Dr. Waheed A. Olagunju

Former Executive Director, Bank of Industry Limited.


Dr Waheed A. Olagunju retired from the Bank of Industry in April 2019 after a distinguished career that spanned 28 years. He began his banking career with BOI’s precursor institution the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB) in 1990 as a Senior Manager and rose to the position of Executive Director, Business Development (ED,BD) in 2012. He was reassigned as Executive Director, Small and Medium Enterprises (ED,SME) in August 2014. Dr. Olagunju acted twice as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the bank between April and May 2014 as well as between February 2016 and May 2017 in addition to his responsibilities as ED,BD and ED,SME. Under his leadership of the SME Directorate, the bank’s annual lending to SMEs rose phenomenally to N5.6 billion in 2015 which represented 205% increase over the average annual lending of N1.8 billion to SMEs in previous years. The trend was sustained such that by 2018 the annual disbursements to SMEs peaked at N28.3bn from N26bn in 2017 and N8.2bn in 2016.

Under his watch as Acting MD & CEO between 2016 and 2017, the bank recorded remarkable improvements that culminated in BOI’s ratings by international and domestic rating agencies being upgraded and affirmed by 2016. While Moody’s assigned BOI Aa1 in 2016 up from Ba3 of 2015, Agusto’s rating of AA- in 2016 was higher than A+ of 2015. AA+ assigned by Fitch in 2015 was affirmed in 2016.

Over a period of twenty-eight (28) years Dr. Olagunju headed five different departments/directorates that included serving as Company Secretary for sixteen (16) years, and concurrently as General Manager Strategic Planning, Corporate Secretariat and Corporate Communications for six (6) and subsequently as Executive Director for six (6) years.

Within this period, he worked closely with six (6) Chief Executive Officers of NIDB/BOI, all the Board Chairmen and Directors as well as supervising Ministers. He was actively involved with the reconstruction of NIDB into BOI (2000-2001) and the consolidation of the mandates of NIDB, the Nigerian Bank for Commerce and Industry (NBCI) and the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) into that of the Bank of Industry, Dr. Olagunju worked closely with Messrs KPMG, the consultancy firm that was engaged to handle the exercise and the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Industry.

In the early years of BOI, Dr. Olagunju also coordinated the institutional and management study of BOI that was undertaken between 2004 and 2005 by the Swedish Consultants (Messrs Swedish Development Advisers) who were appointed by the African Development Bank. He similarly played leading roles in the implementation of their recommendations that formed vital input into BOI’s paradigm shift that was launched in 2006 and he has for many years been a strong member of BOI’s senior management team and later its Board of Directors that propelled the bank’s highly impressive performance.

Dr. Olagunju accordingly stands out as one of the architects and strong drivers of BOI’s outstanding turnaround and transformation between 2001 and 2017 from a marginal state owned enterprise into one of Africa’s best Development Finance Institutions (DFI).

Dr. Olagunju who is one of Nigeria’s leading development practitioners and scholars bagged his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Sciences degrees from the University of Lagos in 1981 and 1984 respectively as well a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration from the Paris School of Business in 2017.

He obtained a professional certificate in Investment Appraisal and Risk Analysis from the Queens University, Canada in 2013 and a certificate in Executive Development in 2018 from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Prior to joining NIDB in August 1990, Dr Olagunju had a distinguished career with the Network News of the Nigerian Television Authority between July 1981 and July 1990 (NYSC inclusive) in the course of which he rose to become Controller of News and Head of Economy Desk by 1989. After his almost four-decade twin tracked careers in broadcasting and banking during which he had considerable domestic and international exposure.

Dr. Olagunju floated WVL Development Advisers Limited which is a development advisory outfit to enable him continue deploying his vast experience, knowledge and expertise to players in the private sector, national and subnational governments and civil society organizations across Africa as well as the international development community.