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Tony Okpanachi: Pioneering Development Bank of Nigeria in post COVID-19 era



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By Abubakar Yusuf

The establishment of Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), over two years ago to address and Bridge the gap of petty, intermediate and grown businesses and also to compete strategically with similar bodies across the globe meant to alleviate the rising desire of business interests has hitherto been a successful story and vision fulfilment.

The success was made possible under the pioneer management of a seasoned Banker of high repute, Mr. Tony Okpanachi. 629w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
Coming from a wholly organised private sector with many decades of experience which span from middle officer, to intermediate, high rank to the top echelon of the Banking sector in Nigeria, the new Managing Director of Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), rose to the top as Deputy Managing Director of Eco Bank, and at a point was the head of Eco Bank West Africa before his elevation.

His Banking career in the private sector for many decades, did not only start and ends in Eco Bank, but had led a very formidable team and played prominent roles in the existence of the new generation Banks, that attracted a blossom economy in the early 90 before the CBN rationalisation that saw the merger of many Banks in Nigeria.

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As a Bank Executive with promising career, the new Managing Director of Development Bank (DBN), worked with so many Banks across the country and outside the shores of Nigeria, with a view to bringing to bare his enormous wealth of experience in both the Banking and financial sectors of Nigeria.

His exceptional strides in this unique area that had assisted in no small measure to address the growing economic crises in Nigeria, through stabilisation of the Naira exchange, borrowings to the private and public sector to grow the economy of homes, government and encourage enterprises, as well as enterpreneurship in Nigeria, towards self sustenance in the Banking sector, led to his appointment by the Federal Government to man the new Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), position to compete favourably with that of developed countries like America and the United Kingdom, as well as other growing economies of the world.

Mr Okpanachi kick the ball rolling by starting on a well articulated arrangement to mitigate the crises of grants, credit and equity to Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises MSMEs, either through direct availment to beneficiaries to boost the business activities or conglomerates, as well as collaboration with Banks to ensure genuine beneficiaries of its programmes are brought on board.

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The growing demands from the new leadership of Development Bank of Nigeria(DBN), became glaring in view of the effects of the world ravaged health challenges of COVID-19 with Nigeria, not an exception.

It behoves on the wisdom of the Tony Okpanachi led Development Bank to roll out programmes and policies that will mitigate the harsh effects of the COVID-19 with adverse effects on the world economy, and to prepare Nigeria enterprises towards addressing the biting situation.

With Development Bank, efforts are being rejigged to bridge the gap of rising demands of grants and credit facilities through MSMEs, to gradually return the Nigeria economy to stability, and the aftermath of the world lockdown, as a result of the consequences of COVID-19, and other pressing economic indices.

The Management’s quick effort in stepping up the previous demands of reliving and reinvigorating the SMEs became a corrolary to the survival of Nigerian economy, so as to also compete favourably with other countries with business interests in Nigeria.

The high demands for the repositioning of all sectors of the economy and the enabling environment created by the current leadership under Mr Tony Okpanachi, had stabilized government policies towards ameliorating the suffering of the middle class and conglomerates with thriving business interests, to encourage a participatory economy in the country.

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No doubt, the new management had designed and devised various approaches and initiatives to address the peculiar problems arising from the current situation, as well as encourage many Nigerians to remain in business after the post COVID-19 area.

Another factor that had contributed to the success of the new management under Tony Okpanachi is the ability to explore all possible means that will create a positive impact on the economy of Nigeria and its citizens, in line with the best practices the world over.

The confidence of many Nigerians reposed on the new management is another plus to the current leadership, as its transparent and urgent desire for the transfromation of MSMEs to affect the Nigeria economy, is not negotiable from its policies and programmes.

Two years at the helms of affairs, it had move the new organisation from its mere nomenclature, to active status to grow and reactivate the economies of Nigerians and Nigeria.

Abubakar Yusuf is a Public Affairs Analyst and can be reached on


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