April 23, 2018
Rokel Commercial Bank, a financial institution partly owned by the government of Sierra Leone and one that is geared towards profit making in the interest of the general public, and whose dwindling fortunes over the past years was nothing good to write home about, has of late witnessed a positive resurgence in overall banking performance.
For many years, the bank has not been able to break-even and had posted losses in the annual reports, but the new positive direction of the bank was first initiated by Mr. John O. Smart whose tenure witnessed a turnaround of the bank fortune from a negative -33billion Leones losses to a 1.5billion Leones profit after tax in 2016.
However, the current Managing Director, Dr. Ekundayo Gilpin -a financial technocrat- who earned his skills in the United States for several decades- was invited home to come and salvage Sierra Leone’s foremost commercial institution.
Dr. Gilpin heeded the call of the outgoing president because of his love in giving back to his country and contributes his financial expertise to his country development.
He came, bagged the job and since then the fortunes of the bank have continued to be on high. How did this erudite technocrat do it?
Firstly, when Dr. Gilpin came to the bank, he analysed that the bank was in total mess and was indeed living on its past accolades, hence visualised that a surgical operation was needed to be done to bring the bank in line with international systems and standards.
He further saw the need to bring in ultra-modern and state of the art technologies to keep in touch with the latest trends in banking.
New products or services like SIM KOBO, the DEBIT CARD payment and internet banking were introduced to the market and were overwhelmingly received by the public.
Customers were now able to withdraw and transfer money with ease, with long queues in banking hall eliminated and customers happy, thus prompting an increase in the bank’s customer base and monthly turnover of over 12 to 13billion Leones recorded on a regular basis.
The Marketing department was revived and the bank’s name was rebranded with a new logo.
The marketing department, which was inactive for several years, simply because they never had job description to work on, was capacitated with eight vehicles to enhance the movement of staffs to reach the potential market.
The revived marketing department is headed by very dynamic and hardworking women- Mariama Jajua. With the bank’s rebranding image and new logo, the marketing department, which was inactive for several years, is now active and vibrant.Mrs.Jajua and her team have made huge strides in developing the deposit base of the bank. This new and determined marketing posture has prompted a drastic increase in the number depositors that are coming to the bank to open new accounts.
Motivational techniques were also employed to elevate staff’s morale and performance on the job. Staffs were made to be rotated to different departments within the bank and gone are the days when a staff would be on a particular job for several years.
Both On-the-Job Training and Off-the-Job Training were employed as some staff members were made to undertake short overseas workshop, which in a nutshell, had greatly improved the performance of the staff.
The Staff compact population was maintained and that has helped in minimising cost that might have arisen in hiring other staff outside the bank.
Staff appraisal was also introduced and outstanding ones in terms of performance were given awards in appreciation of their hard work at the end of last year’s Anniversary Celebration.
In view of all those robust strategies that have been put in place by Dr. Ekundayo Gilpin, there has been a tremendous positive impact on the bank’s profitability margin over the years.
In the last fiscal year, the bank was able to post over 70billion Leones profit after tax performance for 2017 and in the current year, it is envisaged that the Rokel Commercial Bank would be on a right footing and the Profit after tax might go in excess of over 100billion Leones.
The operations of Rokel Commercial Bank, is in no doubt in conformity with the new change in government’s policy –a strategy that is geared towards eliminating leakages, minimising costs and maximising resources in the system.
The bank’s significant progress in the financial sector is as a result of the robust strategies implemented by Dr. Ekundayo Gilpin, who is poised to ensuring that the institution becomes an envy in the eyes of the public.