Nigerian business leaders have won all the awards at this year’s Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA), West African Region.
The award ceremony which held on Thursday, 23 October at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria celebrated people it considered leaders in business across different categories.
The Director General of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Arunma Oteh was appointed as West Africa’s Business Woman of the year 2014 at the awards; The Chairman IBTC Holdings Plc, Atedo Peterside, emerged the West African Business Leader of the Year; CEO of Paga, Tayo Oviosu, as West Africa’s Entrepreneur of the year; Chude Jideonwo and Adebola Williams of Red Media as West African Young Business Leader of the year and Subomi Balogun, won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
In his address at the event, Head of Reserve of ABN Group, Joe Nazzal said: “The nominees in this year’s AABLA Awards exemplify the game-changing vision that has helped to grow the West African economy, with Nigeria making incredible strides in this regard. Johnnie Walker Blue Label is proud to acknowledge all these individuals who, through their tireless innovation and pioneering spirit, have made a lasting impact on the continent’s business sector. The fact that all winners were from Nigeria emphasises the impact the country’s business leaders are having on the continents’ business landscape.”
In her remarks, Oteh thanked CNBC Africa who she mentioned has changed the landscape of business reporting and has been connecting Africa to the world. She further said. “This is very important to me because I think it is an outstanding category for what we do at SEC. I think what we have done is to create an enabling environment such that businesses can realise their potential but also such that our nation can realize its potential. But in doing that, what we have seen is that we have been such a role model for other countries around the world because we have been bold, we have done things people have wondered whether they should do” “So I am really honored that I am able to be some evidence of excellence. I also want to say that this recognition for me means very much. I had vision, but I had a team around me, the SEC staff who tapped into that vision. We also have had capital market operators who have aligned behind our vision. I want to celebrate SEC staff, capital market operators and Nigerians.
While receiving the award, Jideonwo who is the managing partner of Red Media Africa said: ‘It is certainly not easy to build a young business in West Africa, especially to build one organically, without debt, external investment or even a famous last name. It is even more difficult to build a media business in a region famously hostile to sustainable media enterprise. Therefore, this is a reminder that much is possible in spite of the difficulties of our environment and it definitely inspires; to keep creating value and to keep building a new model of enterprise and (being) relentless.
The West African round marked the final regional leg of the AABLA Awards with East and South Africa’s business leaders having been honored earlier in the year. The winners of this round will then travel to South Africa for the AABLA finale on 14 November where they will compete against other regional winners from Southern and East Africa for the title of Africa’s most exceptional business people in their respective fields.