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Keystone Bank Appoints Obeahon Ohiwerei New MD/CEO

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Mr. Obeahon Ohiwerei

Mr. Obeahon Ohiwerei has been appointed the new managing director and chief executive officer of Keystone Bank Ltd, Nigeria. He takes over from Mr. Hafiz Bakare, the acting managing director/CEO.

In a letter addressed to the bank’s Customers, Mr. Bakare explained the processes that led to Ohiwerei’s appointment.

Mr. Bakare writes, “Dear Esteemed Customer, following the successful conclusion of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria’s (AMCON) divestment from Keystone Bank Limited and the hand-over to the Sigma Golf- Riverbank Consortium a few months ago, you were provided with series of updates to my assumption of office as Acting MD?CEO effective 1st April, 2017.

“As you may recall, I assumed this position under a transitional governance arrangement as a bridge between the erstwhile AMCON-appointed Board under which I served as an Executive Board, and the transition Board instituted by the new owners. This was to ensure continuity and stability pending the constitution of a substantive Board and Management for the Bank.

“The Transition has been very seamless with a number of positive developments over the period while appropriate progress has been made to have the full complement of the Bank’s Board and Management, starting with the appointment of the Substantive MD/CEO.

“I am happy to inform you that following regulatory approval which has just been obtained, Mr. Obeahon Ohiwerei will immediately assume office as the Bank’s substantive Managing Director/CEO. Within the interval between his appointment by the Board and the regulatory approval, we have been in close liaison to afford him the opportunity to understudy the Bank and the role.

Mr Ohiwerei holds a first degree in Mathematics and a Masters Degree in Business Administration. He began his professional banking career with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in 1991, and his exceptional performance saw him rise to the position of Manager within six years. After a successful career with GTBank, he worked with Standard Trust Bank (now UBA Plc) where he was appointed the Pioneer Group Head, Consumer Banking in 1998.

He resigned in 2002 as General Manager in charge of Lagos and West to join Pacific Bank Limited (then on Central Bank of Nigeria’s holding action) as Managing Director.

He repositioned the bank with his new team within 15 months and moved on to take up a new appointment as the pioneer Managing Director of Standard Trust Bank Ghana (now UBA Ghana).

He was a Group Executive Director with Access Bank Plc for 7 years, and a Director in 3 of Access Bank’s offshore subsidiaries as well as FITC, Lagos.

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E-Financial

CBN, NDIC Push Banks to Return to Northeast

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There are ongoing moves by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to get commercial banks and microfinance banks return to the troubled North-East region, Umaru Ibrahim, Managing Director, NDIC, has said.

Speaking at the ongoing NDIC Annual Workshop for financial journalists in Kano, Ibrahim, called on the CBN to provide incentives for commercial banks and microfinance banks to come back to the North-east after they closed shops because of the impact of the Boko Haram on their operations.

He said the Northeast has potentials to support economic growth and should be supported by banks to achieve the desired result. He spoke on the theme: “The Nigerian banking sector: Challenges, opportunities and the way forward.”

He said: “Many bank CEOs have forgotten the economic potentials that exist in the Northeast. We need to awaken the banks to see the economic potentials in the Northeast. During the next special Bankers’ Committee meeting, the Northeast infrastructural revival will be discussed. The CBN already has planned to rebuild the Northeast,” he said.

He called on the CBN and other major stakeholders in the financial system to rebuild the financial infrastructure in the troubled North-East region.

He said the activities of insurgents in the region in the last few years have led to huge damage of financial infrastructure in the region.

The NDIC boss disclosed that given the crisis in the North-East region, so many businesses have been adversely affected while some investors have moved their investments out of that region.

He said the rate at which people are being financially excluded in the region has increased due to lack of adequate provision of financial services which was caused by insurgents.

The NDIC boss said he would personally table the issue to the Bankers’ Committee during their next meeting so that concrete steps could be taken to address the problem.

To encourage Deposit Money Banks to open more branches in the North-East, he said there was need for the CBN to provide more incentives to banks. He said, “We need to have the government of the North-East on board, they need to be sensitised on this issue.

“We need more collaboration with the CBN and government of the North-East because without this, not much can be done.

“It is necessary for the CBN to provide incentives for various banks in order to come back to the North-East because many bank CEOs have forgotten the potentials that exist in this region.”

In his presentation titled “Rebuilding Financial Infrastructure in the North East”, Mudashiru Olaitan, Director Development Finance, CBN, lamented the low level of access to the bank’s interventions in the region.

Olaitan, who was represented by Sani Mohammed, Deputy Director in the Department, said out of the N82 billion that was spent between 2001-2008, no state in the region accessed the apex bank’s interventions.

“In the commercial agricultural scheme intervention by the CBN, no state in the North-East accessed this intervention except in Taraba and Gombe which have only one each.”So there is need for the region to tap into the interventions,” he added.

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IFC Invests to aid Better Access to Quality and Affordable Healthcare in Nigeria

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International Finance Corporation (IFC) the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets has announced that it recently committed an equity investment of USD 8.5 million in Santa Clara Africa Limited, to support the development of a 150-bed hospital and two 10-bed clinics in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

The project is promoted by AXA Mansard Plc, the Nigerian subsidiary of AXA Group, who provided equity to the project alongside IFC, the CAPE IV Fund, managed by African Capital Alliance and the hospital operator, Healthshare Ltd, through its parent company EOH Holding Ltd.

The two clinics will create a strong referral system of patients to the hospital.

 

These three facilities together will provide the necessary economies of scale to deliver better value for money in healthcare services.

 

The project is expected to provide healthcare at a price point that is below that of comparable hospitals and clinics in the market.

Eme Essien Lore, Country Manager, IFC, Nigeria, said “with this investment, IFC wants to contribute to increase the capacity of Nigeria’s healthcare system to offer quality and affordable services.

 

“We will look to scale up this efficient and integrated model nationwide” She added.

Nigeria’s healthcare sector remains underserved as demand – driven by population growth, higher income levels, rapid urbanization, and a rise of non-communicable diseases – continues to outstrip supply of quality healthcare infrastructure.

 

Diagnostic and primary care services are also limited, and at varying qualities. As a result, Nigerians spend an estimated US$1 billion annually on health services abroad.

The lack of secure access to affordable and good quality healthcare with an appropriate service mix has also hampered the growth of health insurance in Nigeria.

 

The low levels of health insurance penetration, which currently constitutes less than 10 percent of the population, contributes to the high cost of healthcare in Nigeria.

 

An increased availability of health insurance schemes would not only provide sustainable access to health services but also motivate the service providers to adopt cost-effective models.

This is IFC’s second investment with the AXA Group in the health sector. Earlier this year, IFC supported AXA’s insurance business in Egypt which includes health insurance, also through an equity investment.

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Linkifin to provide Supply Chain Financial Solution in West Africa

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Linkifin, a leading financial technology company in Nigeria, announces a new partnership with the South African company Propell.

 

This partnership is part of Linkifin’s International Development plan. Linkifin, based in Lagos Nigeria, provides end to end Supply Chain Finance (SCF) solutions across West Africa.

 

Both companies recently signed an agreement to provide Prime Revenue’s award-winning supply chain finance platform in South Africa..

 

Ms. Omolade Fadase, business development and Ibukun Ekujumi, technical lead both at Linkifin spoke to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek on the challenges in the supply chain ecosystem, stating that one of the biggest headaches in the supply chain link was cash flow challenges and delays in payments due by buyers to suppliers and this is what Linkifin SCF platform is about to change.

 

Obinna Mejeh, head of Business Development, added, “Our platform is basically one for invoice trading, adding flexibility and visibility in a supply chain ,unlike the legacy systems used by banks , discount houses and factoring companies. One of the beautiful things about this platform is that it is a win-win situation for all – buyers, suppliers and funders.

 

Hussaini Yakubu, MD/CEO of Linkifin, further commented, “Nigeria is the second strongest economy in Africa and the largest in West Africa. In order to gear the region towards a robust supply chain finance solution for the future we have to act now. The potential is huge and untapped amongst our target of small and medium sized businesses. We have already met with several major local companies and are going to announce new customers in the coming month”.

 

He ended by expressing his optimism that Linkifin will be able to bridge the gap in the supply chain ecosystem and ended the interview by saying the future for supply chain finance in Nigeria was bright.

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