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How a clash of visions Allegedly led to Olu Akanmu’s exit from Opay

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Olu Akanmu, OPay’s former president and co-CEO, exit underscores the potential tensions between financial goals and brand perception in fintech companies.

On July 31, 2023, Olu Akanmu, former co-CEO of Opay, stepped down after almost two years at the Chinese-owned fintech; his exit surprised many, given Opay’s impressive growth under his leadership.

A clash of vision between the former banker and the rest of the company’s leadership led to Akanmu’s departure, one person with knowledge of Opay’s business told TechCabal.

“The Chinese cared about numbers much more than the brand’s perception,” that person told TechCabal.

Several of Akanmu’s proposed initiatives, such as a payment gateway and a “payme” account for one-time payments, were reportedly shelved. Additionally, his commitment to social responsibility projects like financial inclusion for women and partnerships with internally displaced persons (IDPs) seemed at odds with the Chinese investors’ laser focus on numbers. Akanmu’s exit underscores the potential tensions between financial goals and brand perception in fintech companies.

Opay operates a co-CEO structure, giving Olu Akanmu and a second CEO internal sources identified as Steven dual leadership. According to those people, Steven was generally in charge of the policy at the fintech. Akanmu’s background in retail banking at FCMB, a Nigerian bank with a market capitalisation of ₦217 billion, positioned him to develop Opay’s merchant business, including POS, agency banking, and wallets. Despite this focus, internal sources said his co-CEO, Steven, had greater control over Opay’s direction.

Opay did not answer any of TechCabal’s questions at the time of this report.

During Akanmu’s time at Opay, the fintech grew exponentially, reaching over 30 million users, 500,000 agents, and 100,000 merchants, according to publicly released figures.

The fintech previously offered a super app model, offering food delivery, ride-hailing, logistics, and payment services, before solely focusing on financial services in 2020. It also proved a formidable alternative to legacy banks during Nigeria’s botched currency redesign, which led to a cash crunch. The fintech’s robust infrastructure and effective distribution strategies were deeply attributed to this win.

New Leadership and regulatory hurdles
Following Akanmu’s departure, Daudu Gotring, a former director at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), became CEO. This appointment signaled Opay’s attempt to navigate increased regulatory scrutiny surrounding its Know Your Customer (KYC) measures.

Opay faced increasing regulatory scrutiny over its Know Your Customer (KYC) processes last year after allegations that it opened accounts for users without consent. The fintech, alongside other neobanks, had simplified user registration to attract unbanked customers, sometimes omitting strict identity verification for basic accounts account types with limited features. Bad actors have exploited this lax KYC approach to perpetrate fraud.

TechCabal reported in October that Fidelity Bank, a Nigerian commercial bank, blocked transfers to OPay and other neobanks over concerns that their lax KYC processes are leading to increased fraud cases.

* Tech Cabal

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LP national chairman, Julius Abure, arrested

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Julius Abure the national chairman of the Labour Party (LP), has been arrested by the police in Benin City, Edo State.

It is currently unclear the reason behind his arrest but sources say it may not be unconnected with the recent crisis rocking the party.

Recently, he was accused of forging the signatures of some political aspirants in Ebonyi and Plateau States.

Now, it has taken another dimension. This time around, it is financial allegations. Allegations coming from no other person than the national treasurer of the party, Mrs Oluchi Oparah. The Exchequer of the Labour party who is supposed to be 100% in the know of the party’s finances accused Abure of forging the signatures of the party’s late national chairman, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam to withdraw funds totalling N21 million.

Before this most recent allegation, a governorship aspirant of the party from Ebonyi state, Mr. Eze Oko, had accused the Party’s National Chairman of alleged forgery and conspiracy that led to his replacement few days to the March 18 gubernatorial election.

Specifically, Oko alleged that at the heat of political activities leading to the gubernatorial election in Ebonyi state, the national chairman initiated moves to illegally remove him as the gubernatorial candidate with an alleged forged withdrawal letter submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC).

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Energy Mogul, Adewale Tinubu, takes Centre Stage at Guyana Energy Conference

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Adewale Tinubu, CON, boss of energy giant, Oando Group, is always a delight to watch when in the boardroom or engaged in anything concerning business.

He usually leaves his watchers and admirers enthralled by his articulation and aplomb. He is always graceful in his fine grasp of business intricacies, with a very strong sense of deep erudition in discussions, especially in the area of economic development in Nigeria.

Of course, the foregoing may not be news to many. But what many may not know about this technocrat is that beyond his feats in the oil sector, he is endowed with oratorical power.

 That excellent trait was much on display at the ongoing Guyana Energy Conference, where the top oil player once again showcased his God-given talent.

While speaking on the topic, ‘Upstream Activities Required for a Resilient Oil and Gas Value Chain, the oil and gas mogul received intermittent standing ovations, accompanied with several rounds of applause for his dazzling and awe-inspiring speech.

Oando, Africa’s largest integrated energy solutions provider, is diamond sponsor of the third edition of the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, which started on Monday, 19th February to Thursday, 22nd, 2024, attracted participation, at the highest level, from more than 21 countries also drawn in 19 sectors – outside of the energy sector.

 Participating companies at the conference tackled important concerns affecting the energy sector, as well as the challenges of climate change mitigation and maximizing the benefits of local content development in Guyana and the region.

Commenting on the conference, Mr. Tinubu posted on his social media handles.

He wrote:

 ‘’Spent the last two days at the Energy Guyana Conference and Supply Chain Expo – a first time attendee and 3rd time visitor to this beautiful country.

Myself and the #HumansofOando welcomed the President of Guyana, Dr Mohamed Irfaa1, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr Keith Rowley and the Minister of Petroleum, (Trinidad and Tobago) Stuart RYoung 1 to our exhibition booth, where we walked them through Oando’s journey to date in curating Nigeria’s energy mix.

The oil and gas industry in Guyana is rapidly evolving, thus the importance of creating an enabling environment for growth cannot be understated.

Yesterday, I delivered a keynote address to industry leaders and other esteemed guests explaining the winning Oil and Gas Industry Strategy.

With the warm welcome we received we are assured of promising collaboration towards successful oil and gas venturing in Guyana’’.

Other speakers at the event include His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana; Bharrat Jagdeo, Vice President, The Cooperative Republic of Guyana; the Honourable Vickram Bharrat, Minister of Natural Resources, The Co-operative Republic of Guyana; Stuart Young, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Antonio Almonte, Minister of Energy and Mines, the Dominican Republic; His Excellency, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim Al Thani, Prime Minister of the State of Qatar; Alistair Routledge, President, Exxonmobil Guyana and Her Excellency Jane Miller OBE, British High Commissioner to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, among several other world class personalities.

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Hope In Time Of Crisis: A Call For Unwaivering Faith In Nigeria.

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By: Ayobami Ladipo

 

 

Dear Nigerian Youths, Friends and The Social Media Community.

 

I feel the need to share some words with you this morning, not just for communication sake but because it’s the right thing to do at a time like this when we’re all groaning in pains.

 

Indeed, times are hard, the pain is unbearable, the cost of living has tripled and ripple effect of the current economic hardship on the common man can only be imagined.

 

Truth be told, we are all SUFFERING!

 

Let’s take a moment to situate this correctly, especially for those of us who are not public office holders but campaigned for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, believed in the manifesto and still optimistic that he’ll deliver his good promises to Nigerians, it’s not been easy.

 

Believing in a mantra or giving support to the president at a time like this does not take away the pain, it doesn’t not alienate me or any of his supporters from the people or the present economic hardship, it just shows that we still believe that pain is normal when something good is about to be spring forth.

 

Standing on the mandate no mean say leg no dey pain oh, but just like Isaac believed in Abraham his father to the point of death when he had thought he would be slaughtered as a sacrifice to God before the Almighty provided a ram, we also believe that the ongoing reforms will yield a great result and restore our country’s lost glory.

 

When we stop believing, hope fades away and nothing good will come through, hence the PLEA for calm and for us all to put aside our political or ethnic differences right now, let’s persevere a little more and keep up the conversation for a better and working Nigeria.

 

We won’t stop talking, we won’t stop engaging government, we won’t stop registering our displeasure via the right channels but PLEASE let’s come together as one and show some love to one another at this trying time.

 

Just like the Bible says, weeping may endure for the night but joy cometh in the morning, May the joy of Nigeria come so quick and May we all be alive to witness a new Nigeria that’ll be full of prosperity and greatness .

 

As I conclude, I want to plead with you all that we refrain from the needless curses, insults and abuse, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER and TOGETHER shall we witness greatness at the end.

 

Naija Shi Ma Dun

 

God Bless Nigeria 🇳🇬🙏🇳🇬

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