I think that Diamond Bank should long have sacked the Managing Director/ Chief Executive of Diamond Bank Mr. Uzoma Dozie. The bank has been facing capital adequacy challenge for sometimes. But it was not alone in that league. Even the mighty First Bank faced the same challenge. In a time like this, the bank needs a more experienced, time-tested chief executive that enjoys the confidence of investors home and abroad. Uzoma, who is the son of Paschal Dozie the original promoter of the bank, may not have the right mix of experience and grit to steer the bank through tough challenges. He may have the number of years of experience required for the office, he may have trained in best academic institutions, but as for the rough-and-tumble realities of the Nigerian business environment, he may not have it. Being the son of the rich and powerful, his way to the top was aided no doubt by the big hand of the father.
Part of the targets of the 2005 consolidation policy of then Prof. Chukwuma Soludo-led CBN was to discourage family banks, which usually encouraged appointments to key positions of banks by filial considerations more than by competence. Yet, some powerful people through proxies still maintain ownership hold on some banks such that they could do virtually anything they want in them.
When Uzoma took over from Alex Otti as the chief executive of the bank, the bank was about number five in size. For many years it was ahead of Access Bank in size and many other considerations. But while Access Bank has since soared above Diamond Bank such that it is being speculated that it wants to acquire it. Mark, it is acquisition and not merger. That just tells the story.
Diamond Bank has a very strong deposit base and supposed to leverage on it to sort itself out without requiring external help. It has its capital eroded due to huge non-performing loan with no proactive approach to its resolution plans, which to me is blameable on lack of management foresight and aggressiveness which are critical success factors in Nigerian banking environment.It is time to look beyond Uzoma who has steered the bank to this ignoble state of offering itself for acquisition.