Fidelity Bank Board Appoints Obih, Opara as Directors


The Board of Directors of Fidelity Bank Plc has announced the appointment of Mr. Henry Obih as an independent non-executive director with effect from September 21, 2020.
The bank also appointed Dr. Kenneth Opara as an executive director.
According to a statement yesterday, the appointments have been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Opara will assume office as the executive director in charge of Lagos and South-West Directorate on January 1, 2021, taking over leadership of the directorate from Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, who was recently appointed Managing Director/CEO – Designate.

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe will succeed Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, who retires as Managing Director/CEO on December 31, 2020, upon the completion of his contract tenure in line with the internal policies of the bank.

Commenting on the latest appointments, the Chairman, Board of Directors, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, said: “Both appointments are in furtherance of our positioning for the next growth phase. We welcome Henry and Ken to the board and believe they will make significant contributions that will sustain the performance trajectory of the bank in line with our strategic intent.”

Obih was the Group Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer (GED/COO), Downstream, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) until his retirement in 2019 and was subsequently appointed to the Board of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) in July 2020.

He joins the board of Fidelity Bank Plc with significant cross-functional work experience and exposure spanning over three decades, across different climes including Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas, the statement explained.

“He has extensive experience in project and performance management, manufacturing and operations management, sales and marketing, strategy and business planning/analysis, business development/re-engineering, general management, corporate governance and risk management.
It added: “Prior to joining NNPC as GED/COO in 2016, Mr. Obih had a stellar 22-year career at Mobil Oil Nigeria (ExxonMobil Nigeria Downstream) and held several high-profile positions in the company, including being Executive Director, Retail, and Executive Director, Operations, Customer Service and Logistics.

“His recent leadership roles include board positions at Nigeria Gas Marketing Company Limited, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited, NNPC Retail Limited, NIDAS Marine Limited (a subsidiary of NNPC in a joint venture with Daewoo Industries South Korea), NIKORMA Limited (a subsidiary of NNPC in a joint venture with Hyundai Heavy Industries South Korea) and Duke Oil Company Inc,” it added.
Obih holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and an MBA in Financial Management from the University of Bradford, Yorkshire, England.

His professional affiliations include membership of the Institute of Directors, Society for Corporate Governance and Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN); Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers; Institute of Credit Administration and Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.

He has attended executive programmes in leadership, strategy, finance, corporate governance, and business management at some of the world’s leading institutions, including Columbia Business School, New York; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); IMD Lausanne, Switzerland; London Business School, London and Lagos Business School, Nigeria.

Opara, who currently serves as General Manager/Regional Bank Head, Ikeja Region, has over 29 years’ experience in banking and worked at various financial institutions including legacy Omega Bank Plc, Equatorial Trust Bank Plc and Manny Bank Plc, before joining Fidelity Bank Plc in 2006, following its merger with Manny Bank Plc.

He has core-banking experience in diverse areas of banking including Credit, Treasury, Retail, Consumer and Commercial Banking, International Operations and Corporate Banking and has held senior management positions in the industry including Divisional Head, Managed SMEs, Multilateral Agencies & Trade Missions; Division Head, SMEs, Electronic & Consumer Banking; Head, Private & Consumer Banking, Head, Affinity Banking & Corporate Consumer Banking; and Head Consumer & Commercial Banking.

“The appointment of Ken is well deserved and in line with our succession planning policy. He has made significant contributions to the growth of the region as well as the various divisions he has headed in the bank,” Fidelity Bank’s MD/CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, said.

Opara has attended executive management programmes at Harvard Business School, Kellogg School of Management, Wharton, INSEAD and Lagos Business School amongst others. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and an active member of the Institute’s governing council, where he currently serves as 1st vice president, having previously served as 2nd vice president and national treasurer of the institute.

He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Finance and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a PhD in Credit Management from the International University of Panama.

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