2 Nigerians Win African Bankers Awards


Two Nigerian banks and two Nigerians have emerged winners of the 2011 African Bankers awards being organised by the African Banker magazine.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the banks and the Nigerians were named winners of the awards in Washington D.C.

The event took place at the venue of the just-concluded IMF/World Bank annual meetings.

The magazine, in statement made available to NAN on Sunday in Abuja, named the banks as First Bank Nigeria Plc and Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc.

The individual Nigerian winners are the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BOI), Evelyn Oputu, and Mr. Adebayo Ogunlesi.

In the awards ceremony witnessed by about 300 African and foreign stakeholders, First Bank picked the Most Innovative Bank of the Year award.

Stanbic IBTC, on its part, was a joint winner of the Deal of the Year award.

Oputu was named one of the most revered businesswomen in Africa and internationally.

She was also honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award and set a new record for being the first woman to receive this particular award.

Ogunlesi, whose bank or financial institution, was not mentioned at the ceremony got the award of the African Banker Icon.

Other winners included the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Kenya’s largest bank by depositors, Equity Bank, Dr. James Mwangi and Governor of the Bank of Uganda, Mr. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile.

NAN reports that Mwangi was declared African Banker of the Year for the second year in a row at this year’s African Bankers Awards.

Standard Bank Group of South Africa got the African Banker of the Year award, while the Best Local Bank of the Year award went to Millennium BIM.

EFG-Hermes of Egypt received the Investment Bank of the Year award.

In the other categories, the Investment Fund/Private Equity Fund of the Year award went to Actis of United Kingdom.

EB–Accion Savings and Loans Company of Ghana won the Micro-finance Institution/Project of the Year while the Socially-Responsible Bank of the Year award went to National Bank of Egypt.

Earlier, Omar Ben-Yedder, Group Publisher of the African Banker magazine, had said the Egyptian revolution had not stopped the resolve with two winners from Egypt.

“In fact, what these past few years have taught us is that we have financial institutions that have been able to show resilience in the midst of uncertainty and global shocks, something which would not have been possible two decades back.

“We are seeing Africans showing the lead. For example, new regulations in Nigeria have ring-fenced commercial banking from investment banking.

“And this happened in Africa before the UK and at London the world’s financial centre. I’m confident, and tonight with the quality on show, my belief is strengthened,” he said.

The African Bankers Awards is organised by the African Banker magazine, IC Events and BusinessinAfrica Events.

It was a landmark event taking place every year during the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings.

The awards brought together industry players and government officials from Africa and around the world.

The ceremony was meant to honour the achievements of companies and individuals who contributed to reforms, modernisation and expansion of the continent’s banking and financial system.