Today, I mark a significant milestone in my career as I step down from my seat on the Boards of Directors of Transcorp Hotels Plc and Transcorp Plc, having also just done the same on the Board of Transcorp Power Limited.
About ten years ago, I was on the way to the airport with my wife and children. We were jetting out to China for a family adventure when I received a phone call. It was my former boss at UBA Plc. He invited me to interview before the Board of Transcorp Plc and insisted that I immediately come over to the company’s Ikoyi office.
My family went on to board the plane without me. Two hours later, I was seated before business tycoons like the now late oil magnate, High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, and other members of the Transcorp Board. I interviewed for the role of Transcorp’s Executive Director of Finance. With 17 years of banking experience, most of it in international banking and a Masters of Science in Finance, I felt that the job was a perfect fit. But my fate, and my mentor, had a different plan. I must have impressed the Board so much that I ended up with a job offer as the Managing Director of Transcorp Hotels Plc. So the most exciting chapter of my career began.
As the first-ever MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc since its privatisation in 2005, I was responsible for transforming the hotel into the premier destination in Africa. Eight years later, when I left the hotel’s helm, we had undergone a globally celebrated transformation and became the undisputed top business hotel on the continent. With several global hospitality awards, including the Seven Stars CEO of the Year awards, Transcorp Hilton Hotel had become iconic. Transcorp Hotels Plc remains the leader in the hospitality industry in Nigeria.
In January 2018, I was elevated to President and Group CEO of our parent company, Transcorp Plc. In March 2020, I stepped down from my position to dedicate the next chapter of my life to public service.
It was a rare privilege and honour to have been asked to remain on the boards of Transcorp Plc, Transcorp Power Limited and Transcorp Hotels Plc. Today, I bow out from all these boards as my new adventure into public service enters a new critical phase.
The last decade has been a wonderful time of building, learning and growth, and I am grateful to the many phenomenal humans I met and worked with along the way. At Transcorp Plc, I encountered nothing but angels and made only friends, and I will forever cherish the memories we made together.
My Transcorp story would have never happened if God had not sent a particular special angel into my life. I met him in 2004 when he hired me to work in the then Standard Trust Bank (now UBA Plc). It has been an incredible 13 years of transformational business mentorship, and I am forever grateful to Mr Tony O. Elumelu CON, my leader and friend, for giving me a chance, bringing me into his universe, and for always believing in me.
Tony O. Elumelu is one of the greatest entrepreneurs, innovators, and thinkers to emerge from Africa. I am confident that he will continue to lead Transcorp Plc to new levels of rapid advancement and superior performance in the hospitality, power, energy, oil and gas, and technology industries. He has all it takes to rule the world; he has already changed the world seven times and counting.
I congratulate our newest Board members, Mr Victor Famuyibo and Mallam Ahmadu Hamman Sambo, and the two new additions to Transcorp’s Executive Management Team, Engr. Vincent Ozoude and Mr Peter Ikenga who join us as the Managing Directors/CEO of Trans-Afam Power Limited and Transcorp Energy Limited, respectively. I welcome them to the Transcorp family and pray their time in Transcorp is as wonderful as mine has been.
With the management of Transcorp Plc, Transcorp Hotels Plc and Transcorp Power Limited in the hands of Owen Omogiafo, Dupe Olusola, and Chris Ezeafulukwe, with these two additions, I am confident that the Transcorp Group will surpass our ambitious goals.
My first project in my next chapter is to win the confidence and mandate of my people in Anambra State to lead them into a new era of peace, possibilities, and prosperity. The prospects are brilliant, and the future is even brighter.
Thank you, and God bless us all.
Valentine Ozigbo is an award-winning global CEO, a change-maker, and a champion for continuous improvement. He is on a mission to change the world by raising the consciousness of humanity. He is the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, a conglomerate with interests in hospitality, power, energy, agribusiness, and oil and gas. He is the Chairman of Feet ‘N’ Tricks International, the largest promoter of freestyle football in Africa and the Founder of Valentine Chineto Ozigbo Foundation, a non-profit focused on youth empowerment and building future leaders.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.