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CBN Clarifies Capital Injection in Polaris Bank

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  • CBN Clarifies Capital Injection in Polaris Bank

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday clarified its injection of N786 billion into Polaris Bank Limited, a new commercial bank that assumed the assets and liabilities of the defunct Skye Bank.

A top official of the apex bank who spoke on condition of anonymity, said out of the above-mentioned sum, Polaris Bank would refund the N350 billion the CBN previously injected in Skye Bank when it intervened in the bank about two years ago.

Thus, the new bank would be left with N436 billion to stabilise its operations, contrary to the insinuation that a total of N1.136 trillion had been injected in the bank.

The CBN at the weekend revoked the operating licence of Skye Bank Plc exactly 27 months after it intervened in the financial institution. Also, in consultation with the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), both regulators immediately established and licenced Polaris Bank, to assume all assets and liabilities of the defunct Skye Bank.

But the central bank source explained: “When we took over Skye Bank in 2016, we injected about N350 billion. So, from the N786 billion we are bringing in now, Polaris Bank would pay off the N350 billion that had been given to the defunct bank. So, the net injection is just about N436 billion.

“The CBN is injecting something close to capital because the money is going to be there for almost 25 to 50 years. Even though it is a loan, it is not like what was done in 2011, where the money went into a hole and it sank.

“It is not like a grant that is going to sit in CBN balance sheet as a loss. We are treating it as a loan.”

The central bank official reiterated that they took the action on the defunct bank because, “We felt that Skye Bank cannot continue to live on liquidity support from the CBN, but to inject money into the bank.”

He added: “But to do so, you must change the name so that the shareholders of the defunct bank don’t come back to say they own a bank, when the new bank starts doing well.

“The bank they owned was Skye Bank, which has been liquidated.”

Responding to a question on why the board and management of the former bank were retained in the new bank, the source said, “It was deliberate, and we don’t want to do something that is destructive.

“The CBN brought in that management team as we were trying to stabilise. The previous management and board were fired at that time. “But this new board and management has worked and cooperated with the central bank and they have tried to take the bank to a better level.

“The bank has stabilised in terms of haemorrhage. That was why we decided to coast into the new bank, Polaris Bank, with them.”

When reminded that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) which had been mandated to sell the new bank as soon as it stabilises has a sunset period, the source said: “First of all, we shouldn’t bother about time frame. Yes, some others have also said the sunset of AMCON is about 2024. If by 2024 it is not sold, whether we like it or not, it is a CBN bank presently.

“Until we have gotten value for our money, we are not going to let it go. If anybody thinks that after sinking such huge amount into the bank, the CBN would sell it to them at a very small amount, they are dreamers. If it stabilises, we would sell it to Nigerians, possibly on the stock exchange and get out our money.”

Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Bank, Mr. Adetokunbo Abiru, and the Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Ahmad, in a joint statement at the weekend, urged its customers across the country not to panic.

“All depositors shall be able to conduct their normal banking transactions in respect of such deposits at all branches previously operated by Skye Bank Plc, which branches are now being operated by Polaris Bank Limited,” the bank explained.

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They assured customers of liquidity, saying customers “are free to withdraw all their monies without any prejudice, though should endeavour to keep faith with the bank.

“All depositors are further given notice that they are entitled to make withdrawals from their deposits either in full or in part, subject only to any security agreement existing on such deposits, as their accounts are now maintained by Polaris Bank Limited.

“Depositors are strongly encouraged to continue to maintain their deposits and normal banking relationship with Polaris Bank Limited.

“Polaris Bank Limited shall continue to pay interest on all deposits in accordance with any deposit agreement formerly existing between each depositor and Skye Bank Plc as at the date of assumption of such deposit by Polaris Bank Limited.”

Depositors Fully Protected, NDIC Insists

In a related development, the NDIC has explained that it collaborated with the CBN to carry out the bridge bank option in order to ensure that depositors in Skye Bank are fully protected.

According to the Managing Director of the corporation, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, customers’ deposits with Polaris Bank remain insured under the NDIC Act and the customers of Skye Bank can also continue to transact their businesses with Polaris Bank Limited, thereby ensuring the non-disruption of their banking transactions.

“The real job is that of ensuring that the bridge bank is nurtured to a point where it gets investors and is sold.

“Polaris Bank Limited, has been issued operating licence by the CBN and shall commence banking business from the 21st of September 2018; while the operating license of Skye Bank has been revoked.

By the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the NDIC has commenced the processes for its liquidation.”

He stressed that the adoption of the bridge bank model guarantees that most of the employees of that bank would not lose their jobs and would continue their employment with Polaris Bank Limited under fresh contracts of employment.

“The NDIC, as deposit Insurer, acted to ensure the continued safety of depositor’s funds in furtherance of the regulatory authorities resolve to proactively manage potential threats to financial system stability.

The NDIC hereby assures depositors and customers of the defunct Skye Bank that their deposits are safe and hereby encourages them to continue to transact their normal banking business with Polaris Bank,” Ibrahim added.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Business

Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others

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Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.

Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.

It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.

For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.

The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.

Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”

To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.

Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.

 

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Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director

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Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria

Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.

Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.

Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.

The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.

“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.

It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.

The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.

However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.

On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.

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