25 March 2008

Nigeria: Vanguard Honours 12 Banking Icons April 18

Lagos — Vanguard Annual Banking Award Committee has announced 12 special awards to prominent Nigerian banking icons at its Banking Awards scheduled for April 18.

The special awards, the committee said, are in recognition of the contributions of the recipients while in active service in Dr. Shamsudeen Usman banking. The committee said recognition of these Nigerians was in line with Vanguard's tradition of celebrating excellence.

To be honoured are: Aliyu Mai Bornu, the first Nigerian Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Mallam Adamu Ciroma; Dr. Clement Nyong Isong, both former CBN governors; Professor Green Onyekaba Nwankwo, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, Chief Ola Vincent, Chief Samuel Oyewole Asabia, Alhaji Umar Mutallab, Oba Olashore Oladele, Otunba Bola Kuforiji-Olubi, Chief Ebitimi Banigo and Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun.

Aliyu Mai-Bornu

Mai-Bornu he is being honoured for his contribution to the development of central banking in Nigeria. When the then expatriate Governor of the CBN, Mr R. P. Fenton, retired on July 24, 1963 after five years of service, he was succeeded by the late Alhaji Aliyu Mai-Bornu, the first Nigerian Governor of CBN on July 25, 1963. Dr A. N. Abai, then Secretary to the bank moved to the post of Deputy Governor which was held by Mai-Bornu from January 1962 in succession to Mr G. W. Keep, who was seconded from the Federal Reserve Bank of Australia.

Mr T. N. A. Tibbies from the Bank of England who was General Manager was appointed Adviser to the Governor, while Mr Ola Vincent was promoted General Manager.

Mai-Bornu was the first indigenous deputy governor who occupied that position in 1962 in succession to Mr G. W. Keep who retired from the bank's service on January 27, 1962.

Adamu Ciroma

Adamu Ciroma, born in 1934 in Potiskum, Yobe State is a Nigerian politician, former Editor of New Nigerian, and former Governor of the Central Bank. He is currently a member of the People's Democratic Party.

In 1979, Ciroma was one of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) presidential aspirants. He came third in the primary.

Ciroma served briefly as national secretary of the NPN and was later made Minister for Industries, Agriculture and Finance.

Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun.

As a senior cabinet minister in the Shagari administration, he played pivotal roles in the implementation of the president's agenda especially in the areas of food production and working with international agencies to develop an agricultural development project ADP. He served as Minister of Finance in the government of Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2003.


A Professor Emeritus of Finance, University of Lagos, Prof. Green Onyekaba Nwankwo is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (London & Nigeria) and of the Nigerian Institute of Management. He was chairman of the former ACB International Bank Plc, Chairman, Chartered Bank Plc; Member, Governing Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria as well as President, Bank Directors Association of Nigeria.

He also served as Pioneer Executive Director (Monetary and Banking Policy), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), 1978 - 1984; President and Chairman of Council, Nigeria Institute of Bankers, 1985 - 1987; Chairman, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, 1990-1996; Chairman, Development Finance and Investment Company (DFIC), Imo State, 1985 - 1987; Director, Nigerian Industrial Development Bank, 1984; Chairman, Adhoc Inter-Governmental High Level Group of Experts on the Evolution of the International Monetary System, July 1980; Chairman of Deputies of G-24 (A Committee of G-77 Developing Countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America on the Reform of the International Monetary System and Evolution of the New International Economic Order) 1980 - 1981; Chairman, UNCTAD Study Group on Low Income Countries and the International Monetary System, 1982 - 1983.

Dr. Shamsudeen Usman

Dr Usman is Nigeria's current Minister of Finance, former Managing Director of Nigeria's premier investment bank, NAL Merchant Bank, from where he moved to CBN as Deputy Governor.

Otunba Bola Kuforiji-Olubi

While unveiling an Economic Road Map of the Federal Government, Dr. Usman said the administration would take the President's seven-point agenda and turn it into a specific, measurable, actionable and time-bound programme, which will be sold to all the key stakeholders in the Nigerian Project, for greater participation of the citizens in government finances and projects implementation.

Dr. Usman before his appointment as Minister of Finance was the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Chief Ola Vincent

Chief Vincent, administrator and renowned economist, was born on May 16, 1925 in Lagos. He attended St. Saviours Primary School, Lagos (1930-1935); CMS Grammer School, Lagos (1936-1939); University of Manchester, United Kingdom (1953-1956); and Administrative Staff College, England (1951).

Chief Vincent served the Nigerian Armed Forces between 1942 and 1946, and the Financial Secretary's Office, Lagos between 1946 and 1956. He was a part-time lecturer in Economics at the University of Ibadan between 1957 and 1960; Senior Assistant Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance (1959-1961); Assistant General Manager, Central Bank of Nigeria, 1961; Deputy General Manager, CBN (1962); General Manager, CBN (1963-1966); Director, Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (1964-1966); Vice President, African Development Bank (1966-1973); Adviser, CBN (1973-1975); Deputy Governor, CBN (1975-1977); and Governor, CBN (1977-1982). Vincent was awarded the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) honour by the Federal Government in 1982.

Dr. Clement Nyong Isong

Dr. Clement Nyong Isong was appointed the second Nigerian Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria from August 15, 1967 to September 22, 1975.

He also served as the Governor of the old Cross River State. As governor of CBN, he introduced a new organisational structure for the bank which took account not only of the existing complexity and volume of the CBN's activities, but also of prospective expansion.

Specifically, the report recommended the appointment of advisers who would deal with top-level matters, and of three non-executive directors, one to be responsible for all operational activities; a second, to handle administration and services matters; and the third, economic research.

The advisers and the non-executive directors were to report directly to the Governor. In the event of non-appointment of Advisers, the report called for the establishment of a Bank Policy Committee consisting the three executive directors to act as an advisory body to the Governors on questions of top-level and bank-wide matters.

Although many aspects of the report were implemented, the issue cf executive directors with the attendant reorganisation of the CBN was put on ice until 1978, when the report of another firm of consultants on re-organising the bank was implemented.

Chief Samuel Oyewole Asabia

The late Chief S.O Asabia had a distinguished career in the Civil Service, retiring as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance in the defunct Western Region. He was subsequently appointed Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria in 1970.

He served as Chairman, Capital Issues Commission (now Securities & Exchange Commission) from 1970-1975 and Chairman, National Wages Advisory Council and as a member of the Technical Committee on Privatisation.

Chief Asabia was appointed the first indigenous Chief Executive of Standard Bank Nigeria Limited in 1975, later known as First Bank of Nigeria Plc until 1984 and was for six years President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Chief Asabia was the founder and Chairman of Banque Internationale du Benin (BIBE) from 1990 to 1993 and the founder, Chairman and Chief Executive of First Interstate Merchant Bank Limited, from 1987 until his death in 1993.


Oba Oladele Olashore, 57, is banking guru and a management and financial consultant. Oba Olashore's professionalism is derived from his remarkable 28 years experience as an Accountant in British Petroleum; Director of Banking Supervision at the Central Bank and Chief Executive of both 1BWA and First Bank Plc.


Otunba Bola Kuforiji-Olubi is no doubt one of Nigeria's leading businesswomen, and this is no small achievement in a country largely male dominated.

Kuforiji-Olubi is a woman of substance and a beacon of light for many others. She was the Group Managing Director, BEWAC Conglomerate; former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and former chairperson of United Bank for African (UBA).

She represented Nigeria on the Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD), an international body concerned with the sustainable development of the world beyond the 20th Century.

As chairperson of UBA, the third largest bank in Africa then, she not only made history as the first female to hold such a position on the continent, she also pioneered several laudable projects which propelled the bank to its present prime position. She served briefly as Secretary (Minister of Commerce) in 1993.


Otunba Michael Olasubomi Olayiwola Oladimeji Olaonipekun Balogun, born 9th March 1934, at Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State.

The Otunba had his secondary education at Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos where he passed out with the Cambridge School Certificate in Grade One in 1952. For a year, he was a Secondary School teacher before proceeding to the London School of Economics (LSE) to read Law in 1956, having passed with distinctions - three subjects at the GCE Advanced Level as one of the pioneer-students of the Nigerian College of Arts, Science & Technology, Ibadan.

He graduated from LSE with Second Class Honours Degree in June 1959 and was called to the English Bar in December 1959. Under the sponsorship of the then Western Regional Government, he was the first Nigerian to receive special training in Legal Drafting in Whitehall and the City of London with particular specialisation in financial legislation, instruments and agreements.

He served as a Crown Counsel in the Ministry of Justice of the then Western Nigeria and subsequently as Assistant Parliamentary Counsel in the Federal Ministry of Justice in Lagos.

For nine years, between 1966 and 1975, he was the first Principal Counsel and Company Secretary to the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB). He received extensive training from leading stockbrokers, investment banks and merchant banks in London and New York.

In 1973, he was appointed the Director of Operations of ICON Securities Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of NIDB. He was Executive Director, ICON Limited (Merchant Bankers). He resigned in December 1977 to set up his own company, City Securities Limited, which was the first institution in Nigeria to combine Issuing House and Stockbroking businesses under one roof.

In 1982, he founded the First City Merchant Bank (FCMB). After 18 years of unbroken success as a merchant bank, FCMB widened its doors to retail customers in January 2001 and adopted universal banking. The bank has since changed its name to First City Monument Bank and is one of the leading post-consolidation banks in Nigeria today.


Chief Ebitimi Banigo is a well-respected banking expert. His vast banking experience started at the Loans Syndications department of Citicorp International Bank, London, then to Chase Merchant Bank (Continental Merchant Bank) and International Merchant Bank (IMB), where he rose to the position of Managing Director.

He established All States Trust Bank which stood out in its early days as a progressive new age bank with offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano and Sapele.

Credit for whatever achievement made by All States ought to go to its crop of skilled professionals led by him. He is also credited with training many of today's professionals. Chief Banigo served as Minister of Science & Technology under President Olusegun Obasanjo.


Umaru Mutallab was born in 1939 in Katsina. He is a former Federal Commissioner of Economic Development (1975) and also of Cooperation and Supply (1976). Umaru Mutallab recently played a major role in introducing Islamic banking into Nigeria. He was an executive director of First Bank and later became its Chairman, a position he holds till now.

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