The 1984 Alumni and pioneer set of CitiBank Nigeria recently held a private dinner in Ikoyi Lagos at the weekend to celebrate one of their own Dr. Olayemi Cardoso on his appointment as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Cardoso; a 1984 alumnus of CitiBank served as Chairman of the Bank for 12 years and retired last year; 2022.
While growing his career, the accountant, economist turned Banker joined the renowned CitiBank in 1984 the largest Financial Services Organization in the world at the time.
Cardoso went through the Citibank Credit training program in Athens Greece and was subsequently mobilized to CitiBank in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in 1982.
In 1984 when CitiBank obtained a license to operate as a full fledged commercial bank in Nigeria, Cardoso seized the opportunity to rejoin the bank as a founding staff assuming the role of Head of World Corporate Group responsible for managing crucial global relationships for the Bank.
A few years later in 1988, Cardoso was entrusted with the responsibility of setting up CitiBank’s first branch outside Lagos in Kano Nigeria. From Kano, he spearheaded the bank’s endeavours across the Northern Nigeria making significant growth and success from where he attained the position of Vice President holding one of the highest ranking positions in Nigeria at the time.
In 2007, Cardoso was selected to chair the audit committee of the board at CitiBank when he transitioned to board member and subsequently chairman of the board.
Other pioneer team members of CitiBank include top industry players such as Mrs Funke Osibodu who became Managing Director of Ecobank and later Group Managing Director of Union Bank, Mr Jubril Aku who also took the reigns as Managing Director at EcoBank and Mr Olukayode Pitan the Current Managing Director of Bank of Industry and Mr Ben Akabueze became MD of NAL Bank and later had an impressive public service career as Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos; a role which Cardoso pioneered and he carried on before later becoming Director General of the Budget Office.
In addition to anchoring Cardoso’s career and professional foundation, it was at Citibank that he paired with his life partner the then Bimbo Benson (daughter of Nigeria’s First Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Culture of independent Nigeria) who was also one of CitiBank’s class of 1984 pioneers but gave up her promising career to build a family. The Cardoso and Benson union made happen during their CitiBank years about 40 years ago is blessed with five Children and three grandchildren.
At the Alumni dinner, a thoughtful gift was presented by the Citi Alumni to the CBN Governor – a Bull Money Box to symbolize the Money Box of Nigeria in the hands and reign of Dr. Olayemi Cardoso. If the signs of the early days are anything to go by, the indicators are looking positive considering a slight dip in month-on-month inflation rate and the gradual repayment of foreign exchange backlog to banks which have received kudos from various stakeholders.
Words of praise and well wishes flowed at the dinner for the Governor that the FX and money markets may be bullish during his reign. That the Nigerian economy will strengthen and that investor confidence and optimism be strong and restored under this administration.
The proud alumni raised a toast and prayed for positive indicators and change for the new Governor one of many distinguished alumni that the bank has produced.
Published on Brandfit.