By Sunday Ehigiator
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. NnamdiOkonkwo, has been adjudged ‘Banker of the Year’ at the Business Hallmark People of the Year Awards 2020.
The award, presented during a ceremony in Lagos, at the weekend, was conferred on Okonkwo in recognition of his leadership and vision having not only overseen strong financial performance for the bank in recent times but also guiding the financial institution to greater heights in a highly competitive industry.
According to the organizers, Hallmark Newspapers Limited, the award was aimed specifically at recognising individuals and corporate organisations that made meaningful impact in supporting the growth of critical institutions that are needed to foster healthy growth of the Nigerian economy.
Under Okonkwo’s watch, Fidelity Bank has grown from being one of several players in the Nigerian banking space to one that has presently registered in the consciousness of many as one of the most dynamic and fast-growing businesses of its type in the land.
Receiving the award on behalf of Okonkwo, the bank’s Executive Director, Corporate Bank, ObaroOdeghe described the award as a very clear testament of his contributions, not just to the bank but the entire banking sector.
While expressing his gratitude to Business Hallmark Newspaper Group for the award, Okonkwo said the award was not taken for granted.
“We are not taking this award for granted, it is a very clear testament to our contributions, not just to the bank but the entire banking sector, he said.
Okonkwo has led Fidelity Bank to consistently post double digit growth figures, year-on –year profitability and wealth creation across the bank’s operations over the last six years.
The bank’s profit before tax (PBT) under Okonkwo grew by 236 per cent from N9.06 billion to N30.4 billion and Return on Equity (RoE) increased from 5.5 per cent to 13. 3 percent.
Customer deposits grew 68 per cent from N806.3 billion to N1.352.3 billion and a savings deposit growth of 275 per cent from N83.3 billion to N312.1 billion. Also, under his watch, the bank has recorded unprecedented growth in its digital platforms such that the Tier 2 bank is well on its way of becoming a Tier one bank.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the awards, former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, noted that year 2020 has been challenging because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to him, Nigeria needs to adopt a socio-political framework where everybody feels included.
Other distinguished awardees include, Attorney-General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, AlhajiAbubarkarMalami, – Public Servant of the Year award; Member, Federal House of Representatives, DrOttah Francis Agbo-Lawmaker of the Year award and former Director, Corporate Communication of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor-Professional Excellence in Corporate Communication.