Rufus Foluso Giwa; Industrialist and business administrator, hailed as the ultimate CEO by contemporaries, Rufus Foluso Giwa, headed multiple organisations in his business adventure. He was a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Secretary. Giwa who also showed interest in farming maintained a conservative stance that the government is doing enough for private sector and industrial growth. He threw his weight behind the campaign for Nigerians to buy made in Nigeria goods. This he believed, can make the country improve on quality standard. He believed so doing will reduce reliance on import because there will be no market for it. Giwa was a member of Nigeria’s Vision 2010 Committee. He died in an auto crash around Sagamu, Ogun State, on March 26, 2003, shortly after declaring his support for Olusegun Agagu in Ondo State gubernatorial election [i]. The state’s polytechnic at Owo was named after him.
Giwa was born in 1942 in Okeagbe Akoko in Ondo State. He was just three months old when he lost his father. As a child he showed unusual determination. Inspite of his poor background, he struggled for his GCE ordinary levels and the Advanced levels. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos. He was in the Northwestern University, Evanston USA where he bagged his Ph.D. Giwa’s career began when he was recruited by Lever Brothers, later named Unilever Plc., as a warehouse and store manager in 1966. Rising steadily through the ladder, he was to become the Chairman Managing Director of the company in 1987. His tenure as director of the company saw it rising to an unprecedented position as a cooperate entity[ii].
[i] Insider 7 April, 2003
[ii] The News 7 April, 2003