Monday , July 22 2019
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That Diamond Bank, Access Bank romance

Chijama Ogbu

I think that Diamond Bank should long have sacked the Managing Director/ Chief Executive of Diamond Bank Mr. Uzoma Dozie. The bank has been facing capital adequacy challenge for sometimes. But it was not alone in that league. Even the mighty First Bank faced the same challenge.

In a time like this, the bank needs a more experienced, time-tested chief executive that enjoys the confidence of investors home and abroad. Uzoma, who is the son of Paschal Dozie the original promoter of the bank, may not have the right mix of experience and grit to steer the bank through tough challenges.

He may have the number of years of experience required for the office, he may have trained in best academic institutions, but as for the rough-and-tumble realities of the Nigerian business environment, he may not have it. Being the son of the rich and powerful, his way to the top was aided no doubt by the big hand of the father.

Part of the targets of the 2005 consolidation policy of then Prof. Chukwuma Soludo-led CBN was to discourage family banks, which usually encouraged appointments to key positions of banks by filial considerations more than by competence. Yet, some powerful people through proxies still maintain ownership hold on some banks such that they could do virtually anything they want in them.
When Uzoma took over from Alex Otti as the chief executive of the bank, the bank was about number five in size. For many years it was ahead of Access Bank in size and many other considerations. But while Access Bank has since soared above Diamond Bank such that it is being speculated that it wants to acquire it. Mark, it is acquisition and not merger. That just tells the story.
Diamond Bank has a very strong deposit base and is supposed to leverage on it to sort itself out without requiring external help. It has its capital eroded due to huge non-performing loan with no proactive approach to its resolution plans, which to me is blamable on lack of management foresight and aggressiveness, which are critical success factors in Nigerian banking environment.

It is time to look beyond Uzoma who has steered the bank to this ignoble state of offering itself for acquisition.

. Chijama Ogbu on FB (15/11/2018)

About Lanre Oyetade

A multiple award winner in Economics and business journalism, Lanre Oyetade has served close to two decades in the media industry, spanning different notable stables, where he is privileged to have risen to the position of a title editor. A masters degree holder in Economics from the University of Lagos and doctoral student at the Babcock University, he is a winner of the prestigious NMMA Capital Market Award for two consecutive years (2004 & 2005), and was also a nominee for the body’s banking and finance and money market awards for two years. In 2013, he also won the Most Outstanding Business-Reporting Title Editor award of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN). A minister in the LORDS’s vineyard, he has been an inspirational speaker and resource person at many corporate and religious fora since early 2004, and has so far authored three books on the capital market; on personal effectiveness, and on personal finance, in 2008 and 2014, respectively.