House Directs CBN to Halt Sale of Polaris Bank

The House of Representatives yesterday directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately suspend the planned sale of Polaris bank.

The resolution of the lawmakers was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by the Chairman, House Committee on Legislative Agenda, Hon Henry Nwawuba.

Moving the motion, Nwawuba frowned at what he described as ridiculous sum of N40 billion placed on the bank.

He stressed the need for the review of total outlay by the federal government in Polaris Bank and account for the entire financial input in the bank by the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

He said, “The House is aware further that given the need to ensure that the divestment in the bank does not jeopardise the core reason for the CBN intervention in the bank in the overall public interest, the divestment should be done most transparently following the required due process. The House is cognisant of the fact that this is necessary to avert public outcry and untoward reaction from critical stakeholders in the economy, foreign business partners banking community, depositors, correspondent banks, etc, as it is also crucial to avoid the shortcomings of the previous similar exercise undertaken in the past.

“The House recalls that Polaris Bank is borne out of the bailout of the defunct Skye bank Plc that failed due to poor corporate governance and non-performing loan for which a whooping sum of close to a trillion naira of public fund was committed to resuscitating the bank.

“The House is dismayed that the sale of the bank for a purported N40 billion amounts to just about four per cent of public funds invested in the bank. The House is dismayed further that the proposed sale is shrouded in secrecy and is opaque and requires that it is done in transparency and accountability to eliminate insinuations of corruption.”

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