5 Most Successful Banking CEOs in Nigeria
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African CEOs - March 27, 2023

5 Most Successful Banking CEOs in Nigeria

Nigeria’s banking industry has experienced a steady and remarkable growth over the years. This success can be attributed to the diverse innovative leadership of some Chief Executive Officers who have all made significant contributions to the growth of the banking sector in the country.

These CEOs have managed their organization through challenging times and steered its wheel towards innovation, optimal customer service, financial inclusion, thus making them successful.

Here, we would look at some Nigerian banking CEOs who have scaled up their organisations and also added a positive impact on the country.

Herbert Wigwe – Access Bank

Mr Herbert Wigwe started his career at the Coopers and Lybrand Associates before going to work at Guaranty Trust Bank from where jointly acquired Access Bank with his partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede in 2002.

Herbert assumed the position of Access bank General Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer in 2014 having metamorphosed  Access Bank from being ranked 65 out of the 89 commercial banks in the country at the time to being among the top 5 financial institutions today.

In 2012, Herbert and his friend also pulled through an acquisition deal with Intercontinental Bank to further expand Access Bank. He is currently amid plans to launch a new Access Bank unit in France.

In the first half of 2022, Access Holdings printed a net profit after tax of N88.4 billion representing a 2.1% increase compared to 86.94 recorded in the same period of 2021.

Oliver Alawuba – UBA

Oliver Alawuba joined the United Bank for Africa Group in 1997, he supervised the Bank’s Public Sector and Personal Banking businesses over the years. 

Alawuba who is not new to banking operations across Africa with over three decades in the banking industry experience was once the CEO of UBA Ghana before he became the Regional CEO, UBA Africa and then returned to run UBA’ East Bank.

He assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer of UBA in August 2022. According to Bili. A. Odum, the group’s company secretary, said under Alawuba’s leadership, UBA’s Nigerian East Bank division became the fastest growing regional bank in the Group.

Ebenezer Onyeagwu – Zenith

Ebenezer Onyeagwu was appointed as the Zenith Bank Plc Group Managing Director/ CEO on the 1st of June 2019. The appointment was a promotion from his deputy managing director role, having joined Zenith Bank as a senior manager in 2002.

Ebenezer started his banking career in 1991 when he joined the now defunct Financial Merchant Bank, before moving to Citizen International Bank.

In the first half of 2022, he guided Zenith Bank to a net profit of N111.4 billion which is a 5% increase from 106.1 billion in the same period of 2021.

Segun Agbaje – GTCO

Segun Agbaje joined GT Bank in 1991 as a pioneer staff before he rose to the position of Executive Director in January 2000.

The 54 years old banker has been the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc since July 12, 2011.

He has positioned Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) as a major player in the financial services industry for its branding approach to innovation and digital products. As a result of his background and experience in the key areas of bank activities which includes commercial banking, investment banking, treasury, and so on, he was appointed the Deputy Managing Director in August 2020.

Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan – First Bank

Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan is the Managing Director/CEO of First Bank of Nigeria Limited and Subsidiaries. Prior to this appointment in January 2016 he was Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer for the Bank.

He started his banking career at Afribank as a graduate trainee in 1994 and joined First Bank in 2014. He was appointed Managing Director of First Bank two years later in 2016. He can be referred to as one of the most successful CEOs as a result of the bank’s growth and sustainability and how it continues to maintain its leading role in Nigeria’s financial sector.

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