Afribank: New Directors accused of financial recklessness

Replace all tellers in the bank with OND holders
There is a growing groundswell of ill-sentiments among members of staff of Afribank Plc against the Central Bank of Nigeria’s appointed management team of the bank. The staff, across ranking strata, have accused the Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Nebolisa Arah and other Executive Directors of going on a spending spree when their primary task in the bank, predicated on the CBN intervention was that of recovery.

 Aggrieved staff of the bank protested that despite the parlous state of the liquidity position of the bank, as painted by the management team, the Managing Director and his Executive Directors decided to grant to themselves, loans of up to N25million to purchase vehicles for their personal official use.

“This is simply ruinous, I must tell you,” one of the bank’s senior staff said. “These people were appointed to lead the recovery effort of the bank and that supposes cost saving and limitation on expenditure.

“You can imagine how we felt when we got to know that the directors have approved for themselves the sum of N25million each to purchase official vehicle. Is this supposed to be cost cutting or sheer wastefulness? Of course, we are aware that when the erstwhile directors were sacked, they were not allowed to go away with their official cars. We expected that in the spirit of the time, the directors appointed by the CBN to manage the bank as a recovery team, would make do with the vehicles they inherited from the former management team, you can imagine the cost to the bank if you multiply N25million with the number of the Executive Directors and the managing director. 

Other consideration for the aggravation of the bitter sentiment pervading the baking halls of Afribank Plc has to do with the retrenchment and recruitment tactics of the management team. A bank insider told Fortune&Class Weekly of how the new management team forces old staff of the bank through the front doors of the bank only to replace them by favoured people, who are connected to individual Executive Directors.

“Seriously, this is scandalous,” the insider asserted. “Most staff members had prepared for the worst when the CBN appointed directors were inaugurated in the bank. We knew there would be sweeping reforms and most of all staff would have to go. But most of us get scandalized that rather than use the staff strength down-sizing as a cost saving measure, this management team simply turned it to opportunity to provide employment for their cronies. Those of us that were booted out through the front door were replaced by their cronies through the back door, so the question is: What do the supposed cost saving measures, implemented by the bank’s management, intend to achieve?

“Now, why are they halving our salaries and at the same time recruiting new people. It is scandalous,” the insider said.

Describing the general state of anxiety among the mainstream staff of the bank, another insider confided that as things stand, those working as tellers in the bank are, more or less, existing within the bank’s structure on tenterhooks.

“We learnt that the management team has decided to replace all tellers in the bank with OND holders, we are only waiting for when the sack letters would be distributed.”

Afribank Plc was one of the first set of five banks seized by the CBN for failing to satisfy the apex bank indices for capital adequacy, risk management, liquidity and good governance, on 14 August, 2009.

Our effort to talk with the spokesperson of the bank, Mr. Mosshod was unsuccessful because his phone was switched off all through last Friday.

N17 Billion Debt Scandal:Yar’Adua positions to take over BankPHB from Atuche

The recent uproar over a N17 billion debt scandal involving BankPHB may have given impetus to the Yar’Adua family to start listening to the argument of close aides of President Umar Musa-Yar’Adua on the strategic need for the President to set off the process of enabling his family to take position for more dominant roles in the ownership structure of the bank.

Read the rest of the story here.