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Sky Capital appoints MD, Non-EDs for Skye Bank Sierra Leone

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By Seun Ibiyemi

Sky Capital & Financial Allied Limited, the financial services subsidiary of SIFAX Group, has appointed a new Managing Director and three non-executive directors for one of its subsidiaries Skye Bank, Sierra Leone.

After the approval by the Bank of Sierra Leone, Mr. Abiola Bolaji has assumed office as the substantive Managing Director while Mr. Ayoku Liadi, Mr. Abdul Sheku Kargbo and Arch. Abel Onomake have assumed the positions of non-executive directors of the bank.

Abiola Bolaji is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife and has two Masters degrees in Accounting and Financial Management (Distinction) and Corporate Finance from the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading, United Kingdom.

He began his professional career as an Office Assistant in Development Finance office of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Uyo as a Youth Corp member before joining Universal Trust bank as a Relationship Officer in 2003. Between 2006 and 2020, Abiola worked with Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank and Stanbic IBTC rising to become a Regional Manager and managing 10 branches of the bank located in Ogun and Oyo states. He has received numerous awards for his outstanding performance both professionally and academically.

Ayoku Liadi is an accomplished financial expert with over 25 years of progressive experience. He had served as the Deputy Managing Director, UBA Nigeria where he was in charge of about 500 branches of the bank with deposits of more than 3.5 trillion naira. He also served as the MD/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank Sierra Leone between 2011 and 2013 where he recorded outstanding achievements and led the bank to become the most profitable bank in 2013. Ayoku’s exceptional leadership also earned the bank the prestigious KPMG award for the Best Customer Service Bank in 2012.

Ayoku holds a B Sc. in Business Management from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, an ACA from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and a Master’s degree in Marketing from the University of Lagos.

Abdul Sheku Kargbon is an Executive Director of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the immediate past board chairman of UBA Sierra Leone. He has a vast work experience in policy and strategy formulation locally and internationally. Kargbo is a LLM graduate of Birmingham City University, UK; Master of Arts in Human Rights, Globalization and Justice – University of Keele, UK and LLB (Hons) from the University of Warwick in the UK.

Abel Onomake is a seasoned architectural consultant who has worked on key designs and supervision of architectural and engineering projects in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia. He holds a B.Sc and M.Sc in Architecture from the University of Ife and a Diploma in Valuation and Estate Surveying from the Architecture and Surveying Institute, Wiltshire, United Kingdom. Between 2005 and 2021, he is the Managing Director of Ideas Limited, a West Africa-based consulting firm with offices in Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

The appointment of the four (4) new Board of Directors brings to seven (7) the directors of the bank including the Acting Chairman Mr. Brimah Conteh; Chief Adekunle Oyinloye and Mr. Akinremi Akinwale Oladipo (The Executive Director). The Multitude of resident directors is a part of the Bank’s strategic focus on domesticating the governance, products and services of the Bank to meet the local requirements of the country’s economy.

While congratulating the new appointees, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group, said the desire to make sustainable impact in the financial sector across West Africa was responsible for the quality of leaders appointed to manage the financial institutions in Sierra Leone.

He said: “SIFAX Group is synonymous with the delivery of best value and excellence. We know that quality workforce and experienced board would drive our vision of becoming the most desired financial services brand across the West Coast. We are pleased with these appointments and convinced they possess the requisite knowledge and experience to deliver on the vision.

“I have no doubt that these new leaders will catapult Skye Bank, Sierra Leone to the top in the country.  We will provide all the necessary support needed for them to succeed in our quest to become a Pan-African financial institution”.

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Aviation

Aviation sector to benefit from RIDF

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Aviation is set to be part of key economic drivers that will benefit from President Bola Tinubu’s proposed Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).

In a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, the fund targets strategic sectors like agriculture, transportation, ports,  energy, healthcare, and education along with aviation.

The initiative plans to inject funds into vital national projects to foster growth, bolster local value addition, generate jobs, and spur innovation.

Efficient use of low-interest loans and financing options will secure advantageous arrangements for project financing and operation.

The focus on aviation enhancement involves modernising major airports nationwide with targeted investments and infrastructure upgrades.

The statement reads, “On aviation enhancement, the focus is on the revitalization and modernization of major airports nationwide. Through targeted investments and infrastructure upgrades, major airports will undergo comprehensive refurbishment, including improvement in terminal facilities, runway expansions, and the implementation of cutting-edge technologies to enhance safety and operational efficiency.”

For agricultural infrastructure, the focus includes developing robust networks like storage facilities and irrigation systems.

In port revitalisation, the goal is to modernise facilities and attract investments to enhance Nigeria’s regional trade hub status.

“By modernizing port facilities and implementing advanced monitoring systems, the goal is to optimize efficiency, attract investments, and bolster Nigeria’s position as a regional trade hub,” the statement read.

Key road projects like Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road aim to enhance connectivity and stimulate economic growth.

Rail projects like Lagos-Kano and Eastern lines will modernise transportation networks for speed and reliability.

President Tinubu’s approval of the RHIDF absorbs the PIDF, expediting project delivery for Nigerians’ benefit.

Projects funded under the RHIDF will have a national spread, reflecting the commitment to equitable development.

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ICAO Aviation security audit team debriefs Nigeria, indicates strong outing

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The Team Lead of ICAO Security Audit Programme, Callum Vine, announced Nigeria’s strong performance during a debrief after its Audit.

Nigeria recently concluded the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Security Audit Programme the continuous Monitoring Approach (USAP-CMA) according to a statement emanating from Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN, Obiageli Orah.

The USAP-CMA aims to improve aviation security compliance by analysing Member States’ performance and implementation of security standards. It focuses on Annex 17: Security Standards and Annex 9: facilitation compliance, along with associated procedures and security practices.

The event held at NCAA Headquarters saw Vine praise Nigeria’s robust policies and agencies, acknowledging their speed in addressing identified deficiencies without complaints.

He mentioned that the full audit report would be available within 60 days, followed by a 30-day period for comments.

FAAN’s Managing Director, Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku, affirmed using the audit results as a roadmap for continuous improvement.

She urged stakeholders to collaborate closely, share best practices, and uphold the highest security standards in the industry.

The debrief was attended by Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, representing the Minister, and Captain Chris Najomo, Acting Director General of NCAA.

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Arik Air receives Best Sustainable Airline Company award

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Arik Air has bagged the award for  Best Sustainable Airline of the Year,  2024 by the World Quality Alliance and Quality Standards Journal.

The airline’s Public Relations and Communications Manager, Mr Adebanji Ola, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos.

Ola said the award was presented to the airline at the National Quality Summit 2024 held on March 22 in Abuja.

According to Ola, the Award General Committee of the National Quality Order of Merit, said the award was meant to celebrate leadership innovations and creativity in quality management.

Ola noted that Dr Ovie Shaka, Vice Chairman, Organising Committee of the National Quality Order of Merit Awards 2024, explained that the award was aimed at identifying, recognising and rewarding companies.

“The award also aims at rewarding personalities and products that apply quality assurance culture and quality management best practices.”

He said the award was presented by Stanley Ohenhen, on behalf of the Organising Committee and received by Arik Air’s Director of Safety, Capt. Jide Bakare.

Ola quoted Arik Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, as saying that the award is another testament of the airline’s fastidious adherence to operational safety standards.

Ilegbodu said Arik Air was committed to continual improvement of the management system and operational performance.

Recall that Arik Air also won the 2023  Best In-flight Service Airline by the Nigerian Aviation (NIGAV) Award.

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