Another Commercial Bank Set to Begin Operations in Nigeria, Selects First State And Date to Start

Another Commercial Bank Set to Begin Operations in Nigeria, Selects First State And Date to Start

  • NOVA Merchant Bank has disclosed plans to commence full commercial banking operations beginning July 2024
  • The bank’s chairman, Philips Oduoza, said the bank has chosen Lagos as the first state to begin its operations
  • He told the Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, that they chose the state because of its friendly business environment’s Pascal Oparada has reported on tech, energy, stocks, investment, and the economy for over a decade.

The management of NOVA Merchant Bank Limited has disclosed that the bank has transitioned to a national bank after securing the required approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The bank’s board chairman, Philips Oduoza, disclosed that the bank’s full commercial operations will begin in July and spread to other parts of Nigeria.

NOVA Merchant bank transitions to national bank after CBN's approval
NOVA Merchant Bank transitions to commercial bank, sets July date for operations Credit: Novartis
Source: UGC

NOVA to site first branch in Lagos

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The NOVA bank chairman disclosed this when the board and management visited the Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

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The bank’s chairman said they will roll out the first branch in Lagos, saying they will have many branches because it already secured a national banking license.

He said Lagos had provided NOVA Merchant Bank with a good operating environment.

He said:

“An investment in Lagos to support part of the drive for economic activities, the creation of employment for people here. And of course, provision of additional banking services to the customers in Lagos.”

Sanwo-Olu promises a conducive environment

Reports say that Oduoza lauded Sanwo-Olu’s government for providing a conducive environment for businesses to flourish and expressed the bank’s readiness to collaborate with the governor on his plans for the state.

Sanwo-Olu congratulated the bank on its commercial bank conversion and said that the government must protect and provide the environment for individuals and businesses to thrive in the state.

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Sanwo-Olu said:

“For us as a government, it is to continue to ensure that people, our citizens, both corporates and individuals have an environment which they see as home, where security of life and property is critical.

NOVA shareholders give approval

Last year, NOVA Merchant Bank disclosed plans to enter the commercial banking business and compete with Access, Zenith, and other Nigerian commercial banks for customers. 

At its Annual General Meeting (AGM), NOVA’s board of directors received approval from its shareholders to commence the transition plan. 

NOVA was founded in 2017 and began operations as a CBN-licensed merchant bank in February 2018. 

Oduoza explained that the bank's decision to transition into the commercial banking business will help it further streamline its operations, bolster its financial stability, and foster sustainable growth across its businesses. 

NOVA appoints new MD

In January this year, the bank appointed Adebowale Oyedeji as its new managing director and chief executive officer to manage its operations. 

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Oyedeji's appointment, which commenced on January 2, 2024, was approved by the CBN. Oyedeji succeeded the former MD/CEO, Nath Ude, whose tenure ended on November 6, 2023. 

The bank said in a statement that Oyedeji's hands-on experience combined with a strong record of delivering revenue targets, business turnaround, productivity, people management, efficiency, and risk control makes him the ideal person for the job. 

NDIC commences paying Heritage Bank depositors earlier reported that the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has begun paying customers of the defunct Heritage Bank two weeks after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revoked the bank’s license.

A bank customer said he received the N10,000 left in his account with Heritage Bank.

Ayodeji Olowe, founder of the loan management system Lendsqr, reportedly said the NDIC deposited the money in his alternative account using his BVN.

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Pascal Oparada (Business editor) Pascal Oparada is a Mass Communications Graduate from Yaba College of Technology with over 10 years of experience in journalism. He has worked in reputable media organizations such as Daily Independent, TheNiche newspaper, and the Nigerian Xpress. He is a 2018 PwC Media Excellence Award winner.