The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) wants Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) to ensure operational independence of its Nigerian subsidiary, Ecobank Nigeria.
According to corporation, would enable ETI benefit fully from the bank and also consolidate on the gains achieved from the on-going restructuring of the bank.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, gave this advice to the bank while receiving the Chairman, ETI, Mr. Emmanuel Ikazoboh, to his office in Abuja.
Ikazoboh led other members of the board, including the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Mr. Jibril Aku on a courtesy visit to the Corporation.
Ibrahim advised the Nigerian unit of the bank to maintain reasonable distance between the ETI Group and its Nigerian subsidiary.
According to him, the fact that the Nigerian entity constituted about 45 per cent of the total assets of Ecobank Group means that its significance in the group could not be over-emphasised.
He said that the supervisory authorities would like to see a transparent shared services agreement in which the Group’s operational activities would not continue to be at the expense of the Nigerian entity.
The NDIC boss also expressed delight over the recent restructuring and re-composition of the ETI’s Board, noting that the recent divestment of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria’s (AMCON’s) investment from the Nigerian subsidiary, which had been successfully taken over by the Qatar National Banking Group.
The Asset Management Company of Nigeria sold its 12.5 per cent stake in Ecobank Nigeria Limited for $200m (N33bn said yesterday. ) to QNB.
The shares were taken over by AMCON as part of the banking sector bailout transactions involving the defunct Oceanic Bank.AMCON acquired the stake after Ecobank merged its Nigerian operations with Oceanic Bank, which AMCON had helped to recapitalise, before the Ecobank takeover
Stockbrokers told Reuters that $200m worth of Ecobank shares were transferred to the Gulf’s largest bank on September 3 on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange at 20.01 naira each.
With the sale, AMCON, the second-largest shareholder in Ecobank, has divested its stake.
Ibrahim expressed the hope that the development would go a long way in enhancing the operations of the Ecobank Group.
In his remarks, Ikazoboh pledged that the Ecobank Group would continue to operate efficiently, transparently and comply with all requirements of the supervisory and regulatory authorities.
He assured that with the restructuring of the board of ETI, all the corporate governance issues that were of concerns in the past had been addressed.
Ikazoboh disclosed that the board of Ecobank Nigeria was also being restructured to bring about more effective risk management, improved processes and procedures that would translate into more profitable performance for the bank.