Zenith Bank’s Top Director Adaora Umeoji Retires in Assent to CBN’s New Tenure Rule
- Zenith Bank's Deputy Managing Director, Adaora Umeoji, has left her position after over 10 years of service
- Umeoji's abrupt resignation is in obedience to the Central Bank of Nigeria's new rule limiting the tenure of bank directors
- The CBN defends its new rule saying it would strengthen corporate governance practices in the banking industry
Dr Adaora Umeoji, Deputy Managing Director at Zenith Bank Plc, has retired from the financial institution in adherence to the new tenure limits for bank executives recently released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Her retirement became effective on February 24th, 2023.
Zenith Bank disclosed this in a notification to the Nigerian Exchange Limited signed by its Company Secretary/General Counsel, Michael Otu.
The bank's notification reads:
PAY ATTENTION: Share your outstanding story with our editors! Please reach us through firstname.lastname@example.org!
“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.”
Why are banks directors resigning
On February 24th, 2023, the CBN issued a circular that Executive Directors (EDs), Deputy Managing Directors (DMDs) and Managing Directors (MDs) can only serve for a maximum of 10 years, subject to the terms of their engagement approved by the board of directors of banks.
Part of CBN's circular reads:
"If an executive, who is a DMD, becomes the MD/CEO of a bank before the end of their maximum tenure, their cumulative tenure shall not exceed 12 years.
"However, for an ED who becomes a DMD, their cumulative tenure as ED and DMD shall not exceed 10 years.
Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) can serve for a maximum period of 12 years in a bank, broken into three terms of four years each, except for Independent Non-executive Directors (INEDs)."
Among other guidelines, the CBN noted that the cumulative tenure limit of EDs/DMDs/MDs and NEDs across the banking industry is 20 years.
Umeoji has over 20 years of cognate banking experience, which is why she was affected.
First Bank's top director, Shobo resigns
First Bank of Nigeria's deputy managing director, Gbenga Shobo, also resigned in a similar development.
The guidelines limit executive directors, deputy managing directors, and managing directors to a maximum tenure of 10 years.
The new guidelines are expected to affect many other bank executive and non-executive board members