*’Am ready To Defend My Stewardship Anytime’ -Board Chairman
In what appears as part implementation of the report of the Special Investigation on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Related Entities, CBN has sacked the entire board of Polaris bank, Titan bank, Union bank and Keystone Bank.
The decision to dissolve the boards was taken after a meeting between the management of the apex bank, Jim Obazee, special Investigator and the board and management of the four affected banks.
Incidentally, the four banks were involved in the Mergers and Acquisitions exercises under the former Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, which did not go down well with the public.
But, a chairman of the Board of one of the affected banks said on Wednesday, after the meeting where the news was broken to them that he is ready to account for his stewardship in the bank.
“The Board of the Bank of which I used to chair has been dissolved by the CBN.
While thanking God for his mercies, I am prepared to defend my stewardship anytime,” he said in a message sent to MBN.
Strategic Capital Investment Limited took over Polaris bank following the completion of a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) for the acquisition of 100% of the equity in the bank by the firm on October 20, 2022.
It was alleged that the processes were devoid of the much needed transparency with undue interference from the presidency and the fact that the whole exercise was allegedly handled solely by CBN and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), even without the involvement of the management of the banks in some cases.
Obazee, in his report, revealed that the acquisition of Union Bank by Titan Bank lacked transparency and recommended that the Federal government forfeit the two financial institutions.
A source had revealed last weekend: “We were able to secure some documents, and the investigation reports will lead to the forfeiture of the two banks to the Federal Government.”
Similarly, Sigma Golf River Bank Consortium owns Keystone bank, after being acquired from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in March 2017.
Some analysts and public commentators had criticized the exercises by CBN, just as the issue featured in the special Investigator’s report as lacking transparency.
“You may not believe it. The transaction was solely handled by the Bank and AMCON. I understand the MD was not comfortable.
Unfortunately, Godwin did not handle his mandate priofessionally from all indications.
May they take the correct decision in the interest of Nigerians.” a source familiar with the whole process had told metrobusinessnews.com at the peak of the Mergers and Acquisition exercises by CBN.
MBN was told by credible sources that the desire of the new government is short of reversing all the M&A deals, but for the likely public outcry.
Providus Bank Limited, a 7-year-old financial institution is set to buy Unity Bank Plc whose operation commenced in 1988.
But the abrupt end of Emefiele’s
leadership of the apex bank may
be responsible for the suspension of
the deal that have kept tongues wagging
over the workability of the acquisition, which a source in Unity bank prefers to call, ‘business combination.`
It was further gathered that, the federal government, through CBN, is bent on sanitizing the banking industry and expressed disgust at the level of connivance by banks with government agencies in fleecing the economy.
The issue of insider dealings between and among boards and management as well as the overbearing influences of owner/chairmen, among others, will receive priority attention, through appropriate legislations and sanctioning of confirmed perpetrators of infractions.