Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, has said the financial regulator will take action on the ownership tussle at First Bank Nigeria Limited between Femi Otedola and Tunde Hassan-Odukale.
Emefiele on Tuesday, after the MPC meeting, said the apex bank was concerned about First Bank operation, as the lender was important to the banking system of Nigeria.
He stated that CBN would ensure the right thing is done as confusion persists around the largest stakeholder at FBN Holdings after National Pension Commission (PENCOM) said shares belonging to Leadway Pensure [which was ascribed to Hassan-Odukale] belongs to pensioners, and not the Managing Director of Leadway Assurance Company Limited.
PENCOM’s statement cut Hassan-Odukale’s combined direct and indirect stakes to 4.31 percent, from 5.36 percent he was said to previously held, placing him under Otedola, who has 5.07 percent.
While addressing the ownership tussle, Emefiele said, “As it affects the running and operations of the bank, we (CBN) will take preeminence in ensuring that the right things are done.”
But he said if CBN’s decision is different from that of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the stock market regulator, the financial body will meet with the SEC to table their concerns.
“Naturally, returns are sent to CBN about individual shareholder. And of course, if our position is not in tandem with that of SEC, we will talk to SEC about it.
“So far, I think we should take the position of SEC as the regulator of the capital market because regulating share price and ownership is the sole responsibility of SEC.
“We would not want to override SEC on these issues but we will continue to work with them. We have a very good relationship with them.” Emefiele said.
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