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Pitan, The Story Of Nigeria’S Under-Celebrated Banking Maverick As Told By Sujimoto

“MD, this boy is one of the Champions of his generation, please make sure he doesn’t fail.”

This was the message that was sent from one MD to another, an industrial banker who took a challenging bank that had numerous debts and revived it into becoming one of the best banks not only in Nigeria but the entirety of Africa.

The Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr. Olukayode Pitan, needs no introduction; he remains the new Whizkid of the financial market, whose towering shadow casts a reflection of the success stories attributed to various businesses in Nigeria.

In less than seven years, Pitan’s Magic Wand at the Bank of Industry has successfully raised over N3.3 trillion in single-digit investment from the international market and brought the funds to Nigeria to impact and support the expansion of over three million enterprises, thereby creating over seventeen million jobs nationwide.

From hospitality to manufacturing, entertainment to healthcare, Mr. Pitan has consistently displayed his firm belief in the various sectors while providing long-term financial support to drive the visions of hundreds of thousands of Nigeria’s most outstanding entrepreneurs, who have today made a mark for themselves in the business world.

Just like Sujimoto’s gigantic vision turned reality, the almost completed 15-storey Lucrezia project in Banana Island might not have been made possible without the simple introduction of Pitan to another MD. The 22-units luxurious property of which only 2 units are left is deemed to become the best residential building not only in Lagos but the entire Nigeria when completed by Q1 2024.

This is a testament to the property’s unique attributes and high-end facilities, such as the Zaha Hadid-designed bathrooms, first-of-its-kind GRC façade system, virtual golf bar, Private Imax Cinema, Indoor Spa & Salon, Creche, and other distinctive features that make up the Lucrezia.

Truly, it takes great leadership to lead any industry. In a championship race, you can tell Lewis Hamilton to drive a Formula One or Keke Napep, and he’ll still drive it to success. The leadership of people like Pitan is one-of-a-kind; he is a great pastor, an incredible father, and an amazing CEO with gigantic visions that dwarf small dreams.

I am here to celebrate the genius Pitan, not because Sujimoto has received a dime from BOI, not in anyway, but because we have seen his remarkable impact in the lives of countless entrepreneurs and businesses, as well as his contributions to the economic development of this nation.

I can’t help but also celebrate the entire management of the Bank of Industry and their leadership team, from Mrs. Uche Nwuka, who is passionate about hospitality and changing the narrative of entertainment in Nigeria, to the CEO-type Mr. Obaro Osaro, and the iron fist lady Sandra Yoroh.

The BOI is made up of an incredible team of people who dragged the bull by the horn and went on to source for high-quality individuals from different industries and backgrounds to drive the institution that has today become the propeller of dreams and entrepreneurial visions.

It is evident that funding remains the engine that steers innovation, generates new businesses, and brings fresh products and services to the market, and as such, the government and other financial institutions need to find a way with proper financial engineering to support outstanding projects by investing in them and drawing up performance bonds to monitor their milestones and progress.

Lack of collateral is the killer of many ideas, and as such, creating an effective intellectual and creative collateral system for businesses with no alternative physical collateral such as lands or properties will further help the nation maximise its true potential.

Today, one of the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs is access to capital. Adequate financing has crippled the growth of radical entrepreneurs, who have no problem with the presence of vision but lack everything in the acquisition of tangible collateral.

If Steve Jobs was in Nigeria, he might have ended up in Computer Village selling mobile phone accessories to make a living, but he raised an intellectual collateral, took it to the bank, and the bank believed in his vision and invested in what has today become a multi-trillion-dollar business.

This is exactly what is needed for entrepreneurship to thrive in Nigeria: banks and visionary leaders that understand the business terrain and can create affordable capital so that businesses can thrive.

Developed nations like China and Singapore are intentionally funding, encouraging, and promoting local enterprises. It is high time for Nigeria to intensify its capacity to create stimulus packages for businesses and local entrepreneurs in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, technology, and so on to achieve their goals, promote job opportunities, and drastically improve foreign exchange.

Nigeria is blessed with enormous potential and talents, a blessed nation with great mineral resources, and over 34 million hectares of arable land, a farming sector that has the potential to contribute above 23% to the nation’s GDP.

In recognition of these backlogs of agricultural deficits, Sujimoto Farm Estate, a subsidiary of the esteemed Sujimoto Group, is creating a value chain plan to allocate over 20,000–1,000,000 hectares before 2030, spreading across all geopolitical zones and all 36 states, for localised food production and mass employment opportunities designed to provide job security for over 10,000–200,000 citizens nationwide. With a clear plan for setting up a team of young, independent, and outstanding youth to supervise work, live, and play on the farm.

Sujimoto Farm Estate will be built on an advanced farm estate system that incorporates housing, farm hospitals, hotels, and markets within an ecosystem, creating opportunities for agro-tourism and affordable housing. To achieve this feat in an environment where funding is almost impossible and access to land is difficult, banks, governments, and other institutions must stretch their hands in collaboration, fund astounding projects, and tie performance bonds to them while monitoring project milestones and timelines. On the other hand, the government will also generate income through payback, business taxes, and employer income taxes.

Dr. Sijibomi Ogundele is the Managing Director of Sujimoto Group, the Czar of Luxury Real Estate Development, and the mastermind developer behind the renowned Giuliano. Our other audacious projects, such as the most sophisticated building in Banana Island, LucreziaBySujimoto, the grandiose Sujimoto Twin Tower, the tallest twin towers in Africa; the regal Queen Amina by Sujimoto, a monument to royal affluence; the magnificent high-rise LeonardoBySujimoto; Nigeria’s No. 1 most affordable luxury housing, Ìlú Titun, and Africa’s most exclusive waterfront townhouses, GiovanniBySujimoto, some of which have etched an indelible imprint on Nigeria’s skylines, a testament to their unrivalled mastery of modern day engineering.



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