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Over the years, Zenith Bank, a leading pan-African financial institution has always been a trailblazer in the Nigerian banking industry. It has proven to be outstanding with its diligent pursuit of excellence and commitment to high-quality service. This, indeed has resulted to an enhanced performance of the bank in the year under review.

Undeniably, Zenith Bank Plc., has embraced technology in its drive for leadership in the Nigerian banking industry, which makes it unique among its equals. It is one of the biggest banks, if not the biggest in Nigeria today, having roughly 600 branches and cash centres in Nigeria, the Bank transacts business with over 8 million customers across its network.

Attaining lofty heights, such as being the Biggest Bank in Nigeria by tier-1 Capital 2020 – The Banker Magazine; Best Bank in Nigeria 2020 – Global Finance Magazine; Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria 2020 – The Banker, London; Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) – Thisday Newspaper, Nigeria; Bank of the Year 2020 – Independent Newspaper, Nigeria are no mean feats in Nigeria, where competition is fierce.

Back-to-back since 2012, Zenith Bank has remain on the top chart of banks with outstanding awards such as Best Bank in Corporate Governance 2012 – World Finance; Rated Biggest bank in Nigeria and 322 in the world – The Banker Magazine; Largest Bank in Nigeria/West Africa (by market cap.) 2011-12 – African Business; 3rd Biggest Company in West Africa 2012 – Forbes & CNBC Africa; Best Performing Ai 40 Company 2012-10-12 – African Investor; Best Bank in Nigeria 2012 – Global Banking and Finance Review; Best Commercial Bank in Africa 2012 – Capital Finance International (CFI); Best Bank in Corporate Governance 2012 – World Finance; FTSE Global Markets (2012) – 20 Global Super Brands.

The Zenith Bank brand has powered ahead of competition also on account of its huge investment in Information Communication Technology (ICT), a fact attested to by the Web Jurist award which rated Zenith Bank as the bank with the best website in Nigeria.

With the sterling touch of a man like Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the Managing Director of the Bank, who is a vastly experienced banker and financial expert, the Bank has successfully remained the richest bank in Nigeria. This bank, over the last 10 years, has always competed with First Bank of Nigeria, over this first position. Not only is Zenith Bank the richest Bank in the country, it is also reputed to be the best in the country.

Onyeagwu is a trained Banker, who attended reputable institutions of learning in Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

He is an alumnus of the prestigious University of Oxford, England, where he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Strategy, and a certificate in Macroeconomics. He also undertook extensive executive level business education in Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia Business School of Columbia University, the Harvard Business School of Harvard University (all in the United States) and Lagos Business School of the Pan African University, Nigeria.

A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, a feat he attained in 2003, Onyeagwu has nearly 30 years experience in the banking industry in Nigeria.

Surprisingly, Onyeagwu, proudly adds to his Resume, that he attended Auchi Polytechnic, and began his career at the defunct Financial Merchant Bank in 1991 and later held several management positions in the erstwhile Citizens International Bank Limited until 2002.

He joined Zenith Bank Plc in 2002 as a Senior Manager, in the Internal Control and Audit Group of the bank.  His professionalism, competence, integrity and commitment to the set objectives of the bank led him to the coveted position of General Manager of Zenith bank.

Before his current position, Onyeagwu was an Assistant Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director between 2003 and 2005. In these positions, Onyeagwu handled strategies for new business and branch development. He was also managing risk assets portfolios for Zenith, treasury functions, strategic top-level corporate, multinationals and public institutional relationships, among others.

As an Executive Director of Zenith bank in 2013, Onyeagwu was in charge of Lagos and South-South Zones, also strategic groups/business units of the bank including Financial Control & Strategic Planning, Treasury and Correspondent Groups, Human Resources Group, Oil and Gas Group, and Credit Risk Management Group, etc.

The Bank’s investments in technology has enabled Zenith Bank to consistently deliver superior performance over the past 29 years. Despite the dynamism in the Nigerian banking industry, Zenith Bank has remained top-notch in it’s steadfastness in the Technological innovations in Banking.

As the GMD/CEO of Zenith, just like his predecessors, Onyeagwu has ensured an undiluted teamwork and collaboration among staff members. This, has added to the transformation efforts of the Bank, and as the CEO he is mandated to drive that. He has brought strong motivation and energy to bear at the Bank. An applause, no one can deny him.

As the CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Onyeagwu has brought to the front burner traditional skills of his workforce, which has complemented the technology and digital skills in the Bank’s workforce. This has assisted the Bank’s agility and resilience, even in the challenging environment it operates.

Recently, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive called for a concerted effort towards diversifying the country’s export base through the promotion of non-oil exports.

He also noted that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic which has impacted the demand for oil and, by extension, the price of crude oil in the international commodities market, has further exposed Nigeria’s over-dependency on crude oil earnings and its susceptibility to oil-related shocks.

Speaking further, Mr Onyeagwu noted that boosting non-oil export is imperative in view of the opportunities that exist in the broader contexts of ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which seeks to create a continent-wide market of 1.2 billion people with combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion and about $4 trillion in consumer and business spending.

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