Tony Okpanachi; Extraordinary Journey To The Top @ 56

Dr Anthony Okpanachi is the current Managing Director, Development Bank of Nigeria DBN appointed in 2017.

The Phd in philosophy personalty is a financial expert, banker, administrator and technocrat’ clocked 56 years today , Tuesday, 15th of March , 2022.

Untill his appointment, as the current pioneer Managing Director, “Tony Okpanachi” as he is popularly called, worked for over three decades in the conventional banking sector and rose to the top echelon of his career.

Before joining his career job as a seasoned Banker, Okpanachi went through the public institutions for his elementary education in primary school , secondary school at Ochaja Boys Secondary School in the old Benue State now in Kogi state and later attended the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in kaduna state for his Bachelor Degree.

Coming from an average Nigerian background, rising to the top echelon of his banking career through dint of hardwork, determination, dedication and exceptional perfomance in the private sector driven environment and now the public sector after over three decades showed the level of commitment from his early days foundation, both at the elementary school, the intermediate and later the university were he built his life career and nutured it to fruition both in the private and now public entity.

These positive and result oriented traits of the DBN Managing Director, Tony Okpanachi was rare among many Nigerians, except those with special gifts, exceptional perfomance and extremely distinct leadership qualities and instincts.

His journey of life career in his chosen banking sector took him from the lower to the intermediate as well as top boardroom level from one financial institutions to another both within Nigeria and the African subregion, as he rose to the Deputy Managing Director, in Ecobank Nigeria, and was Managing Director MD Ecobank West Africa with many African continent on his working portfolio.

During his stint at Ecobank, the financial sector in Nigeria navigated through two major turbulent banking sector reforms in Nigeria, multiple economic recessions and also acquired some notable Banks in the country, that rejigged and remodelled the activities of the Banking sector between 2000- 2010, when some of the notable first generation Banks went down through Nationalisation by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and acquisition by Asset Management Corporation, AMCON.

Okpanachi not only contributed to the acquisition of some ailing Banks in Nigeria through acquisition by Ecobank, but also played a leading roles in the expansion of the services of the Ecobank to the nooks and crannies of the country and African continent.

These reforms in Ecobank brought it to the forefront of financial and banking sector since 2000 till date.

Tony Okpanachi having done exceptionally well with large resume both within and outside the shores of Nigeria, was shortlisted for appointment after series of assessment by the Nigeria’s federal ministry of finance recommended to the government as the pioneer Managing Director, Development Bank of Nigeria. DBN in 2017.

His new assignment in DBN was not a new terrain as an organisation with wholly international and foreign collaborations, having served in the private sector in many African countries as Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria.

On assumption of office in the last few years, Tony Okpanachi as the Managing Director, Development Bank of Nigeria DBN had introduced many programs in line with the three pronged mandate of activities by granting access to underserved MSME’s, provision of partial credit guarantee along with deploying capacity building through the Primary Finance Institutions PFIs and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSME’s Businesses

With his wealth of experience both nationally and internationally, the new DBN had created alot of opportunities for the SME’s to thrive in Nigeria having committed large sums of its operational funds in billions to stabilize the sector and introduction of many initiatives.

With DBN ccmmitement of over 400B naira into MSMEs , training and retraining of beneficiaries, it had returned the mainstay of Nigeria economy back to the sector were funds are being revolved to rejig both the economic and social life of ordinary Nigerians, particularly at this period of the global health challenges of COVID-19 and it’s unabated second , third and fourth wave that had grown to a manageable level .

These among many others and the introduction of products that will simplify assessment of other facilities and programs introduced by DBN in the last five years to rejig the economy with two major recessions in five years, that affected negatively small and medium scale buisnesses in the country.

The Tony Okpanachi led DBN among many other achievements embarked on mass partnerships with both specialised areas and general merchandise to drive more innovations in technology, ICT, properties, services, electricity and renewable energy both locally and internationally exposed organizations to rejig the economy of Nigeria.

In doing this, it had exposed it’s services both to the private and public sectors after due diligence before assessment and availement of funds to enhance their activities.

With erratic power generation and distribution in Nigeria, DBN decision to broker partnership with Rural Electrification Agency REA among many others will bring to an end the incessant power failure that affected both domestic, production and industrial consumption in Nigeria, as it will tend to ressolve the long decades of energy impasse.

The growing quest for global campaign of gender equality in all facets of our national life, in line with the best practices had encouraged mass participation, this was apart from given priority to women participation in MSMEs activities, it had being at the forefront of ressolving the age long discrimination of women in all ramifications, through its programs and participation of yearly activities of international women’s day IWD.

In the last five years at the mantle of leadership in DBN, it will be an understatement the quantum and quality of achievements and decisions taken to the betterment of Nigerians in line with it’s core mandates, including other initiatives of the leadership of Tony Okpanachi led Development Bank of Nigeria.

No doubt, the growing clamour for his reappointment for another term had rented the air, to enable him stabilised the policies and programs introduced in it’s first term as pioneer DBN Managing Director, as Nigeria and Nigerians will be better for it .

As you mark your new age as a public servant determined to continue to make a change through contributions of your quota to national developement , we prayed for many more years of your services to Nigeria and humanity.

Congratulations and Happy Birthday Dr Anthony Okpanachi, Managing Director, Development Bank of Nigeria DBN at 56, wishing you many more years.

Written By ABUBAKAR YUSUF and can be reached on

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