Names have a way of affecting an individual. A man’s path and career could be tied, somehow, to his name. Perhaps when the former group managing director of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia was growing up, he might have said that he would, one day, become a colossus on the Nigeria banking scene. He dreamt of being a change agent that would revolutionise the Nigerian banking industry. He had a discerning mind and a knack for figures.
He was business inclined and pursued his dream early in life. His detractors during his days of life struggle might have sneered at him. Asking the obvious question: you a business mogul and a bank owner? Impossible, they could have said. The opportunity to test his dream came in the days of liberalisation of banking licenses in Nigeria, he was one of the few who said banking could be a thing of joy but was mockingly described by the older generation of bankers as “cowboy banker.” Nigerians who are much older will look back and say a little over two decades ago, Nigeria was in short supply of the human resources and infrastructure necessary to keep pace with the rapid technological and economic change in much of the developed world.
Jim Ovia therefore have created a niche for himself and even after vacating the seat of the GMD of Zenith bank, he has not for once stopped in ensuring his creativity can never be rivaled.
He has been seen at many social events around having around and beside him his lovely wife, and that tells us that Jim Ovia never dull.
Just on Tuesday 14 June, he was sighted at the Lagos State house, where the action governor of the state, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode celebrated his birthday amidst glitz and glamour, and he was everywhere trying to share pleasantries with the quality of persdonalities present at the 53 birthday celebration.