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Adekunle Sonola appointed Polaris Bank MD/CEO by new owners SCIL

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The new owners of Polaris Bank Limited, Strategic Capital Investment Limited (SCIL), have appointed Mr Adekunle Sonola as the new Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.

This followed the acquisition of the 100 per cent equity stake in the bank for N50 billion and the agreement to pay the N1.3 trillion injected into the lender by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the next 25 years.

Mr Sonola, who is replacing Mr Innocent C. Ike, has more than 33 years of experience in the African financial services sector, most recently as Executive Director of Commercial Banking at Union Bank Plc.

He was the pioneer Regional Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank East Africa and the Director of Investment Banking at Standard Bank in South Africa.

The banker has also served on the boards of Airtel Africa Plc and First Bank of Nigeria, where he chaired the board’s Risk Management Committee.

He would be expected to reposition the bank for greatness.

“We are excited to participate in the next phase of growth for Polaris Bank and to have been able to recruit such an experienced and diverse board of directors we are confident can lead Polaris Bank into a new era of sustainable growth.

“This is an exciting time for the Nigerian financial services industry, and we are committed to building on the strong foundations established by the departing board. We would like to thank them for their service and wish them well.

“We have mandated the incoming management to develop an innovative but sustainable growth strategy that prioritises the needs and aspirations of our current customers,” the MD/CEO said.

In a related development, Polaris Bank has announced the appointment of new board members to be headed by Mr M K Ahmad.

He has more than 37 years of experience and has been the Chairman of Polaris Bank since 2018, overseeing the stabilisation of the bank and the introduction of best-practice corporate governance.

He currently serves as the Chairman of the Interim Management Board of International Energy Assurance and the Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatisation.

Mr Ahmad is also a Board Director of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and FBN Holdings. He was the pioneer Director-General of PENCOM.

The bank has also appointed Mr Abubakar Danlami Suleiman, Ms Salma Mohammed, Mr Adeleke Alex Adedipe, Mr Ahmed Almustapha, Mr Francesco Cuzzocrea, and Mrs Olabisi Olubunmi Odunowo as non-executive directors, while Mr Abdullahi S Mohammed and Mr Segun Opeke were chosen to be on the board as executive directors.

While commenting on the acquisition and board transition, the Chairman of Polaris Bank said, “I would like to thank the outgoing board members profusely for their hard work and dedication over the last four years as we have established a strong governance structure and stabilised the bank.

“I am very pleased with our progress and that we have delivered on our mandate to prepare the bank for a return to private ownership.

“I am personally proud to have been asked to lead the bank into an exciting new future, and I look forward to working with the new board and our core investors to build on the platform we have created.”

This article was updated 4 weeks ago


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