The ultimate in every venture of man is success. Be it business, politics, socio sphere, or even in our day to day activities we live, what every man seeks is success in all his undertakings. Success is, however, never complete if it is not recognized. The result of an endeavour must be seen and recognized by others for its worth. It becomes complete when the success is seen, recognised and distinguished.
This is why the recent intercontinental recognition and celebration of Nigerian-born President and Chairman, Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank. Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah, calls for special attention. In far away Russia, the largest country in the world, Oramah made history on November 4, 2019 as he was conferred with the prestigious national honor of Russia, The Order of Friendship. He was fêted in the Russian seat of power, Kremlin, by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, at a very special ceremony.
The Order of Friendship is a state decoration established by Boris Yeltsin, the first President of the Russian Federation, and is awarded to Russian and foreign nationals for special merit in strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and understanding between nations and peoples.
Previous winners of the honour included former US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson; former Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathis Mohammad; and former United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki- Moon
Bestowing the esteemed national honor on Oramah, President Vladimir said: “It is in recognition of the role played by Afreximbank (under Oramah) in revitalizing trade and economic relations between Africa and Russia as evident in the success of the Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum held in Sochi, Russia Federation, between 23 to 24 October and the rapidly rising trade and investment relations between Russia and Africa.”
The Federation of Russia, the second most powerful country in the world, saw accomplishment in the feats of Oramah beyond his stellar performance in Afreximbank. It recognised and subsequently honoured him for adding value to humanity and global economy. Russia gave the credit of the “rapid rise” in prosperity in Africa and Russia to the role of Oramah in revitalizing trade and investment relations between the African continent and Russia. An uncommon global feat, largely unprecedented!
At Afreximbank, Oramah has not only turned around the fortunes of the bank established in 1993, he has implemented exceedingly successful policies and programs resulting in extraordinary raise in the overall resources of the bank and global recognition in less than four years in office. Between 2017 and 2018 alone, Oramah grew the bank’s resources to $806 million, representing an increase of 24 per cent as the net income increased to $276 million, representing a 26 per cent, within one year.
To accelerate the growth of industry and trade in Africa, industrialists, farmers and other businessmen across the continent are currently drawing from a multi billion dollar facility put at their disposal by Afreximbank under the leadership of Oramah, the Agric Economics graduate of Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan.
At the last Annual General Meeting of the Manufactures Association of Nigeria held in Lagos, the Afreximbank President announced that the bank would be making a sum of $500 million available as loans to members of the manufacturers association, a first-time gesture from any international financial institution towards growing business in Nigeria and Africa.
Outside industrialization and trade development, Afreximbank, according to the Head of its Communications Department, Obi Emekekwue, recently acquired 5.2 hectares of land in Abuja for the development of a centre of excellence for medical services. Obi said the medical centre of excellence would change the medical tourism narrative of Africa and keep it (medical tourism) within the African continent.
The medical centre of excellence, Emekekwue said, would save the continent the over $2 billion currently being spent by Africans on medical tourism outside the continent
As Prof. Oramah has revitalized his organization, the African Export-Import Bank; revitalized the African-Russian trade and economic relations; revitalized agriculture, industry and commerce in Africa; and now commencing the revitalisation of health care delivery in Africa, putting a stop to medical tourism outside the continent, here is a toast to the accomplished Revitaliser of Africa: A great African, positively impacting the entire world.
. Olaosebikan is the Principal Consultant, Midas Communications Limited.