Central Bank of Nigeria CBN

Banks’ directors back CBN’s action on First Bank

Directors of banks have shown support on the action taken by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to steer First Bank on course.

The apex bank last week reversed the move by First Bank directors to change the management without the approval of the regulator.

The directors, under the aegies of Banks Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN), advised the directors of First Bank to comply fully with the directives by the CBN.

Chairman of BDAN Mrs. Osaretin Demuren gave the position of the association yesterday.

Mrs. Demuren, who is the chairman of the board of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), spoke on the sidelines of BDAN’s 24th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos.

She said: “The position of the association is that CBN is the regulator, and has the spread sheet of First Bank. So, if CBN took a decision, we just have to encourage the bank to rectify whatever it was so that we have a better working environment. They should listen to the CBN.  We cannot challenge the CBN because it is the regulator”.

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She urged on bank directors to enhance their corporate governance practices by ensuring stability and accountability in the banking sector.

The BDAN President  noted that it was important to also ensure the emergence and appointment of directors in banks that are properly vetted, with such roles filled by only qualified candidates.

She said: “Corporate governance should be entrenched in bank directors. Even when recruiting directors, you have to find out on what basis since everyone is not corporate governance- compliant.

On bank ownership in the country, she said: “We have gone beyond banking where banks should be owned by individuals. Once that is out of the way, then corporate governance can be entrenched. When you have an individual, whether directly or indirectly behind a bank, then it is left to the regulator to call that person to order.”

The BDAN President’s tenure was extended by  90 days pending election of a new President.

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She said:  ”I took over as the President of BDAN in October 2018, at the 21st Annual General Meeting, and since assuming office, I can confidently say that with the support of my colleagues, we have been able to deliver on the mandate of the association by increasing members’ participation. We have increased revenue as evident in our financial statements in addition to improving the quality of our programmes.”

“There is still more to be done notwithstanding especially with regards to advocacy with the regulators. I am sure whoever takes over as President will further deliver on our aspirations. I am therefore informing this meeting that this is the last meeting I will be acting in the capacity as President because my tenure as Chairman of Guaranty Trust Bank has come to an end and we are in a transition period.”

“In view of this, we will also have a transition period where I will be speaking with my colleagues Chairmen of Banks on who will be my successor. I hereby crave your indulgence as we go through the transition period and assure you that members will be carried along throughout the process,” she added.

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