MANAGING Director/Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Bank Limited, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, a former Executive Director of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, had two years stint as Lagos State Commissioner for Finance in the Administration of Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN).
Tokunbo Abiru, has retired after four years at the helm of affairs. He will step down on August 31.
The outgoing CEO announced to the staff of the bank that after nearly three decades in the banking industry, “serving meritoriously”, he resolved to retire to enable him contribute his quota in other areas of endeavour.
Reviewing his tenure at Polaris Bank, Abiru said: “With the support of the Board, Executive Management and all of you, we have delivered on the mandate given to us by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) upon assumption of office in 2016.”
He reminded the staff of the bank of the poor state of affairs before he assumed office in 2016 as the Group Managing Director of the erstwhile SkyeBank. According to him, all prudential ratios were out of compliance with regulatory requirements, Capital was negative, the loan book was mostly delinquent, liquidity faced deposit attrition, the IT infrastructure was dilapidated and employee morale was low, resulting in erosion of public confidence.
He praised the staff for working with him to reverse the trend and bring about an institution that has become a compelling case study in corporate turnaround within Nigeria’s financial services industry.
Abiru said: “We have reversed almost all regulatory ratios for good and currently rank among the very best in the industry. There can be no better testament to the much-improved state of the Bank than the full year 2019 results in which the bank posted Profit After Tax (PAT) of N27 billion. To buttress the fact that this is sustainable, the bank’s first half 2020 result showed a PAT of over N18 billion, despite the tremendous headwinds brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He added: “As a result of the successful completion of the first phase of the IT Refresh Programme, which consisted mainly of upgrade of the infrastructure and digital platforms, and relocation of the Bank’s Data Centres to Tier III data locations as mandated by CBN regulations and in line with global best practices, the bank’s customers are now experiencing significantly improved service delivery”.
According to him, “by introducing and committing resources to the Agency Banking model, we have contributed in no small measure to deepening financial inclusion for the unbanked and under-banked throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria.”
He explained that the inovations had made a bank of choice.
On succession, Abiru said: “During this period leading to my final disengagement, I will work closely with the CBN, the board of directors and executive management of our Bank to ensure a seamless transition and smooth handover to my successor.”