Following the launch of the program earlier this year and a rigorous shortlisting and selection process, we are happy to announce our pioneer class of Fellows:
PHD (Economics) Soochow University, PR. China
Ayodele Shittu is an economist and entrepreneurship coach. He joined the Department of Economics, University of Lagos as an Assistant Lecturer in 2010 after his resignation from the Project Office of Glo mobile, Nigeria’s leading indigenous telecommunications firm.
Dr Ayodele became a Lecturer upon his return from the Soochow University, P.R. China, where he was awarded the Ph.D. degree in Economics in 2014. He specializes in the Economics of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. His current research interests include Teenage Entrepreneurship, Youth Entrepreneurship, Informal sector Entrepreneurship and Innovations, University-industry collaborations, and Academic Entrepreneurship.
He won the Matasa Fellowship in 2016 for his contributions to the advancement of knowledge of youth entrepreneurship in Africa. He is an active member of the African Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems (AfricaLics) and the Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building System in Nigeria (NigeriaLICS).
At present, Dr Ayodele Shittu is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics, and the Deputy-Director of the Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre (ESDC) at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is also a member of the Advisory Board, Grenville Schools, Lagos, Nigeria.
PhD Candidate (Finance) Lagos Business school
Jonathan Obinna Ikeolumba is a certified chartered accountant, finance consultant and an accredited national business development service provider with over fifteen (15) years’ experience across several roles in financial management and business consulting. He is very passionate about solving complex business problems through applied research and consulting.
His specific areas of focus are financial management and sustainability. Jonathan is currently the managing partner of Officelord Consulting, a finance consulting firm and is also a member of the finance faculty at the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC, Pan African University), the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Nigeria (ICAN).
He has collaborated and volunteered for a number of notable leading local and international brands such as GTBank, Access Bank, Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) , Google, Bank of Industry, Development Bank of Nigeria, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Fate Foundation, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, International Finance Corporation, Association of Chartered Certified Accountant, OXFAM International etc, in building the finance capabilities for MSMEs in Nigeria.
He is currently a Finance Doctoral candidate at the University of Lagos Business School.
PhD (Economics) University of South Africa
Dr Motunrayo Akinsola is an enthusiastic researcher and an adjunct lecturer at Mountain Top University. She obtained her BSc. Hons and MSc. degrees in Economics from the University of Lagos in 2008 and 2012 respectively. She has worked with the Guaranty Trust Bank as a retail banker and contributed immensely to the group’s profitability.
She recently concluded her PhD degree at the University of South Africa and is a grant recipient of the PhD thesis grant Programme of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). Her studies in the Department of Economics, University of Lagos, Nigeria, and the University of South Africa did not only provide her with a strong academic background and research experience in Economics and Econometrics but also in its application in many fields. Aside from her academic achievements, one of her career objectives is to become a pronounced academic, researcher and professional in her chosen field to contribute significantly to the gaps in knowledge, especially in Africa and the world at large.
Motunrayo has over 10 internationally recognized publications. Her research interests are in Energy and Macroeconomics; SME performance; Institution Factors and Inclusive growth; Climate Finance and Pollution. She co-authored a book chapter “Intra-African trade and Innovation in the Agricultural sector” in a book titled “Innovation, Regional Integration and Development in Africa” which highlights investment opportunities in Agriculture in Africa which are predominantly MSMEs.
PhD (Economics and Social Science Consortium) University of Missouri
Salewa is an Assistant Professor in the Business and Society Program of the Department of Social Science at York University. She has a PhD in Economics and Social Science Consortium (University of Missouri – Kansas City, 2016). Her research focuses on heterodox approaches to sustainable economic development through natural resources, and monetary theory. Her research mainly focuses on these issues in the Sub-Saharan African region. She co-edited the book “Monetary Policy and Central Banking: New Directions in Post-Keynesian Theory” (2012) and is currently editing a book, Covid 19 and the Response of Central Banks: Coping with Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As an economist with a focus on development, Salewa has conducted research on various issues such as monetary policy, housing, natural resources, fiscal policy, cooperative and solidarity banking, gender, youth development, inequality and the environment. She has spoken at numerous conferences on these issues and organized student-centered workshops.
In 2014, she was handpicked by the world-renowned economist and Nobel prize winner, Joseph Stiglitz, as one of 20 graduate students out of hundreds of applicants in an annual Advanced Graduate Workshop on inequality.
She has published in books, journals and newsletters, and she has supervised graduate students research and dissertations.
PhD Candidate (Public Policy) University of Ibadan
Aderinto Gbolagade Rilwan is a very resourceful, diligent, and hardworking management and development consultant with strong educational background and proven technical, communication, administrative, managerial, and leadership skills. He is also well-equipped with over 30 years of work experience covering technical proposal writing, project report writing, needs assessment and baseline study, impact assessment, monitoring & evaluation, social and marketing research, public policy analysis, international development, SME business development support services, public speaking, training development & facilitation, new business idea generation, business process re-engineering, business strategy development, brand development and optimization, sales and marketing, consumer banking, microfinancing, professional selling skills; personal coaching, counselling, and mentoring.
As the current Lead Consultant for MarketSight Consultancy Limited, he has developed and implemented several projects for many organizations including SMEDAN, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment/World Bank, USAID, DFID, UNICEF, Adam Smith International Development, Federal Ministry of Finance/World Bank, Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State Ministry of Adults, Technical and Vocational Education, amongst others.
Before resuming duty as the CEO for MarketSight in 2006, he worked across industrial sectors covering management consulting services, advertising, banking, and pharmaceutical, with organizations such as NovelPotta Y & R Advertising, Omegbank Plc (now Enterprise Bank), GlaxoWellcome Pharmaceuticals Limited (now GlaxoSmithKline), Glaxo Plc (now Evans Medical Plc), and Public Opinion Polls Limited.
Rilwan has a high academic prowess with bachelor’s degree in Statistics, and 3 Master’s degrees in Business Administration, Managerial Psychology, Research and Public Policy. He is presently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Ibadan specializing in Public Policy.
PhD Candidate (Economics) School of African & Oriental Studies, University of London
Wilson Erumebor currently works as a senior economist at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Nigeria’s foremost private sector-led think-tank. At the NESG, Wilson serves as the lead for several high-level research and advocacy projects including the NESG Macroeconomic Outlook report and the NESG-OSIWA Debt Management Roundtable project, which aims to address the challenge of debt sustainability in ECOWAS. Wilson’s areas of interest and expertise include macroeconomic research, industry research, structural transformation, youth development and poverty studies.
His career goal is to support the growth and development of the Nigerian economy through research, policy advocacy and the provision of advisory services to businesses. In the last few years, Wilson has provided business and economic insights as well as research services to the following organizations – Siemens Nigeria, PAC Holdings, Premium Pensions, Verakki (formerly Accenture), Phillips Consulting, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Imara Africa, Fate Foundation and Trends Research & Advisory in the United Arab Emirates, among others.
He is a recipient of the Award on Distinctive Leadership and Reform Initiatives in Economic and Policy Development in Nigeria and was among the first cohort of the Global Scholars programme at the US-based Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP).
Wilson has a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and is a PhD Researcher in Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.