Ebitimi Banigo; banker and financial consultant argued by some to be the real father of modern banking in Nigeria. Banigo became the managing director of International Merchant Bank at age 33 and many of the top names in the banking industry including Jim Ovia and Bismarck Rewane passed through him. As the MD, he created an environment for staffers to excel, and the emergence of bank MDs or executive directors who were ex-IMB staffs have been attributed to his style. Banigo was a no-nonsense administrator who moved on when his experimentation goes wrong 1. As chairman of Allstates Trust Bank, he played the statesman with his effort at forging a truce between politicians Alamieyeseigha and Francis Lopogaha of his state, Bayelsa, whom he sponsored 2. Ebitimi Banigo was federal minister for science and technology, 1999-2000. In September, 2005, the Central Bank of Nigeria dissolved the entire board and management of Allstates Trust Bank and handed over Ebitimi Banigo over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for securing loan facilities worth N12 billion from the bank against regulation limit 3.
Born May 1, 1947 in Warri, Delta State, Banigo was educated at King’s College, Lagos, 1961-65; New York State University, USA, 1973; Harvard University, USA, 1975; Graduate School of Business, and Boston, Massachusets.
Before he became Managing Director, International Merchant Bank Nigeria Limited, Ebitimi Banigo was appointed Research Analyst/Consultant, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He also became manager of Loan Syndications at the Citicorp International Bank Limited in London. He was General Manager, Corporate Finance of Chase Merchant Bank of Nigeria Limited, Lagos and Deputy Manager, later Director, International Merchant Bank Nigeria Limited, Lagos 4. In a ceremony attended by President Jonathan in 2012, Banigo was installed as Amanyanabo, traditional ruler of Okpoama, Bayelsa State.
1. Punch May 14, 2017
2. Insider February 3, 2003
3. ThisDay November 14, 2005
4. Newswatch Who is Who