Omotoso: boardroom impresario turns 70‏ BY TOLA ADENIYI.

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The story of Sir Oluremi Festus Omotoso MFR, KJW is both inspirational and exciting. Born 70 years at Ayedun Ekiti, Remi did not find a silver spoon in his mouth while being nurtured as a baby and had to waddle his way through not at any ivory league secondary school or resident at any palatial court but in a humble Secondary Modern School and a Teacher Training College. He self taught himself to obtain the much prized General Certificate in Education Advanced Levels to qualify him for Direct Entry to study Geography at the prestigious University of Ibadan where our paths crossed in 1966.

Upon  graduation in 1969, he taught briefly  before gaining  employment with  Lever  Brothers  Nigeria  Plc  in  July  1971  as  a  Management  Trainee.

At  Lever  Brothers,  he  rose  rapidly  through  the  ranks and got promoted  to  the  Board  of  the  Company  in  October    1987  as  Human  Resource  Director  and was  in  this  role  for  nearly  six  years  and  headed  four  other  functions  as  Executive  Director  before  he  retired  in  1999  February.

Based on his exemplary performance at the Lever Brothers and his well known diligence in Boardroom strategies he got appointed as  Group  Managing Director/CEO  of  Odu’a  Investment  Company  Ltd  and  served  for  about  six  years retiring  in  November  2004.

Appointments on appointments started trailing his career progression as he became sought after by many companies, corporations and institutions. He was Chairman of Nigeria Association of Development Finance Institutions between 2000 & 2002 and then Chairman of Association of Africa Development Finance Institutions 2002 – 2004.

In rapid succession he got appointed  Director  General/CEO  Lagos  Chamber  of  Commerce  and  Industry  and  served  from  2005-  2008.

Along the line he received  wide  and  varied  Training  and  Development  in  Unilever  in  various  fields  of  functional  management  and  in  general  management, particularly  in   corporate  governance.   He  attended  the  Executive  Programme  of  Fuqua  School  of  Business,  Duke  University,  North  Carolina,  USA  in 1992. He also attended various AfDB, World Bank Programmes and Bank Directors and Chairmen Programmes in various parts of the world; all in his quest to acquire knowledge and more knowledge. This of course would not be a surprise because education is an Ekiti man’s favourite food next to pounded yam!

A very widely travelled Business and Human Capital Development Executive, Omotoso has virtually travelled through all the continents.

Sir Remi Omotoso who started life with virtually nothing but hope, determination and strong will to succeed currently sits  on  quite  a  number  of  Boards  including Standard  Chartered  Bank  Plc  of  which  he  is  Chairman;  Greenwich  Trust  Ltd;  current  Board  Chairman  of  DN  Meyer  Plc;  Chairman  J.  Wesley Investment Ltd, a commercial arm of Methodist Church Nigeria.  In  Fayemi  Administration  in  Ekiti  State,  he  served  as  Chairman,  Ekiti  State  Public  Private  Partnership Agency  Advisory  Board  (Ekiti  State  PPP)  etc.

He    is  a  member  of  a  number  of  Board  of  Trustees  among  which  are  Methodist  Church  Nigeria;  Timothy  Adeola  Odutola  Foundation  (TAOF); Bookhouse  Education  Trust  of  Nigeria  and  he  Chairs  Gbagada  Residents’  Association  Registered  Board  of  Trustees  etc.

Sir Remi Omotoso equally finds time for God and humanity. He is always with piles of Christian pamphlets and literatures on his desk and almost on every available space in his living room and office.

He  is  the  immediate  past  Conference  Lay  President ,  Methodist  Church  Nigeria and the  current  Baba  Ijo  of  the  Cathedral  of  His  Glory,  Methodist  Church Nigeria,  Ayedun-Ekiti and as a Community leader he is the Amona  Oba  of  Ikole  Ekiti  etc.

At 70 Omotoso has lived a life worth copying and emulating. He  is  a  member  of  the  Order  of  Federal  Republic  (MFR);  Knight  of  John  Wesley;  Fellow, Institute  of  Directors  (FIOD);  Fellow  Nigeria  Institute  of  Management  (FNIM);  Honorary  Fellow  Ghana  Chartered  Institute  of  Public  Administration (FGCIPA);  Fellow  Chartered  Institute  of  Personal  Management  of  Nigeria  (FCIPM ) and many more all in recognition of his sterling qualities as a distinguished Boardroom leader, a decent gentleman and a man of God, who has also .delivered  quite  a  number  of  papers  on  various  Socio-economic  subjects  at  home  and abroad.

Omotoso is happily  married  to  Pastor  Lady  Ebunoluwa  Omotoso  and  blessed  with  children,  male  and  female.

A very humorous individual and unequalled humility, Omotoso’s life is a rich book for any youngster  who aspires to succeed in life.

Remi, you are welcome to the world of Septuagenarians!

 

The pen is the tongue of the hand,the silent utterer of words for the eyes…Henry Beecher

 

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