By Peter Osakwe
Val Ozigbo stands out in the galaxy of candidates for the November 6, 2021, Anambra gubernatorial election not because he is flying the flag of a popular party but because he is the knight in the shining armour for Anambrarians.
You need not be clairvoyant to tell that Anambra is in dire need of fresh breath after eight years of mindless suffocation. And who will bell the cat?
Here is Ozigbo. Young, energetic, urbane, cerebral and unassuming, yet well wired. His robust academic resume, uncanny strides and exploits in the corporate world firmly project him as the breath of fresh air Anambra urgently needs.
Ozigbo is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the governorship election in Anambra State and I dare say that the party got it right in the choice of standard-bearer.
For a man who connects seamlessly with the people he is seeking to govern with his well-articulated Ka Anambra Chawapu socio-economic and infrastructural module, which is also his campaign slogan, Ozigbo wears the Anambra shoe and knows where it pinches the people.
“The Chawapu project is designed to touch the future by building social and economic systems that last,” he says.
Val, as he is affectionately called by admirers, is a hard-boiled business administrator and entrepreneur and has dedicated close to three decades of his life garnering and putting into work experiences in the corporate world.
He is a thinker who thinks outside the box, visionary and purpose-driven. Ozigbo rises above the fray to stamp competency and accomplishment.
Ozigbo is not your Janus-faced everyday politician. He is a straight talker who speaks the language of service delivery. This candidate comes across as a man of unadulterated zeal for enduring positivity, one who is adequately prepared for the task of reinventing Anambra.
Grassroots’ favourite, Ozigbo has become a movement in Anambra. His state-wide acceptability and popularity attest to the fact that his message of redemption for the Ndi Anambra positively resonates with them.
Come November 6, Anambrarians will be saddled with a simple choice: Choose as their next governor a compassionate, shrewd, urbane and cerebral manager of men and resources or a perpetuation of the dark, anachronistic politicking and voodoo governance Anambra has endured.
Ozigbo represents the former. In him, American author John C. Maxwell’s characterization of a leader takes flesh and blood.
Maxwell: “A leader knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”
Starting as a young goal-getting financial manager, the PDP candidate has traversed the business and financial firmament, leaving impactful and enduring imprimatur in all spheres, hospitality sector, banking, manufacturing, energy, etc.
Until March 2020 when he quit to explore other areas of service to humanity, including the possibility of serving Ndi Anambra as governor, Ozigbo was at the driver’s seat of Transactional Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp), a top-flight business conglomerate with an interest in agriculture, banking and hospitality, among others.
Appointed president and chief executive officer of the corporation in 2011, Ozigbo brought his corporate wizardry to bear on the outfit, resulting in its burgeoning success.
For example, while at Transcorp, Val developed five new projects worth over $500 million, including two new hotels in Lagos and Port Harcourt, as well as other retail facilities that catapulted the conglomerate to global heights.
Born on July 20, 1970, Ozigbo attended Christ the Redeemer College, where he obtained his SSCE certificate.
He obtained a degree in accounting from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1994, and an MBA in banking and finance from the same university in 2000.
In 1998, he obtained a professional qualification in accounting from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and taxation from the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria in 2000.
In 2004, Ozigbo obtained an MSc in finance from Lancaster University, United Kingdom. He obtained a professional qualification in credit administration from the Institute of Credit Administration in 2015.
Ozigbo’s rise to the top of the corporate ladder was swift and meritorious. Before he was appointed the CEO of Transcorp, he had 17 years of experience in the banking sector, working with notable Nigerian banks, including NAL Merchant Bank, Diamond Bank, Continental Trust Bank, FSB International Bank, Standard Trust Bank, United Bank for Africa and Bank PHB.
Between 1995 and 2000, he was the head of commercial banking at Diamond Bank Plc. He proceeded to become the business manager at the United Bank for Africa (UBA) in 2000.
In 2001, Ozigbo was acting regional director of FSB International Bank but returned to pick up the position of head of international banking at UBA in 2004.
He left UBA for Keystone Bank as the global transaction operation in 2008.
Anambra is in for impactful, purposeful leadership as Ozigbo awaits coronation on November 6.
Congratulations to Ndi Anambra in advance.
•Osakwe wrote from Inland Town, Onitsha