I Acted In First Bank’s Interest, Sacked Chairman Awosika Says
The sacked Chairman of First Bank Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, has said she acted in truth and honesty in the interest of the bank, its stakeholders, and Nigeria during her 11 years sway at the institution. Awosika said this in a statement titled, “My FBN Group Journey,” she posted on Instagram at the weekend.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had on Thursday removed all directors of First Bank Nigeria Limited and those of its parent company, FBN Holdings Plc, to try to resolve a boardroom crisis that led to the short-lived retirement of Adesola Adeduntan as the bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer. Awosika announced the change on Wednesday.
However, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele pronounced the reinstatement of Adeduntan, who resumed on Friday, reassuring depositors and shareholders of the safety of their funds and investment.
But Awosika explained in the statement, “As a board, we acted in what we clearly believed to be in the 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 acted in honour and integrity with the utmost interest of the institution, all our stakeholders, and the nation.”
Awosika revealed that in October 2010, she was appointed to the board of the bank and a few months later, she was also appointed to chair the board of its start-up, FBN Life Insurance Limited (a joint venture with Sanlam of South Africa).
She stated, “For five years, I worked with a dedicated team of board of management with the support of the 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 that we have brought First Bank of Nigeria to a place where it is more than able to deliver utmost value to its stakeholders and nation at large.”
Emefiele announced the appointment of a former Minister of State for Finance and former Executive Director of First Bank, Mr. Remi Babalola, as chairman of FBN Holdings. He took over from Mr. Oba Otudeko, who was removed by the banking sector regulator.
Other new directors on the FBN Holdings’ board are Fatade Oluwole, Kofo Dosekun, Remi Lasaki, Alimi Abdulrasaq, Ahmed Modibbo, Khalifa Imam, and Peter Aliogo.
Mr. UK Eke retained his position as Managing Director of FBN Holdings.
First Bank Nigeria Limited’s new Chairman is Tunde Hassan-Odukale, who replaced Awosika. Other board members are Tokunbo Martins, Uche Nwokedi, Adekunle Sonola, Isioma Ogodazi, Ebenezer Olufowose, Ishaya Elijah B. Dodo, and Adeduntan. Deputy Managing Director Gbenga Shobo, and Executive Directors Remi Oni and Abdullahi Ibrahim, are members of the reconstituted board.