By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor
LAGOSâ€”AS the board of BankPHB meets today, one of the issues to be resolved is whether the caretaker Managing Director appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, last October 2, is qualified and entitled to a three-week vacation when he did not spend up to the mandatory six months for Executives of the bank as stipulated by the bank rule books.
The board is also to resolve if leave allowance is taken in arrears or in advance. The bank had in a statement entitled, Our own story, admitted that its Managing Director took a three-week vacation for which he collected $120,000 for an annual vacation entitlement.
The current BankPHB’s Managing Director was appointed by CBN on 2 October, 2009 and in December 2009 – three months after he was appointed – went on three weeks vacation for which he collected the said amount. Angered by the revelation, the managing director, who is under pressure from stakeholders, is threatening Vanguard with a law suit.
He had sworn to deal with the reporter by whichever way for daring to contact CBN for its comment on the story. A statement from the bank reads: â€œOur attention has been drawn to a story published by your newspaper on Monday January 11, 2010, about issues relating to â€œthe recent three-week vacationâ€ embarked upon by our Managing Director, Mr. Cyril Chukwuma and other issues about our bank. For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state as follows:
$120,000 off-shore allowance collected by our CEO for his vacation: “The approved amount for the CEO as travel allowance was $120,000, which is taken at a go and amortised over one year, in the case of our CEO, October 2009 to September 2010. However, the allowance, which he met in place at assumption of duty on October 2, 2009, as reviewed and approved by the Board on April 30, 2008 was $450,000. Our managing director, however reviewed it downwards because he felt it was excessive, considering what benchmarked banks are paying.
Monetization of status vehicles: “The status vehicles approved for the CEO are two Landcruiser jeeps and a Home vehicle. On resumption, the CEO met one Landcruiser Jeep on ground, which he currently uses and monetized the second and the home vehicle over a 48-month period, for which he receives monthly amortization of N392,688 and not N2 million.
Approval of N60 million mortgage for an unconfirmed DGM: “The DGM in question was confirmed on September 24, 2009 by the former managing director, and the said mortgage was approved by him as part of recruitment commitment as separate from standard mortgage policy for staff as part of relocation package and hiring agreement with the former CEO, before the resumption of Mr. Cyril Chukwumah.
Bank PHB, UK. “The decision to shut down the bankâ€™s proposed branch in the UK was reached as far back as August 2009 by the former CEO, in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the UKâ€™s Financial Services Authority (FSA). What the current management is doing, is the implementation of a process that had been earlier approved, while a request was sent to the board this month to ratify the management decisions.
We do hope that in the event that your newspaper decides to go ahead and publish the embellished story being peddled by some uninformed detractors, you will accord our position, which is the official position, with documentary evidence, due prominence.â€