Ebenezer Onyeagwu: Maintaining Zenith Bank’s Leadership Position In The Banking Sector! By: Sunday Adebayo

Ebenezer Onyeagwu is a vastly experienced banker and financial expert, trained in reputable institutions of learning in Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the Nigerian banking industry. He joined Zenith Bank Plc in 2002 as a Senior Manager, in the Internal Control and Audit Group of the bank. His professionalism, competence, integrity, and commitment to the set objectives of the bank saw him rise swiftly between 2003 and 2005, first, as Assistant General Manager, then Deputy General Manager, and eventually as General Manager of the bank. In these capacities, Mr. Onyeagwu handled strategies for new business and branch development, management of risk assets portfolios, treasury functions, strategic top-level corporate, multinationals, and public institutional relationships, among others.

When Mr. Onyeagwu was announced as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Zenith Bank by Its Management sometime in May 2019, it was not a strange move by those who know his professional prowess and deliverables.

He has been one of the success stories of the bank from when he joined the train and has proved beyond all reasonable doubt that, he has what it takes to take the bank to a world-class level.

Regardless of the challenging macroeconomic environment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic among others, Zenith Bank under the leadership of Ebenezer Onyeagwu has maintained its leadership position in all ramifications.

The bank is a clear market leader, growing its total assets and net income by an annual average of 15.7 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively, over the last five years, according to the latest banking report released by Coronation Merchant Bank.

Obviously, those who doubted his competence when he was appointed now have a rethink as his performance in the last two years has shown clearly that he is a square peg in a square hole.

This has continued to reflect in the performance of the bank which has maintained its leadership position. Also, in the area of corporate governance which is a vital ingredient in ensuring the sustainability of any institution.

Zenith Bank under Onyeagwu has maintained a positive rating as can be seen from the recent assessment by the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) hence the financial institution’s listing on the Premium Board of the Exchange.

Zenith Bank under Onyeagwu’s watch has remained committed to sustaining the legacy of its visionary Founder and Chairman, Mr. Jim Ovia, whose pioneering and foundational role in building the structures and laying the foundation ensured an enduring and very successful institution.


As a testament to the aforementioned and in recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank has recently ranked the number one bank in Nigeria by tier-1 capital in the 2021 Top 1000 World Banks’ Ranking published by The Banker Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times Group of the United Kingdom.

The bank, with a tier-1 capital of $2.64 billion, retained its ranking as the number one tier-1 bank in Nigeria for the second consecutive year.

It, however, emerged as the 454th bank globally and the only Nigerian bank in the top 500.

The ranking which was published in the July 2021 edition of the magazine was based on the 2020 year-end tier-1 capital of banks globally.

Zenith Bank’s financial performance for the year was underpinned by an eight percent growth in non-interest income, with an improved market share in both retail and corporate sectors despite a challenging macroeconomic environment exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tier-1 capital describes capital adequacy, and it is the core measure of a bank’s financial strength from a regulator’s point of view.

It is, therefore, without doubt, that with Ebenezer Onyeagwu as the CEO of the bank, customers and shareholders of the bank can go to bed with their two eyes closed, as these feats are an assurance that their monies and investments are in safe hands

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