September 10, 2014 – Executive Director Bank of Industry(BOI) in charge of Small and Medium Enterprises, Mr. Waheed Olagunju has been conferred with the award of Corporate Ambassador at the 2014 Nigeria Arise Awards ceremony organized by BEN Television, London.
Olagunju was honoured primarily for his services to the Corporate World, most especially his selfless and dedicated service to the Bank of Industry since its inception in 2001 that has enabled the bank to make considerable impact on Nigeria’s industrial development.
The organizers specifically noted the central role Olagunju played in the successful New World Nigeria International Campaign that was one of the business and cultural side events of the 2012 London Olympics the high point of which was the High Level Business and Investment Summit on Nigeria that took place at the Dorchester.
According to the award citation, Mr. Waheed Abiodun Olagunju who joined the Bank of Industry’s precursor institution the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB) in 1990 as a Senior Manager rose to the position of Executive Director (Business Development) in 2012. He also acted as Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Industry (BOI) between 11th April and 16th May, 2014 and was recently reassigned as the Executive Director (Small and Medium Enterprises) under the Bank’s management team led by Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, BOI’s new Managing Director and Chief Executive.
Prior to Olagunju’s appointment as a member, Board of Directors in 2012, he served as the Company Secretary of NIDB/BOI for 15 years (1997 – 2012) and concurrently as General Manager, Strategic Planning and Corporate Communications between 2007 and 2012. In those capacities he was one of the architects and strong drivers of BOI’s outstanding turnaround and transformation into one of Africa’s best Development Finance Institutions (DFI).
In the course of his involvement with the reconstruction of NIDB into BOI (2000-2001) and the consolidation of the mandates of NIDB, the Nigerian Bank for Commerce and Industry (NBCI) and the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) into that of the Bank of Industry, Olagunju worked very closely with Messrs KPMG, the consultancy firm that was engaged to handle the exercise and the leadership of the then Federal Ministry of Industry. In the early years of BOI, Olagunju coordinated the diagnostic study of the bank between 2004 and 2005 by the Swedish consultants (Messrs Swedish Development Advisers) who were appointed by the African Development Bank that managed the grant from the Swedish government for the exercise.
Olagunju who thanked the organisers of the award, dedicated it to his professional colleagues at BOI adding that he was part of a formidable team that worked in concert to build one of Africa’s best development finance institutions despite daunting challenges. He expressed his gratitude to the bank’s successive managements and Board of Directors over the past twenty four (24) years for giving him the opportunity to realize his potentials.
The Nigeria Arise Award was initiated by BEN Television of London to honour Nigerians at home and abroad who have excelled in their various fields of endeavours as well as friends of Nigeria and organizations that have made positive impact on Nigerians and also outstanding contributions to Nigeria’s development. Governors Godswill Akpabio, Ibikunle Amosun and Ramalan Yero of Akwa Ibom, Ogun and Kaduna States respectively were also honoured at this year’s centenary edition which is the fourth. Other recipients included Patsor Tunde Bakare and Dr Nazir Ahmed an educationist who has produced more than 100 high grade Nigerian students from his schools in the United Kingdom.