First bank crisis: Ibukun Awosika opens up

Ibukun Awosika opens up

Days after her sack by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as Chairman of the Board of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr (Mrs) Ibukun Awosika has absolved herself of blame, saying that every one of her actions on the Board of the banking giant has always been above reproach.

Awosika, who was reacting for the first time after the sack of the entire board of First Bank by the apex bank during the week, in a statement entitled: “My FBN Group journey”, said she had always acted in honour and integrity with the utmost interest of the institution and the stakeholders.

“Without a shadow of a 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,” she stated.

Awosika and the entire board were sacked by the CBN who also reinstated former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Adesola Adeduntan, who had been sacked by the Awosika-led board.

The Board also appointed Gbenga Shobo as MD/CEO. Shobo has since been reverted to his role as the Deputy Managing Director.

It was also an opportunity for the former Chairman of the Board to explain her relationship with the bank over the years.

Taking to her Instagram page, Awosika said she did her best while with the First Bank Group.

“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.

“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 1st, 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.

“I am confident we have brought First Bank of Nigeria to a place where it is more than able to deliver the 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.”