By Ifeoma Ejiofor
A front-runner in the November 6 Anambra State governorship election, Mr Valentine Ozigbo who was the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, has stepped down from his seat on the boards of directors of Transcorp Plc, Transcorp Hotels Plc, and Transcorp Power Limited after ten years with the conglomerate.
Mr Ozigbo made this known after the 15th Annual General Meeting of Transcorp Plc and the 7th Annual General Meeting of Transcorp Hotels Plc; both held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja on Monday, April 26, 2021.
In his speech at the annual general meeting, the chairman of the Transcorp Group, Mr Tony Elumelu, commended Transcorp Hilton Hotel for its fantastic transformation and continuing its tradition for excellence which began under Valentine Ozigbo.
He thanked Mr Ozigbo for his contribution to the organisation’s growth, wishing him well as he embarks on his new endeavour.
“The tradition of service excellence at Transcorp Hilton Hotel began with Val (Ozigbo). He is now leaving us to pursue a greater impact on humanity through public service. I wish Val well as he goes on a new project,” Elumelu said.
In a moving valedictory message made available to journalists, Ozigbo recalled how he interviewed for a role as Transcorp’s executive director of Finance in 2011, but impressed the board enough to be offered the job of the MD/CEO Transcorp Hotels Plc, becoming the first since its privatisation in 2005.
According to Ozigbo, in his seven years as MD/CEO, Transcorp Hotels Plc became the premier destination in Africa, undergoing a globally celebrated transformation and recognised as the undisputed top business hotel on the continent. The period also saw Mr Ozigbo become the most decorated black man in the hospitality business, winning several global awards, including the Seven Stars CEO of the Year Award.
In January 2019, Ozigbo’s outstanding performance was rewarded as he was elevated to President/Group CEO of the parent company, Transcorp Plc, Nigeria’s largest shareholder-based conglomerate with interests in power, energy, oil and gas, agri-business, and hospitality.
In March 2020, Ozigbo stepped down from his position to start a new phase in his life, which he has dedicated to public service. November 2019 was when he first indicated interest to run for governorship of Anambra State.
Bishop Goodluck Akpore, a shareholder of Transcorp Plc, who spoke at the AGM, extolled the transformational leadership of the company giving Ozigbo high marks saying, “If the people of Anambra State really want to improve; I should be quoted anywhere, I am ready to defend my stance. If they want someone who has the brain, that has been well-trained, in fact, they should not vote for anyone else, the people of Anambra State should choose Valentine Ozigbo as their governor.”
Akpore is the General Overseer of Diocese of Christ Temple Ministry International.
Another shareholder, Alhaji Muktar Muktar, also extolled Mr Ozigbo for the three essential virtues of “value creation, building up individuals, and integrity of character”. He asserted that these were the business leader’s values and wished Ozigbo success as he embarks on a new endeavour.
According to Ozigbo, it was a rare privilege and honour to have been asked to remain on the Boards of Transcorp Plc, Transcorp Power Limited and Transcorp Hotels Plc after his resignation.
Mr Ozigbo further revealed that he needed to resign from the organisation’s boards as the Anambra governorship race enters a new critical phase.
Ozigbo appreciated the chairman of Transcorp Group, Tony Elumelu, and the staff of the company for their contributions to his professional and personal development in the nine years he spent with the organisation.
“My Transcorp story would have never happened if God had not sent a particular special angel into my life. I met him in 2004 when he hired me to work in the then Standard Trust Bank (now UBA Plc). It has been an incredible 13 years of transformational business mentorship, and I am forever grateful to Mr Tony O. Elumelu CON, my leader and friend, for giving me a chance, bringing me into his universe, and for always believing in me,” Ozigbo remarked.
“Tony O. Elumelu is one of the greatest entrepreneurs, innovators, and thinkers to emerge from Africa. I am confident that he will continue to lead Transcorp Plc to new levels of rapid advancement and superior performance in the hospitality, power, energy, oil and gas, and technology industries,” he added.