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Zenith Bank GMD, Dr Ebenezer Onyeagwu bows out on Friday, wins best CEO award

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The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, has been named the Best Banking CEO of the Year in Africa at the International Banker 2024 Banking Awards for the second consecutive year.

The award, published in the Spring 2024 issue of International Banker Magazine, United Kingdom, coincides with Onyeagwu’s completion of his five-year tenure on Friday.

In a statement issued on Monday by the bank, Onyeagwu expressed delight at the award.

He said, “It is indeed an honour to be recognised as the ‘Best Banking CEO of the Year in Africa’ for a second consecutive year. This award is a testament to our team’s collective efforts and our commitment to innovation, growth, and delivering value to our customers and stakeholders. “It also reflects our dedication to sustainability and high ethical standards, which are integral to our overall strategy. I am immensely proud of our accomplishments and look forward to future opportunities for the bank as I hand over the baton to my successor and begin the mandatory regulatory cooling-off period.”

He dedicated the award to the founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Dr Jim Ovia, for his mentorship, which was crucial to his success as group managing director/CE; to the bank’s management team and staff for their unwavering commitment over the past five years and to the bank’s customers for their loyalty.

During his tenure, Onyeagwu led the bank to achieve significant milestones in financial performance, financial inclusion, corporate governance, and sustainability.

These achievements have earned the bank numerous local and international awards, including being named best bank in Nigeria four times in five years from 2020 to 2022 and in 2024 by the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards and Best Bank for Digital Solutions in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards 2023.

It was listed in the World Finance Top 100 Global Companies in 2023 and recognised as the number one bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital for the 14th consecutive year in the 2023 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine.

Zenith Bank was honoured as the best commercial bank in Nigeria for three consecutive years from 2021 to 2023 by the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank in Nigeria by the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022 and 2023; Bank of the Year (Nigeria) by The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards in 2020 and 2022; and Best in Corporate Governance Financial Services Africa for four successive years from 2020 to 2023 by Ethical Boardroom.

Other recognitions include Most Sustainable Bank in Nigeria at the International Banker 2023 Banking Awards, Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria, and Best Innovation in Retail Banking in Nigeria at the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards.

He was appointed as the group managing director/chief executive officer on June 1, 2019, as part of Zenith Bank’s succession planning strategy.

He would hand over the reins of leadership of the bank to the first female GMD, Dr Adaora Umeoji.

Last Thursday, the Chartered Risk Management Institute of Nigeria conferred its fellowship Onyeagwu in recognition of Zenith Bank’s outstanding risk management practices and contributions to the broader financial community.

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First Bank confirms Alebiosu as CEO, Ini Ebong as deputy MD

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First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Limited has confirmed the appointment of Olusegun Alebiosu as its substantive managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO).

In a statement filed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on Wednesday, FBN Holdings, the parent company of the lender, said Alebiosu’s appointment was subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He has been serving as the acting managing director of First Bank since April 22.

Alebiosu’s appointment followed the resignation of Adesola Adeduntan, who still had eight months before his contract ended.

FBN Holdings also announced the appointment of Ini Ebong as the deputy managing director (DMD).

Ebong was the bank’s executive director in charge of treasury and international banking from January 2022.

“Before joining FirstBank, he was the head of African Fixed Income and Local Markets Trading, Renaissance Securities Nigeria Limited, the Nigerian registered subsidiary of Renaissance Capital,” FBN Holdings said.

“He also worked with Citigroup for 14 years as Country Treasurer and Sales and Business Head.

“Ini has a passion for market development and has worked actively to drive change and internationalisation of the Nigerian financial markets: foreign exchange, fixed income and securities.

“He has worked closely with regulatory bodies such as the CBN and DMO in assisting with the development of fresh monetary and foreign exchange policies.”

Also, FBN Holdings said Omotunde Alao-Olaifa, the chief financial officer (CFO) of Leadway Holdings, has been appointed as a non-executive director.

Alao-Olaifa is also on the boards of C&I Leasing Pic and Leadway Pensure PFA.

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Tapswap adjourns token allocation date indefinitely

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A popular tap-2-earn app, Tapswap, powered by TON Blockchain, has said the token allocation to users has been indefinitely postponed as the representatives are seeking the best ways to reward the tap-to-earn gamers.

This was disclosed by a Head of Communications, Tapswap, John Robbin, on an X space on Wednesday.

The app, which required users to repeatedly tap the icon in the centre of the Telegram Tapswap bot screen to mine coins, recently gained momentum among Nigerians tapping on their phone screens in pursuit of financial earnings and has amassed over 50 million users since it launched on February 15, 2024.

According to him, the method of token allocation has not yet been ascertained, stressing that the processes cannot be communicated before the allocation.

“The token launch was postponed until July 1. The new date will be communicated.

“We will allocate a significant part of the tokens to the community to retain the tappers. We want you all to be part of the tapswap community.

“We need a token airdrop to be a win-win for all of us. We have started communicating with many exchanges and platforms,” Robbin said.

The app’s communication head also noted that those using the mechanism to farm taps and abuse the game would be banned by running checks from the community members while seeking genuine tappers’ patience.

Speaking on the mining processes, he said, “Just open the app and tap on it; that will give you shares. The more you tap and the more upgrades you do, the more shares you will have when we finalize the tokens on it.

“The more tokens you want to have, the more tapping you have to do.”

On the booster option, which has already ended, the representative said it was not something new, adding, “We have room exponentially faster than we thought, and then to develop the game plan further, we introduced a paid feature to make their capital, but it was not mandated on the users.

“We introduced the limited x2 donation because the new influx of users kept coming in, and we needed them to make something out of it and get a fair allocation at TGE.

“It was a platform that allowed people who joined recently to compete with people who started earlier. It is gone for now, but we are looking forward to using the money we earned from it to improve the game in the future.

“It is all going to our 25 staffers working around the clock to sustain the app. We want to be here for a very long time.”

He also urged people to continue joining the tapping app as there’s time for them to get an appreciable token.

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Naira depreciates at parallel market, official window

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Naira appreciates to N1,419/$ at official market

The naira further depreciated to N1,490 per dollar at the parallel section of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Monday.

The current FX rate represents a 0.34 percent decline from the N1,485 traded on June 14.

Currency traders, also known as bureau de change (BDC) operators, quoted the buying rate at N1,460 and a selling rate of N1,490 — leaving a profit margin of N30.

At the official window, the local currency depreciated by 0.02 percent to N1,483.02 against the dollar on Monday, from N1,482.72 on June 14.

According to the FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees the official window, during trading hours, a dollar recorded an intra-day high of N1,514.82 and a low rate of N1,390.

The daily FX market turnover stood at $150.73 million.

At the current FX rates, the gap between the official window and the parallel market is N6.98.

On June 5 Fitch Ratings, a global rating agency, projected naira will end the year at N1,450 to a dollar.

Gaimin Nonyane, director of Middle-East and Africa sovereigns at Fitch Ratings, said despite the volatility experienced by the naira since its floating in June 2023, there are expectations that the fluctuation would reduce by the third quarter (Q3) of 2024.

Nonyane projected a gradual depreciation of the naira in 2025, adding that this depends largely on the FX reform’s momentum.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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