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Biography of Erastus Bankole OLADIPO AKINGBOLA

Nigeria > Finance : Erastus Bankole OLADIPO AKINGBOLA

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Born on 26/10/1950 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Erastus Bankole Oladipo Akingbola (b. October 26,1950) , is a well-known Nigerian banker. He is the Chief Executive officer and Vice Chairman of Intercontinental bank limited. After Fraud Investigation charges, he is currently missing and thought to be on the run and is being sought by Interpol.
Akingbola is an indigene of Oke Igbo in Ondo state of Nigeria though he was born in Ilesha, Osun State, on the 26th of October 1950. His father was a grade 11 teacher and his mother a bookseller. On completing his primary education, he gained entrance into Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti. Not born with a silver spoon, the young Erastus was determined to succeed but the family at this period was going through a difficult time.

At a point when he was in form three, his father had already taken the decision to withdraw him from school as he would not be able to keep paying for his stay in school anymore. With the advice of a friend, they applied to Ife Local Government, which promptly responded and paid his fees as well as his sister’s through secondary school. Another incident occurred when he was preparing for his A-level examination. His mother visited the school he enrolled for the Higher School Certificate, to withdraw the deposit she paid, reasons being that the family was in a poor financial state.

After his secondary education, he nursed the ambition of pursuing a career in International Relations, a discipline he hoped would make him become an ambassador in future. He worked as an accounts clerk in an engineering firm from where he sat for the General Certificate of Examination Advance Level. But while studying for the A-level, he gained temporary employment at the then Barclays Bank (now Union Bank) in 1971. When the result of the examination was released, he failed and so couldn’t leave his job at the bank.

It was then that one of his mentors, Chief Akinbami observed his commitment, dedication and exceptional zeal to the bank job and encouraged him to pursue a full career in banking.

So he took the Institute of Bankers Examination and passed with good grades. In fact he was the only one that passed two papers. This feat attracted a cash prize of ₀20 from the bank. By the time his colleagues were graduating from the universities, he had already qualified as an Associate of the Institute of Bankers. By 1975, on completion of his Bankers examination, he was made a ‘B’ signatory, a very sensitive appointment usually made to staff with considerably more years of experience. In Union Bank, he rose from cashier, bank clerk, foreign exchange officer to bills and credit officer.

In 1977, Akingbola moved to NAL Merchant Bank, where he rose rapidly from Executive Assistant to Senior Manager in charge of the Bank’s entire International Operations and Foreign Correspondent Banking relationships in 1985. From NAL, he moved to First City Merchant (now Monument) Bank (FCMB) as Controller of Operations in 1986. In February 1989, Akingbola teamed up with three other friends â€" Raymond Obieri, Chris Alabi and Hyacinth Enuha, to form the Nigerian Intercontinental Merchant Bank Limited (NIMBL).

At 38, Akingbola was given the mandate to head the bank. That of course made him the youngest bank MD/CEO and of recent the longest serving chief executive of any Nigerian corporate entity. Thus, from a dilapidated house on downtown Beckley Street on Lagos Island, a building had not been in use for three years that it has to be washed thoroughly before they were able to paint it, they started Intercontinental Bank, using their personal cars and furnishing the offices with chairs brought from their houses. With one office, 31 staff and a capital of N7 million they built the bank to what it is today.

In 2000, he transformed the bank into a commercial bank and between 2000 and 2005, the bank surpassed all expectations. During the last banking reforms, the bank absorbed Gateway Bank, Equity Bank, Global Bank and became known as Intercontinental Bank Plc with Akingbola at the saddle. The bank with more than six thousand workforce and a network of more than 200 branches all linked by cutting-edge IT infrastructure is now among the first five biggest banks in Nigeria. It’s no surprise achieving this success because of the leadership qualities of Akingbola.

For instance, Intercontinental Bank has a tradition of all-blue attire and Akingbola as the man at the helm of affairs wears the uniform that it would be difficult to distinguish him from others. Talk about leadership by example.
Akingbola, who holds an MBA in Management from the University of Lagos, a PGD in Theology and also an alumnus of both the Harvard Business School and the Lagos Business School, is the Chairman, Associated Discount House Limited, Chairman, Intercontinental Securities, Chairman, Tropics Finance and Investment Company Limited and amongst others.

A devout Christian and philanthropist, Akingbola ascribes all his accomplishments to the infinite blessings of the Almighty and has made significant contributions to various charitable causes in Nigeria. A recipient of many awards and recognition such as the Zik’s Leadership Award, Kwame Nkrumah Award and was in 2001 honoured with the National merit Award of the Member of The Order of the Niger (MON). A pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), he enjoys reading and playing golf.

Last update : 09/01/2009

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