundamentals and techniques. He acquired his expertise through a decade of extensive and continuous training, collaborating with the best minds in the engineering and administrative spheres across Africa and beyond Africa.

Dr. Ijiomah is a decorated holder of Doctor of Science in Business and Administration Management; Doctor of Strategic Management and Leadership Development, also a Certified Leadership and Management Consultant. He has bagged several European and African Professional Certificates which have earned him a competitive advantage in the modern business world. In addition to these, he has been honoured with a long list of awards and recognitions for excellence in his profession and businesses.

He has made a name for himself as a leading financial analyst and business strategist across Africa. The services and businesses of Chinmark Group have all expanded into local and worldwide markets under his leadership.

For its foray into the global market with presence in many countries and placing Nigeria on the map of international business, Chinmark Group is hereby recognized with award of Nigeria’s Global Brand of the Year by the Top10 magazine.

Wichtech Industries Limited – (The Building Materials Company of the Decade)

If anyone built a house in Nigeria in the last 10 years without using roofing tiles or plumbing materials from Wichtech, it is most unlikely that the house would have a touch of class. Wichtech Industries Limited, the flagship member of the Wichtech Group, is Nigeria’s leading supplier of quality and trending roofing and plumbing systems.  It is the kind of sheets you find on the roofs of well-appointed houses in the highbrow areas of Nigeria’s urban centres built by people of class, taste and means.

Wichtech has been the supplier and now manufacturer of different and outstandingly beautiful designs of stone coated roofing sheets that come in different profiles and colours like black, brown, grey, red and green.

The company has such an intimidating presence in Nigeria and other parts of the world. It is involved in almost every aspect of building, as manufacturer and supplier of roofing, plumbing and paint products that are reputed to be of the highest quality. Before now, it had been one of the largest importers and distributors of roofing and plumbing products in Africa.

Wichtech Industries has a large footprint of 220 offices throughout Nigeria. As a manufacturer and supplier of roofing, plumbing and paint products, the name Wichtech has built its reputation on the quality of its products and services. Supported by national billboard advertising, local TV commercials and backed up by advertising on CNN international, the Wichtech brand has become a household name in middle – and upper income circles. Over a period of 10 years, Wichtech has grown to become an outstanding international partner of stone coated metal roofing supplied by New Zealand’s AHI Roofing Ltd. (gerard-roofs.com), who supply products in over 120 countries worldwide. AHI form part of Fletcher Building Ltd (fletcherbuilding.com), New Zealand’s biggest listed company. Wichtech also provides distribution for AHI in Ghana, Benin and Cameroon.

Other brands supplied exclusively by Wichtech in Nigeria are IPS pipes from Argentina, Pushfit Plumbing Systems from the UK, and PVC rainwater and drainage systems from Britain’s Hunter Plastics.

The latest addition to Wichtech’s products portfolio are Cables and wires. It produces and distributes quality electrical, telecommunication wires and cables that meet the required standard. These include thousands of miles of underground cables and systems for power transmission and distribution, as well as medium and low voltage cables for the construction and Infrastructure sector.

Considering the high standards usually associated with Wichtech products, quality of management and the expansive marketing and distribution network, it is expected that Wichtech Cable and Wire products are expected to not only dominate but take over that segment of the building and construction market in Nigeria in the nearest future.

Something else that sets Wichtech apart is their investment in people. All of Wichtech Offices receive annual training, both from suppliers and also from leading industry experts in the fields of Professional Management, Leadership and Customer Service. From the technical side, Wichtech brings in several Training Managers from partner companies who coordinate training for installers throughout Nigeria. To date over 6,000 plumbing and roofing installers have received training.  These initiatives have generated outstanding recognition for the company.

 The Chairman of the company, Dr Chidozie Nwankwo, started his business journey under the business name Chidoo Business Ventures in 1986 with N10, 000 sourced from his savings and tokens from his family.  Later, he registered Wichtech Industries Limited as a special vehicle for innovations into the construction business. The company took off in 1999 with the introduction of stone-coated roofing tiles from Ahi Roofing, Newzealand, and, in 2004, introduced PPR from IPS, a German company based in Argentina.  Other world-acclaimed products introduced into Nigeria, were Water Heaters from Famous Feroli, Italy; Betek Wichtech Paints owned by a German-Japanese. In 2021, it launched Wichtech cables with engineers using a team of engineers with the best industry practice led by a well-seasoned leading professional in the industry with more than 30years experience in the Nigerian cable industry.

Wichtech is today a colossus bestriding Nigeria’s building industry landscape because Nwankwo keeps innovating. “I am continuously setting higher goals for myself and the business”, he explains. With this drive, Nwankwo nurses the dream of making Wichtech one of the top companies on the African continent.

It is in recognition of Wichtech’s position as the most outstanding one-stop shop for supply of quality building materials in Nigeria in the last ten years that it has been conferred with The Building Materials Company of the Decade award by the Top10 magazine.

Inter-Bau construction company Limited – Indigenous construction company of the year

Few indigenous construction companies in Nigeria can match the expertise, experience, equipment and network of executed projects commanded by Inter-Bau.

A subsidiary of Landgold Holdings Limited, a well-known multifaceted business organization located in Ikoyi, Lagos, the company has responded to the unprecedented increase in civil engineering construction activities in Nigeria to develop and acquire wide-range facilities and equipment in order to enhance its performance in the construction industry of Nigeria.

This action has made Inter-Bau to become Nigeria’s foremost indigenous Construction Company. Its history dates back to the early eighties when it established its operational base in Asaba, the Delta State Capital. The company was thus founded in response to the increasing road, bridges, building construction, rehabilitation and maintenance demand in the country following the oil boom and the attendant growth in all sectors of the economy. Inter-Bau’s major areas of specialization include Civil/Highway Construction and Engineering Works, Building and Engineering Construction, Bridges and allied structures, Flood and Erosion Control Works, Architectural/Structural Design Works and Engineering Consultancy Services.

Inter-Bau is undoubtedly best known for high-quality roads, bridges, building construction and other related projects executed by the company.

Although it has grown and developed since those early days and many changes have taken place, its philosophy has remained constant: to be the foremost indigenous construction company with the most satisfied clients. This accounts for Inter-Bau’s continuous success.

The rationale for the choice of Asaba, the Delta state capital, as the operational base of Inter-Bau’s operational base was management’s strategic decision to establish an indigenous construction company that would compare favourably with the existing international ones with the main objective of servicing the Niger Delta, South – South and South – East region which needed sound infrastructural development. That decision has worked out correctly as the company’s investment has acted as a catalyst to the infrastructural development of the region.

Inter-Bau’s management team is made up of seasoned and qualified investment experts, industrialists and professionals, many of whom have grown with the organization and are part of the company’s culture of professionalism and high ethical standard. The team is headed by Sir (Dr) Nath Okechukwu, the company’s founder and board Chairman. A renowned business man and key player in the construction industry of nearly four decades, Okechukwu is an experienced administrator with diverse interest in business, insurance, Engineering consultancy. He has at various times held board appointments in notable Federal Government and private sector organizations like Central Water Transport Corporation (CWTC), Premium Securities Limited, etc. he has a wide knowledge of the socio-economic landscape of the country.

Inter-Bau has undertaken numerous construction contracts for Federal and State Governments and their agencies for almost four decades, some completed while others are ongoing. The experience the company has accumulated over the years has proved invaluable in its acquisition of abundant expertise in new technologies and methods of construction. This is why the company has the capability to execute any construction or rehabilitation project irrespective of magnitude or complexity.

The Company has effectively made its mark in the Building/Civil Engineering Construction sector of the economy. From its operational base at Asaba, Inter-Bau has undertaken road construction projects in the adjoining states of Anambra, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Rivers and Imo as well as Kogi state. A number of these completed projects were personally commissioned by the host Governors and Presidents. The most memorable occasion for Inter-Bau was the commissioning in one single day of three of its major road projects by President Olusegun Obasanjo during his January 2002 official visit to Delta State. It was unprecedented and a further confirmation that Inter-Bau has come a long way in the construction business which bears testimony to the company’s total commitment in responding positively to the aspirations of its clients.

Inter-Bau’s desire to be better equipped spurred it to commission an Asphalt Plant in Asaba in 1992. This was followed by the acquisition of the assemblage of Stone Crushing Plant and allied Quarry Equipments to facilitate the availability of granite chippings for use on its construction sites. Inter-Bau commissioned another Asphalt Plant of 200 tons per capacity in 2001, followed by the purchase of another 160 tons per hour Asphalt Plant in 2007.

Considerable investments in construction equipment, machinery, manpower and many years of experience have produced the high-quality roads, bridges, building and civil works projects executed by Inter-Bau. This has made the company a leading force among the indigenous and foreign construction companies in Nigeria today.

Inter-Bau Construction Limited is being conferred with the award of Indigenous construction company of the Year in recognition of its continuous adherence to quality and standardization in its project execution.

Cornfield Group – Most Innovative Company of the Year

For both product/service provider and the client, Innovation is the bulwark against competition and mother of sustainable growth and success. Cornfield Group of companies is doing so well because it has made innovation its cornerstone.

Cornfield Group is a diversified business conglomerate with strong passion for identifying unique problems, developing and deploying solutions tailored to best fit its clients’ needs. The company’s interests span across various range of sectors, including education, information technology, manufacturing, Agrofoods,

Media, Entertainment, security, amongst others.

Companies in the Cornfield Group includes: Media Concepts International Limited, Botosoft Technologies Limited, Cornfield Transnational Limited and Cornfield Foods and Beverages. Each of them provides products or services that are a bundle of innovations. Take

Media Concepts International Limited (MCIL), for example. The company which was incorporated in 2005 is a multimedia

company which specializes in ICT and digital solutions for both private and public organizations. It specializes in the production of highest quality interactive CDs and DVDs as well as the manufacture of Set-top boxes in partnership with KAON Media in South Korea and develop various IT solutions for organizations.

Its workforce is fortified with professionals of vast experience that are able to develop, design and implement creative solutions tailored to the customer’s needs.

Cornfield Transnational Limited, another member of Cornfield Group of Companies which was incorporated in 2006 is a manufacturing company with focus on

manufacturing wide range of products and services that improve life’s experiences.

Customer-driven and highly effective service oriented, the company

manufactures and provided value added products and services that cut across Agro-foods, Media, Entertainment, Education, and Information Technology.

Botosoft Technologies Limited, another member of the Cornfield Group which was incorporated in July 2011, operates in Europe and Africa. It supports organizations with security solutions needed to drive up performance while they

focus on their core business. It develops solutions that help solve challenging problems with the use of cutting edge

technologies and has gone on to develop valuable solutions in the following areas: Brand Protection, Identity Management Systems, Government-to-Citizen solution and document security.

Through successful working relationships with its global partners, the company has evolved to become an award-winning leader in security solutions. Some of them include:

• CIVAMPEMS is a complete Identity Management enterprise solution developed for examination bodies for the management of candidates’ identity, attendance marking and malpractice reporting in real time for post examination management.

It has the capacity to capture and store attendance records, as well as record malpractice in a secured database operating with the deployment of contact-less RFID smartcard with HID SEOS® technology and mobile handheld terminals for identity detection and verification.

•Botoseal is the world’s most secure Anti-counterfeiting technology. The solution replaces traditional adhesive

stickers/labels/hologram currently used to protect documents and products. Botoseal is a secure holographic label, with a microchip embedded in it. As a result, documents and products have been made smart and their authenticity can be confirmed by placing a smartphone on the label. This solution is currently being piloted with some universities and pharmaceutical companies around the globe. However, their name cannot be disclosed due to confidentiality agreement.

Botoseal identifies counterfeit items through smarter packaging and the seamless process of verifying genuine


• Botosoft Parcel Monitoring System (BPMS) is a product designed to secure parcels from unauthorized access. It tracks the location, monitors and reports all activities from the point the parcel is securely packed till the point it is accessed/opened at its final destination.

The ability to report occurrences in a timely manner is critical for all organizations and helps to make more informed, evidence-based decisions.

• E-Presence is an innovative solution that presents all e-assessment providers a tool to efficiently, effortlessly and effectively supervise and monitor its examinations. It is a real time solution that is cost effective, robust and easily adaptable.

A complete revolutionary solution that delivers not just greater efficiency but better assessment. e-Presence captures the test taker’s biometric information before entering the test environment, and likewise, intermittently captures the face all through the test period to ensure that the test taker is actually the one sitting for the examination.

• BOTOVERIFY is an image verification solution uniquely designed to verify images at a glance in order to guard against duplication and blurriness of uploaded images for a flawless record keeping and data management.

• The KAPEK® Scientific Mathematical Instruments (KSMI) is a mathematical set with a complete math set tools and a calculator that has all the basic mathematical functions, formulas and

symbols for fast and easy computation.

It is a gadget innovatively designed and

manufactured for everyday use and

especially for people who have to carry

out computation related task. Over two million units of KSMI are manufactured and distributed nationwide yearly for candidates writing exam to help curb examination malpractice yearly.

• The KAPEK® School Kit is a learning toolbox that comes in different shapes, colors, sizes and designs. Cornfield Transnational Limited manufactures school kits for different subjects and purposes ranging from kindergarten and nursery, primary and secondary and universities.

The product is designed and manufactured in partnership with individuals, organizations and institutions that want to make impact in the lives of students in order to aid their learning abilities.

• One of the uniquely designed security product is the Police Badge. Cornfield Transnational in partnership with Nigerian Police force designs, manufactures and distributes an identification badge for the Nigeria Police Force to uniquely identify and decorate officers of the Nigerian Police Force. It is designed with an embedded microchip for identification, authentication and tracking purposes.

• Police Biometric Central Motor Registry (PoliceBCMR) is a technological means of attaching automobile owner’s special and unique biological characteristics (biometrics) and personal data to their vehicles for authentication, protection and crime prevention & control purposes using smartcards and mobile handheld card reader.

PoliceBCMR is also an enterprise solution for centralization and validation of vehicle documents in order to create and authenticate the database for security agency’s operational use and management nationwide.

• KAPEK® Set-Top Box is a licensed brand in the manufacturing and distribution of best quality Set-Top Boxes (decoders) in the digital switch over programme in Nigeria for the National Broadcasting Commission. The set-top box, which converts analogue TV transmission to digital visual for the Nigerian TV consumers. It ensures consumers get the best quality and dependable digital box (decoders) for quality entertainment.

• Examinations Ethics and e-brochure on video compact disc (VCD) is a solution that ensures that candidates are well educated and informed about the rules guiding the conduct of the examinations before examination dates.

Cornfield Group is hereby recognized with the award of the Most Innovative Company of the Year in recognition of its continuous deployment of outstanding innovative solutions in addressing today’s basic needs of the people.

Sunday Olorunsheyi and Wisdom Ezekiel  – The Most Exemplary Co-Founders in Modern-day Corporate Nigeria

Sunday Olorunsheyi and Wisdom Ezekiel- The Most Exemplary Co-Founders in Modern-day Corporate Nigeria Citation

The business partnership between Sunday Olorunsheyi and Wisdom Ezekiel, cofounders of Pertinence Group of companies has an interesting story behind it.

The two young men met about 20 years ago during an employment interview where Ezekiel was a panel member and Olorunsheyi, one of the candidates. Olorunsheyi’s performance before the panel was exceptional, by Ezekiel’s assessment. Ezekiel recalls: “I said this is a star, I just identified him among the people that came for that interview and before we knew it, we were working together as colleagues in the

company.” The company later fell into bad times, forcing the duo to join hands with another colleague to form a financial services company which also crashed after a while.

 Olorunsheyi and Ezekiel resorted to menial businesses – selling CDs, DVDs, Couple Games, couple magazines, just anything – to survive. “We needed to survive, because that was survival time. Mr. Olorunsheyi and I became very close, because we were

always talking, always discussing, strategizing.” That led them to the creation of Pertinence  Limited (French for Relevance), first as a Lagos-based transportation business.

The income from the transport business could not sustain them and had to be augmented with income from real estate marketing which both were involved in in their previous businesses. “Eventually we said, come, this real estate has been the major thing that has been giving us a good break and people are beginning to now know us with real estate. They were already asking us for landed property.”

That was how real estate has become a major component of the business portfolio of Pertinence Limited which was formed in 2012.

The success story of Pertinence is largely attributable to this long years of bonding between its cofounders, Ezekiel and Olorunsheyi.

 The unique relationship between the co-founders led to the rapid growth of Pertinence Group which has attained the status of a blue-chip company in the real estate industry in Nigeria.

Apart from Real Estate, Pertinence is also into the business of Enterprise Development, Management Consulting and Enterprise Advisory Services.

Apart from developing Pertinence Limited into a thriving group of businesses, the two cofounders, Olorunsheyi and Ezekiel, also developed themselves in order to lay a sold managerial foundation.

Who are these unique partners?

Meet Sunday

Entrepreneur | Author | Global Speaker

OLORUNSHEYI Sunday Oluwagbenga is a highly successful Nigerian businessman and an international business leader with professional experience of over 20 years in building businesses in different sectors of work. He is the Co-founder of Pertinence Group and Chief Executive Officer of Globarel Group.

A serial entrepreneur, business management consultant, investment advisor, and global keynote speaker, Sunday has exhibited a high level of success in many respects. His personal mission is to help people in business break-forth by empowering their minds via training and mentoring. He serves a vast number of clientele in different fields on matters of Management Strategy Development, Business Expansion, Product/Service Development, Activation & Adaptation, Sales and Marketing, Portfolio Management, Investment Risk Assessment, and General Business Development.

Sunday is an astute business leader with a rich understanding of the African business economy. He currently seats on the board of over 12 thriving businesses amongst which include Pertinence Properties Limited (Real Estate & People Empowerment), HostNowNow Limited (Web Hosting), Prodigit Consulting Limited (Information Technology), 1st Royal Character and Values Limited (Social Capital Development), Petfam Technical Services Nigeria Limited (Engineering), PettySave Limited (Financial Technology) and Agbeloba Limited (Agriculture).

Sunday is an advocate for continuous learning, bagging 2 Masters Degrees in Business Administration and Public Administration from Business School Netherlands and Ladoke Akintola University respectively; while he is studying a Ph.D. at Charisma University. Sunday is a certified Management Consultant and a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultant.

He’s currently the Lead Mentor at Olorunsheyi’s Mentorship Platform with a vision to raise globally relevant people. As a dedicated philanthropist, he is also the Founder & Chairman of The Olorunsheyi Foundation established to tackle poverty, poor education, and community health issues in Africa. Sunday is also a faculty member at The African Leadership Forum.

Right from a young age, Sunday’s drive to succeed, love for impact, and passion for service has been very evident. Although raised from a below-average family, his story of transition from ‘slum to stardom’ is truly inspiring.

Today, Sunday Olorunsheyi is globally recognized as a real estate expert and serial entrepreneur. For him, the road to success is one that requires reliance, focus and drive; his life and story prove just that.

 About Wisdom Ezekiel

Wisdom A. Ezekiel is the Co-founder, PERTINENCE Group, owners of Pertinence Limited, Pertinence Properties Limited, Pettysave, DataFirst, ETRAC and recently, Realvest. Ezekiel entered the business and financial services sector about 20 years ago and has consistently grown in leaps and bounds. Prior to co-setting up Pertinence Limited in 2012, he worked as a financial planner with a financial services company in Lagos, where he was Executive Director, Lifepage Limited; among others. Ezekiel who holds an Executive MBA from the Metropolitan School of Business and Management in the United Kingdom, is evolving into a new generation boardroom juggernaut, as he currently operates as a frontline player in HostNowNow Limited and Rush Towers Limited, (with key interest in the entertainment industry).

In recognition of their unique bonding relationship which is responsible for the rapid growth of the Pertinence Group and the landmark achievements recorded by the company, Sunday Olorunsheyi and Wisdom Ezekiel are hereby honoured with the award of The Most Exemplary Co-Founders in Modern-day Corporate Nigeria.

GMYT Fashion Academy – Fashion Academy of the Year 

Until recently, most fashion designers in Nigeria were products of apprenticeship arrangements of tailoring shops.  Now, specialized fashion schools or academies are taking over the production of fashion entrepreneurs. Some of them are so sophisticated, big and expansive, they are almost indistinguishable from the formal tertiary educational institutions.

One of the exceptional fashion institutions that is blazing the trail in the training of fashion entrepreneurs for Nigeria and other African countries is GMYT Fashion Academy.

Currently, the Academy is a producing the next generation of entrepreneurs through skill acquisition and business knowledge. Its aim is to create job opportunities for millions of women/youths around the world.

It strives to be a world class fashion school which with a significant impact on the practice of entrepreneurship. The Academy has been outstanding over the years, having graduated over 500 women and youths and putting them in line for business. The academy has received numerous awards including 2018 Outstanding Leadership Award of Excellence for Outstanding Fashion School of the Year.

GMYT Fashion Academy is by far the leading fashion academy in the whole of West Africa a fact that is established through the quality of Alumni over the years. All of them are treading the paths of success already, started their businesses and are doing tremendously well in the Fashion industry. Some of them have won awards for their distinctiveness in business while some now own Fashion Academies where they also lead the Psalter of training other women; thus, following the footprints of GMYT.

The entire Alumni still remains part and parcel of the GMYT Family of Fame even after graduation. They are involved in all the Academy’s events, fashion shows and functions, honored with awards, given the opportunity to showcase their amazing collections on the runway and also given ample chance to network with potential guests.

 Through the GMYT Foundation, the Academy has awarded scholarships to its students from across the country. Princess Kelechi Oghene, Chief Executive Officer of the GMYT Group of companies explains: “As you know, we have a goal to train over 5000 youths before 2030; early this year, we gave over 20 scholarships worth over N20 million, this is just our own little way of reducing unemployment through fashion so that our community would be a better and safer place for us all to live in and we are not stopping anytime soon.”

A snippet on what the Academy was able to achieve in the last one year was the acquisition of a state-of-the-art Fashion Academy with over 10 en-suite well air-conditioned executive classrooms, free wifi for the students, security, amongst other stakeholders. Another milestone was the launching of its own penthouse (The Gmyt Apartments). As a way of giving back to society, the Academy specifically provided the free accommodation for its distant students who have no place to stay during their period of learning with Gmyt Fashion Academy.

The Academy has also been able to strengthen its online class platform, enabling distant students to learn from the comfort of their homes and office. Princess Oghene said the results have been outstanding as online students all over Nigeria and abroad are doing absolutely well. 

Apart from all these, the fashion academy has also added a lot of benefits to its programme to give the best learning experience. Some of these benefits are mentorship, internship, free start-up kits, free textbooks, free sewing machine, standard learning facility, flexible payment plan, job placement, offline and online learning mode, free Wi-Fi, certification, award recognition, detailed curriculum, flexible programme (freezing of account), serene environment, career pivot, alumni community, in-house masterclass, security, amongst others.

The students are from different countries but mostly Africa, like Liberia, Kenya, Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa, as well as Philippine, United States and United Kingdom.

The Academy has been able to improve the teaching structure of the academy and upgraded the curriculum, employed more professional staff to run the affairs of the students. It also developed more strategic ways to teach students in other to be inspired by their imagination, create trends and not just follow trends. An example was the creation of the Fashion Illustration Programme where students get to understand the history of fashion and trends, how to create collections, know more about colours and fabrics and also how to create portfolios. More structures are constantly being added to the academy, to create a suitable learning environment.

“Through God, we will never relent to give back to the society by empowering more men and women; today we can boldly say that we have trained hundreds of men and women for free, who are now doing very well in the fashion industry, ” Princess Oghene said.

 It is in recognition of these laudable initiatives of grooming and empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs that the GMYT Fashion Academy has been honoured with the award of the Fashion Academy of the Year by the Top 10 magazine.

Princess Kelechi Oghene  – Champion of Entrepreneurship Development of the Year 

Princess Kelechi Oghene had the vision of becoming an entrepreneur with the target of raising millions of other entrepreneurs both in Nigeria and in the diaspora. Fifteen years down the line, she has become an internationally celebrated entrepreneur churning out hundreds of fashion designers in Nigeria and many other African countries.

Today, she is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of a group of companies that include: ‘GMYT Fashion Academy, Gahawards, GMYT Hostel Apartments and GMYT Foundation.

The optimistic philosophy that she has adopted has propelled her towards achieving her goals and, being a big reader with a strong appetite for learning, these prompted her to attend several workshops and training,

 To satisfy her appetite for knowledge, she has bagged several degrees and qualifications from notable institutions. She is an alumnus of Lagos State University, Lagos Business School, London School of Fashion, Harvard Business School, just to mention a few. These and more have made her more structured and exceptional in her business dealings.

Princess Oghene has also bagged over 40 awards some of which are: Ecowas Designer of The Year, Nigerian Entrepreneurs Award for Most Enterprise Personality of The Year, Symbol of Hope Awards for African Woman of Impact. Nigerian British Award for Supporting the Fashion Industry, amongst others.

A member of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), Princess Oghene, a philanthropist, has in the last few years, used her several birthed platforms to train and graduate over a thousand women and youths that are now skilled in the fashion industry.

She has provided over 500 scholarships worth N200 million and empowered over N500 women and youths with Industrial/electric Sewing Machine each through GMYT Foundation. She has donated about N5 million to support young business initiatives through GMYT Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) support sheme.

In addition, Princess Oghene has provided free accommodations for students of GMYT Fashion Academy in partnership with GMYT Hostel Apartment and, in the last nine years organized and awarded over 200 individuals/organizations that are contributing positively to societal growth. The annual event also features Gahawards Magazine and exclusive runway design via Gahawards Limited.

 It is in recognition of these laudable initiatives of grooming and empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs through the GMYT Fashion Academy that Princess Oghene has been honoured with the award of Champion of Entrepreneurship Development of the Year by the Top 10 magazine.

Supol Ugowe Igbinazaka Joel  – Most Outstanding law enforcement officer of the Year

He is a complete gentleman and an easy going fellow. His colleagues respect and describe him as a man of peace who gives a listening ear to others irrespective of their status in life. His self-effacement probably explains why his name does not ring a bell outside the Nigeria Police Force.

But behind the gentle facade of Superintendent of Police (SUPOL) Ugowe Igbinazaka Joel lies the heart of a typical super cop and security officer who criminals would dare at their own risk. He is revered by many for being articulate with uncommon intelligence; an astute crack detective known for being operationally sound and an unrelenting crime burster who has made his marks in policing in Nigeria.

The vastly knowledgeable and versatile Superintendent of Police is the current Coordinator of the Nigeria Police Force Federal Intelligence Bureau/ Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (FIB – IRT), South West Annex Office, Lagos State since February, 2021. He has displayed the ability to dislodge hoodlums and decimate criminal elements operating within his areas of engagement that were of serious concern to the Police authorities. Within a short time of his assumption of duty, he has already made his mark. His team was able to neutralize many notorious armed robbers and kidnappers and made many recoveries of arms and ammunitions within his area of operation. 

Supol Ugowe was born in Benin City, Edo State and attended St. Joseph Primary School, Benin City; Edo College, Benin City; and graduated from Ambrose Ali University with BSC Hons. Public Administration. He was enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force 1990 and has served in various capacities.

 The ML5 trained intelligent Officer was outstanding when he served as officer in charge, (O/C) FIB Idioroko Border post; O/C Provost, Mobile Police Force (MOPOL 2); Commander, Crack Squad, Lagos Command; Commander Intelligence (Intel), Anti Pipe Line Vandalization, Force Headquarters (FHQ) Annex, Lagos. The pipeline vandals will not forget the operational capacity of Supol Ugowe because he was their nightmare throughout the period he was deployed there to clean up the place.

Nicknamed unassuming Super COP, SP Ugowe is a proud recipient of numerous national and international recognitions, awards, and laurels. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police ‘lACP.” For his ability to make his mark within a short period of time as the coordinator IGP IRT, South West Annex office by bursting many high criminal cases, neutralising notorious armed robbers and kidnappers and the huge recovery of arms and ammunitions by his team,Sup Ugowe has earned himself The Top10 magazine Excellence award of the Most outstanding law enforcement officer of the year.

He is happily married with kids.

Vendease Africa  – The Food Company of the year

Are you running a big restaurant or fast-food outlet and still going or sending your staff to buy foodstuffs from the open market or farms? Then you are behind time. Eateries can now buy their foodstuffs online with just a press of the button. A Lagos-based agrifood-tech start-up, Vendease Africa, is leading Africa in digitizing the food supply chain through its online marketplace.

Vendease is a marketplace that lets restaurants in Africa, order directly from farms and food manufacturers. Now, instead of going through expensive middlemen, vendors, or wasting productive man-hours sending staff to open markets with hiked prices, restaurants can now get on its platform, click to order and get all their food supplies within 24hrs.

Founded in 2020 by four friends; Tunde Kara, CEO; Olumide Fayankin, Chief Operating Officer; Gatumi Aliyu, Chief Product Officer and Oyewale Oyepeju, Chief Technical Officer, Vendease has made significant impact in the food industry, delivering approximately 100,000 metric tons of food as at September 2021.

The company has grown tremendously with a team of over 120 staff working towards the vision to build Africa’s operating system for food supply by easing the process of procurement and guaranteeing faster delivery and credit facilities through its platform. Customers can order anything ranging from bread to grains and meat to vegetables on the website. The order notification goes to the farms or food manufacturers, gets processed, and delivery is done within 24 hours. 

Vendease has built all that to help these businesses digitize, track and automate their procurement and inventory management processes. It also helps with logistics, warehousing, quality control and financing where restaurants can buy goods and pay later.

The company was founded by Tunde Kara, Olumide Fayankin, Gatumi Aliyu, and Wale Oyepeju. The idea for Vendease came when founders who have been friends for more than five years noticed their favorite restaurants in cities like Lagos and Accra were shutting down. Inquisitive, they asked the owners who were acquaintances why, and the problems boiled down to the unreliable and expensive nature of food procurement in the cities.

Some months later they saw a hotel manager openly complain to a vendor about the unsteady supply of produce the hotel was getting. It sparked an idea in the founders’ minds. “We thought to ourselves that if restaurant owners and hotel managers have these problems, let us actually do some research and find out if it is a problem we can solve at scale and make money while doing it,” Kara explains.

At the time, Kara, the CEO, and Fayankin, the COO, held the respective positions at a Pan-African media consulting company called RED Media. Aliyu, the chief product officer (CPO), also held a similar role at another Lagos and San Francisco-based, YC-backed startup, 54gene. Oyepeju, the CTO, was working on a couple of technology projects for corporates.

Before Vendease, they had founded an adtech startup for ride-hailing companies, which didn’t survive for long. So this was another shot at another entrepreneurial journey, and after two and half months of iteration, the founders decided to launch the company in January 2020. They also closed an undisclosed pre-seed round to kickstart operations.

Just two years old, Vendease has begun to display its corporate social responsibility. Recently, it hosted a free medical outreach for traders at Apongbon Food Market in Lagos Island. The outreach, which had over 200 traders in attendance provided medical services including medical consultancy, medical checkups; vitals, hypertension tests, sugar level tests, and administration of drugs to the sick. “Small scale suppliers represent 70 per cent of Nigeria’s agri-food supply chain, these suppliers and farmers form a major part of the 97 per cent of Nigerians without access to basic healthcare. As a player in the food supply chain, we have made it our responsibility to fix this. This is why, this year, we decided to bring medical aid to traders in Apongbon Market,” Kara explained.

In the next five years, the two-years-old company wants to be the “operating system for food supplies in Africa.” Kara talks of plans to expand to other African cities in the coming months but is tight-lipped on the names. Vendease also plans to raise some money and follow Egypt’s Breadfast as the only restaurant-focused companies from Africa (although they have very different business models) that the accelerator has funded.

In recognition of the strategic position and pioneering role of Vendease as a reliable link between restaurants and food manufacturers in Africa, it is hereby honoured with the award of The Food Company of the Year by The Top 10 magazine.

Sir Osinachi Nnedu – Building Material Merchant of the Year

Sir Osinachi Nnedu was born in Isiokpo, Ideato local government area of Imo state, Nigeria.

 He attended Golf’s course primary school in Abia state and went further to Sacred Heart College Eziukwu Aba (Sahaco) which is also located in Abia state.

Sir Osinachi moved to Lagos state in 1991 to learn business from his uncle.

 After learning business from his uncle, he went ahead and started his own business which is popularly known today as the OSITINI brand.

He faced several challenges on his way up here but each one of them only strengthened him and made him the person he is today.

He is a thorough business professional who knows exactly what he is doing.

He is someone who sets his eyes on a goal and does not lose sight of it unless it is achieved.

He is the Chairman/CEO of the OSITINI global resources, sole owner of OSITINI range of products (Luxury Bathtubs and Jacuzzi, Executive WC Set and Water Taps).

He specializes in plumbing and building materials in general.

He has won so many awards both in business circles and humanitarian gestures.

He is also a philanthropist.

He is responsible, trusted and reliable with so much passion for humanitarian gestures.

He is happily married with kids.

For his Pragmatic Leadership in building the OSITINI brand as a force to reckon with in the Nigerian building material market, Sir Osinachi Nnedu is being honoured with the award of the building materials merchant of the year.

Dr. Stephen Amaechi Chinemelum  – Integrity Business Person of the Year

There are a number of manufacturers and suppliers of phone and other types of accessories in the Nigerian market, but only few stand out from the rest in terms of quality products: Dr. Stephen A. Chinemelum, founder and CEO of Fedan Investment Limited (FIL), is one of the few credible ones. While others take the easy road to profitability by resorting to counterfeiting and manufacture of poor quality products, Chinemelum prefers the tedious route of credibility and integrity. He has never swayed from that path since inception when his company chose “think quality, think FIL” as its slogan and “quality validity” as its watch word. According to Dr. Chinemelum, “once you uphold integrity in whatever you do, the sky will be your beginning because everything everyman is doing has a time of testing. In business steadfastness is needed, hard work is needed…”

In order to meet the world quality standards of its customers all over Africa and beyond, his company’s team of engineers and quality control experts conduct stringent quality tests in conformity with the provisions of standards organization of Nigeria (SON). FIL’s brand of products has passed several tests all the tests. That is the secret behind the high demand for FIL’s communication gadgets/Lightnings, Electrical Appliances/ Accessories and CCTV Gadgets.

Dr. Chinemelum, explains: “Over time, our products have increased in demand because of the quality we offer and we are trying to make sure people get what they pay for and sometimes when you hear of mobile phones explosion it’s because of issues like battery problem which can be dangerous to the community and the environment. We at Fedan investment are trying to make sure that any of our products which comes into the public eye is quality and very durable. People who are aware of the quality Fedan products offers always purchase our products and go as far as recommending to others and this has brought about awareness that Fedan gives the public what they need.”

Dr. Chinemelum incorporated Fedan Investment Limited with the corporate affairs commission in 1994 to engage in importation and distribution. Within a short span of time, it has attained phenomenal heights due to its quality products, professionalism, prompt and steady supply of its range of products which score high in terms of attractive packaging and finishing, performance, and durability.

         The company’s strength and expertise lie in its team of a dedicated workforce which is composed of highly qualified and skilled professionals who perform their jobs to perfection. They constitute the bulwark of the company with an excellent sense of customer relations that continue to strive to achieve its corporate objective in line with Dr. Chinemelum’s vision.

Dr. Chinemelum’s goal, beginning from 2022, is to penetrate the African market and take control of the Africa mobile market both in electrical equipment and mobile accessories and also the CCTV cameras.  “We believe by then everybody would have Fedan International on their lips and we believe people on their own would be recommending the products within our scope because we know what we are giving to the people. We believe by that time we would have taken over the African market and would have employed over 2000 to 3000 youths,” Dr. Chinemelum explained.

 Dr. Stephen Amaechi Chinemelum, attended Onyeabor mem primary School Onitsha, Christ the King College Onitsha and Imo State University where he obtained a Bsc in Business Administration and was conferred with the Honourary doctorate degree of the Doctor of Business Administration by Triune Biblical University global extension USA.

        A member of the Chartered Institute of Administration, Dr. Chinemelum is also the

Managing Director of Macstam Global Integrated Ltd, Proprietor, First Royal Treasure Nursery and Primary School and Head Pastor, Gods Divine Treasure Praying Ministry.

Dr Stephen Amaechi Chinemelum is being honoured with the award of Integrity Business Person of the Year by The Top10 magazine in recognition of his continuous upholding of Integrity as the foundation of his company which is reputed for provision of quality and standard products in Nigeria and beyond.

Alhaji Ibrahim Dende Egungbohun – Philanthropist of the Year

Alhaji Ibrahim Dende Egungbohun, the man being honoured with the prestigious award of Philanthropist of the Year 2021, is a businessman of repute and Chairman of IBD Group, with interests in several sectors, including hospitality, Clearing and Forwarding, Automobiles and Real Estate. With his enormous success in business, Egungbohun has demonstrated truth in the wise saying that success comes through dint of hard work.

Alhaji Egungbohun has demonstrated success not only in business; he has proved to be a man with a heart of gold by using his success to impact positively on the lives of others in many ways. He is not just a successful businessman; he is also a philanthropist whose involvement in charity is outstanding.

For many years, the Ibrahim Dende Foundation (IBD Foundation), his brainchild, has been involved in activities that are designed to eradicate poverty in Yewa community in Ogun State, through offer of scholarships to indigent students of the area and empowerment programmes that are aimed to alleviating poverty. For instance, three indigent students of Obanla Adeola; one primary 6 student of Muslim School, Oja-Odan, Adegoke Michael, as well as one primary 5 student of Deuteronomy Academy, Ilaro, have the scholarship of IBD Foundation to enable them to obtain secondary education. These are just but few instances of those currently benefiting from the scholarship programme of the foundation.

The foundation has extended its philanthropic gestures to communities and towns within the Ilaro and Oja-Odan axis of Ogun State.

During the period of the lockdown that was forced by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the IBD Foundation, under the leadership of Omolara Dende, wife of the Chairman, was actively involved in the distribution of palliatives to ameliorate the hardship many Nigerians experienced as a result of the lockdown. The organization donated 200 bags of rice and 70 jerry cans of vegetable oil to communities in the Ilaro and Oja-Odan axis. The IBD Foundation involved religious bodies in the communities to ensure the exercise achieved its purpose.

Alhaji Egungbohun has contributed materially to the growth and success of music superstars like Pasuma, Olamide, Phyno, Lil Kesh and Small Doctor.

In recognition of his outstanding philanthropic gestures, Alhaji Ibrahim Dende Egungbohun, Chairman, IBD Group is honoured with the award of the Philanthropist of the Year by The Top10 Magazine.