JULY 10 (Thevil) – The reign of businessman and socialite Victor Osibodu and his titan wife Funke as one of Nigeria’s power couples has come to a humiliating end. At the height of their reigns, they both eclipse the corporate and social scene like true titans. On the social scene, he only attended A-list shindigs because most high-profile individuals deemed him worthy of being on their guest list. In the business world, both have done well individually and as a couple. He added to his professional calling; Victor as a pharmacist and Funke as an economist/banker to become one of Africa’s great power couples until things started to fall apart.
Victor and Funke are the brains behind Vizio Holdings Ltd. Although Victor is the founder of the multi-billion dollar Naira business empire, he co-owns it with his wife. She is a Group Director and Chief Executive Officer of Vizio Capital Limited. The Company’s operations are organized into five separate businesses operated by subsidiaries: Capital, Marketing & Sales, Oil & Gas, Power and Marine. Funke’s experience in the banking sector is applied in the capital markets business, where the company offers stock brokerage, wealth management and advisory services in the areas of wealth planning, insurance, financing, asset acquisition, construction and project management, marketing and sales of real estate. -Planning of real estate projects and property and facility management.
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At one point, the company offered marketing management services, including business management services such as business awards, honors services, accessories, and memorabilia. Other services encompass various aspects of brand management including merchandising, channel development, promotional materials, experiential marketing services, road shows and product launches. The results of their combined expertise and drive for corporate leadership have made Vizio Holdings a place of pride in the corporate sector.
Before founding Vigeo in 1985, Victor worked at Boots Company Nigeria Limited and Bodmat International Company. Funke has around 30 years of professional experience in the banking industry, where he began his career at NAL Merchant Bank and later moved to Continental Merchant Bank. She is the first woman to be Managing Director/CEO of a bank in Nigeria. He holds the prominent position of leading MBC International Bank Ltd., Ecobank Nigeria Plc and finally Union Bank Plc. Funke was once named one of the 50 leading business women in the world by the Financial Times in London. He was selected by a global panel of experts for his role in strengthening the bank’s management, enhancing discipline and ensuring transparency.
Unfortunately, the brilliance and enthusiasm they displayed as a power couple soon began to dissipate. First, Ecobank dragged Victor and his company to court for a whopping N8.7 billion for members of the public and society observers, only to realize the power couple was struggling with monumental debt and only managed to keep it low to keep. cover as long as they could. The debt almost caused him to lose two of his most prized assets, one of which was Vizio Holdings Ltd. on Osborne Road valued at N800 million and another building on Milverton Road, Ecoi valued at N700 million. While he was still running, his wife was fired from the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) by the federal government for poor performance.
Although Victor is the Chairman of Vizio Power Ltd and is responsible for BEDC, his wife was Managing Director of the company until her unofficial departure. Other power distribution companies acquired by the federal government included the Kano and Kaduna power distribution companies. Like Kano and Kaduna, BEDC was considered technically incompetent and got them into trouble with the bank, leading to financial bankruptcy after their loan facilities from Fidelity Bank.
The boards of the three companies have since been dissolved and replaced. At the Osibodu-run Benin Disco, Casey Akuma was appointed chairman, while Adiola Ijos and Charles Onwere were appointed board members. In addition, the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, appointed Yomi Ademi as an independent director to represent the government’s 40 percent ownership of BEDC during the transition.
In response to the acquisition, BEDC management stated that there is no contractual, statutory or regulatory basis for it and that there is no legal basis for the acquisition of the company. It also stated that its shares were not offered as collateral to Fidelity Bank or any other party and therefore warned that any attempt at interference by Fidelity Bank or BPE would be considered illegal and unlawful and would be rejected. .
Hopefully the power couple can collect the remaining pieces of their empire and move on.