After 11 years of engineering a turn-around that placed UAC of Nigeria Plc. on course to becoming a N100billion topline organization, its immediate Past Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Larry Ephraim Ettah, finally takes a bow today.
Aside from his boardroom dexterity and sagacious managerial skills, not many reckon that Larry Ettah is a sports aficionado and made good use of it, laced with entertainments, to drive the UACN brand into many homes and inscribed it on the minds of several families in Nigeria.
His policy of taking UACN back to Nigerians began with The Real Nigerian Show. It’s a Quiz programme on the geopolitical landscape of Nigeria spiced with comedy. Participants on the show, hosted by topflight comedians are Nigerian undergraduates from tertiary institutions across the country.
In course of opening up the UAC brand to the Nigerian public, under his watch, the company repackaged its communications strategies making use of modern programme techniques whose appeal cut across every segment of the Nigerian family. Such innovations include The UAC Laff Hour; a comic analysis of trending issues, UAC Soccer Laff Lines; a Sports talk show laced with comedy.
UAC Unscripted is the doyen of the conglomerate’s engagement with the Nigerian family through television. The programme features two celebrity couples in tango every episode.
Top celebrities from Nollywood, Music and Entertainment industries participated in the highly hilarious programme that ran for a massive 7 quarters. They answer questions and play games in an attempt to showcase and promote family values.
At the end of the programme anchored by top comedians such as Okey Bakassi, Barsorge Tariah Jnr. and MC Abbey in succession, a winner may emerge or it’s the popular ‘no winner, no vanquished.’ On radio was Mr. Biggs 2-minute hourly updates on Mr. Biggs Santa Klaus visit to families in their homes during the yuletide and Gala Soccer Fan Base; a Football & Comedy Radio Show.
All these catapulted the UAC brand and its products into the centre of the lives of families and consumers cutting across every stratum of the society and the company grew by leaps and bound.
Still on sports, during the Larry Ettah era, the UAC of Nigeria Plc’s flagship sports event, the UAC Trophy Race made a bold return. Although Sailing remains a relatively unknown sport in Nigeria, the objectives of the event were to help create more awareness and as well as strengthen UAC brand’s love for the sport which dated back to many decades.
The company sponsored quite a number of Squash tournaments at the Squash section of the Lagos Country Club, where Larry Ettah was a former Chairman and the O’Trafford Squash Club where he is the founder and also a former chairman. Aside that, he is an avid swimmer who also loves sailing.
There is also the UAC Goodness League, a unique school vacation programme under which the company bounded with future leaders and families.
“UAC Goodness League is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative has offered free classes to Lagos secondary school students.
The free weekend classes, which focuses on two key areas, the weekend classes and career and guidance counselling sessions, address the hard and soft issues in the educational sector. The classes are targeted at senior secondary school III (SSS3) students and it holds mostly during the summer holiday period.
The volunteers, which comprises of UAC members of staff not only expose the students to quality teaching and instructions but also provide counselling to participants. The classes follow strict guidelines and curricula of the state government and are supervised and monitored by representatives of the Lagos State Government Education Districts.
The utmost tribute to his leadership came from UAC Plc., in its response to his retirement, the company reacts “It is on record that UAC of Nigeria Plc under Larry’s capable leadership has seen a decade of strong performance, growth and significant transformation.
We thank Larry for his invaluable contributions to the Group in almost 30years of service, half of which have been on the Board. Larry will always have an honoured place in the memory of the Company and, on behalf of the Board, we offer him the respect and gratitude of UACN”
Mr. Ettah had started his career as a Management Trainee in UAC of Nigeria Plc in 1988 and held several senior management positions in UAC of Nigeria Plc before he was appointed an Executive Director of UAC of Nigeria Plc in 2004.
He became the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of UAC of Nigeria Plc on 1st January 2007 and in December 2017 retired after 30 years of meritorious service to UAC of Nigeria PLC. Mr Ettah holds a B.Sc. degree in Industrial Chemistry (1985) and an MBA (1988) both from University of Benin.
A graduate of the renowned Executive Programme of Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, he has also attended Executive Education Programmes of Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Harvard Business School, USA, SAID Business School, Oxford University UK, and IMD Lausanne, Switzerland.
Larry Ettah is the Chairman of UAC Property Development Company, UPDC, Portland Paints and Products Plc., Livestock Feeds Plc., The former UAC of Nigeria Group Managing Director is a non-Executive Director of Coronation Merchant Bank and President, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association.
Larry Ephraim Ettah, a keen sportsman and fitness enthusiast, has been a squash devotee for over 20yrs. He is the President and Founder of O’Trafford Squash Club, Ikoyi, a former chairman of the Squash section of the Lagos Country Club, is an avid swimmer who also loves sailing.