By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN â€” ONITSHA Zone of the Shareholders Association, has urged customers of the ailing banks in the country not to loose sleep over the move by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to sell the banks.
The chairman of the Onitsha zone ofÂ the ShareholdersÂ Association, Bishop Goodluck Akporie, in an interview with newsmen, advised the customers to go on with their normal banking transactions with their various banks as plans are underway to inject more funds into the banks to make them more viable.
He insisted that the CBN has no power to sell the ailing banks, but noted that the apex bank has power to see to the welfare of the banks for them not to go into liquidation.
According to him, â€œI want to appeal to customers of some of the ailing banks that are afraid and going for panic withdrawal of their funds from the banks not to be afraid as no bank is going to be sold. â€œWe are only going to inject more funds.
No sales at all. They shouldnâ€™t be afraid. They should do their normal banking businesses and transactions with their various banks either Union Bank, Afribank among others. The banks are all okay; very soon it would be wonderfulâ€.
â€œOur position has always remained the same. We have been hearing that CBN is going to sell banks and all that, but I attended the last Saturday meeting of the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, where he said it clearly that the apex bank is not selling any bank.
That has been our argument and they donâ€™t have power to sell and they cannot sell but they have the power to see to the welfare to ensure that the banks do not go under the bridgeâ€.
â€œSo the position right now is that the banks would go to the market for recapitalisation, and the recapitalisation is going to be by shareholders, Nigerian public, some core investors and the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, because they are likely to buy or shore up all the debts that the affected banks are owing.
I thanked the CBN governor for that step he took because he could as well nationalise the banksâ€, he said.
He also disclosed that the CBN was not presiding over the selection of those that are bidding for the acquisition of the ailing banks, adding that the bidders apply directly to the banks and not through the CBN just as he said that the board of the various banks would in conjunction with shareholders participate in the final bidding process of the banks.
He, however, called on some of the shareholders that have gone to court to challenge the management of CBN over the removal of the ailing banks chief executives to withdraw their suits from the court.
He said that the CBN should be commended for being courageous to remove the former executives of the banks, having been indicted for financial misappropriations, which he said led to the present challenges currently facing the banks.