Fresh revelations have emerged that the seed of the present precarious state Skye Bank Plc found itself which led to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) appointing a new board for the bank was sown during the last general elections. Sources revealed that part of the 66.4 per cent of the Non-Performing Loans (NPL) that contributed to the bank’s failure of liquidity prudential ratio was allegedly used by insiders to bankroll the failed re-election bid of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
During the last presidential elections, the removed chairman of the bank, Dr Tunde Ayeni, publicly donated a whopping sum of N2billion to the failed presidential bid of former President Jonathan’s campaign organisation during a fund-raising dinner which held sometimes in December 2014, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
With that princely donation by the bank’s chairman, there was widespread panic among investors and shareholders who were worried about the not quite decent manner Ayeni went about the donation. But, shareholders were pacified having been told their money is safe as the bank was in a solid and trust worthy hands.
But with ex-President Jonathan’s re-election bid having gone burst and the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as the president the cover-up could no longer hold.
And in a dramatic move to escape the hammer of the country’s anti-graft agencies, Ayeni, who has his hands in so many pies one of which is telecommunications, recently relinquished his position as chairman of NatCom Development & Investment Limited “NatCom”, the parent company of Ntel Telecommunications.
In Ayeni’s place an influential Nigerian was appointed.
The move is seen in some quarters as a way of shielding himself from possible inquisition by with a very influential personality. Said an insider: ‘’I think Ayeni played a fast one by going to re-organise the board of Ntel and brought in a retired General as the chairman of the board. It is a smart move that would help stabilize the company and restore public confidence. But let’s wait and see.’’
Recall that the CBN had recently informed the general public of its decision to effect changes in key personnel on the Board and Management of Skye Bank PLC with immediate effect. Specifically, these changes relate to the chairman, all non-executive directors on the board as well as the Managing Director, Deputy Managing Director, and the two longest-serving Executive Directors on the Management Team.
The country’s apex bank cited persistent failure of Skye Bank PLC to meet minimum thresholds in critical prudential and adequacy ratios (which has culminated in the bank’s permanent presence at the CBN Lending Window) as one of the reasons for the changes that has swept across the bank. In particular, Skye Bank’s Liquidity and Non-performing loan Ratios have been below and above the required thresholds, respectively, for quite a while.
CBN also announced the selection of Alhaji. M. K. Ahmad to be the new chairman while Mr. Adetokunbo Abiru was also announced as the new managing director.