31 C
Thursday, December 3, 2020
- Advertisement -

Sanusi’s Exit Adds New Twist to FBN Restructuring


CNN and the Ethics of Journalism – By Lai Mohammed

Our attention has been drawn to an ‘investigation’ by CNN, entitled ‘How a Bloody Night of Bullets Quashed a Young Protest Movement’...

Drug Use: The Forgotten Epidemic – By M. Buba Marwa and Oliver Stolpe

In 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the European...

Understanding the American Three-Stage Presidential Election – By Solomon Ukhuegbe

The United States presidential election of November 3, 2020 eclipsed the election at the same time for all seats of the U.S....

Bukola Saraki’s Homecoming – By Alabi Olayemi

Former Senate President Bukola Saraki breezed into Ilorin, the capital city of Kwara State, on Saturday November 14. The day coincided with...

Since This Day broke the news of Sanusi Lamido’s imminent appointment as Nigeria’s next Central Bank Governor, there has been plenty of speculation over his eventual successor at First Bank. The task of leading Nigeria’s oldest and biggest bank is one of the most important jobs in the financial sector and there’s sure to be a lot of lobbying.

First Bank usually appoints its helmsman from within its ranks so it was naturally assumed that the battle for the top job would be a straight fight between the bank’s seven executive directors. The favourites were Bola Adesola, Alex Otti and Kehinde Lawanson who respectively head the Lagos, South and West directorates.

However, it appears that the board has broken with tradition and selected Remi Babalola, a former executive director of the bank who joined the Yar’Adua administration in 2007 as the Minister of State for Finance. If these reports turn out to be accurate, the bespectacled Babalola would not be a surprising choice in light of recent developments at the storied institution. Last week, First Bank unveiled a new corporate structure that included two exotically Mckinsey alums. The appointments of Onche Rajesh Ugbabe and Eyitope St.Matthew-Daniel as Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Corporate Transformation, respectively, underline the bank’s intention to implement a far reaching strategic shift.

Another interesting appointment was that of Celine Loader as Chief Marketing Officer. The former magazine publisher was poached from the rival United Bank for Africa and is expected to revamp the First Bank’s staid image. While the bank has an army of loyal older customers, its inability to shed its somewhat undeserved reputation as a technology-averse company has hurt its standing with younger consumers who are drawn to the more creative “new generation” banks.

If his eventful career is anything to go by, the Ibadan-born Babalola could be willing to accept the job. His friends say that he’s always looking for new challenges and his peripatetic career includes stints with PWC, Andersen Consulting, Zenith Bank and First Bank. He has been one of the better performing ministers, retaining his portfolio after the president sacked half of his cabinet last year. And unlike most of the luddites in the cabinet, the tech savvy Babalola maintains his own personal website and responds to emails from the general public. He has also initiated a much publicized Red Cross project.

A highly placed source within the bank, who asked not to be named because she was not authorized to speak to the press, says that Babalola is the ideal person to implement the bank’s new strategy. “Most of the executive directors are brilliant bankers but Remi brings more than intelligence to the table. He’s an incredibly open-minded person who’s willing to listen to suggestions from all quarters. We know that our bank is strong and highly regarded but we need a leader who can sustain this success and imbibe a culture of innovation.”

An Abuja-based financial analyst believes that Babalola is likely to make the move. He says that First Bank is adept at managing leaks and that the news wouldn’t have been made public if he hadn’t already accepted. If this egghead is off the mark, First Bank’s grey eminences might find it difficult to recruit a minister who believes that “service to humanity and fatherland is the greatest endeavour in life.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Business Profiles

Maria Kiwanuka

Maria Kiwanuka is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors UBA Uganda. Maria Kiwanuka is an Economist by profession and a former...

Chioma Mang

Chioma is a seasoned banker with almost 3 decades of combined experience at top management and executive levels in banking spanning Treasury...

Ebele Ogbue

Ebele Ogbue is the General Manager, UBA Energy Bank at United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc. His responsibilities are to acquire, deepen...

Kenneth Orji

Mr. Orji was educated at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria where he was a J. F. Kennedy Scholar, having emerged national first...

Kubi Momoh

Kubi Momoh is the Chief Risk Officer at NOVA Merchant Bank Limited. She was previously the Chief Risk Officer, UBA Africa with...