Kennedy Uzoka, group managing director/chief executive officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, was on Sunday night presented with The Zik Prize for Professional Leadership.
The award was presented by Boss Mustapha, secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), under Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate as chairman at a glamorous event held at the Civic Centre in Lagos, and organised by Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre (PPRAC)
Uzoka was announced as the winner of the much-coveted award alongside Prof Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman/chief executive officer at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
As he applauded the efforts of the organisers, Uzoka said, “The Late Nnamdi Azikiwe is someone to whom I accord great respect; he is an iconic African statesman (Zik of Africa as he is fondly called). I am proud to be receiving an award that was first conferred on the late premier 25 years ago. I dedicate this award to the staff of the UBA Group in all our 23 countries of operations. They really are the best”.
Uzoka received the award after a thorough, careful and rigorous selection process.
His name was announced by Members of the Advisory Board, PPRAC, Professor Pat Utomi, and executive secretary, Emeka Obasi, who stated that Uzoka was selected as a result of his outstanding contributions to the development and growth of the Banking and Financial Services Industry and also for an unblemished record of service as a banker of international repute.
Apart from Uzoka and Danbatta, other winners in various categories of public service, good governance, business, and professional leadership include Senate President Ahmed Lawan; Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum; Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; SGF, Boss Mustapha; Dr. Stella Okoli amongst others.
As it celebrates the silver jubilee anniversary of the Zik prize in leadership awards, the PPRAC, organisers of the award, reminisced that in the last 25 years, some other notable leaders have been recipients of the prize including: The former President of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings; former President of Tanzania, Nwalimu Julius Nyerere; former President of Kenya; Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim; former President of Namibia, Sam Nujoma; former President of South Africa, Dr. Nelson Mandela; Former President John Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana, and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.
Other past winners include the former Senate President David Mark; former Defence Minister, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed; founder, First City Merchant Bank, Otunba Subomi Balogun; former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; former Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Ahmed Joda and the Nigerian Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.
The Zik Leadership awards is organised by the Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre (PPRAC) and was instituted 25 years ago, in 1995, in honour of the first President of Nigeria, Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, primarily to encourage and nurture leadership on the African Continent and in the Diaspora.
United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-one million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries.
Operating in the USA, the UK and with presence in France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services