Karl Toriola, Funke Opeke, others on Legit.ng List of Most Outstanding Business Personalities in Telecoms

Karl Toriola, Funke Opeke, others on Legit.ng List of Most Outstanding Business Personalities in Telecoms

  • Legit.ng is celebrating business personalities who have excelled despite the harsh economic conditions of 2022
  • Legit Business Names of 2022 is a project highlighting top individuals in the telecoms sector.
  • Their stories aim to inspire Nigerian entrepreneurs to challenge their limits and achieve new heights in 2023

Legit Business Names of 2022 is celebrating top personalities in the Telecommunication industry who have made tremendous impacts in Nigeria in the year in review.

As the biggest publisher in Nigeria and #1 on the Top Web Publishers on the Facebook list, with profound business journalism, we have created a Digital Talks community where we have regularly interviewed Nigeria's most outstanding business personalities.

The background gives us the credibility to conduct this great initiative, as some of our awardees have exclusively provided us with their projections for fintech in Nigeria in 2023.

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We are delighted to present to you (in no particular order) our most outstanding business personalities in Nigeria in the Telecommunication sector for 2022.

Legit.ng Lists the Most Outstanding Business Personalities in Telecommunications
Legit Business Names of 2022
Source: UGC

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Karl Toriola - MTN Nigeria

Most Outstanding Business Personalities in Telecoms
Karl Toriola, CEO of MTN Nigeria; credit: Nairametrics
Source: UGC

Karl Toriola is the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Nigeria's foremost telecommunication company. He is one of the highest-paid CEOs in Nigeria.

Toriola earned a Bachelor's degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, in 1994. He also obtained a Master's degree in Communication Systems from the University of Wales, Swansea, the United Kingdom.

Before joining MTN in 2009, Toriola worked with Ericsson Nigeria and Vmobile Nigeria. In 2015, he was appointed Group Operating Executive of MTN Group, overseeing the MTN Subsidiaries in 12 countries. In just about a year, Toriola was promoted to Vice President, West and Central Africa for MTN Group, and in March 2021, he assumed the position of CEO of MTN Nigeria.

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Segun Ogunsanya - Airtel Africa

Most Outstanding Business Personalities in Telecoms
Segun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel Africa; credit: BusinessDay
Source: UGC

Segun Ogunsanya is the Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa Plc, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in Nigeria and 13 other countries.

Segun has over 25 years of business management experience in banking, consumer goods and telecoms. Segun has held leadership roles at Coca-Cola in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya (as the Managing Director and the Chief Executive Officer).

He has also been the Managing Director of Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd (Coca-Cola Hellenic-owned) and Group Head of retail banking operations at Ecobank Transnational Inc, covering 28 countries in Africa. He is an Electronics Engineer and also a chartered accountant.

Ogunsanya joined Airtel Africa in 2012 as the Managing Director and CEO of the Nigerian subsidiary and has been responsible for the overall management of its operations in Nigeria, the largest market in Africa. He was appointed CEO of Airtel Africa in October 2021.

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Professor Umar Garba Danbatta - NCC

Most Outstanding Business Personalities in Telecoms
Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); credit: Vanguard
Source: UGC

Professor Umar Garba Danbatta is the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Agency charged with regulating telecommunications in Nigeria.

Prof. Danbatta obtained his BEng, and MSc degrees from the Technical University of Wroclaw in Poland and his PhD from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) UK, respectively.

Professor Danbatta served as a lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Technology of Bayero University Kano for 28 years. He taught courses in telecommunications engineering and electronics and held academic positions of Dean of the Faculty and Head of Department at different times.

Since his appointment in 2015 to head the NCC, Danbatta has strengthened the role of the telecommunications sector as a significant contributor to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and boosted telecoms investment inflows from $36 billion to over $70 billion since 2015, among others.

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Prof. Isa Pantami - Minister

Most Outstanding Business Personalities in Telecoms
Prof. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy; credit: Punch
Source: UGC

Prof. Isa Pantami is Nigeria's Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him in 2019 to head the ministry.

Before his appointment, Pantami was a lecturer at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, in Information Technology before joining the Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia. He also served as the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Under his leadership, the Communications and Digital Economy sector has recorded several unprecedented achievements and played a pivotal role in boosting the Nigerian economy in the last few years.

Engr. Gbenga Adebayo - ALTON

Most Outstanding Business Personalities in Telecoms
Gbenga Adebayo. Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON); Credit: ALTON
Source: UGC

Gbenga Adebayo is the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), an industry association for all Telecommunications Operators in Nigeria.

He is the Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of Communication Network Support Services Limited Group of Companies, whose business interest cuts across Telecommunication Network maintenance, Call and Contact Centre Services, Media, Broadcasting, Agriculture, Hotels and Hospitality Services, Medical and Hospital Services.

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Adebayo's ALTON works to promote and support legislation that would enhance the quality of telecommunications practices and services in Nigeria.

Funke Opeke - MainOne

Most Outstanding Business Personalities in Telecoms
Funke Opeke, founder and CEO of MainOne; credit: Techpoint Africa
Source: UGC

Funke Opeke is the founder and CEO of MainOne, a leading provider of innovative telecom services and network solutions for businesses in West Africa.

She obtained a first degree in Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria and a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, New York, the United States.

Opeke worked as Executive Director of Verizon Communications before returning to Nigeria in 2005 as the Chief Technical Officer of MTN.

Opeke is an experienced telecommunications executive who returned to Nigeria in 2005 as the Chief Technical Officer of MTN after a twenty-year career in the United States. Before her return, she was the Executive Director of Verizon Communications Wholesale Division.

Opeke founded MainOne in 2008 when she noticed the poor internet connectivity in Nigeria. The company built West Africa's first privately owned, open access 7,000-kilometer undersea high-capacity cable submarine stretching from Portugal to West Africa with landings along the route in Accra (Ghana), Dakar (Senegal) in 2019, Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire) in 2019 and Lagos (Nigeria).

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Kendall Ananyi - Tizeti

Most Outstanding Business Personalities in Telecoms
Kendall Ananyi, CEO of Tizeti; credit: LinkedIn
Source: UGC

Kendall Ananyi is the Chief Executive Officer of Tizeti, a fixed wireless broadband Internet service provider (ISP)using Wireless to provide unlimited internet to residential and small business customers in Africa.

Ananyi has a Master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Victoria, Canada, a Bachelor's degree in Electrical/ Electronics Engineering from the University of Benin, and over 18 years' experience in Telecommunication and Information Technology.

Before founding Tizeti, Ananyi had previously worked with multinational companies, including ExxonMobil, Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Tizeti's role in the low-cost unlimited internet market in Nigeria and West Africa provides huge opportunities to tackle digital exclusion for millions in the region.

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Legit Business Names of 2022 celebrated top personalities across different sectors of business who have made tremendous impacts in Nigeria in the year in review.

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Understanding the business landscape in Nigeria, one would agree that it is no easy task to start and grow a business, let alone see it succeed against all odds.

In view of this, Legit.ng has decided to launch a business award, Legit Business Names of 2022, dedicated to Nigeria's most outstanding business personalities to commend them for their remarkable achievements throughout the year.

Solape Akinpelu, Tomi Solanke, others on Legit.ng List of Most Outstanding Business Personalities in Fintech

As part of our Legit Business Names of 2022, we also celebrated top personalities in the Fintech industry whose impacts in the year we could not ignore.

These personalities, along with their businesses, dictated the tone of the industry in the year in review and their achievements were nothing but outstanding.

The list included Solape Akinpelu of HerVest, Oluwatomi Solanke of Trove Finance, Ezra Olubi of Paystack, Gbenga Agboola of Flutterwave and Tosin Eniolorunda of TeamApt.

Others are Babs Ogundeyi of Kuda Bank, Tayo Oviosu of Paga, Mitchell Elegbe of Interswitch and Niyi Toluwalope of Etranzact.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Victor Enengedi avatar

Victor Enengedi (Business HOD) Victor Enengedi is a trained journalist with over a decade of experience in both print and online media platforms. He holds a degree in History and Diplomatic Studies from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State. An AFP-certified journalist, he functions as the Head of the Business Desk at Legit. He has also worked as Head of Editorial Operations at Nairametrics. He can be reached via victor.enengedi@corp.legit.ng and +2348063274521.

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