•Along With His Core Team
Polaris Bank is one of the popular banks in Nigeria. It was established by the CBN on September 21, 2018, to offer commercial banking services to the Nigerian Public. The bank commenced services almost immediately, having purchased the assets and assumed certain liabilities of the defunct Skye Bank.
With a footprint of over 350 branches across the country, Polaris Bank prides itself in delivering exceptional customer experience, leveraging best in class/state of the art Information Communication Technology (ICT).
By focusing on ICT solutions across multiple service delivery channels (mobile banking, ATMs, POS and online platforms) Polaris Bank maintains a pivotal role in the Nigerian banking industry, providing customers with simple, convenient and secured banking services.
The success story of Polaris Bank can be seen in the high quality of its team players on the board of executives and Directors. Below, City People unveils them in this report.
Tokunbo Mukhail Abiru is the Managing Director/CEO of Polaris Bank. He parades about 3 decades of professional banking and financial services experience covering both the private and public sectors of the economy.
He rose to the position of Executive Director at First Bank Nigeria Ltd (2013-16) and was also the Honourable Commissioner of Finance, Lagos State, between 2011-13 under the dynamic and transformational leadership of Babatunde R. Fashola (SAN) as Governor.
He was appointed in July 2016 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as Group Managing Director to lead the turnaround of the regulator-induced takeover of the then troubled Skye Bank, in a bid to preserve the stability of the overall Nigerian Financial System. The successful completion of the assignment gave birth to today’s Polaris Bank Limited.
He has also served in various reputable boards including Airtel Mobile Networks Limited; FBN Capital Limited (now FBN Quest Merchant Bank Limited); FBN Bank Sierra –Leone Limited; and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS). He holds a B.Sc. Economics from Lagos State University. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School & Lagos Business School . He is ably assisted by a vibrant board and management team.
Muhammad K. Ahmad, OON is the Board Chairman. He has over 35 years’ distinguished experience leading and working in various public sector organisations and financial services institutions.
As the pioneer Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Pension Commission, Ahmad oversaw the establishment and growth of the Pension industry in Nigeria. Prior to that, he had worked as a Bank Supervisor at the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) where he rose to become a Director and member of the Interim Management Board, and at the Central Bank of Liberia.
Ahmad is a member of the Board of Directors of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and Chairman of the Interim Management Board of International Energy Insurance PLC. He is the founder of Jewel Development Foundation, a graduate assistant platform, and Certium Consulting, a strategy advisory and business applications company. He has also been a member of the Boards of Directors of FBN Holdings PLC, and FATE Foundation, a non-profit private sector-led organisation whose mission is to foster wealth creation by enabling aspiring and emerging Nigerian entrepreneurs.
Ahmad chairs the Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) of which the Vice President of Nigeria is the Chairman. He chaired the Technical Committee of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, which produced the Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance 2018. Ahmad is a member of the Presidential Committee for the North-East Initiative (PCNI), and was chair of the Technical Committee that produced the North East Transformation Strategy (NESTS), a medium-term regional development strategy promoted by the governors of the six constituent states of the region, for its socio-economic transformation and reconstruction.
He has a Masters Diploma in Innovation and Strategy from the University of Oxford and has also attended courses and programs in various first-rate business and management schools, including Harvard Business School, IMD and INSEAD.
There is also Innocent Ike who has over 28 years of successful professional banking experience acquired from leading Nigerian banks, mainly Access Bank Plc., GTBank Plc., and Keystone Bank, where he played very strategic roles in these institutions.
He was an Executive Director with Keystone Bank and has also worked as a General Manager in Access Bank Plc. As Group Head, Corporate, Institutional and Commercial Banking Divisions, Innocent Ike successfully developed and managed several high profile relationships with financial institutions, corporate and public sector clients in Lagos, Abuja and South-South regions.
Prior to joining Access Bank Plc., he worked in erstwhile Fortune International Bank Plc., and GTBank Plc., where he played several key roles in Commercial Banking, Treasury and Currency Trading as well as Operations and Technology Divisions. He also had valuable experience in Corporate Finance and Risk Management.
He started his professional career as a Senior Associate with Akintola Williams Deloitte, Nigeria before joining GTBank. Whilst at the accounting firm, he worked in the Audit, Consulting and Financial Advisory Divisions and was responsible for handling several key assignments.
Innocent obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos, where he was the Best Graduating Student in 1988. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
He has attended several professional, management and leadership programs in world-class institutions including Harvard Business School, International Management Development Institute (IMD) Switzerland, Euromoney London and Covey Leadership Centre.
Abdullahi S. Mohammed was born in August 1958 in Kano, Kano State. He had his early education in Kano and Kaduna States before proceeding to the Bowling Green State University, Ohio USA for his Bachelor and Masters Degrees. He returned to Nigeria in 1987 to commence his career with Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc., Sokoto, where he served as a Staff Development and Training Senior Instructor. He subsequently joined Century Merchant Bank Limited in 1991 as an Officer and Head of Treasury Department of Kano Area Office. During his stint at Century Merchant Bank, he was saddled with the responsibility of establishing the businesses operations in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Mr Mohammed would later in 1995 move to Kakawa Discount House Ltd. as the Admin Manager and later in 1998 was moved to establish the Abuja Area Office where he served as the head overseeing the 19 northern states. In 1999, he took up an appointment as the Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport in Kano State and Member, Kano State Executive Council. He was also at various times, the relief commissioner in the Ministries of Health and Water Resources. He later returned to Kakawa Discount House Ltd. until 2003 when he joined First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. where he rose to become a Deputy General Manager in 2013.
He was at various times in First Bank responsible for the Bank’s Business Development in Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Kano, Jigawa States as well as FCT – Abuja. He was until his appointment the Group Head in Charge of Commercial Banking in the North overseeing commercial Banking Business in the whole Northern Nigeria.
He has attended courses both in Nigeria and Overseas including those at the London Business School and the prestigious INSEAD Program for Achieving Outstanding Performance in Singapore. Mr Mohammed is also a member of the 37th SMP of the Lagos Business School and Honorary Senior Member of CIBN. He is an avid golf player and happily married with children
Segun Opeke is a result-oriented professional banker with over twenty-six years hands-on work experience acquired from leading Nigerian commercial banks with over fifteen of these years in Senior and Executive Management. Segun has played various strategic roles in the various institutions and led the consumer banking team in FSB International Bank, he served as the area manager in charge of the Victoria Island and Ikoyi business of Prudent Bank Plc. Prior to joining Skye Bank Plc, he had also worked in Chartered Bank Limited where he started his banking career.
Upon the consolidation to Skye Bank in 2006, Segun worked as the bank’s treasurer, Regional Director for Victoria Island and Ikoyi and also the Group Head for Corporate Banking and the Aviation and Maritime at various times. He is presently the Directorate Head, Lagos Business and has consistently built on the Bank’s leadership position in the Corporate and Commercial Banking space drawing on his wide industry experience while impacting positively on his team. He has been a strong asset to the Bank over the years bringing real value on board as a member of the Bank’s Executive Committee.
Segun holds a B.Sc (Banking and Finance) and MBA from the University of Lagos.
Femi Aribaloye is another team player. He is a disciplined and focused professional with a banking career spanning 29 years.
He started his banking career in 1990 with Chartered Bank Limited where he gathered experience in credit and business development working as a frontline officer across Corporate Banking, Branch Banking and Treasury Marketing. He was part of the foundational team of Prudent Bank Plc., in 2000, where he started one of the branches as the Branch Manager before transiting to head the Credit Risk Management function of then Prudent Bank Plc. The consolidation in the banking industry in 2006 saw him become the Head of Risk Management of Skye Bank Plc, where he was a pivotal part of the setup of the risk management function and frameworks for the Bank. He is currently the Directorate Head, Enterprise Risk Management/Chief Risk Officer of Polaris Bank Limited.
Femi holds a first degree in Business Administration from the University of Ilorin and an MBA (Finance) from the University of Liverpool. He has over the years acquired significant Board experience representing the Bank on the boards of both local and international subsidiaries as a Non-Executive Director.
Rotimi Omotayo is also a key player in Polaris Bank. He is a qualified accountant and chartered banker with several years of in-depth experience in Banking and Finance, Compliance & Control, and internal auditing. He is a good team player and an effective, hardworking and self-motivated officer with excellent interpersonal skills deployed toward improving customer service, operational processes, strategic planning and compliance & control. He has over 28 years of cognate banking experience, having previously worked as a Senior Accountant with the Ogun State Housing Corporation.
He started his Banking Career with defunct Gateway Bank Plc., in 1991 where he acquired experience in corporate planning, performance management, financial control and regulatory compliance before moving to EIB International Bank Plc in 1999 where he functioned in a similar capacity. In the aftermath of the consolidation exercise in July 2004, he was part of the team that set up the operational framework for erstwhile Skye Bank Plc., where he later became the Head of Branch Coordination in the bank at the end of the exercise in 2006 with responsibilities to ensuring effective operational and seamless processes in branches and maintenance of strong ethical standards within the rank and file of the operations staff. He was later redeployed as the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) and the Group Head of Internal Control in the same organization. He is currently the Chief Internal Auditor of Polaris Bank Limited.
Rotimi holds a Higher National Diploma in Accountancy from Yaba College of Technology (YabaTech) and Bachelor of Science Degree in Banking and Finance from Ogun State University, Ago-Iwoye.
Olu Odugbemi FCA, FCTI. Agronomist, Economist, Auditor, Chartered Accountant, Ex banker and Financial Consultant. Olu is an alumnus of INSEAD Fontainebleau, France Strategic Management of Services and 1991 British Council ODASS Scholar. He holds B.Sc (First Class Hons, GPA 6.8/7.0), University of Ibadan; M.Sc (Distinction Hons, 1992) Imperial College, University of London and 1999 SAP FI/CO R3 Certification from SAP Academy Woodmead, Johannesburg. He is a Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.
His multidisciplinary educational background is complemented by over 25 years of cross-functional business experience in Audit and management consulting, Treasury & FI Relationship Management, Corporate Finance, Strategy, Retail and Corporate Banking garnered in Deloitte, Touche& International (formerly Akintola Williams & Co) and three top-ranking Nigerian Banks namely Ecobank Plc., Citizens International Bank and UBA Plc.
Among others, he was involved in the design of Legal and Operational framework for Central Securities Clearing System (1994/97), participated in several landmark transactions.
At UBA Plc, he served at management level for nine years and was at various times Senior Manager, Strategy (1997), Head, Oil & Gas Upstream (1999), Sector Head, Power (2002), Sector Head, Mortgage Banking and Divisional Head, UBA Home Loans (2005). He worked with the Mckinsey team in Project Quest (2001) to craft UBA Corporate and Retail Strategy and played a central role as Strategy team member in the UBA/STB merger integration in April 2005. He disengaged from UBA Plc. effective February 2006 to pursue a personal interest in Financial Consulting.
Austin Jo-Madugu is also a team player. He was born 1952, is an alumnus of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, BSc, Sociology, First Class Honours 1976 and New York University, New York, MBA 1982.
He began his working life at the Centre for Management Development, Lagos in 1977 as a Management Trainee. His banking career started at Chase Merchant Bank in 1983 in Credit and Marketing. He worked also at UBA and at the Bank of Industry from where he retired as General Manager, Operations in 2012.
Alhaji Abdullah Umarhas is another member of the team. He has over 45 years of work experience spanning different fields including the Insurance, Manufacturing and the Public Service. He has obtained various qualifications from different institutions including the Kitson College Technology, Leeds, United Kingdom and the Ohio University, USA.
Alhaji Umar who is on the membership of various Boards across the country has established and continues to successfully run three indigenous companies.
Bata GarbaWakawa is also a member of the team. He has over 23 years of banking experience. He obtained a B.Sc. Hons degree in Business Administration from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1982 and an MBA degree from Bayero University, Kano in March 1996. His full-time banking career started when he left Borno State Civil Service in 1984 for Central Bank of Nigeria on a senior supervisor grade until June 1986 when he joined UBA Plc. He rose through the ranks whilst being responsible for Commercial Banking, Monitoring and Control (Risk Management), Inspection, Reconciliation and Control, Transaction banking, Branch Co-ordination and Control and Area Office Administration in Jos, Abuja and the 6 states of the North-East geo-political region. He voluntarily retired in November 2007 as Senior Branch Cluster Manager in charge of all branches in Borno and Yobe States.