Nigeria shines as GTBank, First Bank, Sanusi win at African Bankers Awards

Lamido Sanusi won the “2013 Africa Central Bank Governor of the Year” award.

Guarantee Trust Bank was on Wednesday named winner of ‘the 2013 African Bank of the Year’ by the African Banker magazine, just as First Bank of Nigeria emerged the ‘Best Bank in West Africa.”

At the African Banker Awards gala dinner held in Morocco, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi, emerged the “2013 Africa Central Bank Governor of the Year” award winner for the third consecutive year, while the African Banker of the Year went to the Managing Director/Chief Executive of Access Bank, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.

According to the Publisher, African Banker and Managing Director, IC Events, Omar Ben Yedder, Sanusi’s award was in recognition of his remarkable leadership role and consistent contribution to banking reforms in Nigeria, which have inspired his peers to emulate him across the continent of Africa and beyond.

In the citation prior to the presentation of the award, Mr. Yedder stated: “The African Banker Awards Committee has commended you (Sanusi) on your outstanding work in the past years in sustaining reforms; ensuring macroeconomic stability, protecting the independence of the Central Bank and enhancing many aspects of Nigerian Banking adoption of new technologies for financial inclusion; continuous modernization and more transparent disclosures including adopting higher reporting standards to banks.”

The organizers of the award, which has the African Development Bank Group as its official patron, noted that the latter reforms championed by Mr. Sanusi are having positive impact not only on the banking industry, but also on the country as a whole.

“The Awards Committee has also highlighted that you have been continuously singled out by many of your Central Bank peers, international bankers, investors and development partners as a reformist Governor with integrity, candour, energy and exceptional courage,” Mr. Yedder added.

The Committee emphasized that Africa’s improved reputation was attributable, largely in part, to the efforts of leaders such as Mr. Sanusi, who as Central Bank Governor has made ‘exceptional contributions’ to the economic and social development of the African continent.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Sanusi attributed all the successes recorded under his leadership as the Central Bank Governor to the team work of all staff of the CBN as well as the continued support of the Federal Government and the National Assembly.

Acknowledging several challenges he encountered along the way, he expressed confidence that the CBN, and indeed Central Banks around the continent, would continue to ensure macroeconomic stability, to ensure that central bankers beyond the shores of Africa could emulate.

According to him, the award would provide him and his team the impetus to drive the reforms needed to enhance sound economic development and growth.

Mr. Sanusi, who would be four years in office as CBN Governor come June 2013, anchored his reforms in the Nigerian banking and financial sector, which has earned global acclaim on four pillars: enhancing the quality of banks, establishing financial stability sector, enabling healthy financial sector evolution, and ensuring that the financial sector contributes to the real sector of the economy.

The African Banker Awards is co-founded and co-organised with Business in Africa Events as a landmark event to celebrate excellence and best practices in African banking and finance industry.

The annual event, held alongside the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meetings, was graced by Central Bank Governors, Finance Ministers and Bank Chief Executive Officers from across Africa and beyond.

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