" ITREALMS: Ligali named CEO Celtel Nigeria

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ligali named CEO Celtel Nigeria

Remmy Nweke

Pan African telecom operator, Celtel International, in the bid to live up to its words of truly being Pan African has named a Nigerian, Mr. Adebayo Wasiu Ligali, as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Celtel Network Systems in Nigeria.

Also, the telco appointed another Nigeria, Mr. Chuma Okoye, as the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), while Mr. Boye Olusanya who has been acting as the CEO, remains as Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

Disclosing this development, the Public Relations Manager at CelTel Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Oparah, said that the appointments reflected the confidence of Celtel International in the capacity of Nigerians to provide leadership for the company as it expands its operations in the country.

It would be recalled that Ligali is the first Nigerian to be appointed CEO since the entrance of Celtel Group into the nation’s telecom sector.

Mr. Ligali, 50, is an experienced accountant with over 15 years in management position at Unilever, UAC and Dangote Group.

A fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (UK) and an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mr. Ligali, has had very impressive and extensive career experience at senior management level.

According to Mr. Oparah, in a press statement made available to correspondent, Mr. Ligali commenced his management career in Unilever Nigeria Plc as an Auditor in 1979; worked in various management positions before moving to the Foods Division as the Acting General Manager in 1991.

Mr. Ligali became Group Treasurer, UAC Nigeria in 1992; Finance Director and Company Secretary, GM Nigeria Limited in 1993; and was responsible for Special Duties Function in 1994 in Unilever Plc, London.

He also held a number of senior management positions within Unilever Corporate Financial Group including Corporate Finance Manger for Latin America, Central Asia and Middle East, based in London, during which period, he was appointed to the board of UAC Nigeria Plc as a Non Executive Director.

And based on his impressive performance, Mr. Ligali was offered appointment as the Chairman, Unilever Malawi in 1998, a position he held until 2001 when he was given the challenge to oversee the entire East African operations of Unilever comprising Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda as Chief Executive Officer.

By 2004, Mr. Ligali left the Unilever Group for Dangote Pasta Plc as Chief executive Officer, from where he now joined Celtel.

While in Malawi, Ligali was the President of Employers Consultative Association 2000/2001 as well as a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Economy. Upon his appointment as CEO of Unilever East Africa in 2001, he became a Board member of Kenya Association of Manufacturers; member, Local Advisory Committee of Eastern Africa Association and a member of British Business Association of Kenya.

Ligali is widely travelled, loves sports including Squash, Badminton and Golf. He has attended numerous courses in advanced management and communication including the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA and IMD Switzerland. Ligali is married with children.

For the new CCO, Mr. Okoye, he has an unbroken 15 years progressive, executive level, multifunctional experience in financial, logistics and supply chain management in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods industry.

At Celtel, he will be responsible for charting the company’s strategic Commercial direction, especially in the areas of branding, product availability and customer experience, in order to improve the company’s market share and profitability.

His knowledge transcends a wide range of management fields including, business turnaround, and start-ups in emerging markets, financial reporting, management information systems, strategic planning, organisational leadership and new business development, among others.

Also an accountant with proven integrity, Mr. Okoye, has a track record in leading companies with over $100 million in annual turnover, and is an Alumnus of University of Nigeria and an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ACA) of Nigeria.

He began his career in 1989 in Unilever and later became Group Audit Manger in 1991 with responsibility for planning and executing internal control reviews for the Unilever Group in Anglophone West Africa.

He was promoted Commercial Manager, Unilever Foods in 1992 and moved to a subsidiary of Unilever, Tractor and Equipment Nigeria, as Finance Director in 1993

He further held several international executive positions including, Logistics Director for Unilever both in Russia and Nigeria as well as Managing Director of Unilever in Tanzania.Later, he became a Business Consultant in 2004 working with various multinationals with interests in West Africa to develop business models that allow them to profitably penetrate the emerging markets.

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