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Itohan Kadiri is our guest on Monday’s “MTN Business Half Hour”

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Itohan Kadiri will be our guest on Monday, March 19th, during our radio talk show MTN Business Half Hour on Classic FM 97.3 FM. You should tune in by 7:30 am to partake in the conversation. But before then, below are a few things you should know about her.

Itohan is a businesswoman, a qualified Pastry Chef, and the Founder/CEO of Bunny Bakery Ltd; makers of Bunny Bread. She is also an entrepreneurial coach and a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach with the Sam Obafemi Behavioural Change Academy (SOBCA).

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As an ordained minister in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, she combines her knowledge of the word of God with her skills as a professional Therapist/Life Coach to help people achieve better results in every aspect of their lives.

Itohan is a wife and the mother of three wonderful children.

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Patricia

Emmanuel covers the financial services sector for Nairametrics. Do you have a scoop for him? Well then, contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Meet Aig-Imoukhuede, the lawyer-turned-banker who turned an unranked bank into a tier-1 bank  

A switch in career path would normally require some sort of retraining, but not for Aig who learned on the job

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Meet Aig-Imokhuede, the lawyer-turned-banker who turned an unranked bank into a tier one bank  

After, thirteen years of operations, Access bank still grappled with capitalization and corporate governance challenges until Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede stepped in with his team. Almost 2 decades later, the bank’s assets have grown unimaginably, and the bank which was once ranked 65 is now ranked among the top 5. Meet the man who led the team that changed the narrative. 

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede was born on 24th of September 1966 in Ibadan, present-day Oyo State, though he hails from Sabongida-Ora, present-day Edo State. He had his early education in Kaduna and later in Lagos State, before enrolling for a degree in law at the University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria.

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Early in his life, Aigboje had decided that he was not going to work with the civil service. Both of his parents were civil servants – His mother was the first curator of the National Museum of Nigeria after independence, and his father later became the Minister for Culture. He would recall that this was a period in Nigeria where the best talents went into the civil service to pursue a career.

However, the military’s entry into the civil service turned things around as they did not seem interested in investing much there. “For people like me, I saw the impact on great men and women, and the almost decimation of their relevance and importance of their contribution to the governance, and I decided that I was not going to work for the government,” Aig-Imoukhuede said.

READ MORE: Oil firms’ debt status: How it affects Nigerian banks

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Having struck out what was then the most viable option for the best talents, Aigboje had to decide where he wanted to pursue a career. Multinationals were among the best companies in the private sector at the time, and the idea of working at the helm of one of them held appeal for the young Aig, and he later stated that his decision to study law was based on his observation that the foremost multinationals were then headed by lawyers.

Meet Aig-Imokhuede, the lawyer-turned-banker who turned an unranked bank into a tier one bank  

“I felt that law was a good way to get into the hallowed boardrooms,” he later said.

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In 1987, he was called to the Nigerian Bar, and served his compulsory National Youth Service Corps, working as a lawyer with Chase Merchant Bank during his NYSC year. Owing to stories he had previously heard from friends who had experience in the banking sector, he had been encouraged to work with the bank and he soon got involved in core parts of the business of banking. In his words, “Very soon I discovered that I enjoyed making deals more than doing legal work so I made the transition to core banking.”

Lawyer-turned-banker

The switch in career paths would normally have needed some sort of retraining but not for Aig. He had to learn on the job, and due to his efficiency in getting things done, he was not the kind of staff the management was willing to allow to go for any prolonged training.

“I was doing things at the age of 22, that most people did when they were 35 to 40 years. My life has been one where people look at my talent and basically, put me at things,” he said while speaking at the OXFORD Business Africa forum 2019.

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READ MORE: Nigeria confirms no plans for fresh Eurobond issues

Having shown great skills in closing deals, he joined Guaranty Trust Bank as a pioneer staff, driving his career over the next decade to become a top executive there. He, thus, had the best point grooming his skills in what had become one of the best banks in Nigeria.

Despite being an Executive Director with enough challenges on his plate, Aigboje wanted more. He was both restless and dissatisfied, despite having a career most people would break an arm for.

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He did not figure out the missing link until he went to the Harvard Business School at the age of 32 years, for an Executive MBA.

At this time, he read the book Buyout, written by Rick Rickertsen a corporate buyout specialist. It was a Eureka moment for Aig, where he realized, “I wanted to become an owner-manager.”

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There and then, he resolved to buy a bank upon his return to Nigeria.

Founding Access Bank

Buying a bank turned out to be more difficult than was envisaged. Although Aigboje had set his eyes on the top-tier banks, he found that even after pooling resources with his trusted partners, they still could not afford to buy controlling shares.

READ MORE: Bank loans not main funding option for Nigerian MSMEs -PwC

They eventually had to move down the rung, and look for something they could afford.

“We were both worth about two million dollars, and even then, our $2 million plus $8 million worth of leverage got us 52% of the bank,” Aig recalled.

Access Bank was incorporated on February 8, 1988, as a privately owned commercial bank and commenced business operations on 11 May, 1989 after obtaining its licence. It later converted to a public limited liability company on 24 March, 1998, and by November of the same year, was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

READ MORE: Banks push customers towards self service in the “new normal” 

Dealing with several boardroom squabbles in its years of operation, and the challenges of undercapitalization based on the apex bank rules, Access bank was then rated number 65 among Nigerian banks.

“I was betting my financial future and that of my family on this move, but I had a burning desire to transform our bank into a world-class financial services provider. What was more important to me was that this was the beginning of something, but not the end. I was going to buy the bank but I had no plans to tie my life around the bank so I knew we needed a framework for continuity.  I wanted it to continue irrespective of what happened to me” he later said.

Having recapitalised the bank, the team had a 13-point plan to turn around the fortunes of the bank, and have it listed as one of the top 5 banks in the next 5 years. This became the aim of the team led by Aigboje as pioneer MD.

READ MORE: Nigeria’s tier-1 banks pay N29.8 billion worth of taxes in Q1 2020

Though they did not meet this target, in 2006 exactly 5 years after recapitalising the bank, Access Bank won the Thisday ‘most improved bank’ in Nigeria, and was classified by Augusto & Co, a respected rating agency, as a tier 2 bank alongside Diamond Bank, Afribank, Fidelity Bank, Bank PHB and the Nigerian International Bank (Citibank).

Meet Aig-Imokhuede, the lawyer-turned-banker who turned an unranked bank into a tier one bank  

The bank also expanded into other African countries including Gambia, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia and Sierra Leone.

Notwithstanding, the change in ownership and management of the bank was visible in the balance sheet from the first year. In 2002 alone, the bank posted an impressive N1 billion profit before tax, much more than the cumulative profit made by the bank in the previous 12 years.

READ ALSO: Unity Bank: Repositioned to grow profits, lending to the real sector

This also marked the beginning of what would be a six-year record triple-digit growth trend. Similarly, earnings per share had rebounded to 21 kobo from a negative 2 kobo position, leading to a declaration of a 5 kobo dividend to shareholders for the first time in three years.

When the team embarked on its first capital raising exercise in July 2007, it turned out very successful with an oversubscription of over 300%. The public offer comprised an Over-The-Counter GDR placement of US$250 million which was similarly oversubscribed by 700%.

Access Bank today is now the largest bank in Nigeria, and Africa’s leading bank by customer base. It has a network of more than 600 branches and service outlets, across three continents, 12 countries and 36 million customers.

Good times!

READ MORE: France’s Orange move into Nigeria spells trouble for resident Telcos

Reflecting back, Aig would say that his experience in Chase Merchant Bank prepared him in advance for the task of owning and running a bank.

“One thing you will find about many of the men who have founded great banks in Nigeria is that they have worked for banks that crashed. That way, you learnt what not to do in banking,” he said while speaking at the presentation of Jim Ovia’s Africa Rise and Shine.

He recalled also how Jim Ovia, founder of Zenith bank, had advised and mentored him when he took the driver’s seat at Access bank, and stated that this played a great role in the success of the bank.

Leaving Access bank for higher call

After 12 years at the helm, Aig handed over to co-founder, Herbert Wigwe as MD.

Leaving the bank gave Aig the time to pursue other passions. He founded Coronation Capital Nigeria Limited, an Africans focused private equity fund manager, whose aim is to invest and create value for multiple stakeholders who believe in Africa. He also founded the Africa Initiative for Government (AIG), a non-public institution established as a catalyst for high public sector performance in Africa, and is the chairman.

He has won many awards including the EY entrepreneur of the year.

Apart from his philanthropic ventures, he sits on many boards including Marina Securities Ltd, Global Business Coalition on HIV, and Petralon Energy Ltd.

READ MORE: Nigeria’s tier-1 banks earn N18.4 billion from account maintenance charges in Q1 2020

He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School Executive Management Programme and graduated as Class Speaker PMD 75. He has also attended several other business schools and institutes including, the Citicorp Institute of Finance, Euromoney Capital Markets Bootcamp, and IMD Lausanne, Switzerland.

He is a member of the sub-committee of the Banker’s Committee on Professional Ethics, Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria, as well as on the boards of FATE Foundation where he assists in inspiring entrepreneurial driven youths to realize their potential. He is also a Fellow of ASPEN Leadership Initiative.

He is a Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), and has also won the National Productivity Order of Merit Award in 2009.

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He is a member of the Presidential Committee on the establishment of the African Investment Bank, a honourary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, and a Governing Council member of the Financial Institutions Training Centre.

Aigboje is a pastor of the Promised Land Ministries in Lagos, and is married to Ofovwe Aig-Imoukhuede; they have four children together.

Note: Information was sourced from herehere, and here.

 

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Appointments

Meet the new Co-CEOs of Tizeti Network

Kendall Ananyi voluntarily relinquished the position of CEO of Tizetti Network limited, Ifeanyi Okonkwo and  Patricia Aiyedun will hold the fort pending the outcome of the investigations.

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Meet the new Co-CEOs of Tizeti Network

The scandalous drama, which commenced on June 3, 2020, with a tweet thread from Kelechi Udoagwu, co-founder of Skrife, eventually forced Kendall Ananyi, founder and CEO of Tizeti Network limited (also known as wifi.com) to step down on Monday, June 8, 2020. The decision was not taken because he is guilty as charged but to allow investigations into the sexual harassment allegation.

With Ananyi voluntarily relinquishing the position of CEO, his co-founder – Ifeanyi Okonkwo, Tizeti’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Patricia Aiyedun, its Chief Financial Officer (CFO), have been announced as the co-CEOs who will hold the fort pending the outcome of investigations.

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Let’s learn a little about the duo, who will now pilot the affairs of wifi.com.

READ MORE: Tax reform, policy uncertainties to cause oil drop in Nigeria, WoodMac warns

Patricia Aiyedun

Just like Ananyi, Patricia Aiyedun worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers for over 13 years. She served as a Senior manager, Senior Associate and Experience manager at different times, and her years at PwC accounts for the most part of her professional accounting and financial management experience. She also had a brief stint at Diamond bank as an executive trainee.

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Patricia Aiyedun obtained her first degree from the University of Ibadan. She has also acquired several other certifications and trainings since then.

READ MORE: Profiles of the men who determine your internet experience

She obtained Technical Skills Training at PwC including the Go Audit trainings, Business Control Matrices, Global Best Practices, Petroleum Academy, Flow-charting with Vision, and other leadership, and team building.

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Meet the new Co-CEOs of Tizeti Network

She also participated in soft skills trainings such as Management Bytes, Presentation, IFRS, among others.

She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), as well as the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA).

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Ifeanyi Patrick Okonkwo

Ifeanyi Okonkwo is a telecommunications expert and has been in the industry for over 14 years. Before co-founding Tizeti, he worked with prominent telecom firms such as Blackberry and Eircom.

He obtained his first degree from the University of Benin, Edo state, and later an MSC in Quality Management from the University of Sailford.

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Okonkwo has a varied work experience, starting with a 21 months experience with Eircom in Dublin, Ireland as the Customer Support/Product training officer. He went on to work in Vertex Data Science, Manchester, United Kingdom as the Customer Service Advisor.

READ MORE: 7 female executives under 40 in FinTech

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He returned to Nigeria in 2009 as a Training Executive in TertiaryDNS Limited, and later went to work for Blackberry in 2012 as the Training Manager, West Africa.

He co-founded TIzeti in 2014 to provide high-speed broadband internet services in Nigeria, and also provides public Wi-fi Hotspot to locations across Africa. He became the Chief Operating Officer (COO) supervising all departments at Tizeti including the most critical ones, IT, Marketing, Sales, Finance.

He has now stepped in as co-CEO after Ananyi step-aside move to allow investigations take place.

The allegations 

The issue of sexual harassment has dominated the social media landscape in the last couple of weeks, and at the height of it, Kelechi Udoagwu took to her handle @anti_ratrace to recount an experience she had with Ananyi during her time as Entrepreneur-in-Training at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST).

Ananyi was one of the guest speakers during the program, and according to Udoagwu, he was supposed to offer her advice and mentorship in her start-up journey.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Lagos receives N200 Million, 5 ambulances from BUA Foundation

Udoagwu is now the co-founder of Skrife, after meeting her cofounder during the MEST programme. Skrife is an online content development platform she launched in 2015. She also served as MEST Africa’s Head of Communication shortly after.

Her first tweet did not disclose the name of the person involved, but appeared to give enough pointers. There were other responses in the thread to also suggest that some others might have suffered a similar fate, but kept quiet for fear of what would become of their careers if nothing came of it.

In response to his denial tweet, which he eventually deleted from his handle, Udoagwu sent another tweet, this time a series of pointed questions directed at him.

He is yet to provide answers to the question. Meanwhile, MEST Africa replied to the thread, promising to stand behind her if she chooses to take legal action.

READ MORE: Dangote Sugar appoints new Chief Operating Officer

It said, “We have zero tolerance for sexual harassment and assault at MEST and within the MEST community. We will stand behind you and help escalate action if you wish.”

There were pressures from several industry big-shots asking Ananyi to give room for his co-founder to step in, in order to avoid upsetting the shareholders who have entrusted their funds under his management. This culminated in a statement from the company issued on Sunday evening, announcing the new co-CEOs.

 


About Kendall Ananyi 

Erstwhile CEO Kendall Ananyi has a Masters in computer engineering from the University of Victoria, Canada, and over 15 years’ experience in Telecommunication and Software. He has also worked in various notable firms including Microsoft Canada, Pricewaterhouse Coopers. He is said to have in-depth knowledge of wireless networking, project management, and software experience.

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Company Results

Stocktaking: Ebenezer Onyeagwu’s year as CEO of Zenith bank

Today marks one year since Ebenezer Onyeagwu became GMD, and this article seeks to highlight strides achieved in the last one year.  

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Zenith Bank GMD and CEO Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, One year as CEO of Zenith bank, stocktaking

On June 1, 2019, Ebenezer Onyeagwu assumed the position of Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, replacing Peter Amangbo whose 5-year tenure ended the previous day.

According to the bank’s official statement, his appointment was in line with the succession strategy of grooming leaders from within. Onyeagwu, at the time, already had almost 30 years’ banking experience, with 17 years spent in Zenith Bank, so if anyone knew the bank well enough to take up the position, it surely would have been him.

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He had served as Executive Director, General Manager, Deputy General Manager and Senior Manager, and had basically covered all of the bank’s departments, from Financial Control and Strategic Planning, to Risk Management, Retail Banking, Institutional and Corporate Banking Business Portfolios, IT Group, Credit Administration, and Treasury and Foreign Exchange Trading,

Today marks one year since he became GMD, and this article seeks to highlight strides achieved within that period.

Coming in at the end of the second quarter, the impact of Onyeagwu’s leadership would first be seen in the Q3 results. When the results were released sometime in November, the first thing that was obvious was that gross earnings increased by 4% to N491.3 billion when compared to Q3 of the previous year where the group recorded gross earnings of N474.6 billion.

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(READ MORE: GTBank, Zenith Bank, Nestle emerge Renaissance Capital’s top stock picks)

With the expansion of channels and platforms of services, fees from electronic products doubled to N35.3 billion from N17.6 billion in Q3 2018. Profit Before Tax (PBT) grew by 5% from N167.3 billion in Q3 2018 to a record N176.2 billion in Q3 2019.

One year as CEO of Zenith bank, stocktaking

Zenith Bank GMD and CEO Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu

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The conclusion at that point was that the group had applied cost optimization strategies and aggressive retail banking to get the results it was showing. Earnings Per Share (EPS) also grew by 5% from N4.58 in Q3 2018 to N4.80 in Q3 2019.

The group increased its share of the industry deposits, with customer deposits growing to N3.95 trillion from N3.69 trillion.

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All of these gains would be consolidated by the end of 2019 when the Group released the FY 2019 results.

Compared to FY 2018, the Zenith Bank Group recorded 5% growth in gross earnings from N630.3 billion to N662.3 billion, with fees on electronic products growing by over 100% from N20.4 billion in 2018 to N42.5 billion in 2019.

Total assets also increased by 7% from N5.96 trillion to N6.35 trillion, and Earnings per Share (EPS) grew 8% from N6.15 to N6.65 in 2019. Profit before Tax increased, by 5% from N232 billion in 2018 to N243 billion in 2019.

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The group increased its share of the market as it secured more customer deposits across the corporate and retail space, with deposits growing by 15% to close at N4.26 trillion. The strategy, according to the bank’s report, was efficient cost management while employing digital innovation and digital assets to expand retail franchises.

(READ MORE: Zenith Bank clears air, denies binding offer to acquire any bank)

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Among all five tier 1 banks, Zenith Bank Plc registered the highest profit after tax, which also increased from N193.42 billion in 2018 to N208.84 billion in 2019.

Zenith Bank GMD and CEO Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Zenith Bank: No major threat to earnings in the near term; Buy recommendation maintained, One year as CEO of Zenith bank, stocktaking

Zenith Bank GMD and CEO Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu

The Q1 2020 result was released on April 29, and again, there was an all-round improvement compared to Q1 2019. Gross earnings were 6% higher than last year’s first quarter (N158.1 billion in March 2019 to N166.8 billion), Non-interest income practically exploded by 43% (from N32.7 billion in Q1 2019 to N46.6 billion in Q1 2020).

Profit before tax improved by 3% from N57.3 billion in Q1 2019 to N58.8 billion in Q1 2020.

Customer deposits increased by some N200 billion in the quarter, increasing the total customer deposits from N4.26 trillion in December 2019 to N4.46 trillion by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

As with other banks, the COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges for Zenith bank, but as contained in the report, the bank activated its business continuity plan, while deploying enhanced digital channels to handle the increased volumes of customer transactions.

It is clear to both shareholders and board management, at this point, that picking an MD from within the existing structure definitely paid off.  Currently, using Profit after tax, market share value, and earnings per share, one can say that Zenith Bank is cruising at the number one position among Nigeria’s top banks.

Patricia
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