Board of Directors

Adefolu Majekodunmi

Adefolu Majekodunmi is the co-founder and Managing Director of Asseco Nigeria, a subsidiary of The Asseco Group, the 5th largest technology company in Europe. Asseco is a multi-billion USD organization that operates in 50 countries with over 25,000 employees.

Adefolu has over 20 years of experience with leading technology multinationals. Throughout his career, he has spearheaded the implementation of a wide range of software into the public and private sectors. He was previously a director at Microsoft Nigeria, where he worked in various leadership capacities for 10 years. Prior to Microsoft, Adefolu was the West African Territory Manager at Misys Plc, a global financial software company based in London, UK. He has extensive experience in providing technology solutions across private and public sectors.

Adefolu studied for his MBA at INSEAD’s campuses in France and Singapore. He was a winner of the INSEAD Louis Franck International Business Scholarship and INSEAD Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Scholarship. He obtained a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Liverpool, UK, where his project on Innovation in Construction was published.

Adefolu is married with children. He is passionate about traveling particularly in Africa, cycling, keeping fit and reading business journals.

 

 

Mary Ojulari, FCCA

Mary Aderinola Ojulari is the Deputy Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Weststar Associates Limited (Mercedes-Benz Nigeria). She obtained her Accounting and Finance degree from the London South Bank University and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Mary has over 18 years’ experience and has worked in several senior management and director level roles within the hospitality, media, services and automobile sectors. She is a result orientated and strategically focused CFO with an impressive track record of optimising shareholder’s value, effectively leading teams and implementing change management.

She started her professional career with KPMG UK and thereafter moved to Whitbread PLC, the largest hospitality company in the UK. At Whitbread PLC, she was part of the team that implemented change management and carried out the due diligence for the sale of 160 restaurants to a Venture Capitalist. Mary worked in the media industry for 12 years (British Broadcasting Company (BBC), CNBC Africa & Forbes). She worked in leadership roles at the BBC, CNBC Africa & Forbes providing strategic direction and ensuring short to medium and long-term plans for the companies were viable and implemented. Mary joined Weststar in 2017 as the CFO and is currently the Deputy Managing Director (DMD) and CFO. As the DMD, she supports the Managing Director in implementing the strategy of the Board, ensuring efficiency targets are achieved and providing direction for the business.

Weststar is the sole Authorised General Distributor for Mercedes-Benz in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Weststar coordinates Daimler AG‘s business activities in Nigeria including Sales, Dealer Support, Network Development, Fleet Management Support, After-Sales Services, Warranty, Marketing, Corporate Affairs, Technical and Non-Technical Trainings, and the Assembly Plant for Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles.

 

Lesley Baxter

A seasoned Finance Professional, Mrs Green was appointed to the Board of Total Nigeria PLC on 16 August 2019. She has over 23 years’ experience within the Total SE Group, with roles in UK, France, South Africa, China and Nigeria.

She started her career with the Total Group in 1998 as Management Accountant for Total Gas & Power Limited, UK where she ultimately held the position of Director, Central Services. In 2009, she moved to Total Energie Gaz SA, France as Secretary General and later became Senior Economist at Total SE (Gas and Renewables Division) at their headquarters in Paris, France.

Between 2010 and 2014, Mrs Baxter-Green was appointed Chief Finance Officer, Total Coal South Africa (Pty) Limited and was a director of the Joint Venture mining activities based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She then became Vice President Finance & Control, Total Investment Company Limited in Beijing, China between 2015 and 2017, before returning to Paris, France to take a position within the Corporate Audit Department of Total SE.

Mrs Baxter-Green holds a Master of Business Administration (with Distinction) from Manchester Business School, UK, a bachelor’s degree (Honours) in Business Studies from the Robert Gordon University, UK. She is also a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Her experience covers: Business Strategy, Financial Reporting, Corporate Financing, M&A, Tax, IT, Procurement, Internal Audit and Control.

 

Taiwo Ilesanmi

Taiwo Ilesanmi is the Managing Director of BASF Operations Lagos Free Trade Zone Enterprise (LFTZE). He is a business professional with an extensive background in strategy, supply chain management, logistics, business development and management consulting. Prior to joining BASF, he had worked in various capacities in multinational and indigenous firms including KPMG, AstraZeneca, Transport Services Limited and Konga.

Taiwo possesses a deep understanding of the Nigerian business environment, having been in teams which undertook the execution of large, innovative and complex projects in several sectors of the Nigerian economy, including Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Transportation, Financial Services and E-Commerce industries over the course of his career. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from University College London and Master’s degrees in Biotechnology and Supply Chain Management from University Warwick and Cranfield School of Management respectively.

 

Guillaume Niarfeix

Guillaume is the Managing Director of SPIE Oil & Gas in Nigeria and Ghana.

A Senior Executive with a strong entrepreneurial flair and extensive experience in industrial projects, risk, supply chain, and operations management.

During his 20 years of industry experience – delivering complex projects in Africa, Middle-East or Asia – he has developed the unique competency to deal with uncertainties and set strategies leading to value creation and success. He has helped transform many organizations to make them more effective.

Guillaume holds several masters in Logistics, Supply Chain, Business, and Risk Management from the Grenoble Graduate School of Business and an Executive MBA from HEC Paris.

Guillaume has been living in Nigeria with his family since 2005.

 

Christopher Obi

Christopher Obi is Senior Manager at Lafarge Africa Plc. He is an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.

He has extensive knowledge and experience in Public Affairs and Government Relations. He has worked in different capacities managing relationship with communities, Senior Government Officials and other stakeholders of the companies he has worked in. Also, he has a deep knowledge of the Nigerian Public Sector and a rich network from both the Public and Private Sectors.

Mr. Obi holds degrees in Philosophy, Education from the Universities of Uyo and Calabar respectively and a Diploma in Public Relations among others.

 

Peder Pedersen (PEP)

Pep has been with Arla since 1993, where he joined the business in Denmark as Junior sales representative and have since had many different commercial roles around the world. Denmark 7 years, KSA 9 years, Dominican republic 5 years, Bangladesh 1 year, Egypt 4 years, Nigeria 1 year and still going strong, where he is planning to build the first 100% Arla owned Dairy Farm.

Peder is a visionary business leader with over 27 years of sales and commercial experience with strategic proficiency in challenging business environments. Before building a career in the Dairy FMCG world, Peder acquired skills and knowledge from 6 years of apprenticeship in Danish Coop and one year in Aalborg Business School.

Peder is currently the Managing Director Arla Global Dairy Company Ltd, Nigeria and oversees the Joint venture business between Arla Foods and Tolaram Group where he has provided strong and astute leadership within one year of arriving Nigeria and delivered spectacular bottom-line transformations as a result of his great frontline obsession. He is now focused on driving major strategic projects that will strengthen the business and deliver Arla’s big ambitions in Nigeria.

 

Ascanio Russo

INTERNATIONAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE (Logistics and Finance).

Ascanio is an accomplished entrepreneurial and professional executive with more than 20 years of significant experience and proven track record in port development and port related infrastructure management and investment in West Africa.

Since the early 2000’ Ascanio has been working in Nigeria, where he has held management positions with budget responsibilities.

He was amongst the founders of the Grimaldi Group’s owned, Ports & Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML), the largest Ro/Ro Port in the Gulf of Guinea, widely known for its efficiency and quick turnaround of vessels and cargo delivery.

Ascanio is currently the managing director of PTML and Grimaldi Agency Nigeria. He is also a member of the Investment Committee of ARM-Harith Infrastructure Fund a pioneering closed-ended specialist PE Infrastructure Fund, whose core investment focus is on Transportation, Energy and Utilities in West Africa.

 

Ambassador Ketil KarlsenHonorary Member of the Board

Ambassador Ketil KARLSEN is the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) since September 2017. He was EU Ambassador to Honduras before his current posting.  

Until 2013, Ambassador Karlsen worked in the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he served in various capacities within and outside his home country. He was at various times Chargé d’affairs, Royal Danish Embassy, Zimbabwe; Deputy Ambassador, Royal Danish Embassy, Nicaragua; Head of Unit, Royal Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, COP15 Secretariat.

Ambassador Karlsen also served as Associate Professional Officer at the UNODC Regional Office, Mexico from 1998-2001. He is married and has two children.