Tokunbo Abiru is the Group MD/CEO of Polaris Bank Nigeria. He has over 26 years of banking experience. In 2011, he was appointed commissioner for finance by former governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola.
Tokunbo has hands-on experience in the financial industry. He is one of the innovative and resilient bankers in Nigeria.
Tokunbo Abiru Background
Tokunbo Mukhail Abiru was born March 25, 1964. For his tertiary education, he attended the Lagos State University (LASU) and earned a B.SC degree in Economics. Tokunbo is an alumnus of Harvard Business School (Advanced Management Program). He also attended the Lagos Business School (Senior Management Program).
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). Also, an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
Tokunbo Abiru Early Career
Tokunbo worked for 10 years at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB). Then, proceeded to First Bank Nigeria where he worked for 14 years. In First Bank, he worked as the relationship Team Leader, Retail Banking: Business Development Manager, and Group Head: Corporate Banking.
In 2011, he was appointed as Lagos State Commissioner for Finance but resigned in 2013, to take up an executive role in First Bank Nigeria Ltd.
He served as a Non-Executive Director between 2013 to 2016 in different companies like: Airtel Mobile Networks Limited, FBN Capital Limited (Now FBN Merchant Bank Limited) and FBN Bank Sierra Leone Limited.
He is an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (FCIB).
Commissioner For Finance
Abiru achieved some feats when he was the Commissioner of Finance. For instance, he successfully floated N80 billion bond, earning it the EMEA Finance’s Best Local Currency Bond Award for 2012. Also, he discovered over 5.5 million tax evaders in 2013. His effort also led to an increase in revenue generation from land use charges in the state.
Till date, he is a member of the Lagos HOMs Committee. A committee in charge of the Lagos State Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (HOMs) created to reduce the housing deficit in the state.
Polaris Bank is a commercial bank established on September 21, 2018 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It began after taking over assets and liabilities of Skye bank whose operating license was revoked by CBN.
Polaris Bank serve businesses both large and small corporations in the public and private sector. And, it operates as a financial services provider in Nigeria and West African countries.
Polaris Bank offers services in retail banking, commercial banking, corporate banking, investment banking. The bank also engages in international operations, trade services, and treasury.
With the aim of becoming the most preferred partner providing superior financial solutions for customers, Polaris has over 350 branches across the country.
Mr Muhammad K. Ahmad sit as the Chairman of Polaris bank, Tokunbo Abiru is the MD/CEO supported by experienced team.
Tokunbo Abiru Quotes
“You have to train your people properly, and let them know the values that you stand for…”
“The essence of today is about inculcating our values in the new set of graduates that we are bringing on board.”
“You have been trained to be professionals and leaders, who will make the difference in any area of the bank you are deployed to.”
“They have to buy into the values of the institution and topmost on that is the need for them to place very high premium on ethics and what the bank and the larger financial sector stands for which is very strong corporate governance” ”
“You are undergoing today’s graduation not because we want to do you a favour, but because you emerged successful among thousands of Nigerians that sat for the same examination.”
“You have to train people on the kind of understanding that they must bring to bear when they are coming to the real world and the workplace, in particular.”
Lessons From The Life Of Tokunbo Abiru
Tokunbo has held several top positions in the private and public sector and has been excellent in all. Overtime, he has created positive impact in the financial sector with his brilliant ideas. As a result, people believe he is a messianic fellow in the industry. Some financial experts describe him as “a rare gift to the financial sector, and a miracle to the country’s development goals.”
His excellent ideas and hands on experience has made him a master in his field.
In life and in business, we should strive for excellence. As an entrepreneur, what is your brand saying? Do your customers know you to deliver excellent service and quality product? What impact are you leaving behind as you navigate life? This is a question that we should ask ourselves before venturing into anything.
Tokunbo’s midas touch on Polaris bank has made it one of the apex banks among the commercial banks in the country. On his assumption to office, he came up with a professional approach to the bank’s modernization. He took the bull by the horn and turned things around, thereby restoring customer’s trust and confidence into the system.
Tokunbo’s success is an evidence that proper planning prevents poor performance.
As an entrepreneur, you need to have a strategic plan to move your business from point A to point B. Surround yourself with smart people who can make decision on the go.