L-R: The convener, Chief Information Officer (CIO) Awards and the CIO Club Africa, Abiola Lasiende; Head of Digital Business Solutions, British American Tobacco (BAT) West and Central Africa, Olakunle Ogedengbe; and President of the Executive Leadership Council of the CIO Club Africa, Obinna Samuel Ikonu, during the presentation of the ‘Consumer Goods’ category winner’s plaque to Ogedengbe at the CIO Awards ceremony held on Friday, November 26, 2021, at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos.
The British American Tobacco (BAT) added another feather to its cap on November 26, 2021 when the company’s Head of Digital Business Solutions for West and Central Africa, Olakunle Ogedengbe, clinched the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of The Year Award (Consumer Goods Category) at the second edition of the CIO Awards organized by Edniesal Consulting Limited, an enterprise governance firm.
The CIO awards specially celebrates and honours successful and outstanding individuals and organisations that are using digital innovation and information technology systems to bring about real growth and transformation to business. About 60 firms participated in the Awards.
L-R: The Director, External Affairs, British American Tobacco (BAT) West and Central Africa, Odiri Erewa-Meggison; Head of Digital Business Solutions, British American Tobacco West and Central Africa, Olakunle Ogedengbe; and the General Manager, BAT Nigeria Foundation, Ololade Johnson-Agiri, at the CIO Awards ceremony held on Friday, November 26, 2021, at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos.
In a welcome speech, the convener, CIO Awards and the CIO Club Africa, Mrs Abiola Laseinde, said that the occasion was an opportunity to celebrate the nation’s corporate giants and the leaders of digital revolution.“In the last two years, our world has seen remarkable alterations in our way of life. The effect of globalization and the covid-19 pandemic has brought technology and digital revolution to the front burner of our daily existence. The CIO Awards ceremony will continue to acknowledge the phenomenal work done behind the scenes by various IT professionals in our ever-changing world,” she said.
Speaking further, she said, “Emerging from the success of the maiden edition of the awards last year, we created the CIO Club Africa, a strategic platform that presents a unique opportunity for leaders to interact with one another while birthing ideas that will go beyond our eco-system to prepare us for global challenges and bring us up to the task of a future benefit that will arise from these challenges.”
In a goodwill message, the chairman of the CIO Awards and President of the Executive Leadership Council of the CIO Awards and the CIO Awards Jury, Mr Ade Bajomo, described the Awards as the Oscars for digital innovators and leaders. He noted that digital facilities are the biggest assets of any company, while commending Edniesal for recognizing the heroes of digital technology.
“Today is a very special day because we are celebrating the heroes that make that happen. Without Edniesal Consulting blazing the way in Nigeria and Africa these guys would have gone unnoticed. I often say that the fourth industrial revolution, which we are in now and transitioning from, is an exciting one for Africans. This is the first revolution that Africans are solving African problems, leveraging global partnerships and technologies. It is a great time to be part and parcel of it. This year alone, $1.5b has flown into fintechs in Africa and interestingly, Nigeria accounts for a third of that. Hence, I really think there is no better time to celebrate these heroes and to create a platform for the future. If we are really going to solve any problem in this country, it is going to be done leveraging technology and bringing in participants around the technology eco system.”
In an address delivered on behalf of the company, BAT West and Central Africa Director for External Affairs, Odiri Erewa-Meggison, expressed appreciation to Edniesal Consulting for their invitation and “for recognising the difference we are making at BAT especially around leveraging digital technology to deliver on our transformation.”
She said further: “At BAT, we are on a transformation journey to build A Better Tomorrow by reducing the health impact of our business, and our ambition is to accelerate this transformation through our range of alternative choices for adult consumers, which are already being used by millions of consumers worldwide. Our goal is to continue to focus on our societal responsibilities in Nigeria and beyond by keeping sustainability front and centre of all that we do.
“As you will all appreciate, in today’s business world, you cannot deliver on this ambition without leveraging digital transformation, technology, and innovation. Indeed, this is at the very core of it. As part of the journey, we are working to build new technologies and capabilities while leveraging, reusing and scaling existing ones.
“We are ensuring that digital transformation is owned by every stakeholder, from customers and retailers, who are invariably ambassadors of our brands and who base their livelihoods on the quality and availability of our products; to adult consumers who increasingly demand personalisation and must remain excited by our offerings; and to employees who need to be empowered to make the right decisions at the right time, and with the right motivations and frame of mind.
“Overall, we are exploring new digital initiatives and ways of working, identifying commercial value, transforming route to market, and scaling up at speed across the enterprise; and I am proud to say that we are changing the game in our segment of the industry with this bouquet of digital and technology solutions.”
Earlier on, in a goodwill message, the chairman of the occasion and CEO, Chapel Hill Denham, Mr Bolaji Balogun, said, “Whether we like it or not, if we are going to diversify the economy over the next decade. we will do so primarily by creating values in the non-oil industry and one key sector where such opportunities exist is in the technology sector; and that is why an event like this that celebrates all of you who are leaders in the industry is so very important. I am so proud to be involved in it.”