By Alhaji Haruna Sani
Management of the First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) in Sierra Leone has on November 14th, 2022, inaugurated Kobi Walker as the new Chairman Board of Directors, succeeding Olumiyi Robin Coker. The occasion was held at the bank headquarters on Charlotte street in Freetown.
The symbolic occasion brought together all directors and senior management of the Bank.
Managing Director and CEO of FBN Bank, Sierra Leone, Udeme Okon Udoh Udoh, said the replacement of director was in line with the Article of Association and the Board Charter of the bank. He said FBN was sanctioned by the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) (regulators) “that is why it is happening now. It would have happen earlier, but we were waiting on BSL to give a no objection to the appointment of the new chair.
He said FBN Bank in Sierra Leone is a full subsidiary of the FBN Bank in Nigeria which happens to be largest customer based bank in Nigeria with over 128 years standing
While making his brief statement, outgoing Chairman Olumiyi Robin Coker said he was pleased to witness the transition from himself to Mr. Kobi Walker, adding that it was inappropriate for him to go without thanking the management team of FBN.
He explains some of the achievements of the Bank under his leadership as Board of Chairman. Some of the achievements, according to him, include relocating the bank from Shaka Steven Street which was not conducive for the business to Charlotte street, establishment of a new branch in the east end of Freetown and an improvement in the business performance.
“I have no doubt in my successor, Mr. Walker; he was my senior at the Prince of Wales Senior Secondary School. I am relieved because of the kind of man that is taking over from me. I am sure he is going to move this bank forward. Welcome!, do well! and may the force be with you,” he stated whiles handing over to Mr. Walker.
In his inaugural speech, Kobi Walker who has worked at the Union Trust Bank as Marketing Director and Chairman Audit Service Committee among others commended his predecessors for doing so well in lifting the bank to another level.
“I am going to be passionate, dogged and brutal for result. With commitment, dedication and teamwork, all of us can drive FBN to a good position,” he expressed.
Rosaline Laveley, Director and Chair of Board Governance Committee, FBN Bank Sierra Leone said the management will ensure access to banking through robust digital banking with the use of mobile phones.
“We are hoping that we can start rolling out some of the features locally, but we also bear in mind that we need to avoid breaking the BSL legislation and regulations. Some of the products are readily available in Nigeria but we need to go through licenses to get approved and rollout those products here in Sierra Leone,” she said.
As the only female Board Member of the bank, Rosaline Laveley she is anticipating to see more females as Board member of the bank.