Philip Oduoza Returns… Former Bank CEO Rocks Afresh with Nova Bank


Perfection is like an iron forge; it imbues its source with rugged grains of brushed steel. In Philip Oduoza, it manifests like a rampart of strapping, albeit acquired character. Philip embodies so much of what makes perfection an onerous yet enviable trait. He is a man who sees something in everything that the rest of us don’t.

But his genius is not just his ability to see what others cannot but how he applies it. Yes, the former MD of UBA is a very savvy entrepreneur and imaginative visionary. But none of that influences his personal estimation of his competence and self-worth; despite his competency and acclaim, he affects a humble poise. As MD of UBA Bank, he observed remarkably clear and simple principles of leadership. He brings clarity of purpose to his work; he is a good listener who comes to the table not with some preset notion of distrust but an open mind; he asks all the tough questions and tries to find the solutions.

Given that product design, marketing and complex management are no doubt the trifecta of success in commercial banking, he excels at it all in a rare feat, much like scoring a television goal in soccer, time and over again. And how has he perfected the knack for such entrepreneurial success that puts him in the same pantheon as banking industry’s business giants?

His process is simple: Oduoza has built a career on combining daring, dexterous and largely inspirational initiatives with diligent application that incorporates everything from snatches of dependable formulae to the most improbable exploits. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he views success not only in financial terms but artistic terms, and his enterprise style — particularly his current business and leadership style in the banking sector — are as formidable in pushing and challenging the bounds of entrepreneurship as they are in garnering successful results. However, the widely acknowledged man of clout who bestrode Nigeria’s banking sector like a god from a medieval era is back with a big bang. This time with a merchant bank called NOVA. A merchant bank is a financial institution that focuses more on investments, loans, asset management, mergers, acquisition and even advisory services to its customers.

Nova, Nigeria’s fifth merchant bank, officially began operations on Thursday, February 1 at its headquarters in Lagos.

“Banking is changing globally with the emergence of new entrants and the infusion of non-traditional business models leveraging advances in technology,” said Oduoza, who is an independent director at the Development Bank of Nigeria.

“We believe Nigeria should not be left behind. Therefore, NOVA is here to bring a new experience in the banking industry. That was why we selected the name, NOVA, which means new. We want to do new things”, he said. The current Chairman of NOVA offers a great lesson for self-starters particularly the inspired and ambitious of the pack.

That is because he effortlessly impairs and discredits substantial typecasts and tunnel-visions that unfairly impede and obscure plausible milestones and success stories of aspiring entrepreneurs.