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CBN Approves Appointment of Ogbonna as Access Bank MD as Wigwe Quits

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Roosevelt Ogbonna

By Dipo Olowookere

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved the appointment of Mr Roosevelt Ogbonna as the new Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank as the current occupier of the position, Mr Herbert Wigwe, plans to leave.

A statement from the lender said Mr Ogbonna, who is presently the Deputy Managing Director of the bank, will assume office on May 2, 2022.

The new MD is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy Business School. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from IMD Business School, Switzerland.

He is taking over from Mr Wigwe, who has now been appointed as the Group MD of Access Holdings Plc following the completion of the scheme of arrangement between Access Bank Plc, which is now a banking subsidiary, and holders of its fully-paid ordinary shares of 50 kobo each resulting in the listing of Access Holdings as the parent entity of the lender and related group companies on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited.

Mr Wigwe, a financial expert with over 30 years of professional experience, has been the MD/CEO of Access Bank since 2014.

He joined the company in 2002. Before then, he worked at GTBank and spent more than 10 years, rising to become the Executive Director in charge of Institutional Banking.

Also, the CBN has approved the appointment of Mr Victor Etuokwu as the Deputy MD of Access Bank in charge of Retail North.

Mr Etuokwu was appointed as an Executive Director of the bank in 2012 and was renewed in 2022 following the expiration of his second tern. He has nearly 30 years of banking experience cutting across Operations, Information Technology, Business Development and Retail Banking.

He started his professional career in Citibank Nigeria where he served in various capacities, including Head of Operations and Records and Reconciliations. He joined Access Bank in 2003 and has led several critical projects including the merger with the defunct Intercontinental Bank and Diamond Bank.

In addition, the appointment of Mrs Chizoma Okoli as the Deputy MD for Retail South has been authorised by the apex. She was an executive trainee in the defunct Diamond Bank and rose to become an Executive Director in 2016.

Mrs Okoli joined the board of Access Bank after Diamond Bank merged with Access Bank in 2019 and was appointed as the Executive Director for Business Banking Division.

Speaking on the appointments, the Chairman of the board, Mr Bababode Osunkoya, said the development reflects the “robustness of our leadership succession plan and our decision to considerably strengthen our retail business while harnessing the potentials of SMEs and financial inclusion towards the attainment of the group’s strategy.”

He further said the “appointees have been selected based on their exceptionally rich, professional, academic and corporate board experiences, which are all relevant to the needs of our board.

“We are deeply convinced that their skills will no doubt continue to add significant value to our bank’s quest to become Africa’s Gateway to the World.”

Meanwhile, Mr Adeolu Bajomo has resigned his position as the Executive Director in charge of Information Technology and Operations of Access Bank with effect from September 30, 2022, to pursue “other personal interests.”

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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MTN Assures Nigerians Affordable Financial Services as MoMo PSB Begins Operations

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MoMo PSB

By Adedapo Adesanya

MTN Nigerian Communications Plc has announced that its fintech subsidiary, MoMo PSB Limited, has formally commenced commercial operations in the country.

In a notice on Thursday at the Nigerian Exchange, MTN said the development followed a successful pilot initiated on May 16, 2022, in commemoration of the launch of its GSM operations on May 16, 2001, and listing by introduction on the Nigerian Exchange Limited on May 16, 2019.

“Indeed, this is a key milestone in delivering the company’s Ambition 2025 strategic priorities,” the notice said.

The company said with an expansive agent network of over 166,000 active agents and digitized partnership infrastructure, MoMo PSB “is poised to enable millions of unbanked and under-banked Nigerians to access a wide range of financial service products.

“MoMo PSB will continue to scale its agent network in order to reach Nigerians across the country and remove friction from everyday payment by digitizing cash payment.

“By dialling *671# on any network, customers can open a MoMo wallet, send money to any phone number in the country and pay their bills.

“In addition, MoMo wallets in the future will enable Nigerians in the Diaspora to send money to any phone number in the country, an important feature given Nigeria’s ranking as the destination for the highest remittance inflow in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The CEO of MTN Nigeria, Mr Karl Toriola, appreciated the support and guidance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the process and noted that this will help the country’s financial inclusion.

“This is an important milestone for MTN Nigeria in our mission to support the government’s drive towards financial inclusion in Nigeria. Not just for those in urban centres and markets, but also people in the rural and remote areas of the country who remain excluded from the financial system,” he stated.

On his part, MoMo PSB CEO, Mr Usoro Usoro said: “Providing easy to use, accessible and affordable financial services to all Nigerians is essential to executing the CBN’s financial inclusion strategy and digital inclusion agenda of the Minister of communications and Digital Economy.

“We look forward to playing our part and are excited about the opportunities to partner with relevant institutions across various sectors to co-create and expand access nationwide.”

This is coming on the same day that MTN’s rival, Airtel announced its subsidiary, SmartCash Payment Service Bank Limited (SmartCash PSB), has commenced operations in Nigeria.

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Airtel Commences SmartCash Payment Operations in Nigeria

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SmartCash Payment

By Adedapo Adesanya

Airtel Africa has announced that its subsidiary, SmartCash Payment Service Bank Limited (SmartCash PSB), has commenced operations in Nigeria.

Services will initially be available at selected retail touchpoints, and operations will be expanded gradually across the country over the next few months.

Speaking on the development, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, Airtel Africa chief executive officer, said, “I am very excited to announce our commencement of operations for financial services in Nigeria through SmartCash PSB. This is the beginning of our journey to revolutionise the financial services landscape in the country.

“To help further digitise the economy, and most importantly to help bank the unbanked by reaching the millions of Nigerians who do not currently have access to financial services by delivering current and savings accounts, payment and remittance services, debit and prepayment cards and more sophisticated services.”

This is coming less than one month after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) granted the company the license to operate mobile money services in the country.

The licence will enable the telco to expand its digital financial products and reach the millions of Nigerians that do not currently have access to traditional financial services.

It will also be able to augment plans by the Nigerian Government, the CBN, and traditional financial institutions to further deepen financial inclusion in the country for the benefit of all citizens and the Nigerian economy.

Airtel Africa is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services with a presence in 14 countries across Africa.

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Advans La Fayette Microfinance Bank Introduces Education Loans

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Advans La Fayette

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A leading microfinance bank supporting small businesses, Advans La Fayette Microfinance Bank Limited, has introduced education loans aimed to provide funding support to school owners and parents.

A statement from the small lending institution said the education loan products created for its customers are the Advans School Boost, Advans Eduloan and Advans Kiddies.

It was explained that the Advans School Boost is a product designed to provide working and investment capital for school owners, Advans Eduloan is to assist parents to pay their children’s school fees with ease, while the Advans Kiddies is high-yield savings account to help parents save towards the future of their children while still earning interest.

According to the Marketing and Communication Manager of Advans La Fayette MFB, Mr Kayode Abraham, “The process of accessing the education loans is neither rigorous nor daunting.”

“Simply visit our website: www.advansnigeria.com to complete the application form and receive the funds immediately, if eligible,” he advised.

The Project Manager of Advans La Fayette MFB, Ms Fanny Belhomme, stated that, “Advans School Boost allows school owners to access loans up to N75 million to cover school expenses. The loan has a very competitive interest rate, a flexible repayment plan and no hidden costs.

“Parents can access up to N500,000 with the Advans Eduloan, to pay their children’s school fees. The loan is easy to access, with a low-interest rate and flexible repayment plans,” she added.

The Managing Director of the lender, Mr Gaëtan Debuchy, while speaking at the unveiling of the products at the Shoregate Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos, disclosed that the firm came up with the loan packages because “we recognised that lack of finance is one of the biggest banes of education.”

“Emboldened by the fact that investment in quality education yields the best dividend, we created these products to offer solutions to the challenge. As a leading microfinance bank, we are focused on providing premium financial services to our customers,” he added.

Advans Nigeria is a member of Advans Group; a leading international microfinance group currently serving over 1.1 million clients in 10 countries including Cambodia, Cameroon, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Pakistan, Nigeria, Tunisia and Myanmar.

For more than 15 years, the bank has offered a complete range of financial services that has helped build over 4 million small businesses.

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