Board of Directors

The Bank’s Board of Directors is made up of eminent Nigerians of different professional callings and rich wealth of experience garnered in the various sectors of the economy. The various backgrounds of these tested and accomplished people have helped in articulating a clear strategic direction and focus for the Bank which account for the success recorded so far. The Board is led by Mr. Muhammad K. Ahmad. He strongly promotes building institutions based on the highest corporate governance and ethical standards.

The Bank is led by a management team of experienced professionals and accomplished leaders with diverse but complementary competences and skills. The team is ably led by Mr. Innocent C. Ike, who is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.

The experienced members of the management team provide supervision and leadership over the various divisions/groups in the Bank to help the CEO achieve the business objectives of the institution.

Muhammad K. Ahmad, OON - Chairman of the Board

Polaris Bank mkAhmad image

Muhammad K. Ahmad, OON, has over 35 years’ distinguished experience leading and working in various public sector organisations and financial services institutions in Nigeria.

As the pioneer Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Pension Commission, Ahmad oversaw the establishment and growth of the Pension industry in Nigeria.  Prior to that, he had worked as a Bank Supervisor at the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) where he rose to become a Director and member of the Interim Management Board, and at the Central Bank of Liberia.  

Ahmad is a member of the Board of Directors of MTN Nigeria Communications PLC, and Chairman of the Interim Management Board ofInternational Energy Insurance PLC. He is the founder of Jewel Development Foundation, a graduate assistant platform, and Certium Consulting, a strategy advisory and business applications company. He has also been a member of the Boards of Directors of FBN Holdings PLC, and FATE Foundation, a non-profit private sector-led organisation whose mission is to foster wealth creation by enabling aspiring and emerging Nigerian entrepreneurs.

Ahmad chairs the Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) of which the Vice President of Nigeria is the chairman. Hechaired the Technical Committee of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, which produced the Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance 2018.  Ahmad is a member of the Presidential Committee for the North East Initiative (PCNI), and was chair of the Technical Committee that produced the North East Transformation Strategy (NESTS), a medium-term regional development strategy promoted by the governors of the six constituent states of the region, for its socio-economic transformation and reconstruction.

He has a Masters Diploma in Innovation and Strategy from University of Oxford and has also attended courses and programs in various first-rate business and management schools, including Harvard Business School, IMD and INSEAD.

Ahmad was honored by the Federal Government of Nigeria with the award of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in recognition of his stellar contributions to the development of the public

Innocent C. Ike- MD/CEO

MD/CEO Polaris Bank

Mr. Innocent C. Ike is the Managing Director/CEO of Polaris Bank Limited. This follows from his appointment in September 2020 by the Board of Directors of Polaris Bank Ltd following the approval of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the Bank’s shareholder.

Mr. Ike was until his appointment the Executive Director, Technology and Services, responsible for designing the service framework of the then new acquisition. He was also responsible for superintending the South-South/South East Directorate of the Bank’s business.

Mr. Ike has garnered over three decades of an outstanding career in leading commercial Banks in Nigeria. He has leveraged in-depth industry knowledge to lead teams in developing and executing disruptive technologies through major corporate transformation and turnaround projects in the nation's financial services industry.

Through investment in people, technology, and processes, Mr. Innocent Ike as the MD/CEO, has ensured that Polaris Bank sustains a profit growth trajectory of a N28.9billion PBT in the 2020 Financial Year. This is in the face of global economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic era.

He has also led one of the most ambitious enterprise transformation initiatives which has accelerated growth across the Bank’s retail commercial and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) banking space.

Mr. Ike’s digital leadership acumen has helped to position Polaris Bank as a digitally-enabled Bank leading to the award of the Bank’s flagship Digital Banking platform, VULTe as the Digital Bank of the Year 2021 by the prestigious BusinessDay Banks & Other Financial Institutional Award (BAFI); a feat widely acknowledged as a case study in painstaking planning and cautious execution. 

In his effort to build a sustainable enterprise, he has continued to raise the brand visibility of Polaris Bank to attract and retain huge and profitable business opportunities in both the retail and corporate segment of the market as well as making Polaris a Bank of choice for the young generation of banking employees and customers.

Mr. Innocent Ike’s career history underscores his status as a thoroughbred professional who rose through the hierarchy. Before his appointment to the Board of Skye Bank in 2015, Innocent was an Executive Director in Keystone Bank Limited, where he recorded outstanding contributions and achievements resulting in the successful turnaround, repositioning and eventual divestment of the Bank by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

Before joining the Board of Keystone Bank in August 2014, Innocent had played critical roles in the growth and transformation of Access Bank Plc., where, within ten years, he rose to become a General Manager with responsibilities in the Corporate & Commercial Banking Divisions. He was at various times responsible for the Federal Capital Territory and the South-South Regions of the Bank.

Mr. Ike has also served as Chairman of Skye Bank Gambia Limited and currently serves as a Director of MainOne Cable Company Limited, Unified Payments Systems Limited, and Pay Attitude Global Limited.

Mr. Ike has acquired sound professional training and exposure in some of Nigeria's most reputable financial institutions. He worked in the erstwhile Fortune International Bank Plc., as well as GT Bank Plc., where he spent most of the early years of his career and in the process, occupied several key and sensitive positions in Treasury, Currency Trading, Commercial Banking; as well as Banking Operations Units. He equally trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in the international accounting firm of Deloitte, where he handled key audit and consulting assignments.

Also, as part of his preparation for corporate leadership, Mr. Ike had earned enviable professional and academic accomplishments in globally reputable institutions covering such areas as; enterprise innovation, digital transformation, business sustainability, strategic execution and change management.

Mr Ike graduated with a BSc in Accounting from the University of Lagos, where he emerged as the Best Graduating Student in 1988. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), a Certified IFRS expert, and an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). He holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy & Innovation from MIT Sloan School of Management, Boston, and has at various times attended global management and leadership programs in world-class institutions, including Harvard Business School, Wharton Business School, and International Management Development Institute (IMD) Switzerland. He is also a Member of the Institute of Directors (IOD).

Mr Innocent C. Ike is variously referred to and viewed as a stickler for execution,  a business coach to budding entrepreneurs and a mentor to aspiring leaders.

He is married with children.

Abdullahi S. Mohammed - Executive Director

Abdullahi S. Mohammed was born in August 1958 in Kano, Kano State. He had his early education in Kano and Kaduna States before proceeding to the Bowling Green State University, Ohio USA for his Bachelor and Masters Degrees. He returned to Nigeria in 1987 to commence his career with Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc., Sokoto, where he served as a Staff Development and Training Senior Instructor. He subsequently joined Century Merchant Bank Limited in 1991 as an Officer and Head of Treasury Department of Kano Area Office. During his stint at Century Merchant Bank he was saddled with the responsibility of establishing the businesses operations in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Mr. Mohammed would later in 1995 move to Kakawa Discount House Ltd. as the Admin Manager and later in 1998 was moved to establish the Abuja Area Office where he served as the head overseeing the 19 northern states. In 1999, he took up appointment as the Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport in Kano State and Member, Kano State Executive Council. He was also at various times, the relief commissioner in the Ministries of Health and Water Resources. He later returned to Kakawa Discount House Ltd. until 2003 when he joined First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. where he rose to become a Deputy General Manager in 2013.

He was at various times in First Bank responsible for the Bank’s Business Development in Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Kano, Jigawa States as well as FCT - Abuja. He was until his appointment the Group Head in Charge of Commercial Banking in the North overseeing commercial Banking Business in the whole Northern Nigeria.

He has attended courses both in Nigeria and Overseas including those at the London Business School and the prestigious INSEAD Program for Achieving Outstanding Performance in Singapore. Mr. Mohammed is also member of the 37th SMP of the Lagos Business School and Honorary Senior Member of CIBN.

He is an avid golf player and happily married with children

Segun Opeke - Executive Director

Segun Opeke has over twenty-six years of hands-on work experience acquired from leading Nigerian commercial banks with more than fifteen years in Senior and Executive Management roles.

Before becoming an Executive Director, Mr. Opeke was the Directorate Head, Lagos Business. The Lagos Directorate, under his leadership, recorded outstanding growth and contributed significantly to the turnaround of the Bank, evidenced by its impressive financial performance recorded in the 2019 financial year. Since the CBN intervention in the erstwhile Skye Bank Plc in July 2016, Segun has played a prominent role in the Bank’s transformation initiatives and very instrumental to the several milestone achievements of the Bank.

Segun started his banking career in Chartered Bank and later rose to occupy strategic roles in various institutions, including leading the consumer banking team in FSB International Bank and serving as the Area Manager in charge of the Victoria Island and Ikoyi business of Prudent Bank.

Following the emergence of Skye Bank in 2006, Segun worked as the Bank’s Treasurer and Regional Director for Victoria Island and Ikoyi. He was also the Group Head for Corporate Banking, Aviation, and Maritime Group at various times. Mr. Opeke brought his leadership skills to bear, as he successfully managed some large portfolios, including the Bank’s Lagos Corporate and Commercial Banking Division and the Corporate Planning and Strategy Group.

Segun holds a BSc. (Banking and Finance) and an MBA from the University of Lagos. He is an alumnus of the Columbia Business School, New York. He has attended several professional, management, and leadership programmes in world-class institutions, including INSEAD and Euromoney, London. He is credited with making immense contributions in change management, corporate finance/restructuring, and digital transformation.

He is happily married with children.

Olu Odugbemi FCA - Non-Executive Director

Olu Odugbemi FCA, FCTI. Agronomist, Economist, Auditor, Chartered Accountant, Ex banker and Financial consultant. Olu is an alumni of INSEAD Fontainebleau, France Strategic Management of Services and 1991 British Council ODASS Scholar. He holds B.Sc (First Class Hons, GPA 6.8/7.0), University of Ibadan; M.Sc (Distinction Hons, 1992) Imperial College, University of London and 1999 SAP FI/CO R3 Certification from SAP Academy Woodmead, Johannesburg. He is a Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.

His multidisciplinary educational background is complemented by over 25 years of cross functional business experience in Audit and management consulting, Treasury & FI Relationship management, Corporate Finance, Strategy, Retail and Corporate Banking garnered in Deloitte, Touche & International (formerly Akintola Williams & Co) and three top ranking Nigerian Banks namely Ecobank Plc., Citizens International Bank and UBA Plc.

Among others, he was involved in the design of Legal and Operational framework for Central Securities Clearing System (1994/97), participated in several landmark transactions such as the $1.0bn syndication for NLNG project trains 4 & 5, $160million syndicated Senior Secured Facility for Bonny Gas Transport, USD50million short term note issuance facility for two leading MNOCs and Syndication of $230m term facility for a leading IPP in Lagos working with three leading international financial institutions namely FMO, Afrexim and Banque Belgolaise in perhaps the most successful power transaction of that nature in the country to date.

At UBA Plc, he served at management level for nine years and was at various times Senior Manager, Strategy (1997), Head, Oil & Gas Upstream (1999), Sector Head, Power (2002), Sector Head, Mortgage Banking and Divisional Head, UBA Home Loans (2005). He worked with the Mckinsey team in Project Quest (2001) to craft UBA Corporate and Retail Strategy and played a central role as Strategy team member in the UBA/STB merger integration in April 2005. He disengaged from UBA Plc. effective February 2006 to pursue personal interest in Financial Consulting.

Olu is a consultant to several local and multinational companies in the financial sector space and is happily married with a daughter

Austin Jo-Madugu - Non-Executive Director

Austin Jo-Madugu, born 1952, is an alumnus of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, BSc, Sociology, First Class Honours 1976 and New York University, New York, MBA 1982.

He began his working life at the Centre for Management Development, Lagos in 1977 as a Management Trainee. His banking career started at Chase Merchant Bank in 1983 in Credit and Marketing.

He worked also at UBA and at the Bank of Industry from where he retired as General Manager, Operations in 2012. He has attended local and international executive training programmes at such institutions as INSEAD, France, Columbia University Business School, USA and the PDPCP in the Philippines.

He is from Kogi State and is happily married with children.

Alhaji Abdullah Umar - Non-Executive Director

Alhaji Abdullah Umar has over 45 years of work experience spanning different fields including the Insurance, Manufacturing and the Public Service.

He has obtained various qualifications from different institutions including the Kitson College Technology, Leeds, United Kingdom and the Ohio University, USA.

Alhaji Umar who is on the membership of various Boards across the country has established and continues to successfully run three indigenous companies.

Bata Garba Wakawa - Non-Executive Director

Bata Garba Wakawa has over 23 years of banking experience. He obtained a B.Sc. Hons degree in Business Administration from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1982 and an MBA degree from Bayero University, Kano in March 1996.

His full time banking career started when he left Borno State Civil Service in 1984 for Central Bank of Nigeria on a senior supervisor grade until June 1986 when he joined UBA PLC.

He rose through the ranks whilst being responsible for Commercial Banking, Monitoring and Control (Risk Management), Inspection, Reconciliation and Control, Transaction banking, Branch Co-ordination and Control and Area Office Administration in Jos, Abuja and the 6 states of the North East geo-political region.

He voluntarily retired in November 2007 as Senior Branch Cluster Manager in charge of all branches in Borno and Yobe States.

Mr. Wakawa is from Borno State and happily married with children.