A group of former officials of the defunct All States Trust Bank recently reunited in Lagos. The reunion was organised by the former staffers of the bank based in Lagos.
At the event, the ex-bankers expressed joy at the reunion 13 years after going their separate ways. They recounted how the bank pioneered so many innovations in the banking sector, laid the foundation for their success and how some of them have since then attained top management positions in the banking sector.
Ebibomo Timitimi, former managing director and chief executive officer of the bank, explained that some of the former staff felt it was necessary to come together for a reunion.
He said the former staff created a WhatsApp platform, where they now interact. As a result, those in Lagos felt there was a need to come together to renew acquaintances and exchange contacts.
He said, “All States Trust Bank was one of the second generation banks created in the late 1980s. The founder of the bank is regarded as the godfather of modern-day banking (in Nigeria).
READ ALSO: Total war in Bayelsa
“Over 15 people who worked under him at that time have gone on to be MDs of various banks. All States, as at then, had so many unique features. We pioneered electronic banking. Then, people were being robbed when travelling to the East or other parts of the country. We then introduced the credit card as a convenient way of carrying cash without being robbed.”
He stated that the bank was also the first to introduce Saturday banking and staff buses and also pioneered the in-house canteen to cater for their staff. According to him, the bank was acquired by Ecobank Plc in 2006.
While expressing happiness at seeing his former colleagues, he said: “In life, when you make friends, they could be helpful. There are some of us who have left banking and, somewhere along the line, they could be helpful.”
A former executive director with the bank, Pastor Isaac Ogbeide, said All States was a very good foundation for most of them. He said he was overwhelmed to see some of his friends whom he had not met for years.
“There is strength in unity. We want to network and connect. That is what life is all about.
“All States came onboard in 1988 and I happened to be one of the pioneer members. As a bank then, we achieved a lot. We introduced late closure. Banks closed by 4pm, but we could stay till 6pm to make sure that customers were satisfied. We were a bank to beat at that time,” he said.
Similarly, former general manager of the bank, Mr. Odesa Awe, noted that the gathering was to celebrate the successes of the past and the ones to be attained in the future:
“Back then, we saw ourselves as one big family. There was togetherness, sense and unity of purpose. People took their jobs as though they were working in their own father’s business.
“It was unfortunate that we had to move on with our lives at a particular point in time, get new employment or do things that we loved to do on our own.”
Assistant general manager of the defunct bank, Onene Osila Obele-Oshoko, explained that she had since left the banking sector and had gone to several places since All States Bank.
In her words, the experience from All States Trust Bank had taken her to other sectors, including being the executive chairman of the Rivers State Board of Internal Revenue.
She urged her former colleagues to be grateful, notwithstanding what challenges and opportunities that they might have experienced since then.
“We should remember the values that we were taught because we were a professional bank. We had lots of innovations as at then. Let everybody hold on to those values wherever they go.
“We grew up as a family. We had always come together, had parties together in the past but since the issue of the bank happened in 2005, we have not seen one another. So, we felt that there was a need for us to begin to
meet, network and know what is happening, to see how we can help each other, encourage and support each other. We also want to review the dream that we had and the bonding that goes beyond work.”