Bank directors call for patience in sale of troubled banks





Ferdinand Alaraba, president, Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN), has called for patience in the sale of the five troubled banks.The Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, last week, said that the apex bank would sell the five troubled banks and that some foreigners had shown interest in them. Alaraba gave the advice at a meeting of the association called to find a way forward for the banking sector in Lagos on Thursday.


He said that although it was true that the banks needed funds and good management, the best option was still for Nigerians to acquire the banks. “Although plan by CBN to sell the banks is strictly its decision, Nigerian investors are capable of acquiring rescued banks.


“It is only when this is not feasible that foreign investors can come in,” he said. Alaraba said the association would partner with CBN in designing reform programmes that would strengthen the financial sector.


He said that BDAN would ensure that all banks maintained their “competitive strategies” as well as collaborate with each other for progress.BDAN boss said that members would soon start attending conferences organised by Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) to update their knowledge on new techniques. He said that the association was also bridging the communication gap between executive directors and non-executive directors as well as working on the remuneration of non-executive directors.


In his address, Sanusi said that the apex body would support the activities of BDAN since the body was an advocacy group and not a trade union. Sanusi, who was represented by Jude Akaleze, a director in the CBN, said that the problems of the banking sector bordered on corporate governance.


He said that all would be well in the sector if good corporate governance was enforced in the banks. According to Yemi Idowu, BDAN secretary general, the association has not less than 120 bank directors in its membership, saying that they need to be heard.


“We need to come out and articulate our positions to the public. We need the executive directors of banks to also see us as partners in this project when we go ahead to discuss issues bordering on the sector with the stakeholders,” Idowu said.BDAN acknowledges that the major problem that crippled some banks before CBN intervened borders on corporate governance.


“Our roles as directors are very critical in driving the banks. The time to say that bank directors don’t know what is happening in their banks is over. CBN had said that each bank should have programmes that would ensure training of bank directors and every BDAN training programme like the last held in Dubai remains in line with CBN’s requirement,” the association noted.





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