The battle for who occupies Aguiyi House, the seat of power of Anambra State in 2022 is not actually the first time that Ndi Anambra will put some of their best on parade. There are so many activities in the state which usually offers opportunities for the state to put their sons and daughters on scale with the view to determining who is suitable for what.
Come to think of it, Ndi Anambra are richly endoured with men of money and power which predates the era of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Mbonu Ojike, Senator Nwafor Orizu and the then business mogul Sir Loiuse Ojukwu to the extent that the lesser mortals are always cautious of faulty dance steps. There is the saying that you must be the best to contest for space in Anambra whether in business or politics hence the likes of Valentine Ozigbo believes that he is fit to dance on the big state of Anambra politics
Valentine Ozigbo is the candidate the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 2021 governorship elections in Anambra State. A natural crowd-puller and inspirational figure, Val is a consummate business leader and entrepreneur with over 26 years of experience in corporate transformation, power, hospitality, energy, and banking whether commercial, retail, investment, and international.
In March 2020, Mr Ozigbo resigned from his job at the helm of Transcorp Plc to dedicate the next chapter of his life to public service. He joined the race for the governorship of Anambra State in the same year. In less than two years, he had built one of the most efficient and impactful political organisations in Nigeria. His Ka Anambra Chawapu campaign slogan is indicative of his desire for a better and brighter Anambra, a message which appears to resonate with the people, igniting the most significant political movement in South-East Nigeria at this time.
On June 26, 2021, Valentine won the keenly contested gubernatorial primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A grassroots favourite, he has been rated as “most likely to win the November 6 election” by analysts. His emergence as the party’s flag-bearer is one of the most inspirational stories in Nigeria’s recent political history.
A multiple-award-winning global CEO, Mr Ozigbo is the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), one of Africa’s largest conglomerates which includes Transcorp Power, one of the largest power generation companies in Nigeria with 972MW installed capacity; Transcorp Hotels, the owners of Transcorp Hilton Abuja which is one of the leading business hotels in Africa and Transcorp Hotels Calabar; and Transcorp OPL281, an oil and gas company. He stepped down from the role in March 2020 and retained his seat on the board of Transcorp Plc, the board of Transcorp Hotels Plc, and the board of Transcorp Power Limited. He finally resigned from all Transcorp board positions in April 2021.
Mr Ozigbo was elevated to the role of President and CEO of Transcorp Plc after holding the position of Managing Director/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc for seven years, during which he led a $100 million project that saw Transcorp Hilton Abuja undergo a globally celebrated transformation and upgrade. He won several internationally coveted awards in the hospitality industry, including the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality CEO of the Year 2016, which he received in Spain. In October 2019, the respected business leader was voted Seven Stars Hospitality Personality of the Year in Athens, Greece.
He began his career as an Executive Trainee in the banking industry. In 17 years, he had attained the top position of General Manager, where he was Director of the Global Transaction Banking Division of a leading bank. His decorated career spanned United Bank for Africa Plc, FSB International Bank Plc (now part of Fidelity Bank Plc), Continental Trust Bank Ltd (now part of UBA), and Diamond Bank Plc (now Access Bank Plc), and Keystone Bank Limited (formerly Bank PHB) from where he was headhunted into Transcorp.
An award-winning graduate, Valentine Ozigbo has an impressive track record for academic excellence. In 2003, he was awarded the prestigious Chevening Scholarship by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office to study for Masters of Science in Finance at the Lancaster University, UK, where he graduated with a Distinction. At its 2019 graduation ceremony, Lancaster University recognised him as a Distinguished Alumni. Valentine also holds an MBA in Banking & Finance and a B.Sc. in Accounting, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he was the best graduating student in his faculty.
He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, the Institute of Credit Administration, and the Institute of Tourism Professionals. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors (IOD) Nigeria and the Board of Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt.
A prominent change leader who advocates for excellence in every sphere of life, Valentine Ozigbo is a leading individual promoter of sports, youth development, and community building in Nigeria.
He is the founder of the Valentine Chineto Ozigbo Foundation, a philanthropic endeavour that focuses on youth empowerment and capacity building. He chaired Unusual Praise 2018, the largest Catholic gospel concert in Africa. He currently chairs Unusual Entrepreneur, one of the most impactful faith-based entrepreneurship programmes in Nigeria. He is also the Chairman of Feet and Tricks Limited, the exclusive promoters of Freestyle Football in Africa in partnership with the World Freestyle Football Association.
With four children to show for his marriage to Ojiugo, Valentine has dared the big stage by seeking to govern Anambra effective next year. It is the message which he putting out to Ndi Anambra that will help to influence the electorates in his favour. But one thing is certain, Val has all it takes to mobilize and indeed harness the state’s abundant human and material resources to the benefit of the greater majority of Ndi Anambra. With much push and the proper articulation of his campaign strategies, Val is said to be closer to Aguiyi House than some people think