BY Michael eboh
Professor Pat Utomi has faulted the actions of the Central Bank ofÂ Nigeria (CBN) on BankPHB, disclosing that the situation in the bank was not as grave as the CBN painted it.
Speaking during the Centre for Values and Leadershipâ€™s (CVL) Seventh Annual lecture, with the theme, â€˜African Risingâ€™ and launch of two books, written by Professor Utomi and Kola Olutimehin, in Lagos, Friday, Utomi stated that the current crisis faced by the bank was as a result of the way the apex bank handled the issue, especially in its making of the announcement.
He said, â€œThe bank was not in a disaster shape before the CBN action. But when the noise started, naturally, it will lead to a run on any institution. But what is important now is that we get out of this situation and that is what all of us have committed our energy to doing.
â€œI was assured by the new managing director that the bank was not playing in the Expanded Discount Window. I think there was one occasion or something. During that whole period, there is none that I know of and the MD has assured me that nothing has happened since.
â€œThe bank was not acting recklessly in the window, maybe, only on one or two occasions that I know of.
â€œBut I donâ€™t want to quarrel with the CBN because I want the whole system to recover. At a point, BankPHB was cleared. The first set of people who came went back, the bank was okay, and they were asked to return to the bank. They now claim that they have amnesia, that they forgot some of what they saw.
â€œThere were some people whose loans were considered completely bad in BankPHB, were considered okay in some other banks, so you wonder.
â€œThe position that I am in, presently, is to allow everything to move forward. We obviously saw people respond in ways that I would not have responded”.