On September 11 2015 when AMCON announced Heritage Bank as the preferred bidder ahead of Fidelity as the new owners of Enterprise Bank.Mr Ifeie Sekibo the CEO of Heritage Bank assuming the daunting and risky task of integrating Enterprise Bank with the rich history of crisis. There were many challenges which included staff issues,system integration as well as convincing of former customers of Enterprise Bank that the acquisition would bring better service. with the multiple challenges that comes with acquiring a big bank like Enterprise Bank, Mr Sekibo assured the banking public of a smooth and successful integration of both banks.
At this juncture I therefore humbly duff my hat for the CEO of Heritage Bank Mr Ifie Sekibo for the way and manner he and his team at Heritage Bank have been able to steer the ship of the bank after acquisition that in just one year of their union the Bank has recorded tremendous success to the admiration of other Banks in the industry.
Enterprise Bank which before now was a loss-making Bank but in just one year Mr Sekibo and his team have been able to generate over a billion naira in profit with an increase in the shareholders strength or fund of over #65billion in such a short period.
Even in the face of harsh economic realities bedevilling the country and compounding with the bad press targeted at the bank, the Bank has taken the bull by the horn by providing a robust and innovative customer friendly products and services to all its customers hence making banking with Heritage Bank a "wow" experience.
Heritage Bank has introduced world class financial management in the managing of theiir funds. We all know the economic situation in our country which is as a result of the recession, this economic downturn has made liquid cash scares in the system yet there is hardly a scarcity of fund in Heritage because the bank put in place a process that manages the inflow of cash as well as the outflow to the advantage of it customers.
One of the greatest and the most important obligation the Heritage Bank team led by Mr. Ifie Sekibo don't joke with is its retail customers. Infact, they are the core partner in the development plan of the Bank. The Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the NYSC Scheme with about 1500 youth with additional 5000 youth from the National Youth Council are beneficiaries of the Heritage Bank Empowerment Initiative engineered by the bank MD Mr. Ifie Sekibo. This scheme is aimed at supporting the SMEs to grow knowing fully well that thre are the bedrock of our nation's economy. The concept here is to support small businesses and grow with them since Heritage Bank is quit new in the industry. With this approach, the Bank has been able to build a network of over 10000 SMEs which the Bank is nurturing and hoping that one day they will all grow and develop to become like the likes of Aliko Dangotes and through them Nigeria will become an industrial hub in Africa and also in the world.
Lastly,and for the avoidance of doubt,the Central Bank of Nigeria has further reiterated that Heritage Bank is not in any way in distress, rather, the bank is even more stronger financially than it was last year and that all its depositors' funds are safe for Heritage Bank remains resilient enough to withstand the current economic storm. With this permit me to give it to the man at the helm of Heritage Bank affairs, he is indeed a man with the midas touch.