The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved the appointments of Engr. Henry Ikem Obih as the Independent Non-Executive Director, and Dr. Kenneth Onyewuchi Opara as Executive Director of Fidelity Bank Nigeria Plc with effect from September 21, 2020 and January 1, 2021 respectively.
According to a Notice to the effect sent by the bank to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Dr. Opara’s appointment is in furtherance of the bank’s succession plan for Executives and the CBN’s earlier approval of the appointment of Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe (who currently serves as the Executive Director, Lagos & South West Directorate), as the succeeding MD/ CEO of the Bank, with effect from January 1, 2021, upon the retirement of the incumbent MD/CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, on December 31, 2020.
Opara is a seasoned banker with over 29 years of experience serving at various financial institutions, including Legacy Omega Bank Plc, Equatorial Trust Bank Plc, and Manny Bank Plc. His areas of expertise are; Credit, Treasury, Retail, Consumer and Commercial Banking, International Operations, and Corporate Banking.
He is currently the General Manager/Regional Bank Head, Ikeja Regional Bank of Fidelity Bank Plc.
Prior to joining Fidelity Bank Plc in 2006, following its merger with Manny Bank Plc, Opara held various management positions in the industry, including Divisional Head, Managed SMEs, Multilateral Agencies & Trade Missions etc.
He is an alumnus of University of Nigeria, where he obtained a B.Sc. in finance and MBA and International University of Panama, where he obtained a Ph.D. in Credit Management.
Opara also attended Executive Management programs at Harvard Business School, Kellogg School of Management, Wharton, INSEAD, and Lagos Business School amongst others.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and an active member of the Institute’s Governing Council, where he currently serves as 1st Vice President, having previously served as 2nd Vice President and National Treasurer of the Institute
Engr. Obih was the GED/COO, Downstream, NNPC until his retirement in 2019, and was subsequently appointed to the Board of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) in July 2020.
He joins the Board of Fidelity Bank Plc with over 30 years of experience in cross-functional tasks across different continents including Africa, Europe, Asia, and in America.
He specializes in Project and Performance Management, Manufacturing and Operations Management, Sales and Marketing, Strategy and Business Planning/Analysis, Business Development/ Re-engineering, General Management, Corporate Governance, and Risk Management.
Obih had served in various leadership roles and boards, including Director and Executive roles at Mobil Oil Nigeria; board positions at Nigeria Gas Marketing Company Limited; Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited; NNPC Retail Limited; NIDAS Marine Limited (a subsidiary of NNPC, in joint venture with Daewoo Industries South Korea); NIKORMA Limited (a subsidiary of NNPC in joint venture with Hyundai Heavy Industries South Korea); and Duke Oil Company Inc.
He also served on the Presidential Inter-Ministerial Committee on Road Haulage Reforms.
Obih is an alumnus of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and University of Bradford, Yorkshire, England, where he obtained a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA in Financial Management respectively. He is also a member of professional bodies like; The Institute of Directors, Society for Corporate Governance, and Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).
He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and Institute of Credit Administration amongst others.
In addition, he has attended executive programs in Leadership, Strategy, Finance, Corporate Governance, and Business Management at some of the world’s leading institutions, including Columbia Business School; New York, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); IMD Lausanne, Switzerland; London Business School, and Lagos Business School, Nigeria.