Diamond Bank MD Bags 2013 Zik Leadership Award

Group Managing Director and CEO of Diamond Bank Plc, Dr.
Alex Otti, has received the 2013 Zik Prize in the Professional Leadership
category, at an award ceremony organized by the Public Policy Research and
Analysis Centre (PPRAC) recently.
Delivering the welcome address, Prof. Jubril Aminu,
Chairman, Advisory Board of PPRAC, said that late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who the
award was instituted in his memory, needed no introduction as his nationalist
legacies loom large in the national psyche. Continuing in his strides, Aminu
said the Zik Prize has become a national institution to celebrate notable
Nigerians for their contributions to the society.

Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary General of the
Commonwealth and Chairman of the occasion, extolled the virtues of Azikiwe,
noting that he has become an institution whose legacies would transcend
“Dr. Azikiwe is no doubt a legend that has contributed a lot
to the development of the country and we are here to celebrate distinguished
Nigerians who have proven themselves in public service and professional
leadership like the late Zik. We hope that those present here today will draw
inspiration from the late African giant,” he added.
Responding on the award, Dr. Otti said, “The shoes of the
late Dr. Azikiwe cannot be filled, so we are only trying our best to follow in
his footsteps. Like Chief Anyaoku noted, the current situation whereby we spend
about 80% of our national revenue on recurrent expenditure leaving very little
for capital investment is unsustainable. This is why we continue to face
problems of youth restiveness, among others.
“At Diamond Bank, we are trying in our own ways to reduce
the burden of youth unemployment. We have instituted the Building Entrepreneurs
Today (BET) project, where we try to help young people with great ideas but no
money to execute them. We reach out to these people from all over the country
and select fifty with the best ideas for training at the Enterprise Development
Centre of the Pan Atlantic University. After the first round of training, the
best fifteen go through a second phase of business training with top
consultants. The final five participants are given free grants of three million
naira each to pursue their ideas. So far, Diamond Bank has invested over one
hundred billion naira into the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector.”
Executive Secretary of PPRAC, Prince Emeka Obasi, described
Dr. Otti as an intellectual banker and quintessential leader who, “after
graduating with a first class degree and as the best graduating student in his
set at the university, came into banking and has been making strides for others
to follow.”
Other awardees include Senator LiyelImoke, Governor of Cross
Rivers State; Gov. IbrahimDankwambo, 
Governor of Gombe State; and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Governor of Edo

Others are: DrBamangaTukur, Chairman, Nigerian Railway
Corporation; Aare Afe Babalola, Founder, Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD);
Dr ABC Orjiako, CEO, SEPCOL; Dr. Ernest Obiejesi, GMD of Nestoil Plc and Ms.
Evelyn Oputu, former MD/CEO, Bank of Industry.

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