Amidst the ongoing furoro between First Bank of Nigeria and Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria over the appointment of a new managing director/chief executive officer in the person of Gbenga Shobo, the bank’s Chairman has finally broken her silence giving what appears to be her side of the story.
In a statement she issued this Friday, Mrs. Awosika said she is confident that as a board, they have brought First Bank to a place where it is more than able to deliver utmost value to its stakeholders and the nation at large as they acted in what they clearly believed to be in the best interest of the bank.
Continuing she says they had great plans and aspirations for where the bank could go in its future as they build on the work already been done in the last five years
Recall that the bank in a statement issued penultimate Wednesday had announced the appointment of Gbenga Shobo as the new managing director and chief executive officer of the bank. He was to replace Sola Adeduntan who was retiring from the position in accordance with the term limit for chief executives.
In a swift reaction however, the Central Bank of Nigeria had raised eyebrows at the move as it queried the bank’s board on why such a move had been effected without any knowledge or approval whatsoever given the bank’s peculiar standing with it.
It is regarded as a ‘systemically important bank’ (SIB) by the CBN and as such it has a keen interest with what goes on in the bank.
By Thursday, the CBN subsequently issued a statement dissolving the board of the bank via a television broadcast
In the address, Emeifile cited insider abuse, insider credit and breakdown of corporate governance as the reason behind the sacking of the board of FBN Holdings, Nigeria’s largest bank.
The apex bank also announced the reinstatement of Dr Sola Adeduntan as the Managing Director of the interim Board
However, Mrs Awosika says the board headed by herself acted in the bank’s interest.
Her full statement reads:
My FBN Group Journey
In October 2010, I was appointed to join the board of First bank of Nigeria.
A few months later, I was appointed to chair the board of its start up FBN Life Insurance Limited (a joint venture with Sanlam of South Africa). As its pioneer chairman, I had the privilege of working with a strong management team led by Val Ojumah.
Together with the rest of our team we built a company that became profitable in twenty four months and continues to be so.
In early 2013, I was moved from FBN Life Insurance Ltd, to assume the chairmanship of FBN Capital working with a brilliant team led by Kayode Akinkugbe as the Managing Director.
We worked hard to build the institution, bought Kakawa Discount House which I was again asked by the Group to Chair. We eventually merged the companies to create the FBN quest Merchant Bank Group, which I chaired until my appointment as Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria on January 1st 2016.
For over five years , I have worked with a dedicated team of board and management , with the support of Central Bank of Nigeria to rebuild and restructure the institution for its future. This included cleaning up non performing loans, establishing good operational governance systems and processes, building controls and an effective and robust risk management system.
I am confident we have brought First Bank of Nigeria to a place where it is more than able to deliver utmost value to its stakeholders and the nation at large.
As a board, we acted in what we clearly believed to be in the best interest of the bank and we had great plans and aspirations for where the bank could go to in its future, building on all the work that has already been done in the last five plus years.
Without a shadow of doubt, I will unequivocally state that I have always acted in honor and integrity with the utmost interest of the institution, all our stakeholders and the Nation.
Frontpage September 18, 2019