WHO IS ALEX OTTI

Dr. Alex Chioma Otti, OFR, born February 18, 1965, is a Nigerian economist, banker, investor, philanthropist, and writer.

He was sworn-in on May 29, 2023 as the fifth democratically-elected Governor of Abia State, having been elected by the people of Abia on March 18, 2023, and currently serving his first term in office as Governor of Abia State, Nigeria.

Governor Otti hails from Isialangwa.

He was born to the family of the late Pastor and Mrs. Lazarus Weze Otti at Umuru, Umuehim Village in Ehi Na Uguru Ancient Kingdom, Isialangwa South Local Government Area of Abia State. He had his secondary school education at Ngwa High School, Aba, and Secondary Technical School, Okpuala Ngwa, both in Abia State, where he finished as the best student in his set during the school certificate examinations. He thereafter proceeded to the University of Port Harcourt for his university education, and graduated with a First Class honours degree in economics in 1988.

Governor Otti earned an MBA degree from the University of Lagos in 1994. He has attended various international courses including the Executive Development Programmes of the Columbia Business and Stanford Business School and Wharton Business School (University of Pennsylvania). He also did an Executive Programme at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

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WORK HISTORY

Governor Otti was the former Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank Plc (now merged with Access Bank), one of the leading retail financial institution of its time in Nigeria. He began his banking career in 1989 with the Nigerian International Bank, a subsidiary of Citibank New York, where he worked in the operations department. Thereafter he moved to the then Nigerian Intercontinental Merchant Bank Ltd. While at Intercontinental Bank, he worked both in the treasury and financial services unit as well as the corporate banking division. In 1992, he joined Societe Bancaire Nigeria Limited (Merchant Bankers), a subsidiary of Banque SBA Paris, where he rose to the position of a Senior Manager.

He moved on to the United Bank for Africa (UBA) as the Principal Manager overseeing the bank’s corporate banking sector for the entire South Division with the responsibility of growing the oil and gas business for the bank. In May 2001, he joined First Bank of Nigeria, PLC as Assistant General Manager with the sole responsibility of growing the Energy Sector for the bank. In April 2004, he was promoted to the position of Deputy General Manager, and a year later was appointed Executive Director, commercial banking. This was followed by a re-designation as the Executive Director south directorate, where he was responsible for over 140 branches in both the South-South and South Eastern geopolitical zones of the country.

In March 2011, he moved from First Bank Nigeria PLC to Diamond Bank as Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer and led the bank through a major transformation. Upon expiration of his first tenure, Diamond Bank renewed his tenure in March 2014 to an additional three years. On October 24, 2014, Governor Otti took voluntary retirement and Uzoma Dozie became the new GMD/CEO of the bank. Governor Otti’s time as the GMD/CEO of Diamond was described as the brightest years of Diamond Bank by His Royal Highness Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, who was then the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Diamond Bank.

THE JOURNEY SO FAR

In 2014, Governor Otti joined the race for the governorship of Abia State and became a gubernatorial candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). He went on to win the election but was robbed of victory. On December 31, 2015, the Court of Appeal which sat in Owerri, Imo State, removed Okezie Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party as governor of Abia State and declared Otti the winner of the April 11 and April 25 Governorship elections in Abia State. On February 3, 2016, the Supreme Court of Nigeria reversed the verdict of the Court of Appeal and affirmed the election of Ikpeazu as Governor.

Undeterred, Governor Otti continued his quest for the governorship of Abia State. In March 2019, he contested again on the platform of APGA and again, history repeated itself as he was rigged out. However, Governor Otti was lucky on his third attempt at the governorship. This time he contested on the platform of the Labour Party and won with landslide, trouncing the incumbent governor, Okezie Ikpeazu and his PDP candidate, Okey Ahiwe as well as the candidates of the All Progressives Congress and YPP, his closest rivals.

Governor Otti was a member of the Editorial Board of Thisday Newspaper, and wrote a fortnightly column, every other Monday, titled “Outside The Box”, on the backpack of the newspaper.

In 2009 he was conferred with an honourary doctorate degree by Babcock University in Ogun State, Nigeria, and in 2012, an honourary Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) degree by the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. In 2013, he received yet another honourary doctorate degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in Enugu State, Nigeria.

Governor Otti is married to his wife, Mrs. Priscilla Chidinma Otti, and they are both blessed with three grown-up children.

Together we the people of Abia State can achieve more than any single person could ever do alone.

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