One of the remarkable and the youngest bankers in the Ghanaian society who have been contributing enormously to the growth of Rural Community Banks (RCBs) in the country especially in the norther parts of the country is the 37-year -old General Manager of the Bessfa Rural Bank Ltd. operating in the Garu District of the Upper East Region, Alhaji Hayatudeen Awudu Ibrahim.
The multiply award winning banker who is also Chartered Accountant by profession and an expert in Corporate Governance, Risk Management and Compliance, has been working in the banking industry for almost 15 years now, and has been described in many circles as a legendary in the RCBs industry in Ghana.
A Legendary could be described as somebody who has become famous or well-known as a result of a distinctive or unique characteristic or skills exhibited by such person. In other words, a legend is someone who leaves behind an unforgettable landmark on others. They touch people lives. They are remembered and cherished for the significant change make in society. It is very important to state that becoming a legendary means finding your particular role, your calling, following it, and touching others around you to bring about smiles in them. A legendry could also be described as a person who is having unimaginable greatness; excellent to such an extent to evoke stories.
The above-mentioned virtues and values associated with legends are the common characteristics in the 37-year-old General Manager of Bessfa Rural Bank Ltd, Alhaji Ibrahim.
The soft-spoken Alhaji Ibrahim who hardly talks to the media about his achievements because as a bank official said, “he doesn’t want to be seen to be blowing his own horn” has achieved so much visible results for all to see
His role in contributing to the growth of RCBs, bridging the poverty gaps, growing the local economy , curbing of rural urban migration and generating employment for the youth had endeared him with many regional, national and international awards.
Most Respected CEO Awards
At the just-ended 2020 Ghana Industry Awards ceremony held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel – Accra on 27th November, 2020 , Alhaji Ibrahim was adjudged “The Most Respected Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in the Regional Category (Upper East) for 2020”.
The Group CEO of the Business Executive, Organizers of the Ghana Industry CEOs Awards, Madam Paulette Kporo in her congratulatory remarks to Alhaji Ibrahim stated that ‘’On behalf of the Management and staff of the Business Executive, Organizers of the Ghana Industry CEOs Awards, we wish to heartily congratulate you on your excellent cooperate governance, which has earned you the Most Respected CEO in the Regional Category (Upper East) for 2020’’.
According to the organizers, this year, they received over three million nomination forms, and shortlisted about 644 CEOs for the public nomination exercise covering the various sectors.
Alhaji Ibrahim obtained more recognition than other nominees in the Regional Category (Upper East) and it was consequent to that decision the Organizers conferred the award on him.
The event which was attended by the shortlisted CEOs across all the sectors; attracted top tier government officials, traditional rulers, ministers and diplomats, as well as both the local and international media.
The event also attracted major public recognition, positive publicity, stakeholder goodwill and support for the award winners with the strict adherence to all the COVID-19 safety protocols.
Speaking to the Media after the awards, Alhaji Ibrahim stated that he was delighted and humbled by the conferment of the award and expressed his appreciation to the public for the massive support resulting in his achievement as the Most Respected CEO in the whole of the Upper East Region.
Other Received Awards
It is very important to announce that this was not the first time the General Manager of Bessfa Rural Bank Ltd is receiving an award for his outstanding performance in the banking sector. A Gold Award was recently conferred on him, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the economic development of Ghana in the category of Rural Banking at the 3rd Ghana Business Leaders Excellence Awards held at Coconut Groove Regency Hotel in Accra on 17th October, 2020.
Prior to joining of the Bessfa Rural Bank Ltd, in May, 2019, Alhaji Ibrahim worked with the Builsa Community Bank Limited (BUCOBANK) at Sandema in the Builsa North District of the Upper East Region for almost fourteen years, eight years of which he served as the General Manager.
Additionally, under his leadership, BUCOBANK became one of the top five Rural and Community Banks in the country.
Besides the above, the BUCOBANK under his tutelage gained enviable recognition and received many awards including being the first and only Rural and Community Bank in the northern part of Ghana to be admitted in 2018 and 2019 into the prestigious Ghana Club 100 (GC100) of the Ghana Investments Promotion Center.
Other Awards BUCOBANK achieved under his stewardship include ,“The Most Profitable Rural Bank of the year” awarded by the Association of Rural Banks (ARB) at the 3rd Rural Banking Excellence Awards held at Bolgatanga in 2018, “The Best Rural Bank – Loan Financing Category” awarded by the ARB at the 2nd Rural Banking Awards held at Cape Coast in 2016, “The Best Rural Bank in the Upper East Region” at the 1st Rural Banking Excellence Awards held at Tamale in 2014.
The Bank was also adjudged “The Best Bank nationwide with the highest number of support to agribusinesses” by USAID-FinGAP in 2017, “The Best Bank with the highest number of support to women-led agribusinesses” by USAID-FinGAP in 2017.
Experience and Admonishment
The expert in Corporate Governance, Risk Management and Compliance explained that the growth and development of every institution largely depends on the governance structures put in place and the resolve of decision makers to strictly adhere to the best practices in corporate governance and compliance with regulatory requirements at all times.
‘’ The successes of BUCOBANK and now Bessfa Rural Bank was achieved because I together with the Board, Management and Staff adhered strictly to good corporate governance practices and that has endeared the heart of a lot of customers and development partners who have dealings with the two institutions’’, he stressed.
His Vision for Bessfa Rural Bank Ltd
He indicated that it is his vision to lead his team of management and staff, with the support of the Board, to grow Bessfa Rural Bank Ltd to occupy the topmost position in the rural banking industry within the next four years.
“With this objective in mind, we have in less than a year, opened two new branches of the Bank at Bunkpurugu and Nalerigu, both in the newly created North-East Region and also completed a rebranding exercise which has favourably repositioned the Bank in the market space”, the General Manager indicated.
Stakeholders testimonies about Alhaji Ibrahim
‘’Alhaji Ibrahim unique skills , unimaginable greatness and excellent demonstrated by him as General Manager had made significant impact in society and left unforgettable good and positive impression on many customers especially women. The legend has not only made a mark in rural banking, but is also a thorough professional banker who is passionate and nationalistic in the pursuance of his job as the General Manager’’, —-indicated.
‘’His decisions some of which were difficult have for the best part been for the good interest of the growth of the banks. It is no wonder he made such great strides during his tenure at the General Manager of the BUCOBANK and still making it at the Bessfa Rural Bank Ltd.’’, —–emphasized.
In conclusion, while commending Alhaji Awudu for contributing significantly to the growth and development of the banking industry in Ghana especially RCBs, there is the urgent need for other leaders in the banking sector to emulate the shining examples of the 37-year-old banker to help complement government’s effort in expanding and improving the growth of the sector .
Feature by Samuel Adadi Akapule