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Emeka Onwuka steps down as Chairman of Enterprise Bank

By The Citizen

The Chairman of Enterprise Bank Ltd,  Mr Emeka Onwuka has stepped down from the Board.

A move which financial analysts have hailed for exhibition of professionalism and corporate governance is rare in the industry.

Onwuka had in a letter of resignation addressed to the Managing Director AMCON he referred to his earlier declaration of interest, where intimated the management of his interest with a group of investors who intends to acquire AMCON's shares in the three intervened banks including Enterprise bank ltd.

'In order to avoid any potential conflict of interest in the transaction and to protect the credibility of the process, i am resigning my position as Director and Chairman of the Board, effectiveOctober 1, 2013,” he was quoted to have said.

He further stated that the Board under his Chairmanship, has instituted best practice corporate governance and laid a solid foundation for sustainable growth of the business. 'We cleaned up the Balance sheet, re-engineered the bank's processes and positioned the now profitable bank for growth', the letter says.

It could be recalled that Onwuka
has had a successful career in the banking industry. He has contributed immensely in the development of the banking industry in the last 20 years and Diamond bank in particular. It was his pedigree that earned him his appointment as the Chairman of Enterprise Bank Ltd, one of the nationalised banks. This singular appointment is in recognition of his sterling banking qualities and his ability to turn around and reposition the bank for greater heights.

Mr. Onwuka was appointed the Group Managing Director/CEO of Diamond Bank Plc from May 2005 to February 2011. His appointment came at a point when the banking industry was facing a crucial moment in its history in Nigeria- the reconsolidation exercise of 2004/2005. He led the consolidation and acquisition undertaken by Diamond Bank that shored the bank's shareholders' funds to over N27b. Also, during the global financial crises of 2008/2009, he steered Diamond bank safely, thus scaling through the crucial Stress Test conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) in 2009, in which case, many bank CEOs were affected. In both situations, he successfully led the bank out of the troubled phases stronger and more dynamic.

During his stewardship, he positioned Diamond Bank as a leading Small Medium Enterprise bank in the country, driving, funding, and enhancing access to capital to SMEs in the country. During this period under review, he secured facilities and collaborated with some international organisations such as International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank to assist in building capacity for indigenous start-up companies, which many of themtoday have survived and are creating job opportunities for numerous Nigerians. Obviously, this segment constitutes about 90 percent of Nigerian businesses and in no small measure; their activities have contributed meaningfully to the growth and development of the Nigeria's economy.

Mr. Onwuka's contributions in the banking industry extend beyond Diamond Bank and Enterprise Bank, as he has continued to play a key role in the Money Market sphere. He Chaired the FX Committee of the Money Market Association of Nigeria that introduced the global practise of two-way price quote into the Nigerian money market

In addition, he is presently a Trustee of the Financial Market Dealers Association and now a board member of the new constituted FMDQ OTC Board, an institution that has recently been licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to operate an OTC exchange in the country.

It is foolishness to be disobedient for what is gainful!
By: Bishop David O.