Olu Akamu Biography

Olu Akanmu was the co-CEO and president of OPay Nigeria, a SoftBank-backed fintech startup that helped Nigerians deal with an acute cash shortage from late 2022 to early 2023. OPay is one of the biggest fintech companies in Africa, with more than 30 million users, over 500,000 agents, and 300,000 merchants.  

Akamu is an Experienced commercial leader with an unusual diversity of experience in consumer goods, manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications, financial services and Fintech at very senior levels with successful track records. A deep wealth of cross-industry innovative experience invaluable in providing strong strategic leadership to organizations.

He posseses a successful track record at executive (C) levels in both telecommunications and financial services industries invaluable in providing strategic leadership to businesses at the convergence of both and similar industries.

Between 2012 and 2013, He was Chief Marketing Officer at Airtel Nigeria (mobile telecoms network with more than 23m subscribers) with responsibility to lead commercial strategy and achieve revenue targets of more than USD 1.5billion annually. He was also Previously the Managing Director/ CEO- Retail Banking at former BankPHB.

Olu Akamu has Start-up experience at MTN-Nigeria playing critical roles in the phenomenal growth of MTN-Nigeria to a network in excess of ten million subscribers in its first five years. 

He was the Chief Architect of the phenomenal success of the MTN brand and consumer marketing strategy in Nigeria, a key reason for the legacy advantage and out-performance of MTN among its peers in the Nigeria telecommunications industry.

Olu Akanmu is a Pharmacy graduate of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). He started his career as a Marketing Manager/ Regional Manager (Eastern and Northern Nigeria) with Glaxo Nigeria. He went on to work in the non-profit sector as Chief Operating Officer (Nigeria) for Population Services International (PSI), a global reproductive health charity.

He is a Multi-industry retail and consumer business expert and has shown consistent strong adaptive skills to cross to new territories / industry contexts and deliver excellent results. 

Olu Akamu is a thought-leader in Strategy, Marketing and Management whose articles and pubic presentations are highly-sought in the consumer business community.

He is a transformational leader, an enterprise digital transformation leader, strong galvanizer of people and organization builder.

He brings a unique, wide perspective of cross-industry experience in telecoms, banking, fintech, fmcg, health-care and manufacturing in proffering innovative solutions to business problems and public-policy challenges. He is a Fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, and Fellow of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy.

Olu Akanmu is a strong believer in business and government for common good. He podcasts on strategy, leadership and management on Olu’s Files and blogs on Strategy and Public Policy on http://olusfiles.blogspot.com.

Resignation from Opay

Olu Akanmu has resigned from his role as the co-CEO of Opera’s Africa fintech startup OPay. OPay is one of the largest fintech companies in Africa, with over 30 million users, about 500,000 agents and more than 300,000 merchants.

Akanmu announced his resignation on Monday, 31st July, 2023 via his social media pages: “End of a Chapter. Moving on to New Ones,” he said. “My gratitude to all my colleagues for the good work we did deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria and ensuring that less and less number of people are left out in partaking out of the opportunities of the digital financial system.”

Two years ago, Opera appointed Akanmu a former FCMB Executive Director for Retail Banking, as the new president and co-CEO of Opay. Prior to his appointment, Opay operations in Nigeria were led by Yahui Zhou, chairman and co-CEO of Opera and Iniabasi Akpan, the then Nigeria Country Manager of Opay.

What's next for Olu Akanmu and Opay Nigeria?

Although Akanmu did not share specific details about his next steps, his resignation note shows his commitment to ensuring financial inclusion in Nigeria and the rest of the continent.

“For the Nigeria Fintech community, the imperative of ensuring that we serve not only the banked and underserved, but also the completely excluded which still represents at least 45% of our people should be our collective and greater patriotic mission, complementing the historic efforts of traditional players,” he said.

Opay Nigeria has announced that Daudu Gotring will take over from Akanmu as the Managing Director of the fintech. However, his appointment is subject to regulatory approval. Gotring is a former director of the trade and exchange department at the Central Bank of Nigeria and he also contested for the Plateau state gubernatorial seat in the last Nigerian general elections.

“Mr Gotring, a veteran in the financial services industry, will continue to steer the Opay ship in the direction of even greater strides,” the company said.