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Fidelity Bank Announces Board Retirements, New Appointments
By Goddy Egene
Fidelity Bank Plc yesterday announced new board appointments to replace some of its outgoing directors who recently completed their tenure on its board in accordance with its internal governance policies.
According to a statement from the bank, Mrs. Aku Odinkemelu, its Executive Director, South Directorate, who was appointed to the board on August 4, 2014, will be retiring by December 31, 2020, while Chief Charles Umolu, Non-Executive Director, has completed his tenure and retired from the board on December 16, 2020.
In addition, Mr. Michael Okeke, a Non-Executive Director, has completed his tenure and retired on December 18, 2020. He was a member of various board committees, including the Board Corporate Governance Committee, which he chaired from October 2018 to December 2019.
Another Non- Executive Director, Mr. Alex Ojukwu, will also complete his tenure and retire by December 31, 2020. He currently serves on the Board Credit, Risk, Audit and Corporate Governance Committees and chairs the Board Risk Committee.
The statement said Odinkemelu played a defining role as a member of the transformation team in Fidelity Bank over the past six years. Her responsibilities covered the Commercial, SME, Consumer and Public Sector businesses of Fidelity Bank in the South-east and South-south regions and she provided leadership for 90 business offices within the 11 states under her purview, with her directorate accounting for 31 per cent of deposits and 21 per cent of loans.
Besides, the South Directorate under her supervision generated the highest profit before tax in the bank over the last five years (2015 – 2019), contributing over 23 per cent of the total bank’s profit over the period.
On the other hand, Umolu, served on the Board Risk, Credit, Finance & General Purpose, Audit and Corporate Governance Committees and chaired the Board Credit Committee until he retired.
“The board expresses its profound appreciation to the outgoing executive and non-executive directors for their impressive contributions to the growth and development of the bank.
“Fidelity Bank is privileged to have benefited from the combined experience and expertise of these very accomplished lady and gentlemen. We thank them for their service to the bank and wish them the very best in their future endeavors,” Chairman, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi said.
In place of the retired and outgoing non-executive directors, the board announced the appointment of Mrs. Amaka Theodora Onwughalu, Mr. Nelson Chidozie Nweke and Mr. Chinedu Eric Okeke as non-executive directors.
“The appointments of Onwughalu and Nweke have been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) whilst that of Okeke is awaiting CBN approval,” the bank stated.
Onwughalu has over 30 years’ banking experience, including over 10 years in executive management in various financial institutions, with proven expertise across diverse segments including commercial banking, retail banking, treasury management, banking operations and corporate banking.
She served in executive management positions in different institutions and was the former group managing director of legacy Mainstreet Bank Limited where she led the successful execution of a seamless integration of the bank with Skye Bank Plc where she served as deputy managing director until her retirement in July 2016.
She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Blueshield Financial Services Limited and holds a BSc Degree in Economics from the University of Buckingham, an MSc Degree in Corporate Governance from Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom and an MBA from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She gained further exposure and training at the Executive Business School, INSEAD, France; IMD Business School, Lausanne, Switzerland; Judge Business School, University of Cambridge; and Columbia Business School, USA.
Onwughalu is a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Internal Auditors of Nigeria; a fellow of the Institute of Credit Administration (ICA); a member of the Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM); an honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and a fellow of the Institute of Directors (IoD).
She is passionate about mentoring the girl-child and committed to supporting women entrepreneurs/professionals to contribute their quota to stimulating economic development in Nigeria.
She is a Paul Harris Fellow and recipient of various prestigious awards, including the National Merit Award for Accountability and Transparency (NMAT), the Award of Excellence and Distinction for Financial Management (AEDFM) and the Vocational Service Award (VSA) from the Rotary Club, Enugu.
On his part, Nweke, currently serves as the managing director of Neilville Nigeria Limited and had an extensive career in the financial services sector, rising to the position of executive director at legacy Intercontinental Bank Plc.
His banking industry experience covers operations, public sector, corporate services and human resources administration. He holds a Bsc. in Political Science and an Msc. in Industrial and Labour Relations, both from the University of Ibadan and has attended various executive development programmes at world class business schools including INSEAD, France; IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland; and Harvard Business School amongst others.
Nweke is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), member Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) and Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM).
Prior to joining the board of Fidelity Bank, Nweke had previously served as a non-executive director of Premium Pension Limited and was a member of the Governing Council of Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency between 2014 and 2018. He is presently an independent non-executive director at Berger Paints Plc.
Okeke is the Managing Director of Azura Power West Africa Limited, an infrastructure development and operating company with special focus on emerging markets in Africa, including Nigeria. Prior to joining Azura in 2014, Okeke had a stellar career spanning over 19 years in a succession of blue-chip companies, including Guinness Nigeria Plc, Lafarge Plc, Schlumberger Oilfield Services, and General Electric (GE). His areas of interest and specialisation across geographies (Nigeria, France, South Africa, Vietnam and Pakistan), covers technology, power, corporate strategy, finance, market analysis and international development.
Okeke has held executive and senior management positions in various climes, with direct responsibility for teams of diverse and multicultural professionals and demonstrated ability to develop and maintain strategic client relationships and deliver quality results under complex conditions.
He holds a B.Eng. Degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and an MBA from Imperial College, London. He has attended executive training programmes at various premier institutions including Gordon Institute of Business Science, South Africa; INSEAD, France; Graduate School of Business, Stanford, USA, College of Management, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA and GE John F. Welch Leadership Development Centre, USA.
“The board is pleased with the appointments and confident that the new directors will bring their considerable experience to bear in the bank’s growth trajectory.
“We are very delighted to welcome the newly-appointed directors to the Fidelity family. These appointments end the ongoing board realignment, occasioned by the retirements that had to happen, in line with our governance policies.
“We look forward to leveraging on the multi-disciplinary experiences of Amaka, Nelson and Chinedu in executing the next growth phase of Fidelity Bank,” Chike-Obi added.