Nigeria’s pioneer banking brand, First Bank, has for almost a decade been ravaged by “bad credit decisions, significant and non-performing insider loans and poor corporate governance practices”, the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed yesterday while sacking the lender’s board.
The regulator sacked the board of the bank and its holding company on Thursday, in a dramatic move that came a day after the bank named a new managing director.
In a speech to the press, CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said First Bank maintained healthy operations up until 2016 financial year when the CBN’s examination revealed that the bank was in grave financial condition with its capital adequacy ratio and non-performing loans ratio substantially breaching acceptable standards.
First Bank has over 31 million customers with deposit base of N4.2 trillion, shareholders’ funds of N618 billion and NIBSS instant payment (NIP) processing capacity of 22 per cent of the industry.
Emefiele also announced the reinstatement of Sola Adeduntan as the managing director and chief executive officer of the bank, a day after he was removed by the board.
He said the regulator learned about the removal through the media.