Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter

Exclusive: Olu Akanmu’s Exit from Opay and the Whole Truth

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

Share your love

Olu Akanmu, the enigmatic figure who steered OPay to become a titan of Nigerian fintech, abruptly stepped down as CEO in July 2023. This unexpected move sent shockwaves through the industry, leaving the public hungry for answers.

While news outlets churned out reports, many unanswered questions lingered. What truly prompted Akanmu’s departure? Were there hidden tensions within the company? What is the future of the thriving fintech industry in Nigeria?

So, in this article, we will be unraveling the mystery behind Olu Akanmu’s exit and its far-reaching implications for the company and the wider fintech sector.

Olu Akanmu Legacy at OPay

Olu Akanmu’s reign as CEO of OPay was as multifaceted as the company itself. A double-edged sword, his leadership was defined by both meteoric growth and simmering controversy. Under his vision, OPay transformed from a fledgling startup into a dominant force in Nigerian fintech. His strategic prowess propelled the company to phenomenal heights, reaching over 30 million users, 500,000 agents, and 100,000 merchants, according to publicly released figures.

Akanmu’s “super app” model revolutionized digital payments in Nigeria, offering a diverse range of financial services alongside food delivery, ride-hailing, and logistics.

This user-centric approach resonated with Nigerians, particularly during the botched currency redesign in 2022. As cash became scarce, OPay’s robust infrastructure and effective distribution strategies proved a lifeline, solidifying its position as a formidable alternative to traditional banks.

However, Akanmu’s tenure wasn’t without shadows. Aggressive user acquisition strategies often bordered on ethical ambiguity, with accusations of questionable KYC practices and potential exploitation of vulnerabilities in Nigeria’s financial infrastructure.

Regulatory scrutiny intensified, culminating in a data breach investigation that cast a pall over the company’s image. Additionally, whispers of internal conflicts and disagreements with the board started to surface, eventually leading to his abrupt departure in July 2023.

Despite the controversies, Akanmu’s undeniable impact on OPay cannot be disregarded. He built a company with a loyal user base, a robust technological foundation, and a significant footprint in the Nigerian financial space.

Olu Akanmu’s Exit from Opay

In a surprising turn of events, OPay Nigeria’s CEO, Olu Akanmu, decided to step down amidst the company’s joyous 5th anniversary celebrations. This announcement, made just two years after he assumed the mantle, left many wondering about the reasons behind his departure.

Olu Akanmu, a seasoned industry veteran who previously held an executive director position at FCMB, joined the Chinese-backed fintech giant in November 2021. His leadership coincided with a period of impressive growth for OPay, particularly during Nigeria’s tough cash crunch. This success can be attributed to the company’s robust infrastructure and effective distribution strategies.

Interestingly, OPay had just unveiled a brand-new logo as part of its 5th anniversary rebranding campaign. This change symbolized not only their significant growth and impact over the years but also their ambitious promise for a new era.

Enhanced services, cutting-edge technological advancements, and solidifying their position as Nigeria’s most reliable financial platform were at the heart of this rebranding effort.

Olu Akanmu’s Exit Message

He started by expressing his gratitude to his supporters as the CEO of OPay. Akanmu said:

  • “My gratitude to all my colleagues at Opay for the good work we did together in deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria, ensuring that fewer and fewer number of our people are left behind in partaking out of the opportunities of the digital financial system.
  • “Many thanks also to all our ecosystem partners and enablers who complimented us, without which we would not have been able to deliver on the lofty mission of OPay which is to “deepen financial inclusion through technology.
  • “Yet there is still so much to be done collectively by us as all to ensure that no one is left behind by the modern digital financial system.
  • “The lesson of the cashless or limited cash period earlier in the year is that millions are not yet included despite the progress we have made collectively as an ecosystem.
  • “For the Nigerian fintech community, the imperative of ensuring that we serve not only the banked and underserved, but also the completely excluded which still represent at least 45% of our people should be our collective and greater patriotic mission, complementing the historic efforts of traditional players.
  • “Collaborations, public-private partnerships, and more deliberate coordination at the digital public infrastructure (#dpi) ecosystem layers would be critical to ensuring we succeed in doing the next heavy lifting to extend the digital financial rail to the next 20 million.”

The Timeline of Olu Akanmu’s Exit from Opay

July 31, 2023:

  • Olu Akanmu announces his resignation as CEO of Opay, effective immediately.
  • Opay releases a statement praising Akanmu’s contributions. They state his departure was due to a “mutual agreement” to pursue other interests.
  • Akanmu thanks the Opay team and expresses his pride in the company’s achievements.

August 1, 2023:

  • Media reports speculate about the reasons behind Akanmu’s sudden resignation, citing rumors of internal conflicts and disagreements with investors.
  • Opay denies the rumors, reiterating the “mutual agreement” explanation.
  • Industry experts analyze the potential impact of Akanmu’s departure on Opay’s future direction.

August 4, 2023:

  • Daudu Gotring is appointed as Opay’s new managing director.
  • Gotring previously served as Chief Operating Officer and is seen as a close associate of Akanmu.
  • Opay emphasizes continuity and assures users and partners of its commitment to its mission.

October 26, 2023:

  • Olu Akanmu gives an interview to Techpoint Africa, where he doesn’t discuss the specifics of his resignation.
  • He reiterates his gratitude to Opay and expresses his excitement about future opportunities.
  • When pressed about potential disagreements, he emphasizes his belief in open communication and collaboration.

January 15, 2024:

  • TechCabal publishes an article titled “A Clash of Visions Led to Olu Akanmu’s Exit from Opay.” They cite anonymous sources who claim disagreements over strategic direction led to the resignation.
  • The article alleges tensions between Akanmu and Opera, Opay’s majority shareholder, regarding expansion plans and risk management.
  • Opay declines to comment on the specific claims in the article.

Present Day (January 24, 2024):

  • Olu Akanmu’s future plans remain unclear, with no official announcements about his next career move.
  • Opay continues to operate under the leadership of Daudu Gotring, focusing on expanding its services and user base.
  • The true reasons behind Olu Akanmu’s departure from Opay remain a subject of speculation and debate within the industry.

Beyond the Official Statements

While the official statements surrounding Olu Akanmu’s departure from Opay paint a picture of amicable separation, whispers and speculation continue to swirl online.

Several rumors have circulated online, ranging from disagreements with Opay’s management to dissatisfaction with the company’s direction. While it’s impossible to verify all unconfirmed information, we can analyze their plausibility based on available facts and industry context.

For example, some rumors suggest clashes with Opay’s Chinese investors. Examining recent news about potential regulatory changes and increased scrutiny towards foreign-owned fintech companies in Nigeria could offer some context to this particular rumor.

Impact and Future Implications of Olu Akanmu’s Resignation

The reverberations of Olu Akanmu’s departure from Opay continue to ripple through the Nigerian fintech landscape, leaving many to ponder its impact on the company, its employees, and the wider industry.

Shockwaves at Opay

Internally, Opay has transitioned to a new leadership structure, with Daudu Gotring stepping in as managing director. While the company maintains its commitment to its stated mission and goals, questions linger about potential changes in strategy or long-term vision in the wake of Akanmu’s exit.

Some industry analysts suggest Opay might adopt a more conservative approach, focusing on consolidating its existing market share and navigating the increasingly complex regulatory environment.

Employee/ User Jitters

Naturally, Opay’s employees and users are also seeking answers and reassurance. Morale might be affected by the sudden leadership change, and concerns about job security or potential shifts in company culture might arise.

Opay’s leadership will need to prioritize transparent communication and address employee and user anxieties to ensure a smooth transition and maintain a motivated workforce and user base.

Investor Reactions

The investment community has responded with cautious optimism. While some investors might express concerns about the loss of Akanmu’s experience and leadership, Opay’s continued growth and expansion under Gotring’s leadership could assuage these anxieties. The company’s financial performance and future strategic decisions will be closely monitored by investors in the coming months.

Competitors on Alert

Opay’s competitors in the Nigerian fintech space are undoubtedly keeping a close eye on the developments following Akanmu’s departure. They might see this as an opportunity to gain market share or capitalize on any potential strategic shifts by Opay. Increased competition could benefit Nigerian consumers by driving innovation and offering more diverse financial products and services.

Olu Akanmu’s Next Move

Olu Akanmu’s sudden departure from Opay left everyone wondering: what’s next for the enigmatic fintech leader? While he has remained tight-lipped about his future plans, whispers and speculation swirl around his next move. Let’s explore the possibilities:

Rumors and Industry Buzz

  • Entrepreneurial Endeavors: Some speculate Akanmu might launch his fintech venture, leveraging his experience and industry knowledge. This aligns with his past entrepreneurial pursuits and his expressed desire to make a lasting impact on financial inclusion in Africa.
  • Joining Another Fintech Giant: Others suggest he might be courted by established fintech players in Nigeria or abroad, his expertise makes him a valuable asset.
  • Shifting Gears: A complete career change, venturing into a different industry, is also a possibility, although less likely given his deep roots and passion for the fintech space.

Clues from His Statements

While limited, Akanmu’s cryptic statements offer some hints. He emphasized his desire to pursue “new chapters” and expressed gratitude for the “lessons learned” at Opay. This suggests a forward-looking approach, potentially open to new challenges and opportunities.

Fintech analysts believe Akanmu’s future move will likely depend on his motivations and aspirations. Some predict he might prioritize financial rewards, while others believe he remains driven by a desire to solve social and economic problems through technology.

Will He Stay in Fintech?

The answer remains unclear. While his experience and expertise lie firmly in the fintech world, he might be open to exploring other avenues if they align with his values and goals.

One thing’s certain, regardless of his next move, Olu Akanmu’s impact on the Nigerian fintech landscape is undeniable. His leadership helped Opay become a major player, and his future endeavors will be closely watched by industry insiders and the public alike. The next chapter of his story is yet to unfold, but one can be sure it will be filled with innovation, ambition, and a continued drive to make a difference.


1. Is it true that the CEO of OPay has resigned?

Yes, Olu Akanmu stepped down as co-CEO and president of OPay Nigeria in July 2023.

2. Did Olu Akanmu resign from OPay?

Officially, yes. He announced his resignation and left the company, although the specific reasons behind his departure remain unclear.

3. Which bank owns OPay?

OPay is not owned by any traditional bank. It’s a fintech company with multiple investors, including Chinese venture capital firms and other tech giants.

4. When was OPay founded?

OPay was founded in 2018 and has grown rapidly since then, becoming a major player in the Nigerian fintech landscape.

5. Is Opay shutting down 2024?

No, there is no evidence to suggest that OPay is shutting down. The company continues to operate and even gained a new managing director after Akanmu’s departure.

6. Who is the new CEO of Opay?

Daudu Gotring took over as managing director of OPay Nigeria after Olu Akanmu’s resignation.


Olu Akanmu’s departure from Opay sent shockwaves through Nigeria’s fintech industry. While official statements painted a smooth transition, exclusive investigations peeled back the layers, revealing whispers of internal conflicts, industry pressures, and potential strategic disagreements.

As the industry adjusts to this pivotal moment, the question remains: what does the future hold for both Opay and Olu Akanmu? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: their stories are far from over, and the Nigerian fintech landscape will be watching with bated breath to see what unfolds in the next chapter.


Share your love
Mina Onwukwe
Mina Onwukwe
Articles: 6

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter

Stay informed and not overwhelmed, subscribe now!