Three More Years for Otti at Diamond Bank


THE tenure of Alex Otti, as group managing director and chief executive officer of Diamond Bank Plc, has been extended for another three years with effect from March 2014. The bank has also appointed Caroline Anyanwu and Uzoma Dozie, who are both executive directors at the bank, as deputy managing directors.

According to the bank, this is the first time it will appoint deputy managing directors since it was established about 23 years ago. In addition, the bank promoted 473 other members of staff across the bank to higher positions following the conclusion of staff performance evaluation for 2013. The bank said the extension of Otti’s tenure was in recognition of the impact of his leadership on the bank since March 2011.

Otti in his first three years, focused on steadying the bank which was reeling from the effects of the global financial crises of 2008/2009, and had declined in size, and lost market share to competitors. The bank, however, was also confronted with the challenge of raising additional capital to meet the new Capital Adequacy Ratio required for the international banking license by the Central Bank of Nigeria.


May Date for Biometric Registration in Lagos Banks

Sarah Alade, acting CBN governor
Sarah Alade, acting CBN governor

THE Central Bank of Nigeria has announced that biometric registration of bank customers will commence at the end of this month in 1,000 bank branches in Lagos. This development is coming about four months after the project was inaugurated by the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee in Lagos. Although the registration is currently undergoing a test run in 48 bank offices in Lagos, it is expected to be taken to 5,500 bank offices across the country during the 18- month registration period.

Isaac Okorafor, acting director, Corporate Communications, CBN, who disclosed the new date said that the lessons learnt from the public roll-out in Lagos would form the basis of taking the   exercise to other parts of the country later in the year. He said: “Already, the project is ongoing in some bank branches. We also intend that by the end of May 2014, we will begin to roll out to members of the public just as we did during the cashless programme. The reason is that our people are not very educated; they are resistant to anything that has to do with money. But what we intend to do is to start the public roll-out here in Lagos, which has more of the bank branches.

“We are starting with at least 1,000 bank branches. After the enrolment of account holders, we will look at the challenges that are there, how to tackle those challenges and the wisdom we get from there will now help us to begin to plan a roll-out after Lagos. The biometric registration scheme, also known as Bank Verification Number project, is being executed by Germany-based Dermalog in collaboration with Nigeria’s Chams Plc.” Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the suspended CBN Governor, who inaugurated the project on February 14, this year, had said after the 18-month registration period, that bank customers would not be able to do any banking transaction without their fingerprints.

Okorafor also explained that the biometric scheme would help to check fraud, identify theft and enable ordinary people who could neither read nor write to make financial transactions adding that if someone is unable to read and write, he or she can maintain an account in the bank and enjoy financial services.


Stanbic IBTC’s Commitment to WEF


AHEAD of the World Economic Forum on Africa holding in Abuja, Stanbic IBTC, a member of Standard Bank Group, has reiterated its commitment to the country’s socio-economic development. Sola David-Borha, chief executive officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, said that the global forum’s theme, ‘Forging inclusive growth, creating jobs,’ was in line with the bank’s strategic objective of building a franchise that would help individuals and businesses to achieve their goals.

Specifically referring to Nigeria, which is hosting the yearly forum for the first time since its inception 24 years ago, David-Borha said Stanbic IBTC has recognised the huge potentials that exist in the country and enjoined all stakeholders to see the forum as a platform to showcase the nation’s endowments to a global audience. She said: “That we identify with the ideals of the World Economic Forum and its hosting by Nigeria is yet another demonstration of our commitment to Nigeria’s socio-economic development.

“This is in turn founded on our deep belief in the country and its massive developmental potential. This forum will help to focus attention on opportunities in Nigeria’s economy.” She said the forum would provide a unique platform to scrutinise ongoing reforms in critical sectors of the economy with a view to strengthening policies and efforts to engender sustainable development in Africa’s most populous nation.

David-Borha stressed that government alone could not provide all the funding required for development projects, a situation that underscored the need to create a friendly environment to attract private capital and expertise as well as build alliances for private and public partnerships to thrive. She said however, that with the ever increasing global requirements of business, Stanbic IBTC, as part of Africa’s largest banking group, was well positioned to provide on-the-ground banking operations.

Compiled by Chinwe Okafor


— May 12, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

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