NewsWest AfricaA genealogy of Nigerian banking


Posted on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 17:29

A genealogy of Nigerian banking

Samuel Asabia, Gamaliel Onosode and S. B. Falegan are part of the first generation of Nigeria's bankers. Asabia was the first Nigerian chief executive of First bank of Nigeria, Nigeria's oldest bank.


Onosode was chairman and chief executive of Nigeria's first merchant bank, Nigerian acceptances limited (later Nal), between 1973 and 1979.

The second generation was led by the executives of the 'big four' – First bank, Union Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Afribank – in which
the government held a majority shareholding.

Joseph Sanusi ran two of these – UBA and First bank – and went on to become central bank governor in 1999.
The man he succeeded, Paul Ogwuma, also belonged to the second generation, as did Umaru Mutallab, executive vice chairman and CEO of UBA from 1978 to 1988.

The third generation emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the military government of Ibrahim Babangida pursued a liberalisation of the industry, awarding dozens of new commercial and merchant banking licences.

Many in this group were 'owner- managers', holding a sizeable number of shares in the banks they ran: Fola Adeola and Tayo Aderinokun (Guaranty Trust bank), Jim Ovia (Zenith), Tony Elumelu (UBA), Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede (access), Ladi Balogun (FCMB), Erastus Akingbola (Intercontinental), Atedo Peterside (Stanbic IBTC) and Cecilia Ibru (Oceanic).

Tolu Ogunlesi

Tolu Ogunlesi

Tolu Ogunlesi is a journalist and writer based in Lagos, Nigeria. He is The Africa Report's west Africa editor. Tolu has twice been awarded the CNN Multichoice African Journalism Awards. He is an avid user of social media, especially Twitter (@toluogunlesi)

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