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Zenith Bank appoints Adaora Umeoji first female GMD/CEO

The Board of Directors of Zenith Bank Plc has announced the appointment of Dr. Adaora Umeoji as the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank.

This is contained in a statement issued by bank’s Company Secretary, Michael Osilama Otu on Tuesday.

The bank said her appointment is with effect from June 1, 2024, subject to approval by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Umeoji takes over from Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, whose tenure expires on May 31, 2024.

“The appointment is consistent with the bank’s tradition and succession strategy of grooming leaders from within,” the statement said.

Prior to this appointment, Umeoji has been the Deputy Managing Director of the bank since October 28, 2016 and has close to 30 years cognate banking experience of which 26 years has been with Zenith Bank.

She is an alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Business School where she attended the Advanced Management Program (AMP) and an alumnus of Columbia Business School with a Certificate in the Global Banking Program.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Jos, a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a First Class honors in Law from Baze University, Abuja.

She holds a Master of Laws from the University of Salford, United Kingdom, a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Calabar, and also has a doctorate in business administration from Apollos University, USA.

She holds a Certificate in Economics for Business from the prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management, USA, and has attended various management programmes in renowned Universities around the world including the strategic thinking and Management programme at Wharton Business School, USA.

Umeoji also attended the executive program in Strategic Management, and has a Certificate in Leading Global Business all from Harvard Business School, USA.

She is a fellow of notable professional bodies including the Chartered Banker Institute, UK, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Management, Institute of Credit Administration, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria, Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria among others.

In 2022, the Federal Government of Nigeria honoured Umeoji with Officer of the Order of the Niger, as a recognition of her contributions to nation building. She is a Peace Advocate of the United Nations (UN-POLAC).

Umeoji has impacted many lives through her philanthropic and humanitarian activities through her NGOs; Pink Breathe Cancer Foundation and the Adorable Foundation that educates, caters for Cancer patients and indigent children education especially the GirlChild.

Her continuation to humanity was recognized by the Sun Newspaper which recently bestowed on her the Humanitarian Service Icon Award for 2023.

As a result of her passion for promoting professionalism in the banking industry and improving the well-being of the less privileged, Umeoji, founded the Catholic Bankers Association of Nigeria (CBAN), a platform she uses to promote ethical banking and service to humanity.

She is a Lady of the Order of Knights of St. John International (KSJI), and was awarded a Papal Knight of the Order of St. Sylvester by His Holiness Pope Francis.

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Banking

Oyebanji Engages Bank of Industry on Strategic Development

In a bid to foster robust development in Ekiti State, the Governor of the state, Mr Biodun Oyebanji on Thursday had in a crucial meeting with the leadership of the Bank of Industry Limited, led by Dr. Olasupo Olusi, in Lagos.

At the meeting held at the Head office of the Bank in Marina, Lagos, deliberations revolved around forging prospective collaborations in crucial sectors such as youth empowerment, agricultural revitalization, women’s empowerment, and infrastructural advancement, among others.

Addressing newsmen after the strategic session, Governor Oyebanji emphasized his unwavering commitment to engaging both governmental and non-governmental organizations and agencies in realizing the developmental goals of the state.

Stressing that a strategic partnership with the BOI is crucial in actualizing his administration’s shared prosperity agenda, Governor Oyebanji expressed optimism in the anticipated outcomes of the collaborative efforts, foreseeing positive results in the near future.

“Bank of industry is very critical to our shared prosperity agenda. I can only expect a better collaboration, the critical government officials would be here to take this discussion further. I am extremely excited because of the opportunities it offers our people” Stated the Governor

Governor Oyebanji lauded the Bank of Industry management for their array of programs and initiatives, stressing that the people of Ekiti State are eager for increased presence of Federal Government agencies and development partners in the state.

The BOI MD/ CEO, Dr Olasupo Olusi said the bank is committed to the collaboration between the bank and Ekiti State Government even as he lauded Governor Oyebanji’s development agenda for the state.

“We will ensure a stronger collaboration between Ekiti state Government and Bank of industry. For Governor Oyebanji to be here demonstrates the strong interest in developing the state. Different areas of development have been discussed and we will follow up”, Dr Olusi added.

Present at the meeting by the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning and Performance management, Mr Niyi Adebayo and his Industry, Trade and Investment counterpart, Mrs Tayo Adeola as well as the management team of the bank.

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Banking

Cardoso sacks eight CBN directors, 32 others

Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Yemi Cardodo has sacked a fresh batch of 40 staff mostly from the Development Finance Department (DFD), in furtherance of its ongoing restructuring.

According to Daily Trust report, deputy directors and assistant directors were mostly affected with 22 from the DFD and the remaining 18 from the Medicals and Procurement Services Department.

Amongst those affected were eight directors, 10 deputy directors, five assistant directors, two principal managers, and two senior managers.

With the latest number of affected staff, the total has now reached 67, in what appears to be a series by the Olayemi Cardoso-led Board of Governors.

Recall that not less than 27 members of staff, most of them directors at the Central Bank of Nigeria, were affected by the first batch of dismissals.

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Banking

Nigeria’s inflation rate to remain high in 2024 — World Bank

The World Bank has stated that Nigeria’s inflation rate will remain high at 24.8 percent year-on-year, YoY, in 2024.

The World Bank also reaffirmed its projection of 3.3 percent economic growth for Nigeria in 2024 and reduced its projection for 2025 to 2026 by 0.1 percentage points to 3.6 percent from its January projection of 3.7 percent.

In its Africa’s Pulse Report, April 2024 edition, released Monday, April 8, the World bank stated:

“Growth in Nigeria is projected at 3.3 percent in 2024 and 3.6 percent in 2025–26 as macroeconomic and fiscal reforms gradually start to yield results.

“A more stable macroeconomic environment, as the reforms’ initial shock dissipates, will lead to sustained but still slow growth of the non-oil economy.

“The oil sector is expected to stabilize with recovery in production and slightly lower prices. “Structural reforms will be needed to foster higher growth.

“Average inflation will remain elevated at 24.8 percent in 2024, although it is expected to ease gradually to 15.1 percent by 2026 on the back of monetary policy tightening and exchange rate stabilization”.

“By February 2024, about one third of the Sub-Saharan African countries with monthly available food price information (14 of 40 countries) had double-digit year-on-year rates of food inflation, with the fastest increases experienced in Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe.”

“The region also faces the triple challenges of high extreme poverty, high inequality, and low transmission of growth to poverty reduction.

“The speed of poverty reduction has decreased tremendously since 2014. The rate of reduction was 3.1 percent between 2010 and 2014, subsequently decreasing to 1.2 percent between 2014 and 2019.

“In contrast, the rest of the world reduced extreme poverty on average by 9.2 percent per year within the same time horizon, suggesting that the Africa region is falling further behind.

“In addition, there is substantial regional heterogeneity in where the poor are with Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo accounting for one in three of those living in extreme poverty.

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