Fola Adeola is Chairman of Main One Cable Company Limited, owner-managers of the first open access submarine cable in West Africa. He is also the Chairman of FATE Foundation, a non-governmental organization which is dedicated to encouraging the creation of wealth through entrepreneurship, using an innovative mix of training, mentoring, and consulting to support young Nigerians. He founded the organization in 2000, following a one-year sabbatical at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru, Jos, Nigeria, where he carried out research on economic development and job creation policies.
Prior to these, Fola was the Founder and first Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Guaranty Trust Bank has grown to become one of Nigeria’s largest and most profitable companies. The bank has also expanded beyond Nigeria to other neighbouring African countries in The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Ghana. The bank became listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1996.
In the public sector, Fola had served as the first Chairman of the National Pension Commission in Nigeria, which was established, following the promulgation into law, of the Pension Reform Bill, principally authored by him. Fola Adeola has served, and is still serving, at national and international levels, on various committees and corporate boards. He also served as member of the National Honours Committee, member of the Solid Mineral Committee (both federally constituted), member of council, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, and member of the Global Advisory Committee on Philanthropy of the World Economic Forum. He had served as a Commissioner on the Commission for Africa, prelude to the 2005 G8 meeting in Gleneagles, UK.
Fola was nationally decorated as Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) by the Nigerian President in 2002.
Fola obtained a Diploma in Accounting from Yaba College of Technology in 1975 and became a Chartered Accountant in 1980 following his training with Deloitte, Haskins and Sells and D.O. Dafinone & Company (both Chartered Accountants). He has received professional development training at notable institutions worldwide including Harvard Business School, INSEAD, and the International Institute for Management Development.
He is married with six children.
Professor Bartholomew Ndubuisi Okolo trained at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), where he obtained a BSc. (Hon) in Microbiology in 1979.
After working as a trainee brewer at Kwara Breweries Limited, Ijagbo, Kwara State, Nigeria, and the Food and Drugs Administration and Laboratory Services (now NAFDAC) of the Federal Ministry of Health, he proceeded to the graduate school of the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, where he obtained a Doctorate degree in1986, from the Department of Bioscience & Biotechnology in the Division of Applied Microbiology.
He joined the services of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1986 as a lecturer in the Department of Microbiology. He rose to the rank of Reader in 1996 and a full Professor of Bioprocess Physiology in 1999, and ten years later became the 13th Vice-Chancellor, of Nigeria’s oldest university.
Professor Okolo’s career at the University of Nigeria has been remarkable and full of responsibilities. In addition to the extended membership of many committees of the university senate, he served as Head of Department of Microbiology, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Biological Sciences, Dean of The Faculty of Bological Sciences. Furthermore, he has served at different times as Chairman of Sports Council, Coordinator of the 22nd edition of the Nigerian Universities Games (NUGA) and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration) and finally, the Vice – Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Nigeria (June 2009 – June 2014).
During his tenure as Vice Chancellor, Prof Okolo was acknowledged as a visionary leader. He largely achieved his goal of placing the University of Nigeria at the forefront of research and development, innovation, knowledge creation and dissemination, human capital, resource development and community service. The priorities of his administration which included upgrade of infrastructure, staff development and internationalization through collaborations with reputable institutions across the globe were largely achieved.
Professor Okolo has at various times undertaken a number of national and state assignments, which he executed satisfactorily. He has also served on the board of other educational bodies and is currently Chairman of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the UNESCO Category II Biotechnology Centre at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. In recognition of his contribution to the development of education, the Nigerian Government conferred on him a national honour of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) in September 2014.