A house of representatives’ committee says the planned sale of Polaris Bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) followed due process.
Last week, the lawmakers directed the CBN to immediately suspend the sale of the bank.
The house made the ruling following the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Henry Nwabuba, a lawmaker from Imo.
Nwabuba, chairman of the ad-hoc committee investigating the bank sale, had said it should be halted because it was shrouded in secrecy, opaque and required that it was done in transparency and accountability to eliminate insinuations of corruption.
There have been reports that the CBN has commenced plans to “secretly sell” the bank for N40 billion.
CBN followed Due Process On Planned Sale Of Polaris Bank, Says Reps Committee
But Polaris Bank dismissed the report, describing it as “intending to cause panic”.
Polaris Bank was licensed and established in September 2018 to assume all assets and liabilities of the defunct Skye Bank.
But speaking with journalists on Wednesday, Nwabuba disclosed that during the scrutiny of various documents and extant regulatory process on the sale of the bank, the lawmakers discovered that there was evidence of substantial compliance with due process.
But speaking on the new findings, the committee chairman said out of the 35 companies invited to bid for the bank, the regulatory agency shortlisted the bidders to 15 and later seven and afterwards got presidential approval to proceed with the sale of the bank.
“On the last legislative day before we broke up from plenary sessions to work on the budget, there was a motion on the floor asking the CBN to suspend the sale of Polaris Bank and cutting up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the circumstances, and I happened to have emerged to chair that committee,” Nwawuba said.
“We are happy so far, but as you know it is an investigation and hopefully, we intend to conclude this investigation and lay the report before we commence sitting.
“So far everything looks really good. We do not have any cause for concern for now. For the stability of the financial systems in Nigeria, we would call on Nigerians to know there is nothing wrong with Polaris Bank as a bank.
“What the house is looking at is the process of the acquisition or the sale and so far, we are confident from what we are seeing.
“Until we conclude this investigation, I would not be able to speak authoritatively on the matter, but from what we are seeing so far, particularly with the approvals and the steps taken so far there seems to be substantial compliance on the matter so far.
“Nigerians are enjoined to continue to relax and leave their deposits with the bank and continue their business with the bank.”
Source: The Cable