Mr. Olukayode Pitan, the Chief Executive of Nigeria’s Bank of Industry, received the Special African Banking Leadership Commendation Award at the 9th International Forum on African-Caribbean Leadership (IFAL) during the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on September 21, 2023. The event’s theme was focused on African-Caribbean Cooperation and Today’s Geopolitics.
The award recognizes Mr. Pitan’s outstanding contributions to the growth of Nigeria’s industrial sector. With over 30 years of experience in various financial services sectors, including banking and capital markets, Mr. Pitan has led the Bank of Industry to become Nigeria’s oldest and largest development finance institution. Under his guidance, the bank has played a pivotal role in transforming Nigeria’s industrial landscape by providing affordable long-term financing and counter-cyclical loans spanning diverse sectors of the economy.
Over the past five years, Mr. Pitan has spearheaded innovative transactions in both the Nigerian and international financial markets, contributing significantly to Nigeria’s economic progress. Through syndications and bond market activities, he successfully raised approximately $5 billion from the international market in the last four years.
Additionally, the Bank of Industry, under Mr. Pitan’s leadership, has been a staunch advocate for financial inclusion. Their support has enabled the expansion of over 3 million enterprises, resulting in the creation of more than 7 million jobs for the Nigerian population.
At the IFAL event in New York, Mr. Pitan shared the honors with distinguished leaders, including H.E. Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana; H.E. Muhammad B. S. Jallow, Vice President of The Gambia; and Hon. Jose Gonçalves, Minister for Sea, Culture, and Tourism, Cabo Verde.
The event also saw the participation of high-level policymakers, business leaders, and diplomatic representatives, including H.E. Dr. Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Gambia; Hon. Serign Modou Njie, Minister of Defence, The Gambia; Amb. Dr. Lamin B. Dibba, The Gambian Ambassador to the United Nations; and Amb. Momodou Lamine Bah, The Gambian Ambassador to the United States.
The IFAL, an annual flagship event of the African Leadership Magazine, has evolved into a vital platform that brings together global leaders, particularly from Africa and the Caribbean, to discuss challenges and progress in Africa. It aims to foster trans-regional cooperation, establish strategic partnerships, promote trade and investments, and advance innovation and technology transfer, among other key sectors.