header image

Business in Africa Pays: Nigeria – Speakers

Business in Africa Pays: Nigeria is now over

Business in Africa Pays is planning a highly practical conference to demonstrate how to safely and profitably conduct business in Nigeria. Here are a list of the speakers you can expect to see at the conference, along with a description as to why we hand-picked them.

ADE STONE – Financial Engineer, Emirates & Sung

Ade Stone, Emirates & Sung

Mr Stone’s extensive work in Africa gives him ground-level knowledge of the ins and outs doing business in many sub-Saharan countries.

He has been involved in small and large-scale projects in many sectors such as: communications, construction, commodities and infrastructure.

We at Business in Africa Pays believe that Mr Stone is a thought leader within this subject and will make a for a informed and enlightened chair of our Nigeria focused event.

Read our interview with Mr Stone to find out why E&S is backing “Business in Africa Pays”.


Business in Africa Pays is a conduit that anybody having an interest in doing business in Nigeria and other African countries would find ideal.

Hitachi Logo

STEVE MURPHY – Vice President Emerging Markets, Hitachi Data Systems

Steve Murphy

Mr Murphy’s has 27 years experience of working in large IT companies. His career has spanned Oracle, Sun Microsystems, EMC & HP.

Steve has been at Hitachi Data Systems for 6 years. In that time he was the Managing Director of the United Kingdom & Ireland, one of the most successful regions in Europe.

Now he is the VP from CEEMEA or what we call the Emerging Markets – one of the worlds fastest growing regions and possibly the largest geographical region in Hitachi Data Systems.

In his spare time Steve competes in triathlons and marathons to keep fit. He is married with three daughters and lives in Windsor, England.

The Economist recently described Nigeria as ‘Africa’s giant that is waking up but still looking unsteady on its feet’. I will be looking at the opportunities and risks of continuing to do business in this wonderful country.

ROBYN SPENS – Director, Professional Passport

Robyn Spens Speaking at Business in Africa Pays: Nigeria

With more than 15 years of experience in business development serving a diverse mix of clients in Russia, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Robyn has traveled extensively as a consultant for Russian, French and U.S. companies.

As a keynote speaker, Robyn most recently presented at the UK Banking Forum, Google/UK and Thomson Reuters.

She is the cultural etiquette expert for JFW magazines. Her clients include Hewlett Packard, Mckinsey, and Google UK.

Robyn holds a degree in law and International Relations from the International School of Protocol and Diplomacy Brussels and the Protocol School of Washington.

Today, more than ever, we are part of a global community, and our business strategies necessarily focus on how best we conduct our activities with our partners, customers and constituents across the world. One of the most critical factors in competing successfully in this global arena is being able to work effectively across cultures.

RICHARD PUTLEY – Director, Executives in Africa Limited

Richard Putley Speaking at Business in Africa Pays: Nigeria

Richard Putley studied at Kingston University in Accountancy and Finance and initially worked in a Chartered Accountancy practice before moving into financial recruitment.

He has over 20 years professional recruitment experience, operating and managing businesses recruiting at the most senior level across commerce and industry, Sales and Marketing, IT, HR and Finance.

Richard has previously held Managing Director and Director roles within UK based international recruitment companies. Having covered the African market since 2007, he brings specialist experience in the Telecoms and FMCG sectors.

70% of Executives in Africa’s business now is recruiting individuals for their clients in Nigeria.

The financial and opportunity costs can be huge if your get the recruitment of your key personnel wrong, these costs are magnified in scale especially if you are recruiting overseas for the first time. I am really looking forward to be able to explain what YOU can do to select, assess and engage the best people for your business.

Dr OLUGBENGA COKER – Former-Chairperson, ICAN(UK)

Dr Olugbenga Coker

Olugbenga Coker worked with Coopers and Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouse-Coopers) in Nigeria before moving to the UK.

He has worked in industries including Manufacturing, Trading, Airline and the NGO sector where he is now a Finance Director.

He holds a First Class BSc in Accounting, an MSc in Financial Management and a PhD from the Kings College London.

Mr Coker is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, UK and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

He was elected Chairman of ICAN UK District 2012/13.

I’m looking forward to a stimulating discussion on the opportunities and challenges in accounting for business operations in the Nigerian Market.

GARY HASELL – Director, Central Fx

Gary Hasell

Gary has spent the last 6 years guiding clients through the myriad of challenges today’s international businesses can face when it comes to exchanging currencies.

With the current volatility seen within the exchange rates, going to market in a new territory with all of the information to hand can help you understand the risks, protect yourself and hopefully gain a competitive edge.

Exchange rates are often the last thing on the minds of a business when expanding internationally but Gary can help clients to understand why it could be one of the most important considerations any business can make.


I am speaking at Business in Africa pays as we have seen exceptional growth in the region and I would like to share my experience of clients that have been successful there.

DELE OGUN – Partner, Akin Palmer LLP

Dele Ogun

Dele Ogun was called to the Bar in 1985 and has been in practice as a Solicitor since 1995.

He obtained his LLB from London Metropolitan University in 1984 and his LL.M in Company and Commercial Law from the London School of Economics in 1987. He attended the Inns of Court School of Law for his call to the English Bar in 1985 and the Chartered Institute of Taxation to become a Chartered Taxation Practitioner.

After a number of years of employment with Price Waterhouse Coopers and practice with Hogan Lovells he founded his own law firm. His practice covers Franchise Agreements and Franchise Disputes; International Arbitration, Commercial Contracts and Commercial Litigation.

He is a partner in the Business Law Practice of Akin Palmer and a barrister and solicitor in both England and Nigeria.

I am speaking at Business in Africa Pays because everyone is talking Africa and I don’t want to be the one to miss the great conversation.

TOLU ODUGBEMI – Client Manager, Africa Matters Limited (AML)

Tolu Odugbemi

Tolu joined AML in the middle of 2012 after being recruited for his exemplary knowledge of Nigeria, particularly its energy sector. Before joining AML, Tolu had spent time working for both Shell and Chevron in Nigeria.

Although Tolu’s main expertise lies in Nigeria, he has also demonstrated his detailed grasp of broader political dynamics in West Africa and clients highly value his level of insight.

Tolu is the only engineer in AML’s team and, as such, brings a refreshingly different perspective to our internal discussions and analysis.

As a small company we are always trying to consider issues from every angle, this alternative outlook is crucial to how AML does business in sub Saharan Africa.

I am speaking at the Business in Africa Pays: Nigeria to promote the exciting opportunities that are available for investors in Nigeria. It is true there are challenges to doing business there, but these issues are surmountable and this event gives the opportunity to illustrate how profitable business can be done.