Abiola Bashorun: An Embodiment of Entrepreneurial Skills

By Eric Elezuo

It takes decisive stand to come out of the crowd. It takes eloquent determination to create a brand that outshines others in the industry. It takes a mind that thinks out of the box to come up with ideas that stands the test of time. It takes unwavering commitment to execute the best of plans. It takes patience to nurture the best of ideas to fruition and multiplicity. And of course it takes a strong, highly disciplined and focused woman to aggregate all these for time tested and trusted achievements. That woman is Dr. Abiola Bashorun, the Chief Executive Officer of ZL Global Alliance (Nigeria) Limited. She also superintends over Kunden Services Limited. Dr. Bashorun, to say the least, is a brave entrepreneur, whose Midas touch transforms whatever she lays her hands on.

Endowed with beauty, brains and capacity to deliver, Dr. Bashorun’s influence cuts across the length and breadth of professionalism, and it is no surprise that many know her as an exceptionally hard working professional, who is very visionary and result oriented.

Born on May 8, in Lagos, Dr. Bashorun is an MBA holder in International Business Development from the Coventry University, United Kingdom. She is of the class of 2006. This was after obtaining her first degree from a Nigerian university in 1992.

A lover of classic learning with the zeal to go beyond the ordinary, she attended several trainings to keep herself abreast of the industrial world. Some of the prestigious institutions that brushed her up to the high profile standard she has attained today include Barclays Bank, UK, and Citibank. She has also had trainings in diverse areas, some of which are, but not limited to Business Development, Sales and Marketing, Business Ethics, Anti Money Laundering, Relationship Management, Customer Service and Small Business Wealth Management.

Armed with the best of academic tutelage and background, Beebash, as she is fondly called by close friends, colleagues and well wishers, set out to change her world. In between, she has accumulated diverse work experience spanning over 24 years while undertaking extensive job descriptions, cutting across various sectors of the economy.

Dr. Bashorun kicked started her professional career shortly after her university education in Nigeria. In 1993, she was engaged by Nigeria’s foremost rating agency, Agusto and Co. This was a vocal testimony of stuff she was made of. From there, she never looked back as her delivery, involvement and achievements spoke volumes, catapulting her influence beyond her immediate environment.

At the time she left Agusto, she joined Fountain Trust Bank, and subsequently moved to Citibank in 1998. In 2001, she joined Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc as Head, Relationship Management Unit, and was saddled with the responsibility of identifying viable accounts and managing selected customers through aggressive marketing.

Her dexterity in her field made her a toast of many other financial institutions, and she was well sought after. In 2005, she made an international switch, relocating to the United Kingdom to pitch tent with Barclays Bank Walsgrave Triangle, Coventry, UK where she won the 2005 Eagle Award.

Much more endowed on her return from the UK, and with the dictates of finance at her fingertips, she joined the United Bank of Africa Plc, and anchored the Retail Banking Business there, and thereafter worked with Bank PHB Plc, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Equatorial Trust Bank Ltd, and Access Bank Plc, where she functioned as the Group Head of the Retail Sales and Cards Channels, and is reputed to have functioned for fourteen consecutive years at Senior Management and leadership levels, rising to the position of Assistant General Manager and grew the retail and electronic banking business of the bank.

She also anchored the Retail Banking Business of Ecobank in Northern Nigeria, and established and grew the Premier Banking Model targeted at High Net Worth Individuals at Equatorial Trust Bank.

An unrivalled business development consultant, with valuable experience in business development, strategy formulation and implementation, and organization management, she worked with various institutions to drive business growth and restructuring initiatives.

Like a prolific brand, which she had become, and with her zeal and penchant for breaking new grounds for achievement, she was always in the forefront and on the top list of poachers. Consequently, from Access Bank, she was poached by MasterCard Worldwide to assume duty as the Vice President (Prepaid Products Management) for Sub Saharan Africa. There after, she has supervised several organisations from top rated positions including ZoomLion, Ghana, where she served as head of West African Business Development. It was at ZoomLion that she called it quit with working for others. When she left ZoomLion, she establish her own company, ZL Global Alliance in 2014. The company, in a few years, has grown tremendously in capacity building as well as technology transfer. Bashorun’s Midas touch has been doing wonders. She followed it up with the establishment of another sister company, Kunden Services Limited.

With ZL Global and Kunden Services, Dr. Bashorun has realised a dream of creating a clean, green and healthy environment, and this fuels the passion of pushing the frontiers in the environmental management industry in Africa.

“Our indigenous but yet modern approach to waste management has earned us several consulting roles with a number of states in Nigeria: Ondo, Kaduna, FCT Abuja, Lagos, Edo, Ekiti state amongst others. We can’t also forget the strategic partnerships we have been able to build over the years in our quest to deliver this dream in Nigeria, Africa and beyond (Asthrom Group Isreal, JDP Construction, Dangote Group, Globacom, NIPOST, Indocorp, MasterCard, Ayudate Investment Group, OTO USA, Verve, HOME Biogas, Access Bank, United Bank of Africa, Heritage Bank, Providus Bank, Bank of Industry (BOI) Interswitch, Forte oil, etc. to mention but a few),” she said.

It won’t be a misnomer to say that her sojourn in the labour market, which has seen her magnificently transformed through institutions such as Barclays Bank of the United Kingdom, Citibank of Nigeria, Stanbic IBTC Bank, UBA, Ecobank, Equatorial Trust Bank (ETB), Access Bank and Mastercard Worldwide, has unleashed in her the qualities of an entrepreneurial tigress.

Abiola also serves as the Chairperson for Alafia Foundation, a community focused impact investing organization set up to improve the total well-being of the people in the communities she works in.

Dr. Bashorun’s efforts in entrepreneurial discipline and building businesses have not gone unnoticed, and so has received several recognitions and awards. Her awards are for her innovative contribution to qualitative Waste Management and Environmental Solution initiatives. These include: Africa Quality Order of Merit Award: Presented to her company for being Africa’s Best World Class Quality Waste Management Services Company, which she won in 2018.

She has also been named the recipient of Arewa Media Practitioners ‘Distinguished Leadership Award’: In recognition of her outstanding role and contribution towards national development.

Additionally, she bagged the Chartered Institute of Commerce of Nigeria (CICN) Fellowship Award, presented in recognition of her contribution towards the development of Commerce, Commercial Management, Educational Excellence and Professionalism in Nigeria and Africa at Large.

Among other awards credited to her honour are:

  • Chartered Institute of Commerce of Nigeria ‘Platinum & Gold Award’: In recognition of her contribution to environmental development in Kaduna State and Nigeria at large.
  • Investigative Reporting Journalists Forum ‘Certificate Award’ as the icon of environmental development in Kaduna State.
  • Kaduna State Advancement Initiative Award: Presented in recognition of her many contributions to State and National Development
  • Kaduna State Government Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources ‘Letter of Commendation and Appreciation’ in recognition of outstanding execution of environmental development programmes in the State
    Nigerian Times Magazine ‘Certificate Award’ for best performing environmental sanitation company.
  • Northern Nigeria Online Media Reporting Forum ‘Personality Award’ on good governance & transparency.
  • The International Federation of Environmental Journalists’ 2017 Environmental Award of Excellence: Presented to her as an Icon of Environmental Sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • The Kaduna Media Publishers of Newspaper & Magazine forum ‘Certificate Award’ as the icon of environmental development in Kaduna State.
  • The National Executive Council of Muslim Media Publishers Association of Nigeria (MMPAN) ‘Certificate Award’ as the ambassador of Peace & Unity in Nigeria.
    Member of the Special Committee on Lassa Fever – Ondo State
  • Member of the Special Committee on COVID 19 Management – Ondo State
    Member of the Special Committee on Effective Waste Management Practices – Ondo State
  • Woman of the Year – Entrepreneurship Category African Women Industrialization Award

Dr. Abiola Bashorun (FCICN, FIMC), apart from her expertise in entrepreneurship, is also endowed with milk of human kindness where in she has placed it upon herself to helping the youths find their footing in business among other corporate social responsibilities she and her companies have and are engaged in. She has an unwavering passion for youth empowerment, prompting her to create jobs for over 15,000 youths across the country.

She speaks more on her youth empowerment endeavours: “Our youth empowerment scheme encourages young people to take charge of their lives. We address the unemployment situation by providing our youth access to vocational training and other resources. We help them acquire skills that will enable them feed, assist others, and even invest for the future, aiding the nation economically. We didn’t just stop at providing an avenue for youths to learn a skill, we also went ahead to help them secure soft loan via our partnership with Bank of Industry under our CEO DUSTBIN (Sarkin Bola) scheme.”

Her tentacles are also focused on helping people living with disability by designing a programme to provide people living with disability access to employment and empowerment. The initiative earned the firm recognition with DFID USA as one of the few companies that have people with Disabilities as staff members.

She has managed to introduce highly effective “Waste to Cash Initiative”, which is aimed at engaging youths and encouraging entrepreneurship among citizens. This initiative also helps imbibe the culture of effective waste management from source, thereby drastically reducing the cost and effort of waste management in the state.

She is a success in every ramification, and has grown businesses in Electronic Payments, Waste Management, Digital Prints & Technology, Waste Recycling, Healthcare and Diagnostics, Youth Empowerment, Talent Management among others.

Bashorun is not only seasoned in business development and professional banking but immensely dynamic in the execution of innovative ideas and strategies. Often described as committed, fiercely loyal, hardworking, great team player, smart and an effective organizer, she has surpassed expected performance with a consistent record of achievements.

On a general scale, Bashorun’s scope of services include but not limited to Solid waste Management, Dumpsite/Land fill Management, Revenue Collection, Recycling and Material Recovery, Fleet Management, Waste Containerization, Vegetation Control, Decontamination / Fumigation services and Training services.

Using her companies, Dr. Bashorun was almost everywhere during the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting lives and property as a core objective of their organization.

In Ondo State, she spearheaded the decontamination of all secondary schools across the state as well as all the markets, motor parks, Court Formations (High courts, customary court, Magistrate courts, etc.), Government MDA’s, Government House, Governor’s Office, INEC office (Akure), 32 Artillery Army Barracks, Airport (Akure) and other public facilities across the state. Her efforts earned her a place on the Special Committee for COVID 19 in Ondo State, and also a partnership with the Ondo State Government and the Ministry of Environment to set up a rapid COVID 19 test hub in the state capital. This testing center ensures the testing and the swift treatment of confirmed COVID 19 cases in the State.

An icon of cleanliness is next to godliness, Bashorun has introduced unique concept of Waste Management as a Revenue Generation Tool, by the integrated use of electronic payment channels like Cards, USSD, Quick teller, Mobile Payment, etc. A significant innovation in this respect is the introduction of the uniquely customized “KADA Card” (Kaduna State) and “Ise Logun Ise Card” (Ondo State), to enhance revenue payment by citizens.

Dr. Bashorun’s credibility as a professional is extended to her home front, where she is an excellent homemaker, giving the desired succour, care and attention to her immediate family members, her tight professional schedule not withstanding.

Congratulations ma!

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