Kingsley Eremionkhale : A Resourceful Professional Creating Value Through CIT MFB
He is a dynamic, seasoned and certified microfinance practitioner who has continued to demonstrate the ability to lead a diverse team of professionals to a higher level of success, in the fast-paced and highly competitive micro financing sub-sector in Nigeria. So it is not surprising that CIT Microfinance Bank has been able to sustain its corporate reputation through innovative financial solutions since he assumed office as the CEO. Kingsley Eremionkhale has made innovative financial solutions the hallmark of CIT Microfinance Bank’s identity.
A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, the Managing Director, CIT Microfinance Bank holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and a Post Graduate Degree in Financial Management from the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. Kingsley also bagged a Masters in Business Administration degree from the prestigious Business school of Netherlands.
Equipped with over 20 years’ post-graduation work experience, including 11 years in microfinance industry, the innovative banker worked in Marketing, Business Development and Credit and Risk departments. Kingsley joined CIT MFB in August 2014 as the Head of Business Development, and the resourceful professional was appointed as Managing Director/CEO on 4th June, 2018.
In this interview he granted in response to the company recognition as one of the Award Winning Microfinance Banks, he took us through CIT Microfinance Bank’s journey, discussed its corporate values, growth strategy and vision. Excerpts.
What is the mission and vision of CIT Microfinance Bank?
In terms of what we planned to be which is very important, we planned to be the market leader in the industry. And our vision, is to exceed stakeholders’ expectation. In trying to be a market leader which we know is not going to be easy, especially the fact that CIT Microfinance Bank is just 11years old. And there are older microfinance banks in the industry. But notwithstanding, it’s not just about the age but what we are able to bring into the industry and the market.
The management style, the quality of the management, the quality of the driver of the business which is the board of directors. And also, the support which we have from the parent company, Capitalfield Investment Group Limited. Despite that we have been around for eleven years, I will say that in Lagos state we have been able to achieved that tremendous success. And we are a force to reckon with in the industry. Its just about asking any body who is a practitioner in Lagos, they will tell you that CIT Microfinance Bank is doing great.
Who are your core targets in the society?
I will say that we play heavily on the Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s) markets which is actually our traditional original market.
Can you tell us your business growth strategies?
We have deployed a lot of our business services using technology. This is the era of Fintech- Financial Technology; we are not lacking behind. Many years ago, we launched our Mobile App, banking mobile app. In few years’ time, we will be launching our Digital Banking App. Which is also an innovation in the market space. So, has been there for us. We have deplored technology in every facets of our business, we have digitalized our business process in such a way that we have limited almost the use of papers in terms of our process within the bank.
We have also able to connect with our marketers, our agents in every part of the country using technology. And our customers are also able to access our products even without having physical interface with us. So, technology is one thing we have done very well. And also, investment in people is another key area we have taken seriously. Our staff are well trained. They are well enumerated in terms of pay. On regular basis, we do a review and if there’s need for recruitments, we ensure that we recruit the best hands. The whole of these has actually added colours to all that we have been able to achieved as a microfinance bank.
How do you deal with feedbacks and complaints from your customers?
I am sure we are one of the few microfinance banks that have contact centre and be able to reach us 24/7. Our contact centre is 07000CITMFB, it is TOLL-FREE. The process of analyzing our feedbacks and complaints is digitalized. And we ensure that in less than 24 hours’ customers complaints are resolved. It’s part of customer’s service engagements. In honesty, even as the Managing Director, I ensure and supervise this process. It’s about reputation. There is so much to gain in ensuring that every complaint is resolved with the customer leaving as a satisfied individual. I am very involved in the process
Challenges in the industry and how do you think the regulatory agencies can assist?
Well, the regulatory agencies are doing their best in ensuring that they regulate us properly. And I would say that they are not doing badly when it comes to regulation because it is extremely very important that practitioners are held accountable and are made to be responsible for their actions. So, CBN and NDIC are doing that. Now in terms of challenges, I would say that we are also not isolated from the problem in the economy.
Whatever affects my customers, automatically affects me. We have situation as a result of the depreciation of the naira, as a result of the backlog of containers at the port and problems at the port, amongst others, customers found it difficult to repay back their loans. Especially when the business dynamist is tied around the exchange of foreign exchange. As long as some of these things are there, and they affect the businesses of some of my customers and clients, automatically, it affects me, because it will lead to default. Business failure will lead to default.
What makes CIT Microfinance Bank unique from others?
Leadership. And I am going to start from the Board of Directors. And also, the ownership is part of the leadership. CIT MFB is a subsidiary of CapitalField Investment Group. If you see any institution doing well, just check the leadership. The board supervises the management and gives direction. And we also have a very strong management team and the management have been able to drive the workforce.
What is your projection for the next 5 years?
CIT Microfinance Bank will be transforming into a commercial bank by His Grace. That is the plan.