First Bank Plc., one of the leading banks in Nigerian financial sector is embroiled in miss-management and internal crisis that could disintegrate the bank if proper actions are not taken urgently.
According to findings, the confusion rocking the bank is connected to billionaire philanthropist and Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, who is reportedly indebted to First bank to the tune of N75billion and tries to write it off by allegedly projecting his son, Obafemi, as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank.
Meganews.com.ng learnt that the controversial businessman is allegedly scheming to win over the control of the bank and positioning his son to possibly take over the mantle of leadership of the bank.
The alleged loan, which was dubiously acquired about 7 years ago with his status as the Chairman of the bank, has remained un-serviced till date, an insider claimed, stating that non-performing loan is currently putting the bank and its management in tension as the economic hardship facing the country bites harder on all financial institutions.
To cover up for his indebtedness to First bank, Otudeko was said to have installed one of his sons, Obafemi Otudeko, as a non-executive director in the bank. It was reliably learnt that more pressure is now on the Managing Director of the bank, Adesola Adeduntan to take a drastic step against his chairman over the non-performing loan.
The alleged loan has gotten to the ears of a human rights group, the Social and Economic Rights Derivatives Centre, and strongly-worded petition has been sent to various governmental agencies and the National Assembly, asking the management of First bank to explain how a number of multi-billion naira loans is not reflecting on the bank’s financial records anymore.
Specifically, the group called for the investigation of Otudeko for allegedly obtaining a N29 billion facility from the bank through FBN Trustees, which he claimed was written off without the knowledge and consent of the bank’s shareholders.
It would be recall, late businessman; Aare Arisekola was the largest shareholder in the bank. But before his death, he sold his shares to Oba Otudeko, who has the second largest stake in the bank.
How this scheming and politics will play out, is not yet known, but industrial experts are of the opinion that such action, which may have cost the bank its leading position as Zenith Bank Plc., emerged the biggest bank in Nigeria with First band coming second in the recent rating.
They noted that First Bank which prides itself as “Truly The First Bank” is now the second bank, warning that the financial giant could collapse if nothing drastic is done to arrest the situation, which is bound to cause a stroke to Nigerian biggest elephant.
It will be recalled that Otudeko is in court with Ecobank over an alleged N5.5billion loan availed Honeywell Flour Mills Plc., Siloam Global Services Limited and Anchorage Leisures Limited, which he personally guaranteed.
So, disgruntled was Ecobank’s management that it recently sought a receiving order against Otudeko’s estate, funds, investment and shares in Honeywell Group, Honeywell Flour Mills, among other companies, as well as an order declaring him bankrupt.
However, all efforts made to speak with Corporate Affairs of the First Bank failed as neither SMS nor mails sent were responded to as at press time.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again intervened in the Inter-Bank Foreign exchange Market to the tune of $250 million.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said the Apex Bank also sold $100 million and uplifted the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisible segments, with $85 million and $65 million respectively.
Okorafor said that the apex bank would pump even more liquidity into the market in the coming days, noting that the move by the CBN was necessary to enhance stability in the foreign exchange market.
He reiterated that in a bid to improve liquidity and ameliorate challenges encountered by critical stakeholders at this time of the year, the bank had ensured that pressures on the market from those seeking Forex for school fees and vacations were eased.
He said further that the bank had kept faith with its resolve to ensure that there is sustained liquidity to meet genuine requests for foreign exchange.
Wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, Pastor Dolapo Osinbajo, has recounted how she spent about 10 years with street urchins under several notorious Lagos bridges in a bid to reshape their lives.
The Vice President’s wife spoke at a “Teens Career Conference” put together by The Everlasting Arms Parish TEAP of the Redeemed Christian Church of God RCCG, Garki, Abuja.
She said, “When I became a worker in the church, the first place I worked was the Teenage Church and for 10 years I was in the Children’s Church.
“For 10 years, I was under the bridge; under the bridge in Lagos with ‘Area Boys’. So, every kind of drug that there is, I know about it. I have seen it before and I have seen the effects as well and I will like you to know that the ones that use it are not different from you.
“Some of them too have parents in the church. Some of them have parents with very big names. There are some streets in Lagos that the names of the streets are names of people, some of which have their children under the bridge.
“There were people whose parents lived in America and yet their children were under the bridge. So, do not even imagine that it cannot happen to you, but you must be an example in your conduct.”
The GOCOP team, led by its new President, Dotun Oladipo, was received by the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Mr. Femi Adesina, as well as Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President.
Speaking during the visit, Oladipo expressed the Guild’s gratitude to Adesina for honouring its invitation to participate in the recently held First Annual Conference as the Chairman of the event in Lagos.
Oladipo also thanked the presidential spokesman for his longstanding support right from the formative stage of GOCOP.
Even more, Oladipo appealed that the Presidency should ensure the accreditation of more GOCOP members in order to enhance the coverage of Villa activities. Responding to the Oladipo’s speech, Mallam Shehu commended the efforts of GOCOP.
He said he chose to participate in receiving the leaders as a measure of his regard for the body. Addressing the request for accreditation of more GOCOP members, Shehu pledged to make a case before the relevant authorities as such move will be of immense benefits. On his part, Adesina thanked the GOCOP team for the visit.
He also said he was impressed by the obvious progress being made by the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers.
Other members of the GOCOP team during the visit to the Presidential Villa were Danlami Nmodu, the Secretary General; Simon Ibe, the Chairman of the Planning Committee of the First Annual Conference of GOCOP; Akeem Oyetunji, the Publisher of Prompt News Online; and Gabriel Akinadewo, the Publisher, Freedom Online.