Five Highest Paid Nigerian Bank CEOs in 2020, One Drops

Nigerian bank Chief Executive Officers earned big during COVID-19 pandemic period despite enforcing cost saving measures The earnings of four top executives increased last year during the pandemic, while one CEO’s payment was reduced compared to previous year Segun Agbaje, Herbert Wigwe are among the top earners who were selected based on their company’s market capitalisation by Nigerian Exchange Group

In 2020, during the COVID-19 season, while low and middle income earners were struggling to keep their jobs, Chief Executive Officers of top Nigerian banks were raking in millions of naira. Operations of the banking industry was hit by the pandemic, forcing the lenders to adopt cost saving measures as they shrinked their operation, but this had little or no impact on the earnings of the industry’s CEOs.

Out of the top five most valued Nigerian banks, Guaranty Trust Bank (now GTCO), Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Access Bank and United Bank of Africa, only one CEO recorded a dip in his earnings. Herbert Wigwe, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Segun Agbaje, Demola Sogunle, Kennedy Uzoka.

The CEO position of the aforementioned banks are male dominated, and the earnings reported in this story is solely based on their direct and indirect investment in the company for 2020 full year.

From bottom to top: Highest earning Nigerian bank CEO Demola Sogunle You might not have heard Sogunle’s name, that’s because he’s one of the silent CEOs, and running Stanbic IBTC in the shadow of Atedo Peterside, the bank’s founder. Sogunle holds direct investment of 2.07 million in Stanbic IBTC, and this earned him N7.46 million in 2020, surpassing the N4.14 million he was paid in 2019.

Kennedy Uzoka While UBA is mostly associated with Tony Elumelu, the company’s CEO is Uzoka, who has 37.17 million direct holding shares in the lender as of December 31, 2020. UBA paid him dividend of N19 million for this direct investment last year, but the payment is lower than the N41.26 million Uzoka received in 2019 due to reduction in 2020 dividend. Segun Agbaje Agbaje was one of the most influential CEOs in the Nigerian banking industry last year before he retired from the position to become the chairman of GTBank’s parent company, Guaranty Trust Holding Company. But before he stepped down, Agbaje earned N124 million in 2020. This is higher than the N116.53 million he was paid a year before thanks to the 32.14 million direct shares and his indirect holdings of 9.48 million shares as of Full Year 2020. Ebenezer Onyeagwu Onyeagwu is the Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank, where he holds 46.50 million direct holdings as of December last year. He doesn’t hold indirect shares in the lender.

Despite this, he ranks high among the top earning CEOs from dividend shared in 2020, as Onyeagwu collected N139.50 million for his investment, higher than the N130.20 million he received in 2019. Herbert Wigwe The Access Bank CEO topped the list as he holds the highest direct and indirect shares among the top five executives heading the most capitalised banks in Nigeria. Wigwe holds 201.23 million Direct shares and Indirect shareholding of 1.31 billion as of December ending of 2020 through three companies, United Alliance Company of Nig. Ltd, Trust and Capital Limited, as well as Coronation Trustees Tengen Mauritius. These investments earned him N1.21 billion in twelve months of 2020, surpassing the N936.98 million Wigwe received in 2019, as his Indirect holdings increased from 1.24 billion shares.

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