Business Hilights
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Polaris Bank MD, Abiru mute on repayment of N886bn taxpayers’ injection

…Says board ready to transform bank to top 5 in 5 years

At a time the Nigerians are waiting to hear arrests and trial of board members of defunct Skye Bank now Polaris Bank over bad management, the retained Group Managing Director of the Polaris Bank Limited, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, has expressed optimism that the bank would transform into one of the best five in the industry within the next five years.

In his address during the graduation of 61 graduate trainees of Polaris Business School, held at Polaris Bank Training School, Ibadan, Abiru maintained silence on chances of repaying the rescue recapitalization fund injected by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and NDIC which now stood at N886bn.

Business Hilights recalls that the same CBN had in 2016 sacked the original board members of the bank and replaced them with a board it appointed including Mr. Abiru and gave them lifeline of N100bn to turnaround the bank but they failed.

Again, recently, the same CBN and NDIC in another rescue mission that is still hard to comprehend, only changed the name and logo of the bank and injected another N786bn public fund without asking question on what happened to the 2016 N100bn, thus raising the total taxpayers money given to the bank to N886bn.

Throughout the time CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele was making the announcement on the recapitalization, he failed to make any comment suggestive of time frame given to the bank to return the public fund; rather CBN averred that the management should turnaround the bank and position it for sale.

Besides, the current management of the apex bank is yet to make public, why it is yet to begin any kind of move to recover well over N620bn used to recapitalize about nine to 14 banks during the time of ‘Hurricane Sanusi’ between 2006 and 2008 when the amount was given to some banks to avoid their collapse.

Abiru noted that his management will continue to implement the July 2016 regulatory intervention to include entrenching sound corporate governance and risk management practices and transforming Polaris into full fledged retail and commercial bank with strong digital backing.

Industry analysts have continued to query what informed the retaining of a board that could not turnaround the bank with N100bn since 2016 and the reason behind another record recapitalization of N786bn upon keeping the same board that apparently failed to revive the bank with N100bn since July 2016.