Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) has appointed Mrs. Miriam Olusanya as its first female Managing Director.
She takes over from the former Managing Director, Segun Agbaje.
A statement from the bank on Wednesday said aiming to strengthen its long-term competitiveness and growth prospects, Guaranty Trust Bank plc has completed its re-organisation to a Holding Company Structure.
It said under the terms of the re-organisation, a new operating company has been established and amendments made to the articles of incorporation for a corporate name change.
“The corporate name of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc and GTCO Plc will be used by the newly established operating company.
“The newly established Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc is also pleased to announce its new Board of Directors as well as changes to the Board of its banking subsidiary, Guaranty Trust Bank Limited. All the appointments have been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria and disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Nigerian Exchange Group.
“Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (“GTCO Plc”) will be governed by a Board of Directors comprising, Mr. Sola Oyinlola as Chairman of the Board and Mr Segun Agbaje as the Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Adebanji Adeniyi as Executive Director, Mrs Cathy Echeozo as Non-Executive Director, Mr. Suleiman Barau and Mrs. Helen Bouygues as Independent Non-Executive Directors,” the statement said.
It added that “The Banking subsidiary, Guaranty Trust Bank Limited will be governed by a Board of Directors comprising, Mr Ibrahim Hassan as Chairman of the Board, Mrs Miriam Olusanya as Managing Director, Mr Jide Okuntola as Deputy Managing Director, Mr Haruna Musa as Executive Director, Mr Olabode Agusto as Independent Non-Executive Director, Ms Imoni Akpofure and Mrs Victoria Adefala as Independent Non-Executive Directors.”
Commenting on the completion of the Corporate Reorganization, Mr Segun Agbaje, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, said: “We believe that a Holding Company Structure will allow us take advantage of new business opportunities in the emerging competitive landscape and strengthen our earnings base.
“We are very excited to get started on the next phase of our incredible journey to driving Africa’s growth by making end-to-end financial services easily accessible to every African and African Businesses by leveraging Technology and Strategic Partnerships.
“As a bank, we were always looking to meet every customer need; with our corporate reorganization, we will be able to do more to help our customers thrive in this new world of digital technologies and unprecedented possibilities”.
He further stated that, “Whilst we are evolving as an organization, we remain committed to our founding values which have endeared our brand to millions of people across Africa and beyond, and which continues to drive our financial success.
“As a Proudly African and Truly International band, we will continue to live by these values—of excellence, hard work and integrity, even as we create faster, cheaper, safer and more diverse products for people and businesses of varied types and sizes.”
Prior to its corporate reorganization to Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has been at the forefront of delivering innovative banking products and services to customers and best-in-class Return-on-Equity to shareholders.
It is widely regarded as the best managed financial institution in Nigeria and has, over the past decade, embarked on a period of unparalleled growth, growing its customer base from less than 3 million customers in 2011 to over 24 million customers in 2020, and profit before tax from ₦45.5 billion at the end of the 2010 financial year to ₦238.1billion at the end of the 2020 financial year.
Emirates resumes flight services to Nigeria
United Arab Emirates carrier – Emirates – said on Thursday that it will resume its passenger operations between Dubai and Nigeria from December 5, 2021.
The airline said it will operate to and from its Nigerian gateways with daily flights, providing travellers from Nigeria convenient access to Dubai – a popular holiday and business destination.
The new move, it was learnt, is a sequel to the resolution of its row with Nigeria on suspension of flights.
In a statement, the carrier said throughout the pandemic it has been updating passengers with industry-leading health and safety measures at every point of the travel journey as well as helping communities reconnect faster in facilitating economic recovery.
The airline said it also been working hard to provide up to date, comprehensive travel information to passengers as well as speeding up processes on the ground through digital verification for Covid-19 via the IATA Travel Pass, as well as touchless check-in and biometrics processing.
The carrier said Covid-19 PCR tests are mandatory for all inbound passengers arriving to Dubai, including UAE citizens, residents and tourists, irrespective of the country they are coming from.
CBN frowns at commercial banks over e-Naira
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has frowned at commercial banks in Nigeria for not doing much to educate the citizens about the recently launched e-Naira platform.
Officials of the CBN who were in Kaduna on Wednesday to lecture youth corps members, hundreds of students from tertiary institutions across the state and other members of the public on “onboarding of stakeholders on the e-Naira platform, has explained the operational benefits of the electronic currency.
Head, Finance Department of the CBN, Aminu Muhammad, an Assistant Director, said financial institutions that are under the purview of the CBN are supposed to play critical roles in growing the economy.
Speaking at the CBN Fair which was held in Kaduna and also featured real time the Kano version of the Fair simultaneously, Muhammad said the commercial banks were not effective on issues relating to the e-Naira.
According to him, “They are lagging behind and that is why the CBN is coming in to intervene. For example, the information asymmetry like what we saw when they were talking about the e-Naira in Kano. Kaduna people had that awareness, earlier unlike in Kano, which is because of information asymmetry.”
He lamented that, “All the banks knew about e-Naira but members of the public do not know. Some people probably might be hearing it for the first time. There is imbalance of information as regards the e-Naira, and that is why the CBN has come out to sensitize the public, give people the opportunity to come in so as to block that information asymmetry.”
Dollar shortage: Foreign airlines stop ticket sale to Nigeria-bound travellers
As dollar shortage in the Nigerian economy continues to hit the air travel industry harder, foreign airlines flying into the country have stopped local travel agencies and firms from selling tickets to intending inbound Nigeria passengers
The carriers also barred Nigerian travel agencies from selling tickets to intending passengers whose travel itineraries neither originate nor terminate in Nigeria.
This is known in air travel parlance as SOTO ticket, meaning Sold Out, Ticketed Out.
The move is currently affecting many Nigerian students abroad who are seeking to buy tickets from Nigerian travel agents to come home for the Yuletide.
Majority of them are now being forced to consider buying their tickets from travel agencies based overseas.
The latest move by the international carriers follows their inability to repatriate their ticket sale proceeds running into several billions of naira in the last one year.
As of October, the International Air Transport Association (the global trade body for international airlines) said foreign carriers operating in Nigeria had been unable to repatriate about $207m in ticket sale proceeds to their various head offices abroad.
The Central Bank of Nigeria is rationing the sale of dollar to international airlines and other sectors of the economy as the country battles to meet dollar demands.
However, economic and financial experts have queried the rationale for the CBN’s rationing of the greenback when the nation’s external reserves are still above $40bn.
Local travel agencies told our correspondent that most of the foreign airlines stopped sale of SOTO tickets due to the exchange rate problems in Nigeria, which they said had made it difficult for them to repatriate their revenues.
“Most airlines don’t want to sell SOTO tickets again because of the exchange rate problem in Nigeria, which is affecting them; they couldn’t move their revenue out of Nigeria,” an official of Peacock Travels and Tours, a major local travel agency, said on condition of anonymity because she was not authorised to speak on the matter.
The official of another agency said aside from the difficulty in repatriating revenue, SOTO tickets might not pay the foreign carriers because of the international exchange rate among countries.
Findings by our correspondent revealed that British Airways stopped local travel firms from selling tickets to inbound Nigeria passengers about two weeks ago. BA also barred the local firms from selling SOTO tickets.
It was further learnt that other carriers including Lufthansa, Air France and KLM had joined in barring local travel agencies from selling SOTO tickets.
According to foreign airlines and travel agencies, more international carriers take similar decision in coming days or weeks.
A British Airway official confirmed the development anonymously and explained that the decision was taken because IATA had told foreign airlines that SOTO tickets were putting more pressure on the Nigerian economy due to the increase in foreign carriers’ demand for dollars from the CBN.
“IATA confirmed to us that we (foreign airlines) are putting pressure on the Nigerian economy when we sell in naira tickets that are meant to be sold in dollars. An example is a London-New York-London ticket. That itinerary has nothing to do with Nigeria. But most passengers, especially Nigerians, prefer to buy those tickets from Nigerian travel agencies because it is cheaper. A lot of passengers who don’t even have business in Nigeria prefer to buy their tickets in naira because it pays them. So we had to take this decision to avoid putting more pressure on the naira,” a BA official said on condition of anonymity because there was no official approval to speak on the matter yet.
Lufthansa, Air France-KLM spokespersons could not be reached as of press time.
The President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agents, the umbrella body for travel agencies/companies in Nigeria, Susan Akporiaye, could not speak with our correspondent because she was on air transit as of press time.
The media aide promised to get back to our correspondent.
The lingering shortage of forex in Nigeria had forced the naira to crash against the United States dollar on the IATA platform last month.
As a result, airfares on Nigeria routes that are priced in naira had increased considerably.
The development came amid struggles by foreign airlines to access forex from the CBN to repatriate ticket sale proceeds running to over $208m.
I the naira had fallen against the dollar last month on the IATA ticket pricing template from 415/dollar to 444/dollar, forcing travel companies to sell tickets at higher prices.
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