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FIRST BANK FIGHT: Babalola Resigns, Abdullahi Takes Over




First Bank fight as seen the resignation of Babalola as FBNH Chairman with Abdullahi set to take over as approved by CBN.

iexclusive News Nigeria reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria’s apex bank led by Godwin Emefiele, on Friday, December 17, approved the appointment of Ahmad Abdullahi as non-executive Director of First Bank Holding Plc and Chairman of the company to replace Remi Balalola who just tendered his resignation.

This online news outlet gathered that the shakeup at FBN Holdings was disclosed on Friday night by CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi in a statement.

In the statement, Nwanisobi revealed the apex bank had been duly notified of the resignation of Babalola as Chairman of FBN Holdings against the backdrop of contest by some top shareholders who are seeking to control First Bank Holding Plc.

CBN State Stance Babalola’s resignation as FBN Holdings Chairman.

CBN through Nwanisobi, congratulated Abdullahi on his appointment, but, however, described Babalola’s resignation as FBNH Chairman as regrettable, especially given the fact that CBN’s regulatory interventions had made positive impact and increased attractiveness of the company to both local and foreign investors.

The CBN Director said that the CBN notwithstanding the recent development, CBN acknowledged the measured achievements recorded by the company under Mr. Babalola’s watch, and thanked him for his service, even as the CBN wished him well in his future endeavours.

iexclusive News Nigeria reports that Nwanisobi said the regulatory measures taken by the CBN were yielding the expected results in terms of overhaul of corporate governance practices, restoration of confidence in the bank’s brand, increased transparency and due process in transactions as well as improved financial performance.

The CBN spokesman in line with its statutory mandate, said the CBN remained committed to ensuring transparent governance practices at the bank and the continued independence of the chairman and other persons holding key governance positions.

Recall that in April 2021, CBN, given the systemic importance of First Bank owing to its historical significance, balance sheet size, large customer base and high level of interconnectedness with other financial service providers, took decisive regulatory action to address corporate governance infractions at the bank leading to the removal of the board of First Bank Ltd and FBN Holdco Plc and appointment of a new board.

However, iexclusivenews reports that the incoming FBN Holdings chairman, Ahmad Abdullahi, is an economist and thorough-bred professional with long years of experience in the academia, banking supervision and financial regulation, retiring as Director of Banking Supervision, CBN in February 2020. An expert in bank crisis resolution, he also serves on the boards of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), FMDQ, NDIC & AMCON.


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