This is becoming what no one had in mind. Yes, after reading the statement from Honeywell Group, you will pity Nigeria on this First Bank redesign. If the company is servicing its loans as agreed, why then is the high voltage searchlight?: “We have serviced all our credit facilities in line with the terms agreed with First Bank and at no point have any of these facilities been non-performing.”
Yet, if you read the full statement, you will understand what is wrong with Nigeria. Privileges everywhere!
Yes, I want to know, according to Nairametrics, how First Bank Holdings (FBH) recorded a total loan impairment of over N565 billion between 2016 and 2020. Note that number because the market cap of FBH is below N250 billion. Yet, in four years, it has that level of impairment.
The CBN believes the bank may have collapsed were it not for its regulatory forbearance, a financial term for softening some of the strict rules that banks must comply with if they are to avoid being taken over by the CBN. Emefiele in his briefing to the media revealed that the CBN had granted “regulatory forbearances to enable the bank work out its non-performing loans through provision for write off of at least N150b from its earning for four consecutive years.” According to data from Nairalytics, FBNH had recorded a total loan impairment of over N565 billion between 2016 and 2020. About N376.4 billion, more than half the total loans impaired, were provided for in 2016 and 2017 alone.
Another major reason why the CBN moved swiftly to sack the board and reinstate Adeduntan was its inability to control Oba Otudeko and since he did not accede to the demand of Emefiele there was no way he could be allowed to keep running the bank without a check like Adeduntan. According to Emefiele, he cannot allow a Shareholder who will not subject himself to regulatory control and authority to remain a director of the bank.
Magic? Yes, big boys are smiling while the minority shareholders continue to pray and fast for the moments to come. Who can save Nigeria from sinking? Yes, when you remember that most people hold the shares of FBH, and before the Central Bank of Nigeria in most parts of Nigeria, there was First Bank. FBN cleared cheques for other banks, serving as the banks’ bank. If First Bank does well, most families especially in South West Nigeria would have improved lives.
Simply, if those impairments are not there, the Group could be worth at least twice its current value as investors would push it up. But here, we are circling on technicalities instead of regulators hitting bad people harder to send lessons.
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