There are two great days in a person’s life, the day we are born and the day we discover why, so says William Barclay, the Scottish author.


To all who knows Ifie Sekibo, un-assuming MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, his birthday is a special time to celebrate his gift to the world. An astute administrator par excellence and a thorough-bred alumnus of the renowned Harvard Business School is a man whose greatness and accomplishment cannot be wished away in the business community within the country and beyond. Everyone, who has crossed the path of Ifie Sekibo can attest to the fact that he is a man, who lived for others and has not only touched lives of others through several means, but has largely remained a blessing to others. One of his favorite quotes speaks volume about him: “Every day we learn something new to discover who we are.


Our lives have been made meaningful by the collective discoveries of many. Every life is interdependent on the other and none stands alone. Art teaches us that for everyone to be pure and visible, it depends on the contrast created by the adjacent tone. Therefore, our lives do not belong to us alone, but to our neighbors. “It is important for us to touch lives of others; only then can we sign off for the day. This is why today we sweep the clouds and leave behind footprints and thunderstorms. We smile to defy sorrows of the age. No individual is done until they leave something behind that defies time, a heritage that creates, preserves, and transfers wealth across generations.


In our world of possibilities, nothing is impossible, so it is our responsibility to help others who never thought they could make a name for themselves to do so. For those who have already done so to preserve it.”At 55, Sekibo has remained a man of vision and an enigma in the field of business. Many consider him a passionate game-changer with a proven track record in turnaround management. His ability to turnaround dead businesses and make them profitable is one area, where he has excelled and this is evident back in 2003 when he led a team of technocrats to acquire a moribund company named Global Assurance Company Limited as executive vice chairman and steered the institution named International Energy Insurance (IEI), which later emerged as a frontline Insurance company in Nigeria after undertaking a capital raise and listing on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.


His success story is not complete without his turnaround story of another major institution that has been dead for 10years before coming back to life after receiving attention of Sekibo. In 2009, Sekibo led another team of professionals, which nurtured the re-birth of the dead Societe Generale Bank and transformed it to an innovative regional bank called Heritage Banking Company Ltd, where he served as pioneer MD/CEO. His passion and relentless efforts at turning around businesses that has nose-dived also took him to the South-Eastern part of the country where Golden Breweries in Umuahia, Abia state, was resuscitated after 16years of inactivity following a lifeline of $10 million it obtained from Nigerian Export and Import Bank, (NEXIM) and facilitated by Heritage Bank Plc. Heritage Bank’s involvement in financing the revival of the Golden Guinea Breweries under the amiable leadership of Sekibo remains one of his greatest achievement of bringing back another moribund business.


One of the cardinal points of his life is mentorship. Sekibo has been involved in mentoring the youths over the years despite his busy schedules; he is involved in mentorship and giving direction to the youths. He has led several business forums for entrepreneurs and mentorship sessions both within Nigeria and outside Nigeria. According to him, one of the cardinal points of my life is mentoring the younger generation and this I do with all passion and God-given resources.


I realised early the need for our youths to embrace entrepreneurship as a means of survival and this is my reason for supporting various programs the youths in their endeavors”. As a leader, who believes the youths are the leaders of tomorrow, Sekibo has been involved in various youth’s empowerment programme through Heritage Bank and as such, the bank has received various accolades and laurels from non-governmental organisations and various state governments.



Heritage Bank will increase wallet of business transactions with Lagos State Govt - George-Taylor
L-R: GoodLuck Linda, WOSSA Chief Welfare officer; Helen Unabor, WOSSA Chief Protocol officer; Olawale Osundele, Regional Head, Lagos Island 1, Lagos Island 1 Zone, Heritage Bank; Amb. Tayo Thomas, President of WOSSA; Dame Jennifer Omotayo-Thomas, Vice president, WOSSA and John Adah, Team Member, Corporate Communications, Heritage Bank, during the award ceremony held in Lagos to mark this year’s International Widows Day themed: Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”


Heritage Bank supports over 500 widows, receives UN Award for Humanitarian Service 

Heritage Bank received the 2022 United Nations Award for Humanitarian Service from the Widows & Orphans Support Society of Nigeria (WOSSA), as no fewer than 500 widows and orphans in Lagos State benefitted from the Bank’s support. 

This was made known during the award ceremony held in Lagos to mark this year’s International Widows Day themed: Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”.

The event was an opportunity to recognize Heritage Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) roles to widows, their children and other less privileged within the society.

Speaking during the awards presentation, Founder, Widows & Orphans Support Society of Nigeria (WOSSA), Ambassador Tayo Thomas, said Heritage Bank is one of the group’s key partners and has for years shown massive support to the widows. 

He said: ” Basically, we are giving this award to people and organizations that have been supporting the less privileged widows. These are our partners, they have been doing great service to humanity, especially service the less privileged widows in meeting their financial needs and those of their children”. 

Continuing, he said: “The United Nations Humanitarian Award is to appreciate and acknowledge them for their support to the less privileged widows. The United Nations Humanitarian Award is an award we give every 24th of June to those who have really supported the widows. Those who have joined us to fight against injustice against the widows. That is the reason for today”. 

Speaking at the event, Heritage Bank Regional Head, Lagos Island 1, Olawale Osundele, said the bank has for years, remained committed to improving people’s lives. 

He said: “It has always been one of our front liners to always improve the quality of people’s lives right from childhood. And today that they are marking the International Widow’s Day, we are also part of the support team to WOSSA in various aspects.”

“We have been supporting them in terms of providing quality education for children of widows to ensure that life after the death of their husband is still good to them and their children. We also support the children and orphans and the less privileged in the society,” he added.

According to Osundele, the bank’s support to the widows has always been a source of joy to them.  “It means that life still means a lot to them. You can see the joy in their faces. Despite what they are going through, they are still very happy and relevant in society,” he said. 

One of the widows at the event, Mrs. Felicia Ugwunwanne thanked Heritage Bank and WOSSA for their continuous support to the widows and less privileged. 

She said that WOSSA is through the support of partners such as Heritage Bank, making life better for the widows and their children. 

“The WOSSA has for years, been assisting so many of us, including our children and orphanages. WOSSA gives us cash, help some widows to pay their house rent, school fees for widows’ children, among other things,” she said.

Ugwunwanne said the widows under WOSSA are being trained for skills acquisition to improve the quality of their lives.

“I am aware that the WOSSA is working on securing loans from Microfinance Bank, and we have completed forms to achieve the purpose. Our members are prepared to access the loans. Some of the widows have gone to learn some skills that will enable them to invest and succeed in whatever craft or business they are doing so that they will not continue to depend on people,” she said. //END.//

Ozena Utulu, Ag. Group Head, Corporate Communications