….Says no plan for staff retrenchment
By Babajide Komolafe & Peter Eqwuatu
TheÂ management of Afribank Nigeria Plc, yesterday, said its turnaround effort has started yielding fruits as it has repaid 50 per cent of the money borrowed from theÂ Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through Expanded Discount Window and recoveredÂ N42 billion of its non-performing loans.
Meanwhile the management of the Bank said that it doesnâ€™t have plans to conduct a staff rationalisation exercise saying it would prefer to work with the current staff of the bank and allow them to prove themselves.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Mr. Nebolisa Arah, who was represented by Executive Director, Corporate Development, Mrs. Goke Giwa at a media parley held yesterday in Lagos saidÂ â€œ Our two year turnaround plan is already showing moderate results.
A few include: Recovery /repayment of over N40 billion of outstanding loans, Repayment of over N11 billion ofÂ exposure on the Expanded Discount Window (EDW) (over 50 per cent of the exposure before intervention), Positive clearing position from the previous substantial deficit to N3.2 billion surplus by November 30th and growth in market share of foreign exchange transactions through the Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS)Â from 0.18 per cent in September to 4.45 per cent in October 2009,particularly with commercial and corporate customers.â€
Explaining managementâ€™sÂ turnaround plan, she saidÂ that the new management is poised to bring the bank out of woods having discovered its inefficiencies. sheÂ assured that the new management is determined to ensure the implementation of risk management framework and control environment as well as entrench better corporate governance practices.
â€œ We are putting in place better internal reporting procedures to minimise the risk of any reoccurrence of the situation we recently experienced. We are actively seeking repayment of outstanding loans and stability and growth in our deposit base.â€
â€œWe are going to improve our service delivery. It will be designed to process our customer’s cash transactions faster. This is being combined with up_skilling and redeployment of previous tellers to more enriched job positions within the bank
We have started massive restructuring of strategic business units already yielding results in improved customer relationship management. We are going to have technology infrastructure upgrade to enhance competitiveness. This will greatly enhance the bank’s ability to deliver solutions to our retail and corporate customers as well as to the public sector.
She commended the its customers, depositors and other stakeholders for their loyalty and support during theÂ difficult period. â€œWe are grateful for the support we continue to receive from our foreign correspondent banks and local banks. The fact that our lines remain open for utilisation is indicative of their commitment to the bank. We are deeply appreciative of the continuing support of the Central bank and its actions to maintain stability in the banking system including the injection of Tier II capital from which we have benefited directly.
â€œ We are actively exploring more sustainable solutions towards entrenching better corporate governance, risk management practices, restoring capital adequacy and liquidity as a basis for resuming our growth. The quality of our corporate, commercial and retail customer base gives us confidence in the prospect of our business and the Nigerian economy. We are passing through a testing time but like all Nigerians we are resilient and with the worst behind us, we can look to the future with optimism.
In a few weeks we will be 50 years as a Bank.Â Â Afribank has weathered many 1Â Â Â storms and survived various economic cycles. We are poised to emerge from this a stronger bank.WeÂ are confident we will overcome theÂ present challenge.â€