By Alex Ovie
When the roll is called among the leading lights in Nigeria’s financial services sector who have carved a niche for themselves in skills, diligence, focus, painstaking attitude, commitment and achievement, one name rings out loud and clear, that name is Sir Ayodele Oghogho Othihiwa (FCA), the ebullient and indefatigable Partner and Head, Financial Services Industry Group at KPMG Nigeria, one of the four largest audit and accounting firms in the world.
This Isoko born foremost economist and risk management expert turned politician is a top contender for the 2023 Delta South Senatorial ticket on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. He has made himself available to be trusted with the mandate to represent the people of Delta South Senatorial district in the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023, so he can contribute his quota to the development of the senatorial district.
Sir Ayodele Oghogho Othihiwa is thoroughly bred in every ramification and with an excellent educational background that prepared him for the great height he has attained.
He obtained his first degree in Economics and Management Science from the Bendel State University (now Ambrose Alli University) Ekpoma, Edo State, graduating as the best graduating student of the 1988 class in the Department of Economics and Management Science, best graduating student of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the second best overall graduating student of the university for that session. Sir Othihiwa also earned the International Certificate in Financial Risk Management at the Euro-Money Risk Management Training School and received advanced Executive education in Financial Sector Management, Corporate Governance and Global Strategic Leadership at the Lagos Business School, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School, INSEAD, France, Gordon Institute of Business Studies, University of South Africa and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, all ivy-league world class institutions.
It is worthy of note that he maintains a healthy Alumni relationship with all these institutions of high academic and professional studies. He is equally a qualified Chartered Accountant and a distinguished fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA) and Associate of the Chartered Institute of taxation (ACIT) aside other certifications. At KPMG where he currently serves as Partner and Head, Financial Services, Industry Audit Group, Sir Ayodele Othihiwa is saddled with the responsibility of overseeing and steering the audit services provided for the firm’s major clients including banks, insurance companies, discount houses, pension firms etc. KPMG in its website exposed the capabilities of Ayodele Othihiwa and brought them to the fore.
The exposition couldn’t be best put by an organization that knows him better as they stated thus “As Partner and Head of our Financial Services Industry, Audit Group for the past 28 years, Ayodele’s experience cut across diverse industries and sectors of the economy including the public domain. His core skills are multi-dimensional covering business administration, business management and restructuring, accounting and auditing, financial risk analysis, strategy development as well as implementation and organizational restructuring. He has demonstrated his expertise on various clients’ engagement delivering the highest value expected with leading practices. He has served as engagement partner on various projects providing audit and financial advisory services, assurance services, financial enterprise and operational risk management, business process reviews and audit, due diligence and aviation sectors of the Nigerian economy.
He is a highly experienced, result driven and well regarded auditor of first class talent with an extraordinary passion for excellence”. These are no mean qualities and reside with only the best. Othihiwa is one of the few best and he is equipped to run for any high office in the land including that of the senate.
Sir Ayodele Othihiwa is a bundle of experience and professionalism. His reputation for professional excellence made it possible for him to be called upon by the Federal Government of Nigeria to serve as a member of the Technical Committee to develop the Nigeria Roadmap for the transition of Nigeria to the internationally acclaimed International Financial Reporting Standard, a framework currently used for preparing financial statements in Nigeria. He has also served as President of the Association of Reporting Accountants and Auditors in the Capital Market, a body that coordinates the activities of all accounting professionals and service providers in the capital market.
It is interesting to note however that Sir Ayodele Othihiwa has not remained in the periphery of professionalism; he is also deeply and actively involved in the socio-economic growth of his home state Delta and Nigeria at large. For the past couple of years, Othihiwa has deployed his God-given talents, professional skills and wealth of experience in the service of his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He is a committed party man whose loyalty to his party in an environment where people jump from one party to another could best be described as profound.
As a consummate politician who believes firmly in the role of strong political structures to engender development to the society, alleviate poverty and promote socio-economic development, Sir Othihiwa has over the years demonstrated high level of loyalty and made huge sacrifices for the growth and sustenance of the People’s Democratic Party in his Ward, Local Government, State and National level. The records of his investments in the party are well known to party hierarchy.
Sir Ayodele Oghogho Othihiwa is currently the man of the moment in Delta South Senatorial district. He is the man whose time has come. Let us as Delta South people support a man who has the pedigree, a man with noble intentions, a man whose intellect will project the Senatorial district to enviable height, a man who will stand by us, fight for us and in togetherness build a brighter tomorrow for our senatorial district. He is someone with the capacity to build on the credible milestone of our leaders and cast a vision that can move the senatorial district forward.
A keen observer of political developments in the district is of the opinion that if given the mandate, Othihiwa’s tenure in the senate will be purposeful and result-oriented.
According to him, “with his enviable credentials and excellent track records in the financial services sector, there is no doubt that Othihiwa has the experience, exposure and right connections to offer strategic leadership which would set Delta South Senatorial district back on track and also lift it to a higher level of advancement”, he further affirmed that with his background as a foremost economist and investor coupled with his international exposure, Othihiwa will be able to attract foreign investors into Delta South Senatorial district, which will create paying jobs for our teeming youths, empower our people economically and make our senatorial district the hub of talented and skilled workers.
Sir Othihiwa is a compassionate, courageous, considerate, transparent, generous and dependable politician who is so passionately burdened with the plight of humanity and all his energy is geared towards working out ways of improving the living conditions of his people. He has the core values of collaboration, leadership, accountability, responsiveness, integrity and clarity. In and out of politics, he oils the wheels of collaboration constantly. He is ever ready to give a listening ear and ready to help a distressed person find comfort which accounts for the steady stream of visitors to his palatial country home whenever he visits Isoko.
In his firm belief that leadership is ordained by God and he uses human beings as instruments to elevate people to leadership positions, Othihiwa has been relentlessly consulting critical party stakeholders as well as the good people of Delta South Senatorial district soliciting their support and it is interesting that no one has raised objection to his sincere desire to enter into social contract with the people of Delta South Senatorial district since he possesses the requisite leadership credentials; and more so, that he is running a campaign that is driven by issues and promises that he would be able to fulfill. He intends to leave no one out as he has scheduled more rounds of consultation tours with critical stakeholders, groups and party excos towards the realization of his ambition which will be a win-win for the people of Delta South Senatorial district.
A man of Sir Othihiwa’s pedigree who has been named among the top rate Economists who has influenced Nigeria’s financial services sector as well as participated and distinguished himself in many national and international assignments surely has garnered commensurate experience and exposure to represent the people of Delta South Senatorial district in the National Assembly when elected.
Alex Ovie is Media Adviser, Elo-Isoko Campaign Organization.