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Prioritise investors’ interests, shareholders tell FBN Holdings

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Shareholders of FBN Holdings Plc (FBNH) have urged the board and management of the company to prioritise investors’ interests.

They said this in separate interviews with our reporter on Friday in Lagos, while reacting to the recent happenings in the company and appointment of Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo as the incoming Group Managing Director.

They noted that investors were after profits while calling on the new entrants on the board of FBN Holdings to deliver.

Alhaji, Gbadebo Olatokunbo, former National Publicity Secretary, Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association of Nigeria, said the company should embrace strategies that would enhance return on investment.

Olatokunbo said there should be a policy in place to restrict newcomers on the board and their entities from taking loans from the company.

He said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other regulators of the banking and capital market should peg four years and above before board members could access loans.

“The Securities and Exchange Commission, CBN and the Nigerian Exchange Ltd should make a policy that newcomers on the board and their companies cannot take loans from the bank for some number of years.

“Not just because they want to take control and start taking loans that they will refuse to pay and the bank and the holding company will go down.

“I will suggest that the number of years for them to take loans should be three to four years.

“The board of any company should not be entitled to any loan and any company that they are related to should not be entitled to any loan until about three or four years,” he added.

Speaking on the shakeup that led to the appointment of Meristem Registrars to replace First Registrars and Investors Services Ltd., he said there must be a good reason for the decision.

Olatokunbo urged the incoming Group Managing Director to prioritise shareholders interest and ensure they reap the gains of their investments.

“Anybody can take over the company but must be ready for the challenge ahead because investors have not been reaping enough from FirstBank, a subsidiary of FBNH.

“So, whoever is coming into position at the helms of affairs, knows that he is coming to deliver.

“The interest of investors and shareholders should be at the centre of all the decisions,’’ he stressed.

The Chairman, Issuers and Investors Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mr Moses Igbrude, told NAN that he was hopeful that the recent changes in the FBNH would create stability in the company.

“As things continue to unfold, we pray and hope that stability should come.

“From what we are seeing, from the shareholding to the largest shareholder, they are just people of shared interest in the company and with time they will all come together to form an alliance in order to move the company forward.

“The thing is that nobody will put his or her money somewhere when they do not have the mind or good intention to grow the company. However, I think everything will come out well,” Igbrude said.

Itohan Abara-laserian

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective.A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour.The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.

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