Valentine Chineto Ozigbo aka VCO, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag-bearer in the 2021 Anambra Governorship Election and things you need to know about him.

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1. Home Boy

Valentine Ozigbo was born on July 20, 1970, in the rural village of Umuomaku, Orumba South LGA, Anambra State where his father was stationed as a school headmaster. He had his primary education in village schools and his secondary in his hometown at Christ The Redeemer College Amesi, Aguata LGA. He left Anambra only when he gained admission to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka at 19. Even with all his global fame, he has always stayed connected with his roots and Igbo culture. 

2. Excellent Achiever

Valentine Ozigbo is an award winner at every stage in his life. He graduated from secondary school with flying colours. In fact, his results were so brilliant that his principal, Late Rev Fr Elias Anyaorah, employed him to teach physics and mathematics in his secondary school while he was awaiting his admission to the university. That was his first job in life. He graduated as the best student in UNN in his faculty, winning all the awards. He won Best Staff of the Year 6 months after joining Diamond Bank in 1995. He won the prestigious Chevening Scholarships, the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to study for a Masters in Finance at Lancaster University and graduated with Distinction. In 2018, he was honoured as a Distinguished Alumni of Lancaster University at a special convocation ceremony. 

3. World-Class Professional

Valentine Ozigbo is an award-winning graduate of Accounting from the University of Nigeria. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from the same university. He also holds a Masters in Finance from Lancaster University. 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 a member of the Board of Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt. He participated in the pioneer Global CEO Programme for Africa undertaken by three Universities: Lagos Business School, SBS Business School Kenya, and IESE Business School New York, and was elected the pioneer president of the class. He has also participated in several prominent international conferences such as the World Economic Forum at Davos (WEF); the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA) in Nigeria; the African Development Bank annual meetings in China; the World Bank/ International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meetings in Washington DC; Euromoney and Economist Conferences in London; Euromoney debates on Capital Flows to Africa in London; and SIBOS 2009. 

4. Multi-dimensional Experience

Valentine Ozigbo is a consummate business leader and entrepreneur with over twenty-six years of experience in corporate transformation, power, hospitality, energy, and banking (commercial, retail, investment and international banking). He served as the President and Group Chief Executive of a globally celebrated business, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp). Transcorp Plc is 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 (the leading business hotel in Africa) and Transcorp Hotels Calabar; and Transcorp OPL281, an oil and gas company. He stepped down as President of Transcorp Plc in March 2020 and retains a seat on the Boards of Transcorp Plc, Transcorp Hotels Plc, and Transcorp Power Limited. He has led corporate deals that run into billions of Dollars and has held top positions in banking including Head of Offshore Liason, Head of Embassies & Multilaterals, Divisional Head for International Banking, Director, Global Transaction Banking and many more. 

5. Award-Winning Global CEO

After 17 years in banking where he rose to the highest position of General Manager, Valentine Ozigbo was appointed the Managing Director/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Val 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, this respected business leader was voted Seven Stars Hospitality Personality of the Year in Athens, Greece. 

6. Champion of Accountability

When Valentine Ozigbo resumed at Transcorp Hilton Hotels as the Managing Director/CEO, the company had been run for more than 6 years without annual audited accounts. He realised that the lack of transparency and accountability would affect the company’s financial performance and reputation. He immediately went to work, putting in place a system for transparency, accountability, and corporate governance that ensured that Transcorp Hilton had its first-ever audited financial statement within a year. This process eventually led to a broad acceptance of the brand and the company going public in a hugely successful N8 billion IPO offer. 

7. Global Champion for Kaizen

Valentine Ozigbo is one of a few corporate titans in the world who are regarded as global champions of Kaizen, a Japanese philosophy for management that ensures continuous improvement. Kaizen means “deleting waste” in Japanese. It is used in international businesses to improve corporate performance which enhances profitability. “The culture of continuous improvement questions the status quo, it deletes all kinds of waste, and ensures an unending quest for progress,” Ozigbo has said. 

8. Heart of Gold

As the founder of one of the leading non-profits in the country, the Valentine Chineto Ozigbo (VCO) Foundation, Valentine Ozigbo is one of Nigerian’s most respected philanthropists. VCO Foundation has positively touched the lives of over 100,000 Nigerians directly through its various programmes making a difference in many youths’ lives in Anambra State through business grants, training, talent hunts, and cultural development. The foundation focuses on youth empowerment, leadership and entrepreneurial development, as well as women empowerment. VCO Foundation is driven by Mr Val Ozigbo’s vision to make life better for people. 

9. International Sports Developer

CNN International recently featured Valentine Ozigbo in recognition of his status as an international sports developer. He is the Chairman of Feet ‘N’ Tricks International, the biggest freestyle football promoter in Africa. He founded the company with football legend Kanu Nwankwo, broadcasting legend, Olisa Adibua, and several others in 2017. The company hosts the annual Nigerian Freestyle Football Championship, since 2017, and the African Freestyle Football Championship, since 2018. Feet ‘N’ Tricks is committed to discovering and nurturing sports talents in Nigeria and Africa is provide a means of livelihood for the youth. Because of Ozigbo’s work, freestyle football is now the fastest-growing type of football in Africa. 

10. Devout Christian and Family Man

Valentine Ozigbo is a lifelong member of the Roman Catholic Church. His father, Chief Andrew Ozigbo, a retired school headmaster, was a Catechist who, together with his mother, Ezinne Christiana Ozigbo, a trader and farmer, raised Val with a strict Christian upbringing. He is a man who lives by the principles of Jesus Christ, which is to love your neighbour as yourself and be at peace with all. 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 known as a friend to all without any enemies. He has been married to Ojiugo for 18 years, and they have four children.

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