First Bank Plc Appoints Executive Director

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Onasanya

THE First Bank of Nigeria Plc has appointed Abiodun Odubola, its former chief risk officer, as an executive director. This came as part of the bank’s far-reaching effort to deepen its ongoing corporate transformation exercise. A statement by the bank, said the appointment of Odubola, who retained his portfolio as the chief risk officer, was expected to follow the statutory approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

Bisi Onasanya, chief executive officer, CEO, First Bank, said the choice of the new director was in line with the bank’s commitment to sustain the ongoing corporate transformation, as well as enhance the capacity of the executive management and board by deepening specialisation and strengthening the corporate governance culture of the bank. Onasanya said that the bank as the leading financial services institution in Nigeria was keen to ensure adherence to leading international best practices in the constitution by its board and management.

Odubola, an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and a director of CRC Credit Bureau Limited, is a seasoned risk management practitioner and a banker with more than 26 years experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Ibadan and University of Lagos, respectively. Prior to his appointment, he as the Head, Credit Analysis and Processing Department in First Bank and chief risk officer at Ecobank Plc.

Odubola started his banking career with the Citibank more than 19 years ago and garnered diverse hands-on experience covering relationship management, credit underwriting, credit risk management, country risk management and credit audit within and outside Nigeria.

AfDB’s New Strategy for Growth

Donald Kaberuka, AfDB president
Donald Kaberuka, AfDB president

THE Board of the African Development Bank, AfDB has adopted the Integrated Safeguards System, ISS, as the cornerstone of the bank’s strategy to promote growth that is socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. The bank explained that safeguards were a powerful tool for identifying risks, reducing development costs and improving project sustainability. The ISS was developed through extensive consultations.

Five regional workshops in Nairobi, Lusaka, Libreville, Abuja and Rabat provided the bank with an opportunity to listen to and address concerns raised by its stakeholders and civil society. A statement issued by the bank, said that the ISS would help the bank to be better equipped to address emerging environmental and social development challenges. “The Integrated Safeguards System will not only promote best practices in these areas but will also encourage greater transparency and accountability. “It will uphold the voices of people who are affected by bank-funded operations, especially the most vulnerable communities, by providing, for example, a project-level grievance and redress mechanisms – a structured and systematic way to manage the voices and concerns of affected people to be heard and their grievances addressed during project planning and implementation,” it said.

The AfDB, in accordance with its mandate, views economic and social rights as an integral part of human rights, and accordingly respects the principles and values of human rights as set out in the United Nations, UN, Charter and the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights. These were among the principles that guided the development of the Integrated Safeguards System.

Banks to Pay 30% MPR on Savings

THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has directed banks to pay a minimum of 30 percent of Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, which will represent a 3.6 percent interest on savings accounts.The directive contained in the apex bank’s Financial System Stability report is expected to improve the savings culture among the people and provide clarity on banking terms.

Moghalu
Moghalu

In a report signed by Kingsley Moghalu, CBN Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, said the MPR, which is the benchmark rate used in determining interest rate, has been kept at 12 percent since October 2012. Moghalu said interest rates were relatively stable in the money market during the first half of last year, though lower than their levels in the second half of 2012. According to him, the report showed an average interbank call and open buy back, OBB, rates stood at 11.55 and 11.36 percent during the review period, down from 13.44 percent and 12.87 percent in the second half of 2012.

He said that this came as average term deposit rate also fell to 6.87 percent from 7.51 percent in the second half of 2012, adding that prime and maximum lending rates fell by 0.43 percent and 0.34 percentage points to 16.58 and 24.18 percent similarly. Moreso, the spread between the maximum lending and the average term deposit rates stood at 17.31 percentage points, a 0.3 percentage point higher than the level in the second half of 2012. He said that with the inflation rate at 8.4 percent in June 2013, most deposit rates were negative in real terms, while lending and most money market rates were positive in real terms.

“Thus, as part of the ongoing efforts to improve the savings culture, the CBN revised the Guide to bank charges requiring banks to pay a minimum of 30 per cent of MPR on savings accounts, among others,” Moghalu said. He, however, explained that inflationary pressures moderated in the first half of 2013 is partly in response to the tight monetary policy stance of the CBN and the stability in the supply of petroleum products.

Compiled by Chinwe Okafor

— Feb. 3, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

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