Dr. Ayoola Oba Otudeko
By Emmanuel Ndubuisiâ€¨
A renowned entrepreneur, Dr. Ayoola Oba Otudeko, who is set to clock 70 on August 18, has opted to mark the occasion without fanfare.
Otudeko, line with his personal philosophy of modesty, has requested that no media advertisements or messages be published to congratulate him; neither would he welcome any public event organised to coincide with his birthday.
Otudeko, who chairs the Honeywell Group, however requested that to further promote his ideals of philanthropy and giving back to the society, those who plan to send gifts or publish congratulatory messages in the media should channel the funds to Footprints Occupational Training Centres (FOTCs), an initiative of the Oba Otudeko Foundation (OOF).
He urged his friends and associates to celebrate the occasion with thanksgiving, touching lives in select concrete ways.
The OOF is a private, not-for-profit organisation inaugurated in 2003 as a vehicle for public-spirited programmes.
It is “committed to programmes aimed at ensuring that Nigeria keeps pace in the technologies and competencies that will define the twenty-first century and beyond, through people empowerment, capacity and institutions building.”
The vision to implement Footprints Occupational Training Centres model was informed by the need to respond to the challenges posed by youth unemployment and dearth of essential skilled manpower in Nigeria.
The OOF believes that technical and vocational education needs to be revolutionised and refined in Nigeria by empowering a new generation of skilled artisans, craftsmen, technicians and technologists to power the economy.
“The Oba Otudeko Foundation has done extensive work and obtained the required licensing to actualise FOTCs’ model towards the implementation of the initiative at seven locations nationwide (one in each geo-political zone and the Federal Capital City, Abuja).
He urged that donations towards the initiative should be made in favour of Footprints Occupational Training Centres and forwarded to the Project Director, FOTCs Implementation, 6B Mekunwen Road, Off Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Otudeko, a chartered banker, chartered corporate secretary and a chartered accountant, is a successful entrepreneur whose domestic and foreign interests cut across diverse sectors of the economy.
He has attended management courses at several prestigious institutions, which include the Harvard Business School.
He also attended the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland; the Arthur D. Little School of Management and the London Business School.
Otudeko is currently the Chairman of Honeywell Group, Airtel Nigeria and Fan Milk of Nigeria Plc.
He retired as the Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Plc after 12 years on the board of the bank.
He also served on the boards of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Guinness Nigeria Plc and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) between September 2006 and August 2009.
He was the 16th President and Chairman of Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.