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Adaora Umeoji Retires as Zenith Bank Deputy Managing Director

Adaora Umeoji

Dr. Adaora Umeoji, Deputy Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, has retired from the financial institution following the new tenure limits for banks’ executives released recently by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Her retirement became effective from February 24th, 2023.

Zenith Bank disclosed this in a notification to the Nigerian Exchange Limited that was signed by its Company Secretary/General Counsel, Michael Otu.

The bank explained: “We write to notify the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the investing public of the retirement of Dame (Dr) Adaora Umeoji from the board of Zenith Bank Plc with effect from February 24, 2023.

“This follows the expiration of her tenure of office as Deputy Managing Director in line with the CBN circular No. FPR/DIR/PUB/CIR/001/070 dated February 24, 2023. The board wishes her success in her future endeavours.”

The CBN last week revised the regulatory requirements for the tenure of Executive Management and Non-executive Directors (NEDs) of deposit money banks (DMB) and financial holding companies (HoldCos).

The apex bank, which disclosed this in a circular to all banks dated February 24, 2023, titled: “Re: Review of Tenure of Executive Management and Non-Executive Directors of Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria,” had explained that the regulation was in line with the Code of Corporate for Banks and Discount Houses (Ref: FPR/DIR/CIR/GEN/01/004).

The letter was signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, Mr. Chibuzo Efobi.

According to the CBN, the tenure of Executive Directors (EDs), Deputy Managing Directors (DMDs) and Managing Directors (MDs), shall be in accordance with the terms of their engagement approved by the board of directors of banks, subject to a maximum tenure of 10 years.

Furthermore, the banking sector regulator stated that where an executive, who is a DMD becomes the MD/CEO of a bank, or any other DMB before the end of his or her maximum tenure, the cumulative tenure of such executive shall not exceed 12 years.

It added: “However, for an Executive Director (ED), who becomes a DMD of a bank, or any other DMB, his or her cumulative tenure as ED and DMD shall not exceed 10 years. NEDs, with the exception of Independent Non-executive Directors (INEDs), shall serve for a maximum period of 12 years in a bank broken into three terms of four years each.

“EDs, DMDs and MDs who exit from the board of a bank either upon or prior to the expiration of his or her maximum tenure, shall serve out a cooling off period of one year before being eligible for appointment as a NED to the board of directors.

“NEDs who exits from the board of a bank either upon or prior to the expiration of his or her maximum tenure of 12 years (three terms of four years each), shall serve out a cooling off period of one-year before being eligible for appointment to the board of directors of any other DMB.

“The cumulative tenure limits of EDs/DMDs/MDs and NEDs across the banking industry is 20 years. Please be guided accordingly.”

It pointed out that the regulations were part of measures aimed at strengthening governance practices in the banking industry.

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