Senator-elect, Tokunbo Abiru, earns a well-deserved victory

Senator-elect, Tokunbo Abiru, earns a well-deserved victory

As a well-heeled politician, his recent victory at the last keenly contested senatorial bye-election in the Lagos East Senatorial District, Tokunbo Abiru has risen to another level in his political exploits. The former banker beat all odds to give all industry watchers that with resilience and patience you can achieve your ambition with equanimity. As a fledgling Senator, he has proved beyond doubts that his impressive profile is well-connected to his recent advancement in life; check out his still towering profile from banking to politics and public service. Adetokunbo Mukhail Abiru, popularly referred to as Tokunbo Abiru was born on the 25th of March 1964. He is an indigene of Lagos State and has siblings in prominent positions in the country. “Tokunbo has held several top positions in the private and public sector and has been excellent in all. Overtime, he has created positive impact in the financial sector with his brilliant ideas. As a result, people believe he is a messianic fellow in the industry and happily married to dutifully to charming Feyisola Abiru and blessed with lovely children.

Senator Tokunbo Abiru’s impressive profile:

Tokunbo Abiru holds a B.Sc (Economics) from Lagos State University and is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). He is also an Honorary Senior Member of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN.) He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School (Advanced Management Program.) He also attended the Lagos Business School (Senior Manager) Tokunbo Abiru started his banking career at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), where he worked for 10 years. He proceeded to FirstBank, where he worked for 14 years as the relationship Team Lead, Retail Banking and Business Development Manager, and Group Head, Corporate Banking. He was appointed by Governor Babatunde Fashola in 2011 as Lagos State Commissioner of Finance and resigned from the position in 2013 to take up the role of the Executive Director, Corporate Banking, First Bank Nigeria Ltd and later retired from the role in 2016. He also served as a onetime Non-Executive director, Airtel Mobile Networks Limited, FBN Capital Limited (now FBN Merchant Bank Limited); and FBN Bank Sierra Leone Limited. Tokunbo was appointed as the CEO of the defunct Skye Bank in July 2016 to try to salvage the bank which was in critical condition at that time. He was also retained alongside most of his other executives as the CEO of the new Polaris Bank, the bridge bank created by CBN in consultation with NDIC as a result of liquidation of Skye Bank in September 2018.

Achievemnts and Recognitions

As Lagos Finance Commisioner

  • During Abiru’s tenure as Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State, the State successfully floated an N80 billion bond, earning it the EMEA Finance’s Best Local Currency Bond Award for 2012.
  • He also made the state’s tax efforts cohesive, and the discovery of over 5.5 million tax evaders in 2013 opened up the discussion regarding taxation in Lagos State.
  • His efforts also let to increased Land Use Charge revenue generations to the tune of N6.2bn.
  • Tokunbo Abiru is also a member of the Lagos HOMs Committee, which is in charge of the Lagos State Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (HOMs) instituted to reduce the housing deficit in the State.

As CEO of Polaris Bank

On assumption of office in 2016, Abiru drew up a holistic and integrated approach to business modernization which elevated the bank to deliver a superior customer-centric experience. The bank under Tokunbo invested significantly in technology with copiously integrated service models enabling customers enjoy banking services through a wide range of channels. Today, Polaris Bank can boast of a strong market share going by several transformative business initiatives by Tokunbo Abiru He has also successfully implemented cost management initiatives which have enhanced liquidity and efficient service delivery to the bank’s customers. Through his aggressive recovery initiatives, the bank has been able to recover over N200 billion of outstanding bad loans within a shortest period. Under his watch, the bank has been able to reach settlement and restructuring agreements with many of the chronic bad debtors resulting in substantially improved payments and prospects of future recoveries. Some of the other initiatives embarked upon by Tokunbo include: branch rationalisation, review of service contracts and cash management operations which have resulted in hundreds of millions of financial savings. Also, through some of the initiatives, the bank has successfully settled many matured trade and bilateral obligations and restructured outstanding balances with the relevant institutions and counterparties. Also under Mr. Abiru’s watch, the bank has divested from four local subsidiaries realising a total cash value of N6.2 billion. Under Abiru’s watch as the CEO of Polaris Bank Limited , the bank recently unveiled its new Mobile Banking App, available to users on both Google Play for Android devices and the Apple App Store for iOS devices.

About the author

Abiodun Adisa is the CEO of Applaud Multimedia Services Publisher of Applaud News Magazine and Online

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