Tope Fasua, founder and CEO of Global Analytics Consulting Limited, speaks to KORE OGIDAN on his career and political ambitions
Tell us about what you do.
I’m the founder and CEO of Global Analytics Consulting Limited, which is a firm that’s involved in consulting, HR management and finance. It was established in the United Kingdom in 2006 and then in Nigeria but we wound down our operation in the UK in 2014 and moved to the UAE. Right now, we are based in the UAE and in Nigeria. We are a human capital development company but we also involve ourselves in strategy management consulting. We do quite a few things with the government and other private sector entities such as banks, telecom companies, among others.
How did you get into the business?
I worked in the banking sector for about 13 years before I went to the UK for my master’s degree. Having worked in the banking sector, I wanted to do something that could give me an insight into how banking worked abroad. In investment banking, there’s an area called financial derivatives and I went for that course at the London Metropolitan University. I went to the university as a mature student of 35 years and although LMU isn’t an Ivy League university, I enrolled anyway because I wanted to get a master’s degree in London and interact with other people who worked in London. I was looking for something more hands-on as I didn’t want to go back to paid employment. I wanted something that would link me with a network. Towards the end of the programme, it was obvious to me that I was going to come back to Nigeria and get something started. I leveraged on that and started the business with a former professor of mine, Duncan Hughes, who became our first CEO in the UK, while I came back to Nigeria, even though I kept shuttling between Nigeria and the UK. Overtime, we morphed from focusing solely on finance to getting involved in management, strategy and a bit of human resources.
How did your educational background influence your career choice?
Firstly, I’m an economist. I graduated in 1991 from the old Ondo State University (now called the Ekiti State University), where I was the best graduating student in the faculty. In 1996, I qualified as a chartered accountant and I’m now a fellow of ICAN. I attended St. Christopher Primary School, Isolo, and Santa Maria Private School, Olorunshogo, Mushin. Both schools are in Lagos State. Though no one’s fault, I went to school early. We were living in Lagos at the time and one day, when I was just finishing primary four, sometime between 1980 and 1981, during Lateef Jakande’s administration as Lagos State governor, some people moved everyone in my class to form one. I was attending a Jakande school built in Okota, Lagos, at the time and I spent just one year. Afterwards, we moved to Ondo State where I attended Army Comprehensive High School from 1982 to 1985. I was offered admission to study Psychology in UNILAG and Economics in the then Ondo State University. Ondo State University was a stone-throw away from where we lived in Akure. So, obviously, I chose to study the latter.
For my NYSC, I served at the University of Calabar, the Institute of Education where I was an admin officer. They wanted me to stay back because I was very diligent.
You are also an author. What can you tell us about that side of you?
My being an author came about because I write a lot. Interestingly, when I was in secondary school, I wasn’t quite spectacular in anything. But upon getting into the university, my brain sort of opened up. Perhaps, it was from the freedom of not being at home and not afraid of anything. I had just started developing and it wasn’t until I got into the university that I started ranking ‘As’ in maths and other such subjects. I used to write a lot back then. For some reasons, when I want to express myself, I always go all out in doing so. In 2005, I took up an article column with a newspaper in Abuja and every Sunday, I’ve been writing for them since.
I’ve written six books. My first book is titled Crushed! Navigating Africa’s Tortuous Quest for Development. I wanted to explore myths and conspiracy theories and Crushed is actually an acronym for the solutions to the problems we are facing (in Africa).
What’s your motivation for running in the presidential race?
There are many reasons but the major one is that there’s a sense of urgency. I’m the kind of person who likes to get things done and not put it off for someone else to do. Also, I know exactly where Nigeria lies in the scheme of things and how bad the situation here is. For the people who think deeply, I don’t see why they are not running for the position. I’ve written somewhere before that everyone should be running for presidency. We all need to put our ideas together; all of us.
f elected, it means that you would have achieved the highest goal. What would you do when you retire?
It’s so easy for me because I’m already living like I’m in retirement. My best time is spent writing; I’ve written six books and about 3,000 articles. My actual retirement would most likely be spent in remote locations where I can think. I hope to find enough peace and money, then I can go somewhere that doesn’t have Internet. Also, maybe I’d be a grandfather by that time and I’d spend quality time with my grandkids.
For me, I take every day as it comes; one day at a time. I don’t actually plan too much. I believe that no matter what we do, we must take the opportunity to enjoy the little things of life. No matter how rich you are, if you can’t enjoy a stroll on the street or visit a buka (local restaurant) for the
What can you tell us about your background?
Though my dad is from Ondo State and my mum is from Ogun State, I like to think of myself as a citizen of the world. I’m very weary of being boxed into any state – not because I don’t want to feel local, but because I would rather not be a part of what the idea of ethnicity has done to us. I would rather liberate myself. I was born in Lagos State but moved to Akure, Ondo State, when I was about 12 years old. I had a rather stable life growing up. My dad was strict to a fault; I wonder why. I mean, I’ve never hit any of my kids, no matter what they may do. My dad was a terror and that caused a bit of friction between us, especially because I was more outspoken than others and even now, my sense of social justice is very high. I had good and bad childhood experiences but most of them are blurry now; so I don’t recall most of them.
What do you do when you are not working?
I like to play scrabble. I also like to exercise and run. My best sport is athletics, not football. I also sing – I love karaoke – and if I must say, I sing pretty well. I have an ear for music. I read and write. I don’t know whether I should call writing a hobby or work but whatever it is, I like to write.
How do you like to dress?
I like to be smartly dressed. You would probably never see me wearing baggy trousers. I don’t like it when my trousers are too tight – as it’s also been said that it’s not very good, but I like it fitted and smart. I have a few agbadas but I haven’t gotten into the culture of wearing them. I like my suits sometimes.
How would you describe your private life?
I’m happily married to my beautiful wife, Dorothy, and we are blessed with three children. My first child is in her second year in the university, the second is in secondary school and the last is in primary school. We are a very quiet family. I’m almost anti-social; I like to keep to myself. I hardly go for parties during the weekends and interestingly enough, I’ve never celebrated my birthday publicly. I cringe at self-celebration. I’ve never called people to come and celebrate with me.