Contrary to speculations in some quarters, the appointment of Stella Okotete, as Executive Director ( Business Development) at the Nigeria- Export and Import Bank( NEXIM), by President Muhammadu Buhari did not breach any law.
Okotete, a graduate of the Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, had prior to her appointment, earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree, in International Relations and Diplomacy, as well as a Diploma in Law from the Rivers State College of Arts and Sciences.
The NEXIM bank, in a statement reacting to insinuations by a group protesting her appointment, explained that the protesters “acted out of ignorance”
The Bank, citing provisions in section 8(3) of the NEXIM Act, pointed out that Act which provides for the appointment of a Managing Director , two Executive Directors and two non – executive directors , does not lay out qualification for executive directors , one of which is being occupied by Stella Okotete.
“No provision in NEXIM Act lays out qualifications for appointment of Executive Directors or any Director of the Bank.
The bank also hailed the contributions of Okotete as the Executive Director in charge of Business Development for effectively carrying out her responsibilities in cooperation with other Directors and Staff to strengthen profitability and reduce non- performing loans.
“Okotete in collaboration with other Directors of the Bank , has within the last five years , brought growth in profitability and drastic reduction of non – performing loans”, the statement stressed.
It added that President Buhari did not violate any extant laws or in house banking procedures, on the appointments of Okotete and others.
Stella Okotete’s profile
Before her appointment at NEXIM, Stella Okotete had significant experience in public policy design and implementation, public-private partnership management, international development and general administration.
Until her appointment as Executive Director, Business Development, Stella had a rich mix of professional experience in both the public and private sectors.
In 2015, she had founded and led a start-up company where she was responsible for providing local and international clients with expert advice, scalable industrial solutions, and opportunities to utilise turnkey solutions for various industrial needs and requirements.
Between 2011 and 2015, she served as the Special Assistant and Adviser to the Executive Governor of Delta State on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) where she provided leadership in establishing and executing programmes with agency groups to ensure that the goals as well as targets of the United Nations Millennium Declaration were met.
She also championed the Review and effective management of the Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) business policy to tackle poverty and create employment in line with the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) mandate, while also supporting the M&E team of the State’s CCT Scheme and Social Development Policy that aided the growth and expansion of business clusters in the state.
Prior to leading the Delta State MDGs, Stella Okotete had a brief stint in politics, having served as an elected Councillor in Ughelli North Local Government Area, a position that helped sharpen her understanding of the socio-economic needs of neglected communities.
She was able to deploy this knowledge to ensure that neglected communities in the state were positively impacted by the state’s MDGs strategic intervention programmes.
A Co-founder E’Girls Right Foundation, Stella is an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School certificate program for Emerging Leaders as well as the Lagos Business School’s Enterprise Development Centre program in Entrepreneurial Management.
Her involvement in volunteer work and her work with Internally Displaced Persons at IDP Camps in Ughelli, Maiduguri and Abuja, also helped to shape her focus that culminated in the successes recorded so far at NEXIM.