Intrigues as Onwuka steps down as Enterprise Bank chairman

THE Chairman of one of the bridged banks- Enterprise Bank Limited, Emeka Onwuka, has resigned from the top job, in a development that caught stakeholders by surprise.
According to sources available to The Guardian, the resignation may not have been unconnected with the personal interest in the sale of the bridged bank by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
The said that in his letter of resignation addressed to the Managing Director of AMCON, Mustapha Chike-Obi, he referred to his earlier declaration of interest, where he intimated the bank’s management of his interest with a group of investors who intends to acquire AMCON’s shares in the three rescued banks.
He was said to have written in his resignation letter: “In order to avoid any potential conflict of interest in the transactions and to protect the credibility of the process, I am resigning my position as Director and Chairman of the Board, effective October 1, 2013.”
He further stated that the Board under his Chairmanship, has instituted best practice corporate governance and laid a solid foundation for sustainable growth of the business.
“We cleaned up the Balance sheet, re-engineered the bank’s processes and positioned the now profitable bank for growth”, the letter added.
It would be recalled that AMCON recently put up for sale Enterprise Bank, with plans to dispose off its shareholding in the remaining two before the end of 2014.
Onwuka has enjoyed a successful career in the banking industry and contributed in the development of the financial industry in the last 20 years, with Diamond Bank as a clear example.
He was appointed the Group Managing Director/CEO of Diamond Bank Plc from May 2005 to February 2011, at a point when the banking industry was facing a crucial moment in its history in Nigeria, spanning the Consolidation Exercise of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo to the Banking Reforms of Mallam Lamido Sanusi.
During his stewardship, he positioned Diamond Bank as a leading Small Medium Enterprise bank in the country, driving, funding, and enhancing access to capital to SMEs in the country, leveraging on facilities and collaborations with some international organisations such as International Finance Corporation (IFC).
He once chaired the FX Committee of the Money Market Association of Nigeria that introduced the global practice of two-way price quote into the Nigerian money market
He is presently a Trustee of the Financial Market Dealers Association and now a board member of the newly constituted FMDQ OTC Board, an institution that has recently been licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to operate an OTC Exchange in the country.