Stakeholders will discuss accelerating financial inclusion through digital adoption

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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The new owners of Polaris Bank Limited, Strategic Capital Investment Limited (SCIL), have appointed Mr. Adekunle Sonola as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.

This followed the acquisition of the 100% stake in the bank for N50 billion and the agreement to pay the N1.3 trillion injected into the lender by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the past few years. next 25 years.

Mr. Sonola, who replaces Mr. Innocent C. Ike, has over 33 years of experience in the financial services industry in Africa, most recently as Executive Director of Commercial Banking at Union Bank Plc.

He was the first Regional Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank East Africa and Head of Investment Banking at Standard Bank in South Africa.

The banker has also served on the boards of Airtel Africa Plc and First Bank of Nigeria, where he chaired the board’s risk management committee.

One would expect him to reposition the bank for greatness.

“We are excited to be part of the next phase of growth for Polaris Bank and to have been able to recruit such an experienced and diverse Board of Directors that we are confident can lead Polaris Bank into a new era of sustainable growth.

“This is an exciting time for the Nigerian financial services industry, and we are committed to building on the solid foundation laid by the outgoing Board. We would like to thank them for their service and wish them well.

“We have mandated incoming management to develop an innovative yet sustainable growth strategy that prioritizes the needs and aspirations of our current customers,” the CEO said.

In a related development, Polaris Bank announced the appointment of new board members who will be led by Mr. MK Ahmad.

He has over 37 years of experience and has been Chairman of Polaris Bank since 2018, overseeing the stabilization of the bank and the introduction of corporate governance best practices.

He is currently Chairman of the Interim Board of Directors of International Energy Assurance and of the Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatization.

Mr. Ahmad is also a director on the board of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and FBN Holdings. He was the first CEO of PENCOM.

The bank has also appointed Mr. Abubakar Danlami Suleiman, Ms. Salma Mohammed, Mr. Adeleke Alex Adedipe, Mr. Ahmed Almustapha, Mr. Francesco Cuzzocrea and Ms. Olabisi Olubunmi Odunowo as non-executive directors, while Mr. Abdullahi S Mohammed and Mr. Segun Opeke were selected to serve on the Board of Directors as Executive Directors.

While commenting on the acquisition and board transition, the Chairman of Polaris Bank said, “I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the outgoing board members for their hard work and dedication over the past four years. as we established a solid governance structure and stabilized the bank. .

“I am very pleased with our progress and that we have fulfilled our mandate to prepare the bank for a return to private ownership.

“I am personally proud to have been asked to lead the bank into an exciting new future, and I look forward to working with the new board and our key investors to grow the platform we have created.”

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