‘To pursue other interests,’ FirstBank MD resigns months to completion of third term tenure


Verified information reaching NewsClick Nigeria on Saturday morning has it that the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Adesola Adeduntan, has tendered his resignation. 

NewsClick Nigeria gathered that the Veterinary surgeon cum banker is due for retirement in December when his tenure would have been fully completed. He was appointed MD/CEO of the bank on January 1, 2016.

A copy of his resignation/retirement letter addressed to the Chairman of First Bank, Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale, titled, ‘Notice of Retirement,’ stated that he (Adeduntan) is retiring from the bank with effect from today, Saturday, April 20 to ‘pursue other interests’.

“As you are aware, my contract would be expiring on 31 December, 2024, after which I would no longer be eligible for employment within the bank having served as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank for a record time of nine years.

“During this period the bank and its subsidiaries has undergone significant changes and broken new grounds. We have repositioned the institution as an enviable financial giant in Africa. I have however decided to proceed on retirement with effect from 20 April, 2024, to pursue other interests.

“I am eternally grateful to the board of directors of FirstBank and FBN Holdings Plc for the support that I received from them during my stewardship. I wish our iconic institution continue success and progress as we move into the next phase of its evolution. Warm regards.”

The development led to led to the abrupt cancellation of an extraordinary general meeting earlier “scheduled to be held virtually on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at 10 am for the consideration and authorisation of the company to undertake a capital raise of up to N300,000,000,000,” FBN Holdings said in its notification to the Nigerian Exchange.

Meanwhile, the boards of FBN Holdings Plc, the parent company of First Bank and that of the bank respectively have accepted the resignation and thanked the outgoing CEO for his service to the financial institution.


Who is Adesola Adeduntan?

Adesola Adeduntan was born in Ibadan, Oyo State. Between 1975 and 1981, he attended Ibadan Municipal Government Primary School (IMG), Adeoyo N4 for his primary education. At the Urban Day Grammar School, Old Ife Road, Ibadan, where he had his secondary schooling, Adesola was the Deputy Senior Prefect in his final year (1985/86).

He was admitted to the University of Ibadan in 1986 to study Veterinary Medicine, qualifying in 1992 as a veterinary surgeon.

He holds a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, from Cranfield University UK in addition to an MBA from the same institution.

He joined First Bank in 2014, first as a chief financial officer and as an executive director.

Before this, he served at the Africa Finance Corporation as the pioneer chief financial officer/business manager and as a director as well.

His range of expertise covers investment finance, commercial and investment banking, consulting and audit.

He was once a senior manager at the auditing and professional services firm KPMG and held the role of Senior vice president & chief financial officer at Citibank Nigeria Limited.

He has attended various executive and leadership programmes at Harvard Business School (USA), Wharton School (USA), London Business School (UK), IESE (Spain), University of Oxford (UK), University of Cambridge (UK), CEIBS (China) and INSEAD (France). He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).


Brief ‘sack’ as MD/CEO in 2021 

A leadership tussle among vested interest at the bank in 2021 saw the power bloc of Oba Otudeko, FBN Holdings’ chairman at the time, and Ibukun Awosika, the then chair of First Bank, sack Adeduntan, announcing a replacement in his stead.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), however, queried the bank for the move, saying that it did not notify it of the decision to remove Adeduntan who had yet to complete his tenure.

In reinstating Adeduntan and announcing new directors for the bank, the then CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele reassured the depositors, creditors and other stakeholders of the bank of its (CBN’s) commitment to ensuring the stability of the financial system.

This decision affirmed Adeduntan’s successes and allowed him to continue leading the bank for another three years of its transformation journey before his official retirement today.