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Read Emefiele’s Statement On The Sacking Of FBN Holdings Board

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Emefiele’s Statement On The Sacking Of FBN Holdings Board
Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

CBN GOVERNOR’S STATEMENT ON THE PURPORTED MANAGEMENT CHANGE AT THE FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA LTD

1.0 Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

2.0 The media has been awash with commentaries on the purported management changes at First Bank of Nigeria Ltd (FBN) and the related regulatory inquiry by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Board of First Bank of Nigeria Limited. It has therefore become necessary for me to address the public to clear any misconceptions.

3.0 Ordinarily the board is vested with the authority to make changes in the management team subject to CBN approval. However, the CBN considers itself a key stakeholder in management changes involving FBN due to the forbearances and close monitoring by the Bank over the last 5 years aimed at stemming the slide in the going concern status of the bank.

READ ALSO: CBN Sacks Awosika, Otudeko, Appoints New Board For First Bank

It was therefore surprising for the CBN to learn through media reports that the board of directors of FBN, a systemically important bank under a regulatory forbearance regime had effected sweeping changes in executive management without engagement and/or prior notice to the regulatory authorities. The action by the board of FBN sends a negative signal to the market on the stability of leadership on the board and management and it is in light of the foregoing that the CBN queried the board of directors on the unfortunate developments at the bank.

4.0 As you may be aware, FBN is one of the systemically important banks in the Nigerian banking sector given its historical significance, balance sheet size, large customer base, and high level of interconnectedness with other financial service providers, amongst others. By our last assessment, FBN has over 31m customers, with a deposit base of N4.2trn, shareholders funds of N618bn, and NIBSS instant payment (NIP) processing capacity of 22% of the industry.

To us at the CBN, not only is it imperative to protect the minority shareholders, that have no voice to air their views, also important, is the protection of the over 31m customers of the bank who see FBN as a safe haven for their hard-earned savings.

5.0 The bank maintained healthy operations up until the 2016 financial year when the CBN’s target examination revealed that the bank was in grave financial condition with its capital adequacy ratio (CAR) and non-performing loans ratio (NPL) substantially breaching acceptable prudential standards.

6.0 The problems at the bank were attributed to bad credit decisions, significant and non-performing insider loans, and poor corporate governance practices. The shareholders of the bank and FBN Holding Plc also lacked the capacity to recapitalize the bank to minimum requirements. These conclusions arose from various entreaties by the CBN to them to recapitalize.

7.0 The CBN stepped in to stabilize the bank in its quest to maintain financial stability, especially given FBN’s systemic importance as enumerated earlier. Regulatory action was taken by the CBN in this regard included:

i. Change of management team under the CBN’s supervision with the appointment of a new Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer in January 2016.

ii. Grant of the regulatory forbearances to enable the bank to work out its non-performing loans through provision for a write-off of at least N150b from its earning for four consecutive years.

iii. Grant of concession to insider borrowers to restructure their non-performing credit facilities under very stringent conditions.

iv. Renewal of the forbearances on a yearly basis between 2016 and 2020 following thorough monitoring of progress towards exiting from the forbearance measures.

8.0 The measures had yielded the expected results as the financial condition of FBN improved progressively between 2016 when the forbearance was initially granted to the current financial year. For instance, profitability, liquidity, and CAR improved whilst NPL reduced significantly.

9.0 Notwithstanding the significant improvement in the bank’s financial condition with a positive trajectory of financial soundness indicators, the insider-related facilities remained problematic.

10.0 The insiders who took loans in the bank, with controlling influence on the board of directors, failed to adhere to the terms for the restructuring of their credit facilities which contributed to the poor financial state of the bank.

The CBN’s recent target examination as of December 31, 2020, revealed that insider loans were materially non-compliant with restructuring terms (e.g. non-perfection of lien on shares/collateral arrangements) for over 3 years despite several regulatory reminders. The bank has not also divested its non-permissible holdings in non-financial entities in line with regulatory directives.

11.0 Following a further review of the situation and in order to preserve the stability of the bank, so as to protect minority shareholders and depositors, the Management of the CBN in line with its powers under BOFIA 2020 has approved and hereby directs:

i. Immediate removal of all directors of FBN Ltd and FBN Holdings Plc.

ii. The appointment of the following persons as directors in FBN Ltd and FBN Holdings Plc

Holdco

1.  Chairman – Remi Babalola
2.  Dr. Fatade Abiodun Oluwole
3.  Kofo Dosekun
4.  Remi Lasaki
5.  Dr. Alimi Abdulrasaq
6.  Ahmed Modibbo
7.  Khalifa Imam
8.  Sir Peter Aliogo
9.  UK Eke – Managing Director

Bank

1.   Chairman – Tunde Hassan-Odukale
2.  Tokunbo Martins
3.  Uche Nwokedi
4.  Adekunle Sonola
5.  Isioma Ogodazi
6.  Ebenezer Olufowose
7.  Ishaya Elijah B. Dodo
8.  Sola Adeduntan – Managing Director
9.  Gbenga Shobo – Deputy Managing Director
10. Remi Oni – Executive Director
11.  Abdullahi Ibrahim – Executive Director

12.0 The CBN hereby reassures the depositors, creditors, and other stakeholders of the bank of its commitment to ensuring the stability of the financial system. There is therefore no cause for panic amongst the banking public, given that the actions being taken are meant to strengthen the bank and position it as a banking industry giant.

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Millionaires Emerge in UBA Savings Promo as 10 Customers win N1m Each

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United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has rewarded 10 of its loyal customers with a total sum of  N10m in the quarterly draws

Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has rewarded 10 of its loyal customers with a total sum of  N10m in the quarterly draws of the ongoing UBA Savings Promo.

This promo, which is held every quarter, is intended to appreciate loyal customers of the bank, who have stayed with the bank over the years,  and offers fresh opportunities for potential and intending customers to join the growing number of UBA millionaires who have in the past benefitted from several Promo.

The virtual and transparent electronic draw which was held on Friday was transmitted live via zoom and the Facebook platform in strict compliance with social distancing rules as directed by the Federal and Lagos State Government.

READ ALSO: UBA CEO, 2 Others Resign From NESG Board, Here’s Why

UBA’s Head Personal Banking, Osita Ede, who addressed participants just before the draws, said there is no better time to give back and delight customers than this challenging economic period where people need all the support, they can get to make life more meaningful.

He said, “As a bank, UBA has been rewarding customers, we have been doing this for several years now; from the Wise Savers Promo, Bumper Draws, and now this. We have been doing this to touch lives and to show appreciation to our customers to tell them we are grateful for their business. This is also an opportunity to reward them for their loyalty to the bank.

Ede added that the promo is also a way of encouraging savings in a bid towards promoting financial inclusion, as statistics show that a lot of Nigerians are still largely underbanked.

“Our key objective is to encourage our customers to save regularly. We are here to support them and encourage them to save and ultimately grow as well, because we are aware that they are invaluable to all that we do;” Ede explained.

A representative of the National Regulatory Commission, Peace Ibadie, who witnessed the draws, congratulated the 10 winners and commended the bank for its efforts at rewarding loyal customers especially in the tough economic and business environment.

Congratulations to all the winners, I am glad to be a part of this; UBA is always transparent in their promos and we can fully attest to this. It is important that the bank is also actively encouraging the savings culture. Again, I say congratulations,” she said.

READ ALSO: UBA Poised To Change The Face Of E-Banking With New Mobile App

The winners who cut across all the zones of the country are Emeka Onyemauche; Ezeigbokwe Oluebube Purity; Omoniyi A Jaiyeola; Olawale Omotayo Idowu; Zaharadeen Yandaki Umar; Aliyu Yaro Bakari; Samuel Enan Esua; Joseph Eze; Deborah Folusho Adebayo and Lucia Chinyere Adim.

When contacted via their mobile phone, the winners expressed their gratitude to the bank as they said the winnings will go a long way in meeting their pressing needs especially in these trying times.

One of the winners, Samuel Enan Esan, who was delighted at the news that he just won N1m, was full of praises. “Thank you UBA,” he stated.

Aliyu Yaro Bakari. who was extremely excited at the news, said, “Oh I am very happy, UBA is the best, you are the best, thank you very much,” he remarked when he learnt he was also one of the beneficiaries of N1m.

To qualify for the promo, new and existing customers of the bank are expected to make a one-time deposit of at least N30,000; before each draw date. Savings account holders eligible for this draw include Target, Bumper, Next Gen, Savings, Teens & Kiddies.

Apart from the savings promo which is held every three months, the bank also has the UBA Bumper Promo which is held monthly, where the first three winning customers are rewarded with N2m, Rent for a year at N1.2m and N500,000 respectively; with 20 others winning N100,000 each as consolation prices.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries. With presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

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Ramadan: SMEs Lament Decline In Sales

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Ramadan: SMEs Lament Decline In Sales
Image used for illustrative purpose

It took the Ramadan period for Josephine Oluwole, a wine store owner, to discover that the majority of her customers are Muslims. She made the discovery after experiencing that decline in sales since the start of Ramadan.

Oluwole, in a chat with Newsrand, said her sales dropped considerably low and has since been struggling to make sales from her alcohol brands, as demands have shifted towards non-alcoholic products.

According to her, bottled water and soft drinks have become her best selling products during this period, relegating Whiskey, Vodka, and other premium brands that topped sales pre-Ramadan.

“Ramadan has really affected sales because the demand for alcoholic drinks is very low compare to other previous months. Like I said earlier, demands on alcoholic drinks are very low because most of my customers are Muslims, they won’t drink either buy for someone. The products on-demand now are non-alcoholic wine, beverages, and water and this is because all those don’t contain alcohol,” she stated.

Read Also: RAMADAN: Pray For Peace In Nigeria- Gov. Sanwo-Olu Appeals

Commenting on how she has managed the business since Ramadan, Oluwole who opened her wine store due to her inability to secure a job in the private sector, said she has devised new ways to keep her business functional, but her profitability is nothing compared to what she’s used to.

“I tried as much as possible to double the quantity of the beverages and water I sell. For instance, before Ramadan, I can buy 5packs of Chivita and 20 bags of water which doesn’t last till 5days most time, but now I have doubled the bags of water I buy like the beverages because people tend to buy that more than the alcoholic drink,” she added.

Oluwole is however not the only small business owner affected by the holy period. One Christian Eze, a caterer, also lamented that her sales have been low, as her customer base has depleted since the fast started.

She now sells mostly to non-Muslims, as the fast compels Muslims to eat as late as 7:00 pm, and as early as 5:00 am.

“Sales have dropped, but I understand why. It happens every year. Once Ramadan ends, I’m sure they would start patronising me again,” he expressed belief.

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Business

International Container Terminal: We Have No Relationship With Dangote

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International Container Terminal: We Have No Relationship With Dangote

Port management company, International Container Terminal Services, has refuted the report that it’s owned by business magnate, Aliko Dangote.

Refuting a report credited to Sahara Reporters that it’s owned by Dangote, the port management firm, in a statement signed by its Senior Vice President, Hans-Ole, Madsen, said there’s no form of relationship between them as the report claimed.

The statement read: “We would like to clarify that International Container Services Inc. (ICTSI) is a Philippine publicly listed independent company engaged in operations in 33 ports on 6 continents. ICTSI ranks as a top-ten port operator in the world While advising that details of the company’s ownership can be found on its website the Madsen restated.

“ICTSI is not owned or in any way affiliated with the Dangote Group of companies.”

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