Fidelity Bank Appoints Ernest Ebi Chairman, Two Other Directors



Obinna Chima

Fidelity Bank Plc has announced the appointment of Mr. Ernest Ebi as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman-designate of the Board of Directors of the bank.

His appointment follows the retirement of the erstwhile chairman of the bank, Chief Christopher Ezeh, who after over 11 years of meritorious service has retired, having attained the retirement age for non-executive directors in line with the bank’s policy.

A statement, yesterday, by Fidelity Bank explained that the board also approved the appointment of Mr. Charles Chidebe Umolu and Mr. Kings C. Akuma as Non- Executive Directors of the bank. These appointments are subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Ebi, a former Deputy Governor, Policy and Corporate Services at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for 10 years, brings to the Fidelity Bank board a solid wealth of corporate experience.

Prior to his stint at the CBN, Ebi’s sterling career saw him rising to the top position as Deputy Managing Director/Chief Operating Officer of Diamond Bank Plc in 1998, having also served as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of New Nigeria Bank plc. He was also a former Executive Director, African Continental Bank.

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Ebi has participated in several management development courses locally and overseas in the areas of strategic planning, and financial and risk management, among others.

Ebi attended Holy Ghost College, Owerri from 1970 and Howard University, Washington DC, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Degree in Marketing in 1978 and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 1979. He holds the national award, MFR and is married with kids.

Mr. Akuma is currently the Managing Director of Hammakopp Consortium Limited (an affiliate of Nestoil Group Plc). He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting (1984) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and an MBA from the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

Akuma, who is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, has hands-on extensive managerial experience in oil and gas services operations, relationship, security and community management spanning over 10 years.

Regarded by his peers and contemporaries as a thorough-bred strategic change management specialist with core competence in organisational structure and financial due diligence review, Akuma grew Hammakopp’s turnover from N800 million to close to N1.8 billion within one year.

Boasting over three decades of in-depth experience in banking and finance operations, consulting, manufacturing, due diligence and forensic accounting, Akuma has acquired further skills in project management, development and implementation of accounting and internal control systems from scanning the wider horizon of the corporate environment.

Mr. Umolu, currently a managing consultant with Corimol Nigeria Limited and the chief executive of Corimol Consulting Limited, has over 18 years cognate experience in banking.

He was trained as a banker by Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York (USA), prior to which he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in 1977 from the University of Ife, Ile Ife. Umolu also bagged an MBA in 1979 from the same institution.

He has attended extensive management and executive training programmes at the Havard Business School, University of Chicago, and Columbia Business School, New York, among others.

Umolu has also served on the board of various organisations as an executive director and non-executive director. He currently serves on the board of Profound Securities Limited, a subsidiary of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

He was the Managing Director/CEO of Comet Merchant Bank Limited, a position he held until he resigned to join Corimol Nigeria Limited.

While welcoming the new directors, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, said that their appointments were expected to contribute significantly to the new phase of the bank’s growth trajectory.

He also paid glowing tribute to the former chairman and noted the passion, commitment and experience Ezeh brought to the board, and expressed his gratitude for his immense contributions to the overall growth and development of the bank.

He described him as an honourable member of the Fidelity Bank family and praised him for working hard to fulfill the aspirations of the founding fathers of the bank. He wished him well in all his future endeavours.