By Peter Egwuatu, Michael Eboh & Henry Umoru
LAGOS — FORMER Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and capital market operators said yesterday that Nigeria as a country has lost a national asset with the death of the Group Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), Mr. Tayo Aderinokun.
Meanwhile, despite the death of Aderinokun, capital market operators yesterday, expressed optimism that the bank would continue to be the pride of investors giving its achievement in the banking industry.
Mourning his demise yesterday, Atiku in a statement noted that the pioneering role of Aderinokun and the erstwhile MD of the bank, Mr. Fola Adeola has impacted positively on the banking and financial sector of the nation’s economy.
The statement read: “Aderinokun has been able to sustain and expand the new frontiers charted by the GTBank, which has assured it a leadership position in the banking and financial sector.”
In particular, Atiku noted that Aderinokun pushed the benchmark of the bank’s corporate governance practices to new and enviable heights.
“His stay with us on earth may have been short, but that could not be said of the huge impact he had on our socio-economic lives. As a pacesetter, he engineered novel ways of banking, which will be with us for a long time.”
Also, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has expressed shock over the death of Aderinokun, saying it was a big loss to the banking sector and the nation’s corporate world.
According to the statement signed by the newly appointed Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, Fayemi said he received the news of Aderinokun’s death in the United Kingdom with a shock.
Fayemi lamented the death of the former GTB boss at the age of 56, saying it has robbed the country of a boardroom guru, a technocrat and one of the leading lights in the banking industry.
, who has added value to the Nigerian economy, through hard work and efficient management of men and materials.
He said Aderinokun’s death was further made painful by the fact that he passed on when hope had risen that he would recover from the protracted illness and continue the good work he was doing in the banking industry.
The governor praised Aderinokun’s management of GTB, which, according to him, accounted for the meteoric rise of the bank as one of the strongest and healthiest banks in the country that has contributed immensely to the economy.
Fayemi said although Aderinokun’s demise is painful, he however urged his family members, professional colleagues and well wishers of the late bank boss to take solace in the fact that his legacies in the banking sector would remain indelible in the minds of Nigerians.
Meanwhile, investors rally on the shares of the bank, Wednesday pushed up its price by 0.75 per cent to close at N16.05 per share from N15.93 per share at which it opened trading.
The rally on the bank’s shares, according to capital market operators was as a result of the professional manner in which his health issues were managed, having no impact, whatsoever, on the operations and activities of the bank.
Capital market operators who spoke to Vanguard in separate interviews, disclosed that despite the depressed mood in which the news plunged the market, shares of the bank were on high demand during trading hours and eventually closed on a bid position.
Mr. David Adonri, Managing Director, Lambeth Trust and Investment Limited said, “A minute silence was observed by market operators in memory of Tayo today (Wednesday) Thereafter, the mood of the market became depressed, although, that was not reflected in movements of banking stocks.
“Yesterday’s court judgment appeared to have defined the state of affairs in the banking sector. Despite the sadness of Tayo’s death, GTBank was on high demand and eventually closed on bid.”
Also speaking, Mr. Oluseye Adetunmbi, Chief Responsibility Officer, Value Investing Limited, said, “If there is anything at all apart from the painful loss of Tayo Aderinnokun, is the fact the he left behind a legacy of a uniquely structured and well managed bank in Nigeria. See the way his protracted illness was managed which didn’t impact on operations and corporate responsibilities to all ranks of stakeholders.
“Most people didn’t even know that he was ill, which made the news of his passing on sudden in some quarters. As a matter of fact his transition underscores GTB as one of the best professionally run banks in Nigeria. His team and co-founder have raised the bar of best practices in commercial banking in Nigeria.
“Albeit, things should look up for the bank because of the consistency in the professional management of the bank and in terms of returns on investment to the shareholders. It is a kind os stock people who have it would wish to hold on to and even increase holdings. Also those don’t have may wish to acquire some having seen banks with their progenitors and CEOs alive going under while GTB remains the pride of banking when the CEO was indisposed for months.
“The feat of GTB speaks volumes about the man in charge who is behind the institution. I still recall my official/working visit to his office over 8 years ago (see the photo attached), there was no congested desk with files or documents on his table.
If you raised any business request or issue on your account, he will advise you to get your account officer who had been adequately trained and empowered to buy-in. It can only be better as urge those left behind to keep the flag flying. May his gentle soul rest in peace.”