CBN vs. FBN, let fact prevail

Usually, stories about companies changing their managing directors don’t get a lot of interest or even get the government intervening, but when the company in question is one like First Bank of Nigeria Limited, then it’s going to be different, understandably.

First Bank of Nigeria founded in 1894 tagged being Nigeria’s oldest bank. It converted to a public company in 1970 and is now a Nigerian multinational with 18 million customers in West Africa and over 700 business locations in Africa. So the drama surrounding the removal of its MD, Sola Adedutan in a move said to be instigated by Oba Otudeko who is the Chairman of FBN Holdings, the holding company of First Bank Nigeria Limited, had many people wondering.

The CBN responded to the action by issuing a warning and demanding the reinstatement of Adedutan, noting that the action was at variance with established rules and procedures related to the hiring and removal of senior banking officials. For some reason, First Bank’s Board of directors refused to obey the order that came with the warning and the CBN responded by announcing the sack of the board of FBN that was made up of the Executive director, corporate banking, Remi Oni, Executive Director/Public Sector group, Abdullahi Ibrahim, Deputy Managing Director, Olugbenga Francis Shobo, and the Board Chairman, Ibukun Awosika.

For some reasons, the sack was said to not have affected the group MD of FBN Holdings, U.K Eke, the Group MD of FBN holdings while Sola Adedutan has also been reinstated as the MD/CEO of FBN, which ends the short reign of Gbenga Shobo who had been appointed as the MD in his place.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has come under a lot of attack over the past few years but early feelers from banking industry insiders suggest that this is widely seen as a popular and useful move against what were seen as unethical banking practices.

The details on the situation are still largely been spoken about in hushed terms and it would be wise to suspend judgment on who has erred in this matter until more proven information is brought to light.

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