By NKIRUKA NNOROM
The out-going Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, has advised bankers to concentrate on their core mandate and avoid unnecessary distractions from other engagements if they must excel in their chosen profession.
He made the remark at the thanksgiving service organised by the bank to celebrate his retirement from office after 10 years of meritorious service.
Ihejiahi completed his tenure February, 2014, having served as the Fidelity Bank’s CEO for 10 years. He was appointed on December 2013 and assumed office in February 2014.
Speaking at the end of the ceremony, Ihejiahi pointed out that getting involved in other engagements could limit a banker’s level of success.
In his word, “Banking is like any other profession that you must stay focused. It is not the sort of thing you do and do other things. You might succeed, but I don’t think that is the way to do it.”
He pledged to continue to support the bank in retirement and to be ‘an advocate for every thing concerning the bank,’ while thanking God that Fidelity Bank survived all the banking sector reforms that took place during his time.
Speaking earlier, the Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, applauded the out-going CEO for his sagacity in managing the bank, saying that it is worthy of celebration.
“To lead is to live dangerously; this is because as a leader, you take decisions that could affect the institution for better and you also take decision that could destroy the organisation. Therefore, to have led a bank for 10 years is no mean task. To have led a bank and the bank is not distressed means that you successfully lived dangerously,” Okonkwo said.
He stated that the celebration was a culmination of decades of thorough leadership of a thorough bred professional, who has led the bank successfully.
Under Ihejiahi’s leadership as the CEO of Fidelity Bank, the bank grew exponentially in all vital indices. For instance, shareholders’ fund grew from N2 billion in 2003 to N167 billion in 2013; branch network grew from mere 17 as at the time he took over in 2003 to 213 last year. Customer base jumped from 150,000 to 2.5 million, while the total assets grew from about N20 billion to over N1