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UNCOMMON: Nominee rejects CBN board appointment in Nigeria

UNCOMMON: Nominee rejects CBN board appointment in Nigeria

The Southeast nominee for membership of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN‘s) board of directors, Urum Kalu Eke, has rejected his appointment.

The Senate however confirmed the appointments of four others.

Rejection of appointment of membership of CBN board of directors by Eke from Abia state, came to the fore on Thursday during confirmation of appointments of four other nominees by the Senate.

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The chairman of Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Adetokunbo Abiru (APC Lagos East), had in his report presentation for confirmation of the nominees by the Senate after screening exercise carried out on them, informed his colleagues that Mr Urum Kalu Eke didn’t attend the session.

He specifically informed the Senate that four other nominees – Mr Robert Agbede, Mr Ado Yakubu Wanka, Professor Murtala Sabo Sagagi and Mrs Muslimat Olanike Aliyu, appeared before the committee for screening and convinced it of their suitability for the appointments.

He thereafter, urged the Senate to confirm the appointments of the four nominees who attended the screening session and decline that of Kalu Eke who didn’t attend the screening exercise.

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But for purpose of clarity, a member of the Committee, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC Abia North), quickly rose to inform the Senate that Urum Kalu Eke being one of his constituents, told him that he was declining the appointment to avoid conflict of interest.

According to Senator Kalu, Urum Eke, is a consultant to the World Bank and other international financial institutions which would make him not have the required time to function well as a CBN director.

“Mr President, I’m a member of the committee that carried out screening on nominees forwarded to the Senate for appointment as members of Board of Directors of CBN by President Bola Tinubu”, Senator Kau said.

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He added: “During the screening exercise, Urum Kalu Eke from Abia North, called me for not attending the session.

“He said as a consultant to the World Bank and other international financial institutions, he wouldn’t take the appointment to avoid conflict of interest.”

Who’s Urum Kalu Eke?

Urum Kalu Eke is a prominent figure in the Nigerian banking industry. He was born on October 17, 1966, in the town of Umuahia in Abia State, Nigeria. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and subsequently went on to obtain a Master’s degree in business administration from the same institution.


Eke has had an illustrious career in the banking industry, spanning over three decades. He began his banking career with Diamond Bank in 1992, where he worked in various capacities, including as an executive director and deputy managing director. In 2014, he was appointed as the Group Managing Director/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc, one of the top 10 commercial banks in Nigeria. Under his leadership, Fidelity Bank has made significant strides in the areas of digital banking, innovation, and sustainability.


Eke has received numerous accolades and recognitions for his contributions to the banking industry. In 2020, he was named the Bank CEO of the Year at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards. He has also been recognized by various organizations for his leadership and achievements in the banking industry, including being named as one of the Top 50 CEOs in Nigeria by BusinessDay in 2019.

Personal Life

Eke is married with children and is known to be a private person who values his family time. He is also known for his philanthropic activities, including supporting education and healthcare initiatives in his community.


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