Board of Directors

The BATN Foundation is registered as a company limited under guarantee, with a Board of Directors responsible for its general control and management.

Our Directors’ other responsibilities include setting strategies, establishing policies, ensuring accountability and compliance with regulations, maintaining fiscal oversight and promoting the activities of the Foundation. The day-to-day management of the Foundation is the responsibility of the General Manager.

The current Chairman of the BATNF is (Dr.) Chief Kola Jamodu (OFR.) His predecessors were Dr Joseph Sanusi, Dr Christopher Kolade (CON), Chief Kola Daisi (CON), and Chief Olu Akinkugbe, pioneer Chairman of the BATNF.

Our Directors

Chief Kola Jamodu (OFR)

Chairman, British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation

Chief Kola Jamodu is a former Minister of Industry and alumnus of Harvard Business School. A Chartered Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), Chief Jamodu is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK (CIMA), Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN.).

His work experience spans the multinational sector in Nigeria, having worked in UAC, Unilever and PZ Industries where he rose to the position of Chief Executive. Chief Jamodu was later appointed Chairman of PZ Industries, thus holding the joint position of Chairman and Group Chief Executive of the Group. He has also held the position of President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN.)
Chief Jamodu is currently the Chairman of the Boards of Nigerian Breweries plc, PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc and Nutricima limited. He is a recipient of National Merit Awards including Member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR), Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR), and Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFR.) He is also a recipient of the National Productivity Merit Award in 1997, having been adjudged the most Productive Chief Executive.

Falalu Bello (OFR, FCIB), Danmasnin Zazzau

Director, British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation

Mr Bello studied Law at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and was called to the Bar in 1979.  He began his professional career as a magistrate with the Kaduna State Judiciary in 1980, and was at different times Senior Legal Executive/Acting Company Secretary of New Nigerian Investment Limited, Company Secretary and Legal Adviser of National Freight Company Limited, and Commissioner for Trade and Industry in Kaduna State in 1983.

Mr Bello joined the banking industry in 1984 as a Senior Manager with the then Habib Nigeria Bank Limited and rose to become the bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in 1994. Since then he has managed three other banks, namely the then Intercity Bank Plc (1998-2001), Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative & Rural Development Bank now Bank of Agriculture (2001-2002) and Unity Bank Plc from January 2006 to 2011. In addition Mr Bello has held various positions as Chairman, Director or Trustee of over ten organisations, including the Kaduna State Industrialisation Trust Fund, the Farmers Supply Company, and First Interstate Merchant Bank Ltd.

Mr Bello has attended several professional courses, including Harvard Business School’s Programme for Management Development in 1994, and Corporate Leadership Course in 2008.

Yusuf Ageni

Director, British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation

Mr Ageni studied Microbiology at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, and subsequently obtained a master’s degree (MBA) Business Administration at the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. His professional career began in 1977 at Abbot Laboratories, an American pharmaceutical company, after which he moved to Nestle Nigeria Plc and later Nigerian Breweries, where he rose to senior management positions in Sales, Marketing and Procurement.  Mr Ageni retired from Nigerian Breweries in 2012 as Head of the Corporate Affairs division.


 Chris McAllister

Area Head, British American Tobacco West Africa Area

Mr McAllister joined BAT/Rothmans in 1994 as Financial Controller in Zaire (now the DRC.) In 1999, he left the BAT/Rothmans Group and joined McKinsey & Co as an Engagement Manager in their European Consumer Goods Practice. In 2004 he re-joined BAT, where he became the Africa Middle East Regional Strategy Director from 2005 to 2006 based in South Africa. In 2006 he was appointed as the Area Finance Director for sub-Saharan Africa based in Kenya, a position he held until 2008. He was based at the BAT Group headquarters in the UK for five years, during which he held the position of Group Head of Treasury. In 2013 Mr McAllister was appointed Finance Director of the BAT West Africa Area. He was appointed to the BATN Foundation in September 2013.

Beverley Spencer-Obatoyinbo
Area Director, Swiss Cluster and GMCI, British American Tobacco

Mrs Spencer-Obatoyinbo joined Rothmans in 1997 from the pharmaceutical industry, and moved to British American Tobacco after the merger of the two companies. Since then she has held various marketing and general management roles across Africa including Head of Trade Marketing and Distribution and later Marketing Director, in Nigeria. In 2007 she moved to British American Tobacco Egypt as General Manager, was appointed Area Director of British American Tobacco West Africa in April 2010, and moved to her current role in 2012. Mrs Spencer-Obatoyinbo was appointed to the board of the BATNF in September 2010.


Anthony Copty
Area Head of Finance, British American Tobacco West Africa Area

Mr Copty is a US certified public accountant with an MBA in Finance and a BSc in Accounting and Finance. He started his career with Arthur Anderson in 1996 before moving on to hold the position of Financial Controller in the biggest chain of department stores in Lebanon with French affiliation from 2001 until 2003. Mr Copty joined BAT in Beirut, Lebanon as Finance Manager for Levant / Yemen and moved to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as Finance Director in December 2005 where he spent two and a half years before taking up the position of Regional Operations Finance Manager for Africa and the Middle East in April 2008. He was appointed West Africa Area Finance Director in July 2014.

Freddy Messanvi

Area Head, Legal and External Affairs, British American Tobacco West Africa

Mr Messanvi holds a master’s degree in Public Law and Marketing from the Protestant University of Congo and the Bordeaux Management School.  His career with British American Tobacco began in 2001 when he joined the company as a management trainee. Since then he has held various roles, including Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs (CORA) and Legal at BAT Congo. In April 2008 he joined the West Africa markets, was based in Dakar, and was responsible for 24 countries as Head of CORA. In January 2013 Mr Messanvi took on his current role as Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Director responsible for the West Africa Area.

Flora Okereke

Head of Regulatory Engagement, British American Tobacco

Mrs Okereke studied Law in the UK and was called to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1988. In 1996 she was called to the Bar of England and Wales (Middle Temple.) In 2000 she re-qualified as a solicitor and was admitted to the Law Society of England and Wales. Mrs Okereke worked as a commercial litigation solicitor at a firm in the City of London, before joining British American Tobacco in 2001 as Legal Director. In 2005 she took on additional responsibility as Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Director, where she drove BAT Nigeria’s social responsibility programme and initiated the charitable projects of the BATN Foundation (BATNF.) She was appointed to the board of the BATNF in February 2003 and is currently the Head of Regulatory Engagement, based at the British American Tobacco headquarters in the UK.

Oluwaseyi Ashade
Executive Director, BATN Foundation / Head, Corporate Affairs, British American Tobacco West Africa Area

Mrs Ashade joined BAT Nigeria as a Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Executive in 2009 and progressed to Internal Communications Manager in 2011. She was appointed Sustainability Manager in 2014 and became Area Head of Corporate Affairs in 2015.
As a communications professional she has over a decade of experience in media relations, external and internal communications, sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). She has also worked in the telecommunications sector and other multinational FMCG companies. Mrs Ashade holds a certification from the Lagos Business School. She is particularly passionate about sustainable development, female empowerment and education, and often volunteers to support these causes.

General management

Abimbola Okoya

General Manager,  British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation

As General Manager Ms. Okoya oversees the daily operations of the Foundation. She has over ten years’ experience in Development, Business Management and Consumer Marketing, as well as two Masters Degrees in Marketing Management and Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility. She also obtained certifications for her participation in Growing Enterprise Leaders and in Community Development Service at Pan Atlantic University and the World Bank Institute respectively.