Posted by News Express | 28 August 2015 | 6,346 times
The story of Sir Oluremi Festus Omotoso MFR, KJW is both inspirational and exciting. Born 70 years at Ayedun Ekiti, Remi did not find a silver spoon in his mouth while being nurtured as a baby and had to waddle his way through not at any ivory league secondary school or resident at any palatial court but in a humble Secondary Modern School and a Teacher Training College.
He self taught himself to obtain the much prized General Certificate in Education Advanced Levels to qualify him for Direct Entry to study Geography at the prestigious University of Ibadan where our paths crossed in 1966.
Upon graduation in 1969, he taught briefly before gaining employment with Lever Brothers Nigeria Plc in July 1971 as a Management Trainee.
At Lever Brothers, he rose rapidly through the ranks and got promoted to the Board of the Company in October 1987 as Human Resource Director and was in this role for nearly six years and headed four other functions as Executive Director before he retired in 1999 February.
Based on his exemplary performance at the Lever Brothers and his well known diligence in Boardroom strategies he got appointed as Group Managing Director/CEO of Odu’a Investment Company Ltd and served for about six years retiring in November 2004.
Appointments on appointments started trailing his career progression as he became sought after by many companies, corporations and institutions. He was Chairman of Nigeria Association of Development Finance Institutions between 2000 & 2002 and then Chairman of Association of Africa Development Finance Institutions 2002 – 2004.
In rapid succession he got appointed Director General/CEO Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and served from 2005 - 2008.
Along the line he received wide and varied Training and Development in Unilever in various fields of functional management and in general management, particularly in corporate governance. He attended the Executive Programme of Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, North Carolina, USA in 1992. He also attended various AfDB, World Bank Programmes and Bank Directors and Chairmen Programmes in various parts of the world; all in his quest to acquire knowledge and more knowledge. This of course would not be a surprise because education is an Ekiti man’s favourite food next to pounded yam!
A very widely travelled Business and Human Capital Development Executive, Omotoso has virtually travelled through all the continents.
Sir Remi Omotoso who started life with virtually nothing but hope, determination and strong will to succeed currently sits on quite a number of Boards including Standard Chartered Bank Plc of which he is Chairman; Greenwich Trust Ltd; current Board Chairman of DN Meyer Plc; Chairman J. Wesley Investment Ltd, a commercial arm of Methodist Church Nigeria. In Fayemi Administration in Ekiti State, he served as Chairman, Ekiti State Public Private Partnership Agency Advisory Board (Ekiti State PPP), etc.
He is a member of a number of Board of Trustees among which are Methodist Church Nigeria; Timothy Adeola Odutola Foundation (TAOF); Bookhouse Education Trust of Nigeria and he Chairs Gbagada Residents’ Association Registered Board of Trustees etc.
Sir Remi Omotoso equally finds time for God and humanity. He is always with piles of Christian pamphlets and literatures on his desk and almost on every available space in his living room and office.
He is the immediate past Conference Lay President , Methodist Church Nigeria and the current Baba Ijo of the Cathedral of His Glory, Methodist Church Nigeria, Ayedun-Ekiti and as a Community leader he is the Amona Oba of Ikole Ekiti, etc.
At 70 Omotoso has lived a life worth copying and emulating. He is a member of the Order of Federal Republic (MFR); Knight of John Wesley; Fellow, Institute of Directors (FIOD); Fellow Nigeria Institute of Management (FNIM); Honorary Fellow Ghana Chartered Institute of Public Administration (FGCIPA); Fellow Chartered Institute of Personal Management of Nigeria (FCIPM ) and many more all in recognition of his sterling qualities as a distinguished Boardroom leader, a decent gentleman and a man of God, who has also .delivered quite a number of papers on various Socio-economic subjects at home and abroad.
Omotoso is happily married to Pastor Lady Ebunoluwa Omotoso and blessed with children, male and female.
A very humorous individual and unequalled humility, Omotoso’s life is a rich book for any youngster who aspires to succeed in life.
Remi, you are welcome to the world of Septuagenarians!
•Tola Adeniyi is former Managing Director of the Daily Times of Nigeria. Photo shows Sir Remi Omotoso.
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