Like the adverbial phrase, courage is the most important of all the virtues, without courage you can’t practice any virtue but nothing consistently without courage; and this aptly explains the reason why the astute banker and super boardroom guru, the Chairman of Zenith Bank, Chief Jim Ovia stands tall.
With words of encouragement and praises during the decoration of his Honorary Doctorate Degree in the presence of distinguished personalities at the University of Lagos’ 50th Convocation Ceremonies held on Thursday, April 4 2019 inside J.F Ade Ajayi Auditorium. The iconic banker was honored for his immense contribution and his commitment to the change in the banking landscape. He was decorated alongside former Minister of Works and Housing, Alhaji Lateef Olufemi Okunnu, SAN, CON, in the presence of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe, FAS, members of the governing council and senate. This is coming on the heels of many philanthropic activities he (Jim Ovia) has brought into the various endeavours he has found himself without much noise about this. Jim Ovia called for private intervention to salvage the nation’s education system. He urged government to license more private universities and institutions to enhance the education system. The chief banker, Jim Ovia is about of the most brilliant bankers in Nigeria, even though he is no longer at the helms of affairs in Zenith Bank. But those in the industry can never forget him in a jiffy how powerful and influential he was and he still is. To those who may be thinking that Jim Ovia is all about banking, investment, finance and what have you in the corporate world, they must have a rethink now, as the man of high intellect and wisdom in banking recently presented his much-awaited book, ‘Africa Rise and Shine: How a Nigerian Entrepreneur from Humble Beginnings Grew a Business to $16 billion.’ The book, published by Forbes Books, chronicles the story of his unquantifiable business and banking successes, and how he was able to create one of Africa’s largest banks.