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Onyeali-Ikpe to Replace Okonkwo as Fidelity Bank MD/CEO



Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe Fidelity Bank MD

By Dipo Olowookere

In compliance with its succession policy, the board of Fidelity Bank Plc has announced that Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe will replace the current Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, when the latter retires at the end of this year.

Mr Okonkwo is expected to leave the position on December 31, 2020, upon completion of his contract tenure and in line with the bank’s governance policies.

To fill the post, the board has approved the appointment of the present Executive Director of Fidelity Bank in charge of Lagos and South West Directorate. Her appointment has also been authorised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“To ensure a smooth and successful transition, Nnamdi Okonkwo will continue in his role as the MD/CEO until December 31, 2020, while Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe will assume office as the substantive MD/CEO by January 1, 2021,” Chairman of the board, Mr Ernest Ebi, was quoted as saying in a statement on Monday.

Mr Ebi commended the MD/CEO for his significant contributions to the growth and development of the bank, confessing that, “Fidelity Bank has enjoyed a very stable leadership since inception.”

“These appointments underscore the bank’s robust human capital capabilities, governance and succession policies.

“We thank Nnamdi not only for his sterling performance but also for nurturing the new team and current crop of leaders to continue to steer the bank on its growth trajectory,” he stated.

Mr Okonkwo was appointed to the board of Fidelity Bank in April 2012 as an Executive Director and was subsequently appointed the MD/CEO on January 01, 2014.

He implemented a digital-led strategy which led to significant growth across key performance matrix and increased market share, with the bank currently ranked 6th amongst Nigerian Banks on most performance indices.

Some of his key achievements include PBT growth of 236 per cent from N9.0 billion to N30.4 billion; RoE increase from 5.5 per cent to 13.3 per cent; customer deposits growth of 68 per cent from N806.3 billion to N1.4 trillion and savings deposit growth of 275 per cent from N83.3 billion to N312.1 billion.

Other notable achievements include net loans and advances growth of 174 per cent from N426.1 billion to N1.2 trillion; customer base increase by 121 per cent from 2.4 million to 5.3 million and digital banking penetration improvement from 1.0 per cent to 50.1 per cent, accounting for 28.4 per cent of total fee income.

In addition, the bank successfully accessed the local and international markets through the issuance of N30 billion corporate bonds in 2015 and $400 million Eurobonds in 2017 under his leadership.

For the incoming MD/CEO, Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, she was appointed to the board of Fidelity Bank in 2015 as an Executive Director and currently oversees the Lagos and Southwest Directorate.

She led the transformation of the Directorate to profitability and sustained its impressive year-on-year growth across key performance metrics.

Mrs Onyeali-Ikpe has been an integral part of the current management team, responsible for the remarkable increase in the bank’s performance in the last 5 years, with the area under her direct responsibility, contributing over 28 per cent of the bank’s PBT, deposits and loans.

She has over 30 years of experience across various banks including Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Citizens International Bank/Enterprise Bank, where she held several management positions in Legal, Treasury, Investment Banking, Retail/Commercial Banking and Corporate Banking.

As an Executive Director at legacy Enterprise Bank Plc, she received formal commendation from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), as a member of the management team, that successfully turned around Enterprise Bank Plc.

She holds Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from Kings College, London and has attended executive training programs at notable global institutions including; Harvard Business School; The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania; INSEAD School of Business; Chicago Booth School of Business; London Business School and IMD amongst others.

Meanwhile, the board has also approved the appointment of Mr Kevin Ugwuoke, the current Chief Risk Officer of the bank, as Executive Director, Chief Risk Officer, subject to the approval of the CBN.

Mr Ugwuoke joined Fidelity Bank in 2015 as General Manager, Chief Risk Officer.

Under his supervision, the bank’s total loan book has grown by a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17 per cent from N559.1 billion to N1.2 trillion with Cost of Risk averaging 0.7 per cent within the period and Non-Performing Loans ratio below the regulatory threshold at 4.8 per cent in Q1 2020.

He has over 29 years of banking experience across various banks namely Citi Bank, Access Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and legacy Mainstreet Bank Limited, where he worked in various capacities in Banking Operations, Commercial Banking, Corporate Banking and Risk Management.

Prior to joining Fidelity Bank, he was Chief Risk Officer at United Bank for Africa Plc and Mainstreet Bank Limited.

He holds a First Class Honours degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Edinburgh Business School of Herriot-Watt University.

He has attended several executive trainings at Harvard Business School and other world-class institutions of learning.

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

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MTN Selects Chika Ekeji to Accelerate Strategic Growth



Chika Ekeji

By Adedapo Adesanya

The MTN Group has announced the appointment of Mr Chika Ekeji as Executive Strategy and Transformation Officer as part of plans to further bolster management capacity to accelerate the group’s strategic ambitions.

The appointment, which was confirmed today, would be effective from next week, Monday, March 15.

Mr Ekeji would join Africa’s leading mobile operator from Management Consultancy, McKinsey & Company in Nigeria.

He had previously led the West Africa Digital Practice and served telecom, financial services, and public sector clients across Africa.

Speaking on the appointment, the MTN Group Chief Operating Officer, Mr Jens Schulte-Bockum, in a statement in South Africa, said he was very pleased that Mr Ekeji was joining the company as they work on strategic repositioning.

A Nigerian-American national, Mr Ekeji has a Masters of Engineering in Computer Science from Cornell University and an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

In his new role, he would be based in South Africa.

Mr Schulte-Bockum said that in December 2020, MTN Group announced the completion of a comprehensive strategy review with a focus on accelerating growth, deleveraging the holding company debt and unlocking value

The statement said that the revised strategy would be presented in more details after the release of the company’s 2020 full-year results on March 10.

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Kwara Governor Picks Channels TV Reporter as Aide



Kwara Governor Political Communications

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

One of the journalists with Channels Television, Mr Bashir Adigun, has been appointed as an aide to the Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

A statement issued on Friday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, disclosed that Mr Adigun was chosen by Mr AbdulRazaq as his Special Adviser on Political Communications.

According to the CPS, the senior media practitioner was among the seven Special Advisers selected by the Governor to assist take decisions that would move the state forward.

Mr Adigun, who is married with children, is a native of Ifelodun local government and he is armed with decades of experience across the print and broadcast media industry.

Before his latest appointment, he was the Controller News and Current Affairs (Northern Nigeria) for the Channels TV and the Abuja Correspondent for a leading global newswire, Associated Press (AP). He also worked as a Reporter/Researcher at the Guardian newspaper.

He is a 1990 graduate of Communications and Language Arts at the Nigeria’s premier University of Ibadan, Oyo State.

He has two Master’s degrees, both from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria —  Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy (MIAD) and Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice (MLC).

In the statement, Mr Ajakaye said the Governor appointed Mr Saliu Tunde Bello as his Special Adviser on Security, Professor Adekunle Dunmade as Special Adviser on Health, Mr Ahmed Yinka Aluko as Special Adviser on Special Duties), while Mr Attahiru Ibrahim as chosen as Special Adviser on Sports and Youths.

In addition, the former Special Adviser on Political (SAPOL) Mr Saadu Salau, was named as the Special Adviser on Strategy, while the former Special Adviser Strategy, Mr Abdullateef Alakawa is now the new SAPOL.

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Ebok-Essien Emerges PANDEF National Chairman



Emmanuel Ebok-Essien PANDEF

By Ahmed Rahma

A former member of the Nigerian Senate, Mr Emmanuel Ebok-Essien, has emerged as the new National Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the mouthpiece of monarchs, leaders and stakeholders of the coastal states of Niger Delta.

The Akwa Ibom State lawmaker succeeds the former Military Administrator (MILAD) of Akwa Ibom State, late Idongesit Nkanga, who died of COVID-19 complications last year.

His ratification and approval of the nomination of other national officials were contained in a communiqué signed by the national leader of PANDEF, Mr Edwin Clark, and former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Obong Victor Attah, after a meeting of the board of trustees (BoT) on Wednesday, in Abuja.

The new PANDEF chairman represented Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District at the National Assembly between 1999 and 2003. He was once the Senate Deputy Chief Whip.

The new PANDEF leader was also one of the strong advocates for resource control and a strong supporter of the fight against the obnoxious onshore/offshore dichotomy in the distribution of the nation’s oil revenue.

He is the first Akwa Ibom legislator to be elected into the ECOWAS Parliament and is expected to deploy his verse knowledge acquired, over the years, to move the regional group, South-South, Niger Delta and the country forward.

The BoT also approved the nominations and elections of former Military Governor of old Rivers State, King Alfred Diete-Spiff; and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Victor Attah, as co-chairmen of PANDEF BoT.

Also, Mr T. K Okorotie from Bayelsa State was confirmed as Deputy National Chairman, Mr Bello Bina was chosen as the National Youth Leader, Mr Whiskey Ayakeme is the National Director of Research, while Mr Kalaiti Jephthah is an ex-officio member, national NEC.

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Kenya’s Peter Mathuki Appointed as Head of EAC Secretariat



Kenya Peter Mathuki

By Kester Kenn Klomegah

Kenya’s Peter Mutuku Mathuki has been appointed to head the East African Community (EAC), the regional bloc that brings East African countries under one umbrella.

Mr Mathuki replaces Burundi’s Liberat Mfumukeko, whose five-year term ended in early 2021. The post is usually rotational for five years.

As Secretary-General of the regional bloc, his key tasks include regional development, increasing inter-regional trade and to address investment possibilities for both potential internal and external investors.

According to his profile, Mr Mathuki has worked as Executive Director at the East African Business Council and consequently emerged as the top candidate for the position.

Over the years, he has been dealing with the corporate business sector and believed to have sufficient experience and contacts useful to address incessant wrangles in the East African Community.

Mr Mathuki previously served as a member of the East African Legislative Assembly, chairing the Committee on Legal Affairs and Good Governance as well as Accounts, Trade and Investment.

He has held political positions in Kenya and in international bodies including the International Labour Standards at the former International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU-Africa), now ITUC-Africa, which he served as director. He was also a consultant for European Union programmes in Kenya.

The appointee comes on board as the African continent implements the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) agreement, where he has been involved in the creation of the nascent African Business Council. Trading under this AfCFTA began on January 1, 2021, and opens up more opportunities for both local African and foreign investors from around the world.

He was taken on as a rectification strategy by Kenya, following a low-key leadership by Mfumukeko. Under his term, countries routinely skipped summits and member states wrangled over tariffs and political accusations. His secretariat faced financial constraints as member states delayed remitting their membership dues and donors reduced funding following allegations of corruption.

The latest report from the East African Community Secretariat for this year shows, for example, that South Sudan is the most indebted member of the EAC. It owes $24.6 million in funding towards the main budget even though it should pay up to $32.4 million including this year’s dues. It should also pay $2.8 million to the Inter-University Council of East Africa and another US$345,000 to the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization.

The main budget usually funds the operations of the EAC Secretariat, the East African Court of Justice, the East African Legislative Assembly and other bodies dealing with specified fields. The Secretary-General is the principal executive and accounting officer of the community as well as the secretary of the summit and serves for a fixed period of five years.

The East African Community (EAC) first collapsed and was revived in November 1999 to strengthen ties between the members through a common market, a common customs tariff, and a range of public services to achieve balanced economic growth within the region.

Under the current Chairman, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, many businesses and market players perceive positively the region as stable for long-term beneficial business, investment and trade. Some political, social and economic challenges still remain to be addressed, though.

With a combined population estimated at 183 million, the region is relatively large. The East African Community is an intergovernmental organization composed of six countries in the Great Lakes region in Eastern Africa. The members are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

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Crowdyvest Rejigs Leadership, Unveils New Investments




By Adedapo Adesanya

Crowdyvest Limited, an impact-driven fintech platform, has announced a big change in its leadership and additional investment in the company in a bid to scale up as a digital savings company.

Crowdyvest was created to provide all-in-one financial solutions for individuals and businesses to achieve short or long-term goals while facilitating impactful growth in line with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The fintech company went live in beta-stage in August 2019 but launched fully as a crowdfunding platform in January 2020 where its users and sponsors can sponsor high-impact opportunities that yield good benefits through its pooled sponsorships and individual projects.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the company announced Mrs Onyeka Akumah will officially step down as the CEO of Crowdyvest and Mr Tope Omotolani who is currently the Managing Director and also a co-founder, will become the new Chief Executive Officer of the startup, effective immediately.

The company that despite this change in leadership, all the management and staff of Crowdyvest will be retained.

it noted that as a result of the new investment in Crowdyvest, the fintech startup will completely exit the EMFATO Holdings group and also transition from its previous crowdfunding model to making strides as the go-to digital wealth management and savings platform under Mr Omotolani’s leadership.

Commenting on the development, the outgoing boss, Mrs Akumah said, “I have taken this decision to step down as the CEO of Crowdyvest as a result of the new investment in the company which gives it good footing for scale. Today, Crowdyvest is exiting fully from EMFATO Holdings and we are very happy about the new investors led by Tope and excited to see how Tope will lead this business to new heights.”

Speaking on her next voyage, she noted, “I will now focus more on leading Farmcrowdy and Plentywaka as CEO of both companies into new markets in 2021. Tope is a strong and amazing leader and I see her leading Crowdyvest to become one of the leading wealth management companies in Nigeria within the next 3-5 years. I wish her and the team all the best and will continue to advise them on their journey when needed’’.

The new CEO, Mr Omotolani said “it’s an honour and a privilege for me to be able to lead the team to the next level and next chapter of the business. Onyeka founded this company on the ethos of integrity and strong customer satisfaction and I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to lead this technology company into its next chapter.

“Our major goal and focus as Crowdyvest are that we see a lot of people become financially free and we’re able to do this by the products that we create on the platform”.

Crowdyvest also launched the Crowdyvest Savings Platform to give savings options to over 10,000 subscribed members on its platform. This savings platform will give its members a variety of plans to help build a savings culture based entirely on their pace, so they can reach their life goals faster.

The savings platform has four products that are properly tailored to fit all categories of individuals, including the Millenials, Gen Z, Gen X, and Baby Boomers, and each of these products have their unique features and benefits. They are;

Flex Savings which speaks to our young and trendy Gen Zs and Millenials, gives them the opportunity to save as much as they like with the option of withdrawing their money at any time during the year with a withdrawal fee of 2 per cent. The Flex savers also have the opportunity of 7 official withdrawal days which comes without a withdrawal fee.

Vault Savings here, users have the opportunity to safely deposit money into their vaults and lock it for a period of time (3 months, 6 months, or for years). Funds deposited in the vault will be locked and ineligible for withdrawal throughout the locked period. The vault savings is for long-term savings and is targeted at pensioners, trust funds savings, legacy savings, etc.

Pace Savings, savers have the opportunity to deposit money as they wish for a set target. The pace savings option is recurring starting with the least period of 3 months. The money can be deposited automatically into the plan or manually based on the saver’s preference. The plan is targeted at salary earners, entrepreneurs, etc.

Flex Dollar Savings gives savers the opportunity to save and earn returns in dollars. Crowdyvest Members have the opportunity to grow their savings in a more valuable & stable denomination.

Every saver enjoys the benefits of good interest rates from 12.5 per cent to 15 per cent, zero bank charges, plans tailored for everyone, and effective and prompt customer service.

The company also has referral opportunities where one can earn as much as N1000 for every person referred to Crowdyvest.

Previously as a crowdfunding platform, Crowdyvest was able to create an impact by funding 24 projects across various sectors including Agriculture, Real Estate, Transportation, etc, has worked with 9 project partners,  has operated in 17 states with over 10,000+ active sponsors,  over 90,000+ total users, and over 8,000 Monthly Active Users.

Today, the company is a Digital Savings platform with a closed membership, Crowdyvest will provide financial solutions for her community of individuals and organizations that are committed to long-term growth and financial freedom.

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Insurance Brokers’ Regulator Chooses Adaramola as New Leader



insurance brokers and loss adjusters

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Governing Board of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) has endorsed the appointment of Mr Tope Adaramola as the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Council.

With his appointment, he is expected to take over from Mr Fatai Adegbenro, who retires from the council in May 2021.

Mr Adaramola, who is currently the Deputy Executive Secretary of the council, joined the NCRIB in 2004 as the pioneer Public Relations Manager.

A 1989 graduate of Political Science and Industrial Relations (MILR) from the University of Ibadan, Mr Adaramola had earlier worked as a reporter with Ogun Radio, Abeokuta; served as Press Secretary to the Government House, Ogun State between 1991 and 1998, from where he joined the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) in 1998 as the second Public Relations Professional to be engaged by the association.

While in the council, Mr Adaramola rose meteorically through the ranks and availed the entire industry his expertise in Public Relations and public speaking for which he was renowned.

He also avails the industry of his writing prowess as a member of the editorial team of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and the NCRIB and served on several Industry Committees, including the Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC). He was the pioneer Secretary of the Insurance Industry Image Committee.

Mr Adaramola is a product of the European School of Protocol, a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) where he obtained a professional certificate in insurance and has attended several courses and training in Insurance, leadership and management in Nigeria, Malta, USA, Canada, UK, South Africa and The Gambia.

He is expected to bring his rich social capital and leadership skills to bear in directing the affairs of the Council as the head of the Secretariat.

The precursor of the council was established in 1962 to provide a central organization for the regulation of all practising insurance brokers in Nigeria.

This body got its first legal recognition in 1991 when the Insurance Decree N0 58 of 1991 made it compulsory for all practising Insurance Brokers to be members of this body before being registered by the Commissioner for Insurance.

However, the brokers’ quest for full legal recognition through the acquisition of a Charter did not materialize until 2003 when the National Assembly passed the NCRIB Bill and President Olusegun Obasanjo gave his assent on July 4, 2003.

The name of the body was thereafter changed pursuant of the enabling Act to The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB). With the signing into law of the NCRIB Act, the insurance broking profession received full legal powers to be able to regulate the practice as a reputable profession, which is an integral professional arm of the Nigerian Insurance Industry.

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