Tokunbo Abiru steps into father’s shoes;to run for Lagos East Senate seat

Tokunbo Abiru, Managing Director of Polaris Bank who officially announced his resignation and to leave by August 31, 2020, has formally declared his intention to run for the vacant seat of the Lagos East Senatorial District.
Tokunbo Abiru, an astute banker with cognate experience of more three decades, is the son of late Justice Mubashir Abiru who contested and won as a senator representing Ikorodu in the Second Republic, during the regime of Lateef Jakande.
His father was highly revered during that time for his contribution to the development and safety of people in Ikorodu. Abiru’s father was the first person who moved the motion in the House to level the precarious hill along Agric road in Ikorodu. Then, the road posed danger to people of the division as many lost their lives as a result of the steep hill which caused vehicles to end in road mishaps. After the motion moved by his father, the federal government moved men in on the road as they leveled the hill to a plane ground for vehicles ride on without fear.
Since that historic act, the Agric-Benson road has been a route of smooth ride for many motorists and that was the end of the incessant road accidents along the route.
There is no doubt that history is repeating itself as the former Managing Director of Polaris Bank has vowed to improve on his father’s footprint by bringing development to the east senatorial district.
There is no doubt in the minds of many indigenes that Tokunbo Abiru will bring development through his office to Ikorodu Division and the sixteen local government councils in the Lagos East Senatorial district. Abiru, a cool-headed gentleman, no doubt, has the requisite experience for the job at upper chamber of the National Assembly.
Abiru who was former Executive Director of First Bank of Nigeria Plc had two years stint as Lagos State Commissioner for Finance in the administration of Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN).
The outgoing CEO announced to the staff of the bank that after nearly three decades in the banking industry, “serving meritoriously”, he resolved to retire to enable him contribute his quota in other areas of endeavour.
Reviewing his tenure at Polaris Bank, Abiru said: “With the support of the Board, Executive Management and all of you, we have delivered on the mandate given to us by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) upon assumption of office in 2016.
He reminded the staff of the bank of the poor state of affairs before he assumed office in 2016 as the Group Managing Director of the erstwhile Skye- Bank. According to him, all prudential ratios were out of compliance with requirements, Capital was negative, the loan book was mostly delinquent; liquidity faced deposit attrition, the IT infrastructure was dilapidated and employee morale was low, resulting in erosion of public confidence.
He praised the staff for working with him to reverse the trend and bring about an institution that has become a compelling case study in corporate turnaround within Nigeria’s financial services industry.
Abiru said: “We have reversed almost all regulatory ratios for good and currently rank among the very best in the industry. There can be no better testament to the much-improved state of the Bank than the full year 2019 results in which the bank posted Profit After Tax (PAT) of N27 billion. To buttress the fact that this is sustainable, the bank’s first half 2020 result showed a PAT of over N18 billion, despite the tremendous headwinds brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He added: “As a result of the successful completion of the first phase of the IT Refresh Programme, which consisted mainly of upgrade of the infrastructure and digital plat-forms, and relocation of the Bank’s Data Centres to Tier III data locations as mandated by CBN regulations and in line with global best practices, the bank’s customers are now experiencing significantly improved service delivery.
According to him, “by introducing and committing resources to the Agency Banking model, we have contributed in no small measure to deepening financial inclusion for the unbanked and under-banked throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria.”
He explained that the innovations had made a bank of choice.
On succession, Abiru said: During this period leading to my final disengagement. I will work closely With the CBN, the board of directors and executive management of our Bank to ensure a seamless transition and smooth handover to my successor.”
Abiru was appointed the Group Managing Director and CEO of the then Skye Bank in July 2016.
He had served in several capacities in some of the leading banks being an Executive Director in First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Non-Executive Director in some leading companies, including Econet (now Airtel) Mobile Networks Limited, and FBN Capital Limited (now FBN Merchant Bank Limited).
Following the establishment of Polaris Bank in September 2018, the CBN affirmed the performance of the Bank’s Board of Directors, and reappointed Abiru to lead the new Bank; a position he held until he opted for voluntary retirement.

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