OPINION: Jim Ovia: A Blessing to NELFUND

By Fred Femi Akinfala


Fred Akinfala
The appointment of Mr. Jim Ovia as the chairman of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) is a commendable decision that underscores President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to supporting tertiary education students in Nigeria. On behalf of the management team, I welcome Mr. Ovia and look forward to a productive working relationship.
The choice of Mr Ovia to lead NELFUND is undoubtedly a testament to his exceptional managerial experience, as evident from the remarkable success of Zenith Bank Plc, which he founded. His proven track record of creative thinking, profound decision-making abilities, and entrepreneurial zeal will definitely have a positive impact on the operations of the loan scheme.
Mr. Ovia’s commitment to Nigeria’s and Africa’s development is well-established. His bestselling book, “Africa, Rise, and Shine,” showcases his vision for the continent, seeing it not through the tattered veil of poor characterization but as a land of abundant human and natural resources, immense and diverse investment opportunities, and an economy primed for growth. This perspective aligns perfectly with the objectives of the NELFUND loan scheme, which aims to empower tertiary institution students to achieve their educational goals and become worthy contributors to a flourishing Nigerian economy.
Alongside the skilled experts from various fields on the NELFUND board, Mr Ovia’s leadership will ensure that the presidential mandate, vision, and objectives for establishing the loan scheme are fully realised. The board and management are determined to maintain the highest standards of fairness, transparency, accountability, and inclusion in the scheme’s implementation.
I am confident that Mr Ovia’s valuable business growth ideas, leadership skills, and entrepreneurial zeal will propel NELFUND to great heights, benefit loan applicants and the overall development of Nigerian society. His Pan-Nigerian and Pan-African outlook will be an elixir to the management’s determination to adhere to global best practices and change the wrongful perceptions about Nigeria and the African continent.
Once again, I congratulate Mr. Ovia on his appointment and am excited about the positive impact he will have on NELFUND and the education sector in Nigeria.
DR. Fred Femi Akinfala is Executive Director, Finance and Administration of NELFUND

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