Mr. Ahmed Kuru: A Thorough bred Abusite Providing Effective Result-Driven Development Through AMCON
He is a professional of a rare breed, despite the many obstacles he faced, he persisted in enduring the storm and accomplishing incredible results. Mr. Ahmed Kuru the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON. An establishment created to be a key stabilizing and re-vitalizing tool to revive the financial system by efficiently resolving the non-performing loan assets of the banks in the Nigerian economy.
Prior to his appointment as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, Kuru was the Group Managing Director of Enterprise Bank Limited, following the nationalization of former Spring Bank Plc. Mr. Kuru who has over 30 year banking experience, started his banking career with Habib Bank in 1985, which was renamed Keystone Bank after it was nationalization.
Before then, he had worked as a Budget Analyst with the Federal Ministry of Finance in 1984. He was also once Executive Vice Chairman, Emeritus Capital Limited, a financial services firm, with specialty in international business development focusing in sub-Saharan Africa.
Kuru also served as an Executive Director at Bank PHB Plc, overseeing critical areas like, Risk Management, Compliance, Commercial Banking, Northern Operations, Public Sector, Multilateral Agencies and the West Coast, East and Central Africa expansion programme of the bank.
Before his rise to the level of Executive Director, he held several other top positions, including General Manager/Regional Manager in charge of bank operations at Habib Nigeria Bank.
He is a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) and Masters Degrees in Business Administration graduate from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. He is also an alumni of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Lagos Business School and London Business School.
In this Special Report on Distinguished Award-Winning ABU Alumni, Kuru talks about his time at the prestigious ivory tower, the impact of the institution on him and how his career has evolved since graduating from ABU. Excerpts.
Why Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) amongst the various universities in the country?
Pre-90s, the higher institution that every young Northerner in Nigeria wanted to attend was the ABU, Zaria. It has produced great leaders and administrators. It is the equivalent of University of Lagos (UNILAG), University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and University of Ife. Students attended these universities with pride. Any other university was second, including travelling out of the country.
Can you recollect some of your colleagues and lecturers that impacted you back then at ABU?
Some of my colleagues who are in Politics, Business, professional endeavour, etc. left the school more than 45 years ago. They are all accomplished in their own way. I don’t want to single out Ministers, Governors, Senators, Bank MDs, teachers, professors etc aforementioned. All are accomplished in their own right, and most have retired after attaining the age of 60 years. One of our greatest lecturers was Professor Sheikh Ahmed Abdullahi. He was a “guy-man” and a highly intelligent lecturer who rose to become HOD, Dean and one time DG of ASCON in Badagry. There was also the erudite and legal luminary, Mal. Baba Shani.
Can you share any unforgettable moments at ABU?
I vividly remember how honest everybody was back then. On the way to the academic area, retail women hawking kolanut and sweets would drop their wares with price tag in the morning and return in the evening to collect the left-over items with cash payments dropped by passersby. Nobody picked the items without dropping the price tagged on it! People were honest! We were provided with laundry services and toiletries back then. You could go to the students’ affairs office and take a loan if your stipend from your state government is delayed. With constant washing of the toilets and cutting of the grasses.
If you had not attended ABU, which other university would you have loved to study and why?
ABU then was comparable with UNILAG, Uni Ife, UNN and foreign universities. Aside ABU, I would have still loved to attend ABU! ABU or nothing! I had the opportunity to study outside, but I allowed it to pass. It was always ABU for me.
How has your career been since graduating from the institution?
God has been wonderful. I have reached the pinnacle of my chosen field i.e. Chief Executive Officer of a Financial Institution (Bank) and I am still contributing my quota in National development. God has blessed me abundantly, Alhamdulillah! And that’s all thanks to ABU for preparing me.
Your advice for the Governing Council, students, other alumni and stakeholders of Ahmadu Bello University as it celebrates 60 years of academic excellence?
We need to come together to see how we can recreate a semblance of what we enjoyed back then.
The Alumni association has responsibility for this. I do know that it is not easy for all sectors, but we need to move forward with the changing challenges, given the lack of funds and need to plan, sacrifice, and keep the sanctity, and spirit of Sir Ahmadu Bello flying by keeping the university alive and forward looking.
We must strive with the limited resources available to maintain the infrastructure, and academic quality ABU is known for since it was established. The Governing council need to think out of the box because it is obvious that Government alone cannot fund and carry the burden of university education.