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Ebenezer Olufowose Takes Helm at First Bank of Nigeria Limited as Chairman

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced the appointment of Mr. Ebenezer Olufowose as its new Chairman.

This significant change follows the completion of the tenure of Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale, in accordance with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Corporate Governance Guidelines, which mandates a maximum of twelve years for a Non-Executive Director.

Mr. Olufowose, a seasoned veteran in the financial services industry, brings over 36 years of experience to his new role.

He assumes the position of Chairman with a wealth of expertise garnered from his diverse background in Corporate Finance, Project Finance, and Investment Banking.

Prior to his appointment as Chairman, Mr. Olufowose served as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, a position he held since April 29, 2021.

He is also the Group Managing Director of First Ally Capital Limited, a reputable investment banking firm headquartered in Lagos.

His impressive career trajectory includes pivotal roles at Access Bank Plc and Citibank Nigeria, where he played instrumental roles in leading and executing corporate finance and investment banking transactions.

He spearheaded Citigroup’s origination, structuring, and execution of various high-profile deals in Nigeria.

Mr. Olufowose commenced his banking journey in 1985 at NAL Merchant Bank Plc (NAL), where he honed his skills in Corporate Planning and Finance.

Armed with a first-class honours degree in Economics from the University of Lagos and an MA in International Economics from the University of Sussex, England, Mr. Olufowose has continuously pursued excellence in his field.

Throughout his career, he has actively participated in numerous management and leadership training programs at esteemed institutions such as the Institute of Management Development in Switzerland, Harvard Business School in Boston, USA, and INSEAD in Singapore.

Also, he is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School and the Lagos Business School, further solidifying his reputation as a seasoned professional in the banking sector.

Mr. Olufowose’s commitment to professional development is evident in his affiliations with prestigious bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, where he holds an Honorary Senior Membership, and the Institute of Credit Administration and the Association of Investment Advisers and Portfolio Managers, where he is recognized as a Fellow.

As he assumes his new role as Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mr. Olufowose is poised to lead the institution with integrity, vision, and a steadfast commitment to excellence.

With his extensive experience and proven track record, he is well-positioned to guide the bank through its next phase of growth and reinforce its position as a leading financial institution in Nigeria.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Appointments

United Bank for Africa Welcomes Emmanuel Nnorom to Board

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Emmanuel Nnorom

The United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Africa’s leading global bank, has announced the appointment of Emmanuel Nnorom as its new non-executive director, effective April 30, 2024.

This strategic appointment has received the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as of May 13, 2024.

In an official statement, UBA highlighted the significance of Nnorom’s addition to the board. “Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), hereby announces the appointment of Emmanuel Nnorom as a non-executive director effective April 30, 2024.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) granted approval for this appointment on May 13, 2024.”

Tony Elumelu, Group Chairman at UBA, expressed his enthusiasm about the appointment.

“The appointment of Emmanuel Nnorom, a professional with considerable experience in the sector, emphasizes our Group’s commitment to strong governance and excellence. Nnorom brings a track record of working in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, including power, and a pan-African perspective that complements our existing Board.”

With over 40 years of experience in financial services and audit, Nnorom’s extensive background includes significant board roles with listed companies.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

Also, he is an alumnus of Templeton College, Oxford, further underscoring his vast expertise and qualifications.

UBA, which provides retail, commercial, and institutional banking services across several countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France, and the United Arab Emirates, continues to lead in financial inclusion and the implementation of cutting-edge technology.

This appointment comes at a time when UBA is celebrating record-breaking financial achievements. The bank recently reported over N2 trillion in revenue and a profit of N607.69 billion, the highest in its banking history.

Nnorom’s appointment is expected to bolster UBA’s board, bringing a wealth of knowledge and a fresh perspective to the bank’s operations. His experience in both financial services and critical sectors of the economy will be invaluable as UBA continues to expand its footprint and reinforce its commitment to excellence and strong governance.

As UBA continues to navigate the complexities of the global financial landscape, the addition of a seasoned professional like Emmanuel Nnorom signals the bank’s dedication to sustaining its growth trajectory and maintaining its position as a leading financial institution in Africa and beyond.

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Exxon Mobil’s $1.28 Billion Asset Sale to Seplat Energy Set for Approval, Ending Two-Year Wait

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After a prolonged two-year wait, Exxon Mobil’s anticipated $1.28 billion asset sale to Seplat Energy is poised for approval by Nigeria’s oil regulator.

The deal, which has been in limbo since 2022, could finally see the light of day following recent communication from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

Gbenga Komolafe, the chief of NUPRC, revealed to Reuters on Thursday that the regulatory body is on the verge of giving its consent to the transaction.

Komolafe disclosed that Exxon Mobil and Seplat Energy are scheduled to attend a pivotal meeting on Friday, during which they will discuss the final steps towards approval.

He expressed optimism, stating, “Subject to the outcome of the meeting, consent… could be given in less than two weeks from the date of the meeting.”

According to Komolafe, NUPRC will present the companies with two mutually exclusive options, the acceptance of which would pave the way for the deal’s approval.

While he didn’t delve into specifics, he emphasized that Nigerian law mandates provisions for decommissioning, host community development, and environmental remediation.

“We don’t want our nation to carry unwarranted financial burdens arising from the operations of the assets over time by the divesting entities,” Komolafe asserted, underscoring the importance of responsible asset management.

The $1.28 billion sale holds immense significance for Nigeria’s oil industry, which has faced challenges stemming from underinvestment and security concerns in recent years.

With oil majors like Shell and TotalEnergies divesting from onshore shallow water operations due to security issues, regulatory approval of the Exxon-Seplat deal could inject much-needed capital into the sector.

Analysts view the impending approval as a potential catalyst for improved oil output in Nigeria. Moreover, it could serve as a positive signal to investors, paving the way for similar deals in the future.

The regulatory clearance of Shell’s asset sale to Renaissance in January has further bolstered expectations regarding the viability of such transactions.

As Nigeria looks to revitalize its oil sector and attract investment, the imminent approval of Exxon Mobil’s asset sale to Seplat Energy marks a significant milestone, bringing an end to a prolonged period of uncertainty and setting the stage for renewed growth and stability in the country’s vital energy industry.

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President Tinubu Appoints Nigeria’s Renowned Banker, Jim Ovia as Chairman of Nigerian Education Loan Fund

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia, CFR, as the Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND).

This was announced in a State House Press Release by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale on April 26, 2024.

According to the statement, ‘‘the President believes Mr. Ovia will bring his immense wealth of experience and professional stature to this role to advance the all-important vision of ensuring that no Nigerian student suffers a capricious end to their pursuit of higher education over a lack of funds and of ensuring that Nigerian youths, irrespective of who they are, have access to higher education and skills that will make them productive members of society and core contributors to the knowledge-based global economy of this century.’’

Jim Ovia, CFR, is the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, one of Africa’s largest banks with over $21.4 billion in assets and shareholders’ funds of over US$2.4 billion as at December 2023.  Zenith Bank is a global brand listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

In addition to major operations in Nigeria and other West African countries, the Bank has sizeable operations in London and Dubai.

Jim Ovia is the Founder and Chancellor of James Hope University, Lekki, Lagos which was recently approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to offer postgraduate degrees in business courses.

James Hope University commenced activities in September 2023.

Through his philanthropy – the Jim Ovia Foundation – he has shown the importance he accords good education.  In support of the Nigerian youth, Jim Ovia Foundation offers scholarships to indigent students through the Mankind United to Support Total Education (MUSTE) initiative.

Most of the beneficiaries of Jim Ovia Foundation scholarship are now accountants, business administrators, lawyers, engineers, doctors etc.

He is the author of “Africa Rise and Shine”, published by ForbesBooks. The book which encapsulates Zenith Bank’s meteoric rise, details the secrets of success in doing business in Africa. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School (OPM), University of Louisiana (MBA), and Southern University, Louisiana, (B.Sc. Business Administration). Jim Ovia is a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Community of Chairpersons, and a champion of the Forum’s EDISON Alliance.

In recognition of Jim Ovia’s contributions to the economic development of Nigeria, in 2022, the Federal Government of Nigeria honoured him with Commander of the Federal Republic, CFR. Also, in May 2022, Jim Ovia was conferred with the National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) Award by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Earlier, he has been conferred with the national awards of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic, MFR, and Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON, in 2000 and 2011, respectively, as a testament to his visionary leadership and contributions to Nigeria’s financial services sector.

The National Student Loan Programme is a pivotal intervention that seeks to guarantee sustainable higher education and functional skill development for all Nigerian students and youths.

The Nigerian Education Loan Fund, the implementing institution of this innovation, demands excellence and Nigerians of the finest professional ilk to guide and manage.

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