I have been inspired! Greatly inspired this holiday as I travelled through the north to eastern Nigeria. I kept passing by Heritage Bank branches in Awka, Owerri and now in Enugu where I am writing from today.
The source of my inspiration is the leader of the investors who acquired the Societe Generale bank and later the Enterprise bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo.
He led a team of investors to raise a dead bank,Societe generale bank and paid depositors back their monies which has never happened in the banking sector and then went ahead to acquire Enterprise bank as a merger that had 106 branches adding to their own Heritage bank of 11 branches. What a bold investment! With 4000 staff strength and enormous investment in oil and gas, School feeding programme in Kaduna, Farming youth programme in Rivers state, Raising Entrepreneurs through the NEXT Titan, with 85% retail customers majorly SMEs and many other youth empowerment initiatives, they stand out.
It is amazing to know that such Nigerians as the bank MD exist and that they leave us with no much option but to aspire and break the ceilings in whatever our industries are.
In his message to Nigerians in a recent interview with This Day, he said:
We are strong as a financial institution, we have very good shareholders’ fund, N65 billion in shareholders’ funds, we are profitable and we would remain profitable. Customers’ deposits are safe and there is nothing wrong with the bank. We meet every obligation. We are a service company in the business of banking. The customer is priority and customer safety influences our decision. We may be young, but we have a large heart and we are destined for great things.
So Heritage Bank and her Managing Director, Mr. Ifie Sekibo wins my Jenny Chisom Blog "The Empowerment Bank of the year" mention while we work towards honouring them nationally.