Beauty and Brain: Hon. Stella Okotete: President Tinubu’s Ministerial Nominee and Executive Director at NEXIM Bank

Education, check! Leadership, check! Empowerment, check! Talk about excellence and innovation, Hon. Stella Erhuvwuoghene Okotete’s name rings a mighty church bell. Born on April 20th, 1984, in Warri, Delta State, she has carved an inspiring path of continuous learning and achievement. From prestigious institutions worldwide to her role as Executive Director of Business Development at the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Hon. Stella Okotete’s passionate dedication to transforming Nigeria is truly commendable.

A Scholar of Distinction:

Hon. Stella Okotete’s academic journey is an impressive testament to her thirst for knowledge and personal growth. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from Benson Idahosa University, Nigeria, and a Diploma in Law from the Rivers State College of Arts and Sciences, Nigeria.

Her quest for academic excellence led her to pursue a Master’s degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution from the National Open University of Nigeria, and she is currently pursuing an Executive Master’s in Business Administration (EMBA) at the esteemed University of Abuja, Nigeria. Her insatiable hunger for learning has also led her to acquire certifications from prestigious institutions such as Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, the University of Virginia, INSEAD Business School in France, University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School in the UK, Pan Atlantic University’s Enterprise Development Center in Nigeria, and Columbia Business School in New York, USA.

Empowering Nigeria’s Export Sector:

Appointed by His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, former President of Nigeria, as the Executive Director of Business Development at NEXIM Bank in 2017, Hon. Stella Okotete brought a wealth of diverse experiences from both the private and public sectors to her role. Leading the Business Development Directorate, she has been instrumental in driving transformative initiatives that have catalyzed economic growth and empowered entrepreneurs.

Hon. Stella Okotete’s vision for job creation and foreign exchange generation birthed the “Women and Youth Export Facility” (WAYEF) and the “Small and Medium Export Enterprise Facility” (SMEEF). These groundbreaking programs are designed to support women, youth, and small and medium enterprises in the non-oil export value chain, fostering economic diversification and sustainable development.

The Nigerian Export Academy (NEXA) is yet another testament to Hon. Stella Okotete’s visionary leadership. Launched in 2021, NEXA is a digital learning platform that equips current and potential exporters in Nigeria and beyond with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the global market.

Championing Women’s Inclusivity and Empowerment:

Hon. Stella Okotete’s commitment to women’s visibility and inclusion in governance, business, and politics is unparalleled. As the National Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress’ Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), she has been at the forefront of transformative initiatives that empower women.

Under her leadership, the Progressive Women Conference brought together over 600 women from across Nigeria, setting the stage for women’s activism and inclusivity in all governance processes. The introduction of initiatives such as the Progressive Young Women Forum, Progressive Women Academy, APC Women Lobby Group, Progressive Women Trust Fund, and Progressive Women Movement has been a driving force for mobilizing and empowering APC women, contributing significantly to the party’s success in the 2023 elections.

Digital Transformation for Inclusive Governance:

Hon. Stella Okotete’s trailblazing spirit extends to the digital space, where she leverages technology to connect with the youth and grassroots, facilitating accessible governance. As one of the youngest high-ranking women in government, her visionary approach has set new standards for communication and engagement.

From the Presidential Inauguration Website and Mobile Apps to the Nigerian Export Academy (NEXA) Mobile App, her digital initiatives have transformed the way citizens interact with the government. The launch of the Progressive Women Academy Mobile App aims to empower and prepare 20 million women for leadership and political office, further solidifying her position as a proponent for digital transformation.

A Legacy of Impact and Unity:

Throughout her journey in both public and private sectors, Hon. Stella Okotete has left a lasting legacy of positive change, empowerment, and unity. Her strategic leadership as the focal person for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Delta State led to measurable improvements in critical areas such as healthcare, education, poverty alleviation, and environmental sustainability.

As an advocate for job creation, industrialization, and economic diversification, her contributions at NEXIM Bank have opened new doors of opportunity for Nigerian entrepreneurs. With her visionary approach and digital initiatives, she has bridged the gap between the government and the people, transforming governance for the better.

Hon. Stella Erhuvwuoghene Okotete FCE, PFD, is not only a trailblazer in education and leadership but also a champion of empowerment, inclusivity, and progress. Her unwavering dedication to transforming Nigeria and making a positive impact has positioned her as a leading figure in the nation’s journey towards prosperity and development.