Stella Okotete: The making of a finance amazon


When President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Stella Erhuvwu Okotete as the Executive Director, Business Development, Nigeria Export-Impor (NEXIM) Bank, on April 10, 2017, many Nigerians applauded it and commended the president for appointing a vibrant, intelligent and meticulous young lady into that office.

In fact, the appointment was viewed by many as shrewd and astute with expectations high that she would fit seamlessly into her new position as a square peg in a square hole.

Her reappointment five years later alongside the entire executive management of the bank in line with the provisions of section 11(4) of the NEXIM Bank Act, in recognition of their achievements in the first tenure, therefore did not come as a surprise.

“As the expiration of the first term drew near, it became necessary to appraise their performance since assumption of duties across the core mandate areas of the bank. The outcome of the appraisal revealed that the current management team with the support of the board has performed as well as exemplified by key achievements,” a statement signed by Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, Special Adviser on Media & Communications to the Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning, read.

The statement added: “Evidently, the operating profit, previously in the negative (N8.030billion) at the inception of the current management, has increased to N3.825 billion in 2021, and there is an improvement in returns on capital earnings from -15.31 in 2016 to 2.72 in 2021.

“During her first term as executive director, the bank recorded huge reduction in non-performing loans from 94% in 2017 to 29% as at December 2021, and there is an increase in the total assets of the bank by approximately N136.132 billion or about 222% from inception of the current management in 2017 to 31st, 2021. The bank also attracted additional funding totaling N103.755 billion.

“The NEXIM has also made high growth in recoveries from N40.780 million in 2016, preceding the current management to an annual average recovery of N1.243billion between 2017 and 2020 and a total collection of N11.903 billion for the five-year period.

“The bank has made the disbursement of a total sum of N144 billion in loans to export-oriented entities in the non-oil sector while accounting for approximately US$375 million as export proceeds within the period under review.”

Okotete undoubtedly possesses the required experience and all that it takes to head any export agency in the world having served as Executive Director of NEXIM Bank for five years

A public administrator and business development specialist, Okotete’s antecedents in demonstrating a high-level proficiency in enhancing organisational growth in the various capacities she has served in public offices are phenomenal.

As a member of the Ughelli North Legislative Arm from 2008 to 2011, where she served as Chairman, House Committee on Education, Okotete directed all functions and activities associated with the state government Free Education Programme in Agbarho, Ughelli, Orogun, Ogor, Agbarha, Evwreni, Uwheru all in the council area.

She organised and managed programmes on girl child education in the local government area and sponsored the by-law on “War against Loitering and Hawking during School Hours.” She also spearheaded the advocacy team on Adult Education.

She later functioned as Chairman, House Committee on Health and co-sponsored the by-law to abolish and declare illegal female circumcision in Ughelli North.

The vibrancy she brought to bear in the council’s legislative arm did not escape the notice of the then governor of the state, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, who appointed her as his Special Assistant /Adviser, Directorate of Millennium Development Goals, a position she held from November 2011 to May 2015.

In that capacity, she established and executed programmes with agencies groups on MDGs such as public awareness/advocacy programmes on MDGs in Delta State, leveraged stakeholders’ influence and networks to advocate for policies related to MDG/NAPEP and improved services for IDPs.

Also noteworthy was her supervision of the Implementation of State and Local Government CCT programmes and the “Back to School” project to achieve the goal of MDGs. She developed community investment, sponsorship and operation guidelines on SDGs and managed social performance and annual reports on achievements, problems and targets.

She supervised the implementation of MDGs state and local government projects in Delta State.

In her present capacity as Executive Director- Business Development, NEXIM, where she has been aptly described by discerning Nigerians as a square peg in a square hole, Okotete has continued to provide operational leadership for the bank, managing relationships with various businesses to grow the nation’s non-oil export basket.

She has been involved in the conceptualisation and development of new banking products and services cum improving existing ones; planning and overseeing new marketing initiatives and drives; pitching products and services, ensuring timelines for deliverables for core banking operations are met.

Okotete also initiated the Women and Youth Export Development facility, currently providing low-interest loans for women and young people in the entire export value chain and reorganised the business directorate to act professionally in line with the president’s anti-corruption crusade. She is also on the board of Africa Biofuel and Renewable Energy Commission, Lome, Togo

Born on April 20, 1984, Okotete who hails from Ekrerhavwen-Agbarho community, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, attended the Federal Government Girls College Benin- City, Edo State, where she obtained her Senior Secondary School Certificate in 2000. She thereafter proceeded to the Rivers State College of Art and Science, Rumuola, Port Harcourt, and got a Diploma in Law in 2002.

In her quest to further her education, Okotete attended the Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, where she bagged a Bachelor of Arts, International Studies and Diplomacy, in 2006, and Certificate, Emerging Leaders – Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Boston, USA. 2012.

Okotete has a masters degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution at National Open University of Nigeria and presently, she is pursuing a masters degree in Public Administration.

Other qualifications include: Certificate, Entrepreneurial Management- (Enterprise Development Centre), Pan Africa University 2017; Certificate, Risk Management in Banking Programme, INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France 2019; Certificate, New Models of Business in Society, University of Virginia, USA 2020 and AML/CFT, Compliance and Corporate Governance – CBN International Training Institute 2021, Oxford Advanced Management and Leadership Programme – Sa’id Business School, University of Oxford, London and Leading Strategic Growth and Change – Columbia Business School, New York, USA,

Okotete’s professional membership includes MDGS Ambassadors of Peace West Africa 2015; Africa Humanitarian initiative 2016; Fellow, Institute of Corporate Administration (FICAD) 2017; Fellow, Institute of Management Consultant (IMC) 2017; Fellow, Institute of Chartered Economist of Nigeria (ICEN) 2018; Honorary Senior Member (HCIB) Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) 2018, Member, Institute of Directors (IoD) Nigeria, 2020 and Professional Fellow Doctorate – (ICEN) 2022.

She has been actively involved in volunteer works such as Volunteer Coordinator Starlight Initiative 2009, Project Feed 10,000; Volunteer Coordinator Delta State Flood IDP 2012; Volunteer Aid Assistance Abuja IDP camp 2015 and Volunteer Aid Assistance Maiduguri IDP camp 2015.

She has also served as Member, Women Rep. APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee and APC National Presidential Convention Committee 2018; Member, APC National Convention 2018; Member, APC 2019 Women and Youth Presidential Campaign Team; Member, APC 2019 Presidential Campaign Council, Women mobilisation among others.

Stella Okotete served in the Tinubu-Shettima APC Presidential Campaign Council as Secretary of Election Planning and Monitoring Committee. (Daily Trust)

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here