Nkiru Okpareke is the CEO/COO of Enviro Gro Farms – a company she co-founded to produce high-end vegetables for the Nigerian Market. It is a premier commercial grower and marketer of fine quality vegetables in Nigeria. Produce on the farm is grown in a 5000 sq m irrigated, climate controlled green-house using a soilless medium and our growing methods comply with GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) standards for the production of vegetables. Nkiru runs the farms in Epe with her partner and the support of their Dutch technical partners and an expatriate agronomist.
Nkiru has over twenty years working experience with a decade of that experience in ExxonMobil as a project and design engineer and project manager for infrastructure projects in Nigeria, United States, Singapore and France. She also worked as a human capital development expert and management consultant in Canada and Nigeria. Nkiru has a B.Eng in Engineering from the University of Port-Harcourt and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada. In 2015, she won an award from The Centre For Value Leadership (CVL) as an Outstanding Female Entrepreneur in the Agricultural Sector She is also a Cochran Fellow of the USDA program and an IVLP Fellow of the US Department of State program.
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is the Founder of LEAP Africa, a leading youth leadership nonprofit organization, and co-Founder of AACE Food Processing & Distribution, an indigenous agroprocessing company that was founded in 2009 to fight malnutrition, reduce postharvest losses among smallholder farmers and displace imports. She is also the managing partner of Sahel Consulting & Advisory Ltd., a firm focused on the agribusiness and nutrition sectors in West Africa.
She started her career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, working in their Chicago, New York and Johannesburg Offices.
Ndidi holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree with honors in Multinational and Strategic Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Ndidi was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and received a National Honor – Member of the Federal Republic from the Nigerian Government. She was listed as one of the 20 Youngest Power African Women by Forbes. Ndidi serves on numerous international and local boards including Nestle Nigeria Plc., Nigerian Breweries Plc., Globethics.net Switzerland, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. India, Fairfax Africa Holdings Canada, and Royal DSM Sustainability Board, Netherlands.
Ndidi is the author of “Social Innovation in Africa: A Practical Guide for Scaling Impact," published by Routledge in 2016.
Nkem Nweke has over 12 years of active experience in the Telecom/IT services industry. He is a senior business executive with a clear understanding of technology and business objective alignment. He’s had direct involvement in strategic business planning that has delivered business value through cutting edge technology in Nigeria.
He has worked in several technical capacities with organizations like Dimension Data and Hewlett Packard. He currently works with Microsoft as a Software Consulting Manager with a clear understanding of technology and business objective alignment.
With a PMP certification in Project Management, he holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and MBA in Business Administration/Projects from the University of Manchester, U.K.
Nkem is passionate about social development initiatives, leadership and shaping young minds to contribute to their communities. In my free time, I love reading, wine tasting and classical music.
Patrick O. Okigbo III is the Founder and Principal Partner at Nextier, a multi-competency public sector advisory firm that advises senior government officials and senior policy makers on the major development issues in Nigeria. Previously, Patrick was a Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the power sector.
Earlier in his career, Patrick was a strategy consultant with Accenture in Lagos; Vice President with Citigroup Corporate & Investment Bank in New York City and Washington D.C.; and Chief Financial Officer for Transcorp Plc.
Patrick is the convener of the DFID-funded Governance Policy and Research Network that is a network of scholars and policy practitioners with a focus on inputting evidence into the policymaking process in Nigeria. He received his Bachelors from University of Nigeria, Masters in Business Administration from Emory University in Atlanta, and is currently pursuing an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the London School of Economics.
His Royal Majesty, Obi Nnaemeka Achebe was born in Onitsha on 14 May 1941. He became the 21st Obi of Onitsha on 14 May 2002.
After early education in Nigeria, he read chemistry at Stanford University, California, USA (BS), and management at Columbia University, New York (MBA). He also attended the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.
In 1972, he joined Shell Nigeria, where he variously held positions as Executive Director, Eastern Division, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs. Internationally, with the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, he was a senior corporate adviser and director of several Shell companies in the U.K, Nederland and Anglophone West Africa.
Obi Achebe has been the chairman of Diamond Bank PLC and the Universal Insurance PLC, and is currently the chairman of Unilever Nigeria PLC, Intafact Beverages Limited (AB InBev), Tishona Limited, and Omak Maritime Limited.
In 2003, Obi Achebe was chairman of the Federal Government commission of enquiry on fuel scarcity. In 2005, he was at the National Political Reforms Conference, where he was chairman of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Management Reforms and coordinator the Traditional Rulers’ Forum.
Obi Achebe believes that his people can restore their dignity and pride by keeping abreast of change without losing their rich cultural heritage; and that the imperatives of commerce and urbanization can be effectively balanced with preserving the people’s norms and traditions. He strives to provide selfless, honest, peaceful and impartial leadership to all in his cosmopolitan domain, and encourages enterprise and productivity. He is a strong advocate for education as a key to personal and national development and strives for the best for his domain in that regard.
A Paul Harris Fellowship awardee of the Rotary International, Obi Achebe is also a trustee of the Scout Association of Nigeria. He a patron of the arts, generally, and the sole patron of the Life In My City Art Festival (LIMCAF). He is currently promoting the establishment of a museum in his domain where his large collection of visual art and royal paraphernalia, etc, will become accessible to the public.
He is a Trustee of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, Chairman of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, former Chancellor of Kogi State University, and Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Nwafor Orizu College of Education, the Institute of Directors Nigeria, and the National Post Graduate Medical College of Nigeria. He holds the Honorary Doctorate Degrees of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (LL.D), Kogi State University (DSc.) Ahmadu Bello University (LL.D), and University of Nigeria (DPA). He is a Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR).
Tonye P. Cole is Co-founder and executive director of the Sahara Group. An architecture alumnus of the University of Lagos and Harvard Business School’s Advance Management Program (AMP186), Tonye Cole, together with his partners have grown the company, founded in 1996, from a single entity to a group made up of 20 companies across the energy value chain and present across 4 continents employing over 4,000 people.
Tonye is also an active member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Energy and in recognition of the role his company has played in shaping the indigenous play in Africa, was appointed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) Private Sector Advisory Group. Working with the SDGF, and UN goodwill ambassadors, The Roca Brothers and the Kaduna State Government Tonye, via the Sahara Foundation, launched the Food Africa Project in Kaduna, Nigeria.
His passion for youth development and giving back to the less privileged led to the establishment of his foundation, The Nehemiah Youth Empowerment Initiative, through which he has extended educational grants to students, trained farmers in Northern Nigeria and regularly supports other foundations such as the Down Syndrome Society of Nigeria, Slum2School Foundation, Bethesda School for the Blind as well as serving on the advisory boards of various youth focused charities such as Africa 2.0 and Sapinda Rainbow Foundation.
A motivational speaker, entrepreneur and firm believer in Africa’s inherent greatness, he has travelled vastly delivering numerous papers to the continents youth. He is a regular columnist for Thisday Style and published author.
Tonye Cole currently sits on the Board of Sahara Foundation where his responsibilities include directing the affairs of the Foundation, giving direction to the Committees of the Foundation and ensuring that it is solvent, well-run and delivers the charitable outcomes for which it has been set up.
He is also a Member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) Private Sector Advisory Group- PSAG; a thirteen member board aimed to support the SDG-F to better align public-private partnerships for sustainable development, the SDG Fund established a Private Sector Advisory Group, formed by business leaders of major companies from various industries worldwide.
Tonye Cole is also the founder of ‘The Nehemiah Youth Empowerment Initiative’ (NYEI) with the vision to rebuilding the society by empowering and inspiring the youths as the future leaders of our country to discover, explore and attain their full potential.
He is of the philosophy that the act of volunteering is found in all cultures, languages, and religions. Each year, he volunteers his skills and numerous hours to help make the world a better place.
He believes that volunteering is not only a great way to develop skills and grow personally, but it also gives a chance to make a difference in his community and make a real and lasting impact on the world.
Tonye Cole is involved in a series of development and social works which include supporting charitable organizations such as for Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria, ENACTUS Nigeria, Bethesda School for the Blind, LOTS Charity etc.
Dr Stella Chinyelu Okoli, OON, is an accomplished Pharmacist, Industrialist and Philanthropist who has made immense contributions to Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.
Born in Kano, Northern Nigeria she attended All Saints Primary School Onitsha and Ogidi Girls’ Secondary School Ogidi, both in Anambra State, obtaining her West African School Certificate in 1964. She later proceeded to the United Kingdom for her tertiary education and successfully completed her degree programme in Pharmacy, obtaining a B.Pharm (Hons) in 1969. This academic achievement was closely followed by an MSc in Bio-pharmaceutics which she obtained from University of London, Chelsea College in 1971.
In 1984 she incorporated Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries. Through handwork and perseverance, she has pioneered drug manufacturing and other allied health care areas in Africa, breaking the myth of the large multinationals by making available a wide range of quality drugs, affordable and available through an outstanding distributive network well endorsed by doctors and pharmacists across the country. She has succeeded in making the Emzor brand, a highly visible and acceptable one. It is a household name cutting across the social strata divide. There is also a national pride that goes with its acceptance that lends credence to the backward integration policy of the Federal Government.
Today, the Emzor Group has grown like the proverbial Iroko tree and now has branches or subsidiaries such as Emzor Pharmacy and Stores, Emzor Hesco Limited, Zolon Healthcare Limited and Frontwave Limited. These companies play in therapeutic segments that cut across healthy living, tropical medicine, orthocare, maternal and childcare as well as internal medicine. The Group has foot prints in Sierra Leone and Liberia and boasts of an outlay of over 120 products within these segments.
Dr Okoli is a frontline promoter of the Pharmacy profession in Nigeria. She is a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and has played key developmental roles such as serving as the Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMGMAN). She is a member Health Matters Advisory Board of Nigeria. The Federal Government recently appointed her as the Chairperson of the Nigerian Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, NIPRD.
She has attended numerous Executive Development and Management Programs across the world over the years such as The Harvard Business School Owner–Manager Program which she attended from 1997 to1999, the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School and I.E.S.E, Business School, Barcelona, Spain.
A philanthropist, Dr Okoli has supported several causes. She has awarded several scholarships to students in Secondary and Tertiary Institutions and donated generously to the less privileged in the society. She founded Chike Okoli Foundation (COF) in 2006 in memory of her beloved son Chike who died suddenly in his prime due to undetected cardiovascular ailment. With great zeal and passion she has single mindedly committed to the realization of the dual of objectives of promotion of entrepreneurship health and cardiovascular health. The Foundation has set up a Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. It currently trains over 250 students in the science and spirit of entrepreneurship. COF has reached over 1,500,000 people across Nigeria on lifestyle interventions. Dr Okoli is also actively involved in other non-for-profit organizations such as the Aart of Life, FATE, LEAP AFRICA and Goddy Jidenma Foundation.
She has been honored with many awards, in recognition of her tireless efforts, positive influence and landmark contributions. She was awarded the ‘Woman-In-the Community’– Award in Nigeria by Soroptimist International, the oldest female service club, Outstanding Service Award by Rotary International and ECOWAS International Gold Award. She also bagged the International Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Award. She has been conferred with the Member of Order of Nigeria, MON and the Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON by the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
She is a recipient of the 2014 CePAT Honors Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2016 Ernst and Young Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Institute of Directors Lifetime Achievement Award.
DATE OF BIRTH: 6th February 1956
A fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria and founding Senior Faculty of the Lagos Business School -Pan Atlantic University, he is Founder and CEO of the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) and Chairman and Chief Executive of the Integrated Produce City (IPC), as well as Executive Vice Chairman of SmartCity Lagos, a joint holding with Dubai Holdings by SmartCity Dubai. He serves on the Africa Board of leading global professional service firm, Deloitte and was Director of The Centre for Applied Economics at the Lagos Business School. He has served in Senior positions in government, as an Adviser to the President of Nigeria; the Private Sector, as Chief Operating Officer for Volkswagen of Nigeria, and in academia. He is the author of several Management and Public Policy books including the Award Winning Managing Uncertainty: Competition and Strategy in Emerging Economies, 1998 and the 2006 book “Why Nations are Poor” as well as The Art of Leading 2016. His academic background covers a range from Policy Economics, Business Administration, and Political Science to Mass Communication. As an entrepreneur he has founded or co-founded companies that are active in fields including financial services, ICT, Media and Agriculture.
Appointed Professor of the Social and Political Economy Environment of Business, the pioneer Entrepreneurship teacher at LBS has been a scholar-in-residence at the Harvard Business School and the American University in Washington DC. As leader of Civil Society, he is the founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership; The Widow Support Centre and the Concerned Professionals, which was bulwark against-military oppression, among numerous other social enterprise initiatives.
He has served on the key apex private sector associations, including the council of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and industry, The National Council of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA). He is active on the International speaking circuit, especially on the subjects of Growth Economics, Comparative Development Economics, Leadership, the Curse of Oil and China’s Economic surge and growing influence in Africa.
He has collaborated fairly frequently with the center for strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington and Chatham House in the UK and been a featured speaker at the Shangai Institute of strategic studies and the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). He has also written commissioned papers for the UK’s DFID including collaborations with Colleagues from Oxford on the Political Economy of growth in Nigeria. He is a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies (SAIS).
He has studied and written about the Political economy of growth in Latin America and Asia, particularly Brazil; Indonesia; Malaysia; Singapore; India and Hong Kong, countries in which he is much traveled.
Utomi who was voted one of the top 10 Nigerian Living Legends in the Vanguard Newspaper/Silver Bird Television poll in 2009.
A multitasker, he has reached the top in several different endeavours, becoming one of Nigeria’s top managers in Manufacturing before his 33rd birthday, reaching a Presidential Advisory position at 27; earning two Master Degrees and a PhD at 26, a Professorship and global acknowledgement as a leading scholar in Business, Political Economy and Media Studies in his forties. His first publication in a refereed international journal appeared in 1981 in a European Journal, Gazette. He is perhaps the first candidate for President in Nigeria to be formally endorsed by such renowned scholars as the Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka and Prof Sam Aluko among others.
Honored by so many Professional bodies as a distinguished fellow (including Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, the Institute of Directors (Nigeria) Institute of Strategic Management, Academy of Entrepreneurship Studies, and inducted into the Junior Achievement (Nigeria) Hall of Fame; and by the Senate of the University of Nigeria and Alumni of UNN ( ALOHA – A Lion of High Achievement) with a collection of more than 1000 plaques that mark a life of service. He has been awarded the Hon.Doctor of Business Administration (DBA HOnoris Causa) by the University of Nigeria in 2012.
As a Business Angel he has helped found such companies as Linkserve (Nigeria’s first ISP), Socketworks (Pioneer e-government systems developer in Nigeria, and Business Day (Nigeria’s first daily business newspaper) and the Integrated Produce City (IPC) a combination Farm settlement Industrial Park and Commodities Exchange in Edo State. He is also Chairman of Private Estates West Africa currently developing the ENUGU centiniel City. He is Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro Chancellor for Edo University, Iyamho. He had also served on the governing councils of Pan African University and American University of Nigeria, Yola (Board of Trustees).He created the iconic LBS monthly executive briefing breakfast and hosted it for its first 10 years, and inspired the founding of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Studies of LBS (now EDC) after a 1996 visit to the Sole C Snyder Centre at Wharton, in Philadelphia. His other books include Critical Perspectives in Political Economy and Management; To Serve is to Live; Business Angel as a Missionary and four other books that are collections of his published opinions. He has written dozens of chapters in edited volumes. Conversations with him have also been published in books of interviews with Utomi.
He has passionately pursued the building of a viable opposition political party in Nigeria and transparent, accountable government.
He was candidate for President of Nigeria in 2007 and 2011.
He is a man of faith and family who is widely traveled through all the continents of the world. He has visited more than eighty countries.
Austin Okere is the Founder of CWG Plc and an Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Business School, where he received special commendation for his mentorship role in innovation and entrepreneurship. Okere was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Global Business School Network in recognition of his major contribution to the development of business education and knowledge transfer in Africa.
Austin was also recognized with a Lifetime Entrepreneurship Achievement Award by the American University of Nigeria in 2017 for his dedicated service and outstanding entrepreneurial accomplishments. He received the Nigerian Computer Society Special Presidential Award in 2016, and was named ICT Personality of the year by the Society in 2014. He was also named ICT Man of the Decade by ICT Watch Africa Digital Network in 2012 and was listed on the United Kingdom C.Hub Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Creatives in 2016.
Austin is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council and a Fellow of the Nigerian Computer Society and the Institute of Directors of Nigeria. His company, CWG Plc is the largest security listed in the Technology Sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
His Excellency Commodore (Chief) Okoh Ebitu Ukiwe (Rtd), GCON, Fss, PSC+ US-NWC. D.Litt (UNN), D.S.c Public Admin. (Michael Okpara Federal University of Agriculture Umuahia, was born on 26th October 1940.
Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, after his West African School Certificate in 1958, joined the Royal Nigerian Navy in 1960 as an Officer Cadet. He attended the Nigerian Military College as an Officer Cadre in kaduna and was later admitted to Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, England, for four years Naval Training. He was commissioned at the rank of Acting Sub-Lieutenant in 1964. He gained his Sea Watch-Keeping Certificate & Ocean Navigation Certificate in 1965. Commodore Ukiwe served in many of Her Majesty’s British Royal Naval Ships and Submarine including HMS Caron, HMS Roebuck, HMS Shavington. He rose to command various Nigerian Naval War Ships viz: NNS Calabar, NNS Benin, NNS Kaduna, NNS Lokoja, NNS Dorina, NNS Otobo; and Shore Establishments – NNS Anansa and NNS Beecroft. Commodore Ukiwe was captain of the Nigerian Navy Flotilla – 1979/1980. He was the first Director of the Nigerian Navy faculty, Command and Staff College, Jaji Kaduna in 1981, a position he held for three years before he was appointed the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command.
Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe was a member of the supreme Military Council of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during Obasanjo/Yar’Adua regime. He was also a member of the Supreme Military Council during Muhammadu Buhari-Idiagbon military regime.
His Excellency Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe was the first Nigerian Chief of General Staff (CGS) of the Nigerian Armed Forces under the military President General Ibrahim Babangida, which equates to Vice President. Earlier before these appointments, he had been the Military Governor of Niger State 1977 – 1978, and later the Military Administrator/Governor of Lagos 1978 – October 1979. Commodore Ukiwe holds a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from United States Naval War College (University).
In the year 2002, the World Renowned Environmental Body – World Environmental Movement For Africa (WEMFA) in collaboration with the highly renowned United States of America based World Institute for Leadership and Development (WILDEV) and the International Institute for Environmental and Development (IIED), awarded Commodore Ukiwe the “2001 DISTINGUISHED LEADERSHIP AWARD”.
Commodore Ukiwe was a member of the “2005 National Political Reform Conference”.
Commodore Ukiwe was Vice- Chairman of the National Peace Committee that intervened to ensure peace and non-violence before, during and after the last Nigerian General Elections in 2015. The National Peace Committee has continued to champion for peace and unity in the country.
Now in private business, Commodore is the Chairman of Bitu Properties Limited. He is also the Chairman Salama Fikira Nigeria Limited and Rudocons Limited.
Commodore Okoh Ebitu Ukiwe is a recipient of the second highest award/honor in Nigeria – “Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger – GCON”. He is also bestowed with several high chieftaincy titles in Nigeria among which are: OCHI-AGAH OCHIMBA OF ABIRIBA, ABIA STATE, THE AJAGUNLA OF IKORODU, LAGOS STATE.
Commodore Okoh Ebitu Ukiwe holds the title: AKA-JI OFO NDI-IGBO – bestowed on him by His Royal Majesty Eze Obidiegwu O. C. Onyesoh, MFR (Nrienwelana II) – Eze Nri and the Eze Nri in-council and Njikoka Umu Nri in Consultation with IGBO TRADITIONAL RUERS.
Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe is happily married to Chief (Mrs.) Amina Ukiwe, and they are blessed with children.
Rina Okonkwo is head of Department of History, International Studies, Diplomacy and Philosophy at Godfrey Okoye University in Enugu. She is also Deputy Dean of Faculty of Arts at Godfrey Okoye. Rina has her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, her master’s from Brandeis University and her PhD in History from Graduate Center, City University of New York.
Rina has published two books, Heroes of West African Nationalism (Delta, 1985) and Protests Movements in Lagos 1908-1930 (Edwin Mellen, 1995). She has numerous articles and chapters in books. Lately, Rina has written about the “The Government Take-Over of Mission Schools in Eastern Nigeria 1956-1970,”
Rina worked for over forty years at the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus. She is executive director of Ndu Ike Akunuba, a non-profit organisation to foster leadership skills in young women in eastern Nigeria.