By David Sikpa
He means different things to different people. Many, who adore him, acknowledge him as a great success both in private initiative and public service.
It is fortuitous that, he has succeeded by dint of hard work, resilience, selflessness and exited poverty by Divine favour.
Muhammed Bello-Koko is a success story, from grass to grace and glory. Fondly called Koko, by admirers, associate and friends. Koko is likened to a proverbial magic wand with Midas touch and whatever he touches becomes gold.
From a humble beginning, Koko’s foray into value creation began with the advent of mobile telecommunications in Nigeria. The telecommunication sector, which became a business haven for budding entrepreneurs.
Koko however added to the value chain of the sector by selling recharge cards to end-users on the street of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. It became a huge success.
Koko also ventured into the sale of mobile phones, its accessories and providing solutions to customers who were yet to get accustomed to the new mobile technology market. He, thereafter, diversified into other business endeavours including; procurement, construction, service and ownership of lots of investment portfolios, and of course the banking industry where he made a remarkable impact.
He groomed and mentored younger bankers who were holding sway in their areas of influence.
Born on the 25th day of March,52 years ago in Koko-Besse local government Area of Kebbi State, he obtained his SSCE in Federal Government College, Sokoto and an Honour degree in Management from the University of Sokoto in 1992.
He capped his academic excellence with an MBA in 1995 from the Usman Dan Fodio University. Muhammed Bello-Koko began a career in the banking industry as an Executive trainee in banking operations at FSB International Bank PLC. While in the employ of FSB, Koko deplored his capacity in different units including, Banking officer credit, Senior banking officer, treasurer office, Assistant Manager credit and marketing, deputy manager and Branch manager, marketing respectively.
In 2005, Koko was poached from the FSB International Bank and joined Zenith Bank as manager -team head, public sector and Large Corporate. A position that distinguished him among his peers.
He rose to the position of Assistant General Manager and Zonal Head in charge of branches with the domain of both Rivers and Bayelsa states.
Through dint of hard work and resilience, Koko has been promoted a Deputy General Manager and member of the bank’s Management Committee.
Some of his awards and footprints, while working at Zenith Bank, include the 2nd most profitable branch award, most profitable branch bank-wide, Best Group OGR and taxation collection bank-wide.
Others include the Best branch in Deposit mobilisation, South-South Zone, Best Revenue Generation Branch, Best Staff in Income Revenue Deposits in South-South.In 2016.
Koko was appointed Executive Director, Finance, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) where he repositioned the Financial performance of the NPA which has assumed the status of the Federal Government leading Revenue Generation Agency.
In 2021, Koko was elevated to the topmost position; the acting Managing Director of NPA, following the suspension of the erstwhile Managing Director. Within his few months in Office, the agency is already experiencing a turnout, boosting the revenue profile of the NPA and attracting large merchant vessels to the Nigerian waters.
It has also commenced construction of Bonny deep seaport and has facilitated Port security and trade facilitation between the NPA and UK border as well as the introduction of e-document records Centre for ease of doing business.
Remarkably, NPA under Koko has continued to dismantle multiple checkpoints to check extortion and corruption in the ports and is on the path of actualising world-class status for the Nigerian ports.
Koko’s rising profile in public service has continued to endear him to stakeholders and many Nigerian youths who are influenced by his success story to work hard in a bid to actualize their dreams