The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the immediate removal of the entire Board of Directors of Polaris, Titan, Union, and Keystone Banks. This decision, made during a meeting led by CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso in Abuja on Wednesday, is set to be officially communicated through a statement from the central bank shortly.
Sources within the CBN, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that the action is a response to the findings of a special investigation led by Jim Obazee, appointed by President Bola Tinubu in July 2023. The investigation probed into the activities of the CBN and other relevant establishments.
The report accuses the former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, of allegedly acquiring banks through proxies. Specifically, Emefiele is said to have used proxies to acquire Union Bank of Nigeria for Titan Trust Bank Limited and Keystone Bank, with no evidence of payment recorded.
As a consequence, the investigation recommends the Federal Government to reverse the sale of these banks and take them over. The forthcoming official statement from the CBN is anticipated to provide more details on the reasons behind this drastic decision.
Impact on the Banking Sector
The abrupt dismissal of the boards of these major banks is expected to send shockwaves through the Nigerian banking sector. The move, rooted in allegations of impropriety and acquisition through proxies, raises concerns about the governance and regulatory oversight of financial institutions.
Stakeholders in the banking sector will closely watch how this decision influences investor confidence, market stability, and overall trust in the regulatory framework. The potential government takeover of these banks could introduce a period of uncertainty, affecting shareholders, customers, and employees.
As the details unfold, analysts will be keenly observing the reactions of other financial institutions, regulatory bodies, and the broader business community to gauge the broader implications of this unexpected development.