I Acted In FirstBank’s Interest, Says Awosika

May 1, 2021
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BY OLUSHOLA Bello |

The immediate past chairman of the Board of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Ibukun Awosika, has said her team acted in what it believed to be in the interest of the bank.

According to her, she worked with a dedicated team which has brought First Bank of Nigeria to a place where it is more than able to deliver utmost value to its stakeholders and the nation at large.

She made this known while opening up on her relationship with the First Bank Group family 42 hours after she was fired by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Awosika, who spoke in a statement, titled: ‘My FBN Group Journey’, made her position known two days after the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, announced her sack alongside other Board members, including Oba Otudeko.

Emefiele also announced the reinstatement of the managing director/CEO of the Bank, Adesola Adeduntan, who was sacked by the Board.

The appointed MD/CEO, Gbenga Shobo, was reverted to his role as the deputy managing director by the apex bank.

Reacting to the development through her Instagram page, Awosika, also the founder of the The Chair Centre Group and Author of: ‘The Girl Entrepreneurs’, said she did her best while with the First Bank Group.

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She wrote: “In October 2010, I was appointed to join the board of First bank of Nigeria.

“A few months later, I was appointed to chair the board of its startup FBN Life Insurance Limited (a joint venture with Sanlam of South Africa). As its pioneer chairman, I had the privilege of working with a strong management team led by Val Ojumah.

“Together with the rest of our team we built a company that became profitable in twenty four months and continues to be so.”

She further said that “In early 2013, I was moved from FBN Life Insurance Ltd to assume the chairmanship of FBN Capital working with a brilliant team led by Kayode Akinkugbe as the managing director.

“We worked hard to build the institution, bought Kakawa Discount House which I was again asked by the Group to Chair.

“We eventually merged the companies to create the FBN quest Merchant Bank Group, which I chaired until my appointment as chairman of First Bank of Nigeria on January 1, 2016.

“For over five years, I have worked with a dedicated team of board and management, with the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria to rebuild and restructure the institution for its future.

“This included cleaning up non-performing loans, establishing good operational governance systems and processes, building controls and an effective and robust risk management system.”

According to her, I am confident we have brought First Bank of Nigeria to a place where it is more than able to deliver utmost value to its stakeholders and the nation at large.

“As a board, we acted in what we clearly believed to be in the best interest of the bank and we had great plans and aspirations for where the bank could go to in its future, building on all the work that has already been done in the last five plus years.

“Without a shadow of doubt, I will unequivocally state that I have always acted in honour and integrity with the utmost interest of the institution, all our stakeholders and the nation.”

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