Kyari A. Bukar

Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group
Co-Founder/CEO, Trans-Sahara Investment Corporation

Kyari Bukar is Co-Founder/CEO Trans-Sahara Investment, (TSIC) a Private Equity firm that originates, develops and actively manages direct investments in sub-Sahara African business, with a focus in West Africa.

Kyari Bukar is also the chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, a think-tank organization that
promotes sustainable growth and development in the Nigerian economy using research based advocacy methods, also serving as a private sector economic advisory organization to Federal Government of Nigeria

Prior to setting up TSIC, Kyari Bukar was the immediate past CEO of Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS). As the Managing Director/CEO of CSCS, the Central Securities Depository for the Nigerian Capital markets, he was instrumental in ‘the transformation of the company from an entity that had a dysfunctional culture to a customer-centric, efficient and resourceful organization with high profitability.

Before joining CSCS, Kyari was the MD/CEO of Valucard Nigeria Plc where he was instrumental in turning around the Company from a nil-profit-making entity to what could aptly be termed a highly profitable entity before his exit.

Kyari Bukar also sits on the boards of other leading companies in Nigeria such as Equity Assurance Plc, Chams Plc, and many others.

With proven versatility and a proficiency in Information Technology (IT) systems, Bukar previously spent 14 (fourteen) years working with Hewlett- Packard (HP); one of the World’s leading IT Companies, where he garnered valuable experience having occupied several Technical and Senior positions amongst which are: Research and Development Engineer, Manufacturing Development Engineer, Marketing Program Manager, Senior IT Consultant and Worldwide Technical Marketing Manager, within divisions of the Company.

Kyari also possesses a background in Banking having spent a stint working with FSB International Bank Plc (now Fidelity Bank Plc) as Executive Director in charge of Electronic Banking, Information Technology and Operations

By virtue of his position as Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Kyari Bukar has been involved in economic policies and formulations of government, as well as playing advisory role to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Mr. Bukar holds a B.Sc. Degree in Physics from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria and M.Sc. Degree in Nuclear Engineering from Oregon State University, USA. He is at} alumnus of Lagos Business School (LBS), Wharton Business School and Harvard Business School, USA

Kyari Bukar is the Lead Judge of THE NEXT TITAN for the 4th year running.

Tonye Cole

Co-Founder/MD, Sahara Group

Tonye Cole is the CEO and Co-Founder of Sahara Energy Group, a conglomerate and a multi-national company of repute which has presence in different locations including Africa, The Caribbean, Asia and Europe with interests covering Oil trading, Storage, Energy and Power Resources, Aviation, Farming and Real Estate. From a small office in 1996, with the core business of trading excess fuel oil from the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries in Nigeria, the Sahara Group has expanded its tentacles to offices in Geneva, Switzerland -which actively trades in Crude oil, Gas oil, Jet A1, mogas and bitumen in global markets; Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon, France, Singapore, Dubai and Brazil.

The success of Sahara Group, a company founded by Tonye Cole is simply astounding, more so because it is a 100% indigenously grown company from Nigeria, competing with established giants in the energy industry.

In Tonye’s words “Entrepreneurs require very little to get started, primarily their talents, their dreams, their self-belief and their determination. The myth about access to huge amounts of capital being required to commence is often times proved wrong in the story of all legitimately successful entrepreneurs”

Tonye is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, and Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil.  Before he founded Sahara Group in 1996; Tonye, as an Architect worked in a Brazilian architectural firm Grupo Quartro SA in Goiania Brazil from 1990-92.

He was involved in the design and implementation of the urban planning and city development of Palmas, the capital city of the newly created state of Tocantins in far-away South America. He later moved to Nigeria, and was quickly employed as the Director of Operations EMSA S.A., a Brazilian Civil Engineering Company.

Tonye Cole is a Judge of THE NEXT TITAN for the 4th year running

Chris Parkes

Chairman/CEO, CPMS Africa

Chris Parkes is the founder of CPMS Africa, a Marketing Solutions Company with offices in Nigeria: (Lagos, Kano, Calabar), South Africa, and Ghana.  Chris has over thirty five years’ experience in the advertising and marketing industry, eight years in the UK with top agencies, plus his own partnership in London, clients included, American Express International Dollar Card & TC’s, MasterCard, Securicor Granley, and Browning.  Fifteen years in South Africa with Lintas and then his own business, working on Levers, Standard Bank, SAA, SAR, Allied, KFC and Kimberley Clarke.

Later Chris moved to Madagascar where he set up an Advertising Agency, an import export company and finally a billboard company for a South African agency. This proved to be highly successful with the country’s top brands becoming long term clients. Over sixteen years in Nigeria, six of them building Tequila Nigeria from scratch to become the largest BTL Company under his management working for British American Tobacco, Guinness Nigeria Plc, MTN and a number of other top clients.

CPMS Africa (Chris Parkes Marketing Solutions) was established in July 2002. Over the years British American Tobacco, Guinness, Zain, Etisalat and many others have enjoyed the CPMS experience. Nigerian Breweries Plc and Distell South Africa joined CPMS in the last four years to maintain the high quality client portfolio.

In his words “We believe we are the most professional, effective and integrated through the line consultancy specializing in advertising, trade marketing, sponsorship and event marketing in West Africa”.

Chris Parkes is a Judge of THE NEXT TITAN for the 4th year running

Lilian Olubi

CEO, Primera Africa Securities Ltd

Lilian Olubi is a seasoned investment manager with about 20 years of Capital Markets experience. She is a founding Partner and member of the Board of Directors of Primera Africa Finance Group, a leading boutique Investment and Financial Services group which operates four business lines; Securities Trading, Financial Advisory, Consumer Finance and Principal Investments.

She also serves as Chief Executive Officer of one of the group’s subsidiary companies, Primera Africa Securities Limited, which provides Equities and Fixed Income trading and actionable investment research to its Domestic and International clients.

Lilian began her Securities trading career at CSL (a member of the FCMB group), working in various capacities spanning Operations, Investment Management and Research before joining the Sales & Marketing team. Prior to Primera Africa Securities, she worked at Afrinvest West Africa Limited as Head of its Private Client Services overseeing the marketing functions and initiatives across its branches.

She is a Chartered Stockbroker and Authorized Dealing Clerk of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, an Associate of the Certified Pensions Institute of Nigeria and an alumna of the Lagos Business School.

In addition to her passion for the development of the Capital market in Nigeria, Lilian is also passionate about social development in areas of education, image building and youth empowerment; she volunteers with a few non-governmental endeavours and often trains on personal finance and ‘employability’.

She is a member of the board of trustees of Arise Africa Foundation, an initiative that empowers young graduates with technical and soft skills to succeed in the professional and business world.

One of her more recent endeavours is the founding of “The Girl Child Global Services”, a business and social venture aimed at offering mentorship, esteem building and entrepreneurial support to a broad age spectrum of the female gender.

An advocate of social capitalism, she believes strongly that social enterprise and SMEs- and more often than not, a blend of the two- are the engine house of any strong economy.

Lilian is happily married and blessed with two lovely children.

Lilian Olubi is a Judge of THE NEXT TITAN for the 3rd year running.