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Atedo Peterside Who Defied The Odds And Walked An Uncommon Path. We Celebrate The Icon Of StanbicIBTC At 68

The Oasis Reporters

July 22, 2023








Atedo Peterside.


As a blogger, I’ve written quite a few pieces on Atedo Nari Atowari Peterside, a famous banker of note not only in Nigeria, but a name whispered in Africa’s financial circles.


I promised a young media influencer only yesterday that I would tell him the story of Stanbic IBTC one day because he had advised his readers to:

“Bank at First Bank, UBA, GTBank, and Zenith over Stanbic”. I thought that
Reno Omokri @renoomokri was doing absolutely the wrong thing. Our Nigerian owned banks are doing fantastically well on the international financial circuits with applause.

So why the demarketing campaign that can be used against us ? How wise is this?

On July 21, I responded to him:

Abeg (please) tell @renoomokri oo! This politician sef doesn’t know that he is spoiling (the) show for Nigerians who are learning from the big coys & doing big things! He thinks he knows much, but he’s empty. There’s a critical Fintech component of Stanbic for instance that originated from Nigeria.
I know that Stanbic in South Africa entered it into their balance sheet and the Nigerian office protested. It was corrected. We’re contributing to the international circuit, but Reno is shaking our table, thinking it were Buhari’s table. Who (will) go talk to the (young man) boy sef ?
10:13 AM · Jul 21, 2023

Ejike Odika @ejikeodika joined me in letting Omokri get a few more facts:
“When all these FDI stops coming into Nigeria or withdraws. Nigeria will see “Shege double pro max”

The worst thing that can happen to Nigerians is to have a blue ocean whereby a Nigeria person controls everything”


He tweets out of ignorance: “Get your money out of Stanbic Merchant Bank and into First Bank, UBA, Guaranty Trust Bank and any other fully Nigerian-owned bank”.

Does the media influencer realize the amount of tax Stanbic IBTC remits into the Nigerian treasury ?

Or the number of citizens the bank has empowered?

That statement was plain wrong to make!


There are Nigerian banks all over Africa and other destinations. Would Omokri appreciate citizens in other African Countries copying and pasting his tweet by adding their names and asking the kind of poser that he has made?

By the way, is there still Stanbic Merchant Bank in Nigeria? Let him take this update to lift his thinking beyond his mundane and outdated research.

Once upon a time, there was a Merchant Bank in Nigeria called Grindlays Merchant Bank. It had just two branches in Nigeria. One at Awolowo Road in Ikoyi Lagos which was the head office and the second branch in African Alliance Building, Airport Road, Kano.

The Bank itself was an ANZ bank (Australia/ New Zealand Bank). Their senior managers were from ANZ. They were in Nigeria for very many years, as well as in very many African countries.

Suddenly, just one day in the 90s, they decided to pull out of Africa and thus sought for a buyer. The only bank willing to buy them out was Standard Bank of South Africa. It had the financial wherewithal to buy Grindlays Merchant Bank. .

This was why Grindlays Merchant Bank became Stanbic Merchant Bank.

Luck then shone on Nigeria because a military president of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida happened. And the man had very savvy economists as advisers. Babangida opened the banking space up for Nigerian entrepreneurs to go into the banking field.

At this juncture, let me take the story of a brilliant Nigerian born entrepreneur, Atedo Peterside who clocked 68 on July 12.

Atedo Peterside started out as a young banker at NAL Merchant Bank (Sterling Bank of today). He was brilliant and you could say that he would one day rise to be the Managing Director of the Bank.


But that was not to be because NAL Merchant Bank had a unique shareholding structure that included the Federal government of Nigeria, the Northern Nigeria Development Corporation (NNDC) and others as owners. Southern Nigeria was not in the picture. So if a banker of Southern Nigerian origin worked very hard, his glass ceiling would be at AGM level. He can’t rise beyond that level because only the Federal government clout could take him to that position.


Atedo Peterside on the left of picture. They were starting out at IBTC, Victoria Island, Lagos.


But any northern Nigerian born banker there could rise to be DGM and even Managing Director.

Thus, Rivers State born brilliant banker, Atedo Peterside had to compulsorily retire as an Assistant General Manager. Everyone of us, watching on the sidelines of the Nigerian economic waters, felt for the young banker ( never mind that he is three years my big brother from another state). We were following the story

Then suddenly, the announcement from Babangida’s government came, pledging to grant banking licences to those who dared and fulfilled the conditionalities.

And we had the likes of iconic Jim Ovia, Atedo Peterside etc, throwing their hats into the ring and the rest became history.

From a looming compulsory retirement due to region of origin, Peterside started Investment Banking and Trust Company (IBTC) in one flat somewhere in Victoria Island. I went there only once but didn’t even meet him. That is a story for another day.


IBTC was a Merchant Bank. But news coming out was that the bank in that flat which I visited was doing fantastically well. We were all proud with our noses in the air, chuckling at the loss in NAL Merchant Bank with their state of origin conditional job offers.

Then somewhere along the line, in came universal banking. Nigeria was to have banks. No segregation between commercial and merchant banks.

Among the commercial banks then, was Chartered Bank. As a deposit money bank, it had several branches nationwide. Besides, it was the commercial banker to Stanbic Merchant Bank that had just two branches and IBTC with just one branch.

Armed with the new universal banking licence, IBTC and Stanbic Bank struggled to open new branches everywhere. It was not going to be an easy ride. No matter how rich they were and still are.

So IBTC upped the ante, and bought Chartered Bank. The commercial Bank was going to lay it’s branches at the feet of IBTC, which was unknown in commercial banking circles. Chartered was a known name nationwide. Therefore IBTC attached it’s name to get into the consciousness of customers, thus becoming IBTCChartered. It kept on trading like that.

Midway through this, Stanbic bank joined the equation, either through a Corporate merger or outright purchase, Nigeria suddenly had a triple barreled named bank called StanbicIBTCChartered. With time and owing to sufficient recognition through the name Chartered, the bank dropped the last syllable, Chartered. It became StanbicIBTC.

As a consummate Corporate operator, the deal Peterside negotiated seemed good. He became chairman and his wisdom was top notch.

There comes a time in the life of a man, he must realize that he’s getting no younger. If one were running a one man business and you need a bright future for your enterprise, find a way to fuse it with a big Corporate player that has good governance culture and ethics, then retire and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

You can be an ophthalmologist. Your children may want to be sportsmen or traders. To ensure that your passion survives for generations and your legacy is assured, people like Atedo Peterside can easily offer advice.

To round this essay up, can Reno take this takeaway?
IBTCStanbic is Nigeria’s own. It is also playing in the African circuit. And effectively too. I knew when local auditors in the bank used to join the international circuits to audit banks in many other African countries and even the world, gaining very valuable experience. All of them paying taxes in Nigeria are supporting the economy and supporting families. Don’t run any down. We do not want others to run us down.

Happy birthday, my Sir, Atedo Peterside. Long life in prosperity and robust health. Very best wishes.

By Greg Abolo

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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