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First Bank accepts CBN’s directive, Adeduntan returns as CEO

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First Bank of Nigeria. Photo: NAIRAMETRICS

Shares Remain Static, Emerge Most Actively Traded In Volume 

FBN Holdings, yesterday, said it has accepted the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive on reconstitution of its Board of Directors.

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This was just as its shares remained static at the end of yesterday’s transactions on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).
 
Also, the stock emerged as the most actively traded stock, with 95 million shares worth N649million.

This was contrary to expectations that the share price of the bank would tumble significantly yesterday, following the dissolution of the Boards of FBN Holdings Plc and its main subsidiary, First Bank Nigeria Limited by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for appointing a new chief executive officer without regulatory approval.

In a statement made available to The Guardian, the bank stated that the ousted Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, had returned to his desk as directed by the CBN. 

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It assured that it was currently operating in line with the apex bank’s directive, with its activities not hampered in any way, but running smoothly, adding: “We refer to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pronouncement on the reconstitution of the Board of Directors of First Bank of Nigeria Limited. 

“Further to the press conference held by the Governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on Thursday, April 29, 2021, the Boards of FBN Holdings Plc and First Bank of Nigeria Limited were dissolved and reconstituted, pursuant to its power under Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020.
 
“The Board of Directors of First Bank of Nigeria Limited is now comprised as follows: Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale, Chairman; Mrs. Tokunbo Martins; Mr. Uche Nwokedi; Mr. Adekunle Sonola; Ms. Isioma Ogodazi; Mr. Ebenezer Olufowose; Mr. Ishaya Elijah B. Dodo; Dr. Adesola Adeduntan; Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director; Dr. Remi Oni, Executive Director and Mr. Abdullahi Ibrahim, Executive Director.”

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Its shares, which opened for transactions at N6.90 kobo, declined by 10 per cent to N6.25 as at 10:22 am, the lowest price it traded this year.
 
However, the stock gathered momentum before the end of trading, recovering by 10 per cent to close at N6.90 kobo, the price at which it opened for the day. 

The new Board of the holding company is chaired by Remi Babalola, with U.K. Eke as Managing Director.

Other members are Fatade Abiodun Oluwole; Kofo Dosekun; Remi Lasaki; Alimi Abdulrasaq; Ahmed Modibbo; Khalifa Imam and Peter Aliogo.

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The change was the climax of horse-trading and corporate war over the appointment of a new managing director. The Board of First Bank had on Wednesday announced the appointment of Shobo as its Managing Director/Chief Executive to replace Adeduntan, who was appointed in 2016.
 
Shareholders had also expressed fear that the Board tussle could slow down the bank’s recovery in recent years. 
 
First Bank’s ratio of non-performing loans to total credit improved to 7.7 per cent at 2020 year-end from over 20 per cent in 2018, following the restructuring and write-offs of corporate debts. 
 
The lender’s capital adequacy ratio, which has hovered around the regulator’s 15 per cent threshold, improved to 17 per cent last year from 15.5 per cent the year earlier.

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