A statement issued by Adenike Laoye, its Group Head Communication on Wednesday said that the election took place at the company’s 32nd Annual General Meeting (AGM), held in Lagos on Tuesday.

According to the statement, Okonedo replaces Ms Arunma Oteh, who has resigned from the board.

It noted that shareholders were pleased with ETI’s progress in 2019 and approved all the resolutions at the AGM, which included the election of the two new directors.

It stated that shareholders also ratified the co-option of Mr Deepak Malik, a nominee of Arise B.V, Ms Zanele Monnakgotla, a nominee of Public Investment Corporation and Dr George Donkor, the representative of Ecowas Bank for Investment and Development as directors.

The statement added that the shareholders renewed the mandates of the firms – Deloitte & Touche, Nigeria, and Grant Thornton, Côte d’Ivoire, as joint Auditors.

It stated that the AGM was followed by an Extraordinary General Meeting at which shareholders voted for the cancellation of the resolution on the consolidation of shares earlier approved on June 17, 2016.

Shareholders also voted for the amendment of Articles of ETI including a provision for the option of electronic general meetings going forward,’’ it added.

The outgoing Ecobank Group Chairman Emmanuel Ikazoboh expressed gladness with the successes recorded by the bank in 2019.

We are in the final lap of our five-year ‘Roadmap to Leadership’, having laid and achieved much improved business and operational foundations, leadership in digital products with scalability, strong corporate governance and continued expense discipline.

“We continue to focus on making substantial strides towards ensuring a return on equity above the cost of capital across the Group despite the challenging economic conditions, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We also maintained our commitment to driving economic development and financial integration across Africa,’’ he said

Ikazoboh said that it was a privilege for him to have served the institution and “I am particularly proud of what we have achieved.

“I am further assured and confident that my successor as Chairman, Mr Alain Nkontchou, will continue to lead the Board in our journey to leadership.

“The world has its eyes on Africa, and we are positioning our Bank in a way that continues to ensure its commitment to, and development of the continent.’’

Ade Ayeyemi, Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Group, paid tribute to Ikazoboh, who, according to him, has served the group diligently

“On behalf of Management, I extend our immense admiration for the invaluable stewardship, counsel, strategic expertise and oversight that he so willingly provided.’’

Adeyemi described 2019 as a year of substantial progress for the group on multiple fronts.

“We broadened our innovative product range with our upgraded core banking application platform, increased customer numbers, established new partnerships.

“We initiated programmes to transform customer experience and embed the desired conduct, culture and ethics throughout the organisation.

“Each of our three business lines improved their profitability and positioned Ecobank for sustainable long-term success.

“Post-year end, the effectiveness of our digital ecosystem came into sharp focus amid the current global challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling us to provide seamless continuity of service to our customers,’’ he added

The CEO noted that the virus had devastating effects and caused severe disruption to families, businesses and economies across our sub-Saharan footprint.

He, however, noted that the group continued to provide “unwavering support in these unprecedented and extremely challenging circumstances.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ETI is the parent of the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African bank with banking operations in 33 countries.

NAN also reports that the 32nd AGM and Extraordinary General Meeting for the first time in its history held in line with preventive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Attendance at the general meetings was mainly by proxies in accordance with the Articles of Association of the company.