The first full day of the 2017 NBA Annual General Conference got underway on Monday, August 21, 2017 with the following highlights:
Each day’s programme was composed of a series of Plenary Sessions and Breakout Sessions. Monday began on a high note immediately after the arrival of The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, as the former Prime Minister of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, The Honorable Nika Gilauri articulated his country’s transition from a state-controlled command economy to a thriving free-market economy, and from one of the most corrupt countries in the world to its present reputation as a model of transparency – and what lessons Nigeria could draw from Georgia’s experience.
This was followed by one of the day’s highlights, a conversation between the well-known CNN international correspondent Zain Asher and Nigeria’s Vice-President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on the challenges being faced by the current administration in creating viable institutions capable of fostering investment in the Nigerian economy, and by extension, creating the conditions for further investments – by both Nigerian and foreign businesses in the rest of Africa.
The second plenary session of the day, which examined the possibilities of institutionalizing African investment, was moderated by the managing director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe. He led a distinguished panel which included the world-renowned global CEO consultant, Ram Charan; Jide Zetlin, a former partner in the Goldman Sachs Group; head of the Africa Practice at Hogan Lovell, Andrew Skipper; and the chairman of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, who was represented at this event by a senior official of the conglomerate.
The rest of the day was taken up with a series of breakout sessions. The first of these sought to chart and implement a strategic roadmap for African recovery. Moderated by Olisa Akbakoba, SAN, this question was examined by a panel composed of the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Chukwuma C. Soludo; the founder of the BUA Group, Alhaji A. I. Rabiu; Kemi Adeosun, who is the finance minister of Nigeria; Prof. Doyin Salami of the Lagos Business School; and the chairman of the N/Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba.
The second breakout session, which was moderated by the retired air force Gp. Capt. Muyiwa Akinyele, examined the military institution as a business. Led by Prof. WW Soboyejo, the dean of engineering at Worcester Polytechnic in the UK, the discussion also included chief of staff of the Nigerian army, Gen. Tukur Buratai; the director-general of Nigeria’s Defence Research Bureau, Air Vice-Marshall Onyemaechi Osahor; and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim K. Idris.
The third breakout session was concerned with enhancing the institutional framework of the country’s energy and power sectors. Moderated by the foremost lawyer and former NBA president Chief Wole Olanipekun, the issue was, as expected, subjected to rigorous analysis by a panel including two federal cabinet ministers, Babatunde Fashola, SAN (power, works and housing) and Dr. Ibe Kachikwu (state, petroleum), as well as top players in the energy and power sector such as Dr. Sam Amadi, the former CEO of the national electricity regulatory commission, NERC; Alh. Yusuf Hamisu, chairman of the Kaduna Distribution Company, and Azu Obiaya, CEO of ANED.
The attorney-general of Oyo State, Oluwaseun Abimbola moderated the fourth and final breakout session of the day, which explored the role of women in building strong institutions and, by extension, stronger economies and polities. Along with Ram Charan, the Indian-born global CEO consultant, the discussion panel also included the founder and CEO of Java Foods, Monica Mosunda; the general counsel at General Electric, Adesua Dozie; Adepeju Jaiyeoba, who is the head of chambers at the law firm of Funke Aboyade SAN & Co., as well as Ghana’s former minister of gender, children and social protection, Hon. Nanya Oye Lithur.
Another major highlight of the day was special showcase by the government of Lagos, held on the sidelines of the NBA Conference at the Hard Rock Café in Lagos. It is the first of a number of state government-sponsored showcases slated throughout the duration of the Conference.
See Photos Below: