By Henry Uche

Opeyemi Omotayo is a business development expert and marketing strategist. She currently serves as the Head of Business Development at Reap & Arcenciel Limited, a financial advisory and management consulting firm dedicated to helping African female entrepreneurs succeed by providing valuable support in the areas of funding, marketing, management and methodologies. 

In this interview with Daily Sun recently, Omotayo gave the panacea on how the federal government can resuscitate the nation’s crumbling economy. These are her own words; “My advice to the federal government to revive the economy would be to invest in infrastructure, support SMEs, promote innovation and diversify the economy. Other measures include improving the ease of doing business, investing in human capital, enhancing trade and investment, practicing fiscal responsibility, addressing corruption, and prioritizing sustainable development.

Omotayo noted that it is only when these measures are put in place, can economic activities be stimulated in order create jobs, attract investment, and ensure long-term growth and prosperity. 

There are numerous leadership, management and administrative professional bodies in Nigeria. Despite all, Nigeria is inextricably enmeshed in maladministration, mismanagement & draconic leadership especially in the public space. What is the problem with leaders across board? 

Despite the presence of various leaderships, management, and administrative professional bodies in Nigeria, even the universities, the country continues to grapple with maladministration, mismanagement, and draconic leadership, particularly in the public sector. The underlying problem with leaders across the board lies in issues such as corruption, lack of accountability, weak institutional frameworks, poor governance structures, and a failure to prioritize the common good over personal interests. These systemic challenges hinder effective leadership and governance, perpetuating a cycle of underdevelopment and dissatisfaction among citizens. 

What candid advice would you offer business leaders in this critical time? 

In this critical time, I would advise business leaders to prioritize agility and adaptability. It’s essential to stay flexible and ready to pivot strategies quickly in response to changing market conditions and customer needs. Additionally, fostering a strong digital presence and embracing technology can help businesses remain competitive and reach customers effectively, especially in times of uncertainty. Building resilience within the organization, both in terms of operations and workforce, is crucial for navigating challenging circumstances. Finally, maintaining open communication with employees, customers, and stakeholders is vital for transparency and trust-building, which are essential for weathering any storm. 

How can organizations boost employees’ morale and dedication, at the same time, increase customer loyalty? 

Organizations can boost employee morale and dedication while increasing customer loyalty by fostering open communication, recognizing and rewarding employees, investing in their development, promoting work-life balance, empowering them with autonomy, creating a positive work environment, instilling a customer-centric culture, providing customer service training, establishing feedback loops, and leading by example. These strategies contribute to engaged and motivated employees who are committed to delivering exceptional customer experiences, ultimately fostering customer loyalty. 

What would marketing strategists do to boost sales amidst hyperinflation and depleted disposable income? 

To boost sales amid hyperinflation and depleted disposable income, marketing strategists should focus on value-based pricing, targeted promotions, emphasizing affordability, product innovation, implementing customer loyalty programs, forming strategic partnerships, leveraging digital channels, offering flexible payment options, engaging with the community, and continuously monitoring and adapting strategies to changing economic conditions. 

As a business development expert, what advice would you offer federal government to resuscitate the crumbled economy? 

My advice to the federal government to revive the economy would be to include investing in infrastructure, supporting SMEs, promoting innovation, diversifying the economy, improving the ease of doing business, investing in human capital, enhancing trade and investment, practicing fiscal responsibility, addressing corruption, and prioritizing sustainable development. These measures aim to stimulate economic activity, create jobs, attract investment, and ensure long-term growth and prosperity. 

These are the right things to do; now. However, do you think political leaders are ignorant of all these or they deliberately chose not to deliver these things you mentioned and more?

It’s difficult to make blanket statements about the intentions of all political leaders, as motivations can vary widely among individuals and groups. Some leaders may genuinely prioritize the development of their country and work towards implementing necessary reforms, while others may prioritize personal gain or political power. Additionally, challenges such as corruption, bureaucratic inefficiencies, and competing interests can hinder progress even when leaders have good intentions. It’s essential for citizens to hold their leaders accountable and advocate for policies that promote the long-term development and prosperity of their country. 

Do you see Nigeria becoming better than what we have today- economically? 

Nigeria has the potential to improve economically through various avenues such as investing in infrastructure, diversifying the economy beyond oil, improving governance and transparency, fostering entrepreneurship, and investing in education and healthcare. It’s a complex process, but with strategic planning and implementation, positive change is possible.

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In the academic world, do you think Nigerian graduates are well prepared and equipped for the future challenges in global place of work? 

Nigerian graduates possess a diverse range of skills and talents, but there may be areas where improvement is needed to better prepare them for the global workplace. Enhancing practical skills, fostering critical thinking, and promoting adaptability can help Nigerian graduates navigate the challenges of the global workforce more effectively. Additionally, exposure to international perspectives and opportunities for hands-on experience can further enhance their readiness for the future workplace.

Some people are of the opinion that men should step aside from the stage for women, given the economic downturn of the country today.  Do you believe women would do better in leadership, even at the top? 

The effectiveness of leadership isn’t determined solely by gender but by a combination of qualities like vision, empathy, decisiveness, and competence. Women have proven to be successful leaders in various fields, including politics, but success or failure in leadership roles depends on individual abilities rather than gender alone.

Women can bring unique perspectives and leadership styles to any role, including the presidency or state government positions. However, success in these roles depends on a range of factors, including individual capabilities, experience, policies, and societal dynamics.

While diversity in leadership can bring fresh approaches and perspectives, it’s important to evaluate candidates based on their qualifications, track record, and ability to address the challenges at hand rather than solely on gender. 

Even in politics, many people have also asked political parties to reserve governorship (even Presidential) tickets exclusively for women for obvious reasons. Do you think women can rescue Nigerian from this current state of economic woes? 

The proposal for a law to exclusively allow women to contest for the governorship or presidency of Nigeria is based on the belief that women can potentially rescue the country from its current economic challenges, considering the perceived failure of male leadership. 

As an advocate of women development, tell us about your platform that has empowered 800 female entrepreneurs, in practical terms. 

4M4W Limited, a subsidiary of Reap and Arcenciel is a financial advisory and management consulting firm dedicated to helping African female entrepreneurs succeed by providing valuable support in the areas of funding, marketing, management and methodologies. 

With our records of empowering women-led businesses, we strive to elevate your brand and drive growth through innovative and effective business management strategies. Our vision is to foster a global community of strong, resilient, and innovative female business leaders in Africa. We aim to empower and support female entrepreneurs by providing them with the knowledge, resources, and connections necessary to thrive in the business world.

Can you give a brief on your impact on humanity, so far? 

In various domains, I have made noteworthy contributions. These include: active involvement as a dedicated member of the Rotary Club, where I engage extensively in voluntary initiatives. Additionally, I am deeply committed to supporting women’s empowerment through volunteering with multiple NGOs. Furthermore, my passion for environmental conservation is evident through initiatives aimed at transforming waste into valuable resources, thus contributing to a more sustainable future for generations. 

What would you tell young women who want to be responsible in life? 

Trust yourself to navigate challenges and pursue your goals independently; Set clear and achievable goals. Break them into smaller steps for manageable progress and focus on continuous improvement; Prioritize education and skill development. Seek out learning opportunities to enhance your knowledge and abilities. 

More so, build a support network of mentors, peers, and allies. Leverage connections for guidance, advice, and opportunities; make the most of available resources, whether online, community-based, or local networks. Be proactive in seeking out support and opportunities; and embrace persistence and resilience. Stay committed to your goals, persevere through challenges, and learn from setbacks. 

As a matter of fact, take charge of your finances. Budget wisely, save regularly, and make informed financial decisions for long-term stability. Also be open to new experiences and growth opportunities. Step out of your comfort zone and seize opportunities for personal and professional development.

Maintain integrity and uphold your values in all endeavors. Your reputation and integrity are invaluable assets in building trust and credibility. Recognize and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. Use successes as motivation to keep striving for excellence. 


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