The fall of Erastus Akingbola

A Short History: The chickens have come home to roost. After years of bad management and dubious financial practices, the head honcho of Intercontinental Bank Plc has been sacked. This should not come as a surprise to readers of my blog. Five months ago, I pointed out Intercontinental Bank's precarious state in a series of articles questioning the competence of its chief executive, Dr Erastus Akingbola. In these articles, I asked the bank to reveal its true financial state in the spirit of full disclosure.

After the publication of these articles, I was inundated with questions from journalists, executives and members of the public. While some of them denounced me as an agent of an imaginary northern cabal that was intent on taking over the banking sector by creating an unstable atmosphere, a majority of readers thanked me for the expose and encouraged me to continue with my investigations. My persistence paid off when the European Investment Bank exposed some of Intercontinental Bank's bogus claims. I released my findings to the mainstream media who curiously decided not to further pursue the matter although their pages were suddenly filled with advertisements from the financial institution.
 
Rather than address the issues raised by several notable pundits including the respected eggheads at Proshare, Dr Akingbola proceeded to the tabloid press where he gave interviews to City People and other magazines. He also launched a smear campaign against Sanusi Aminu Lamido Sanusi, then the chief executive officer of First Bank. This wide reaching campaign claimed that Mr Sanusi was "de-marketing" Intercontinental Bank in order to increase his chances of being made the governor of the Central Bank.
 
 In addition, the bank purportedly showed its books to Renaissance Capital whose resident analyst Kato Mukuru affirmed that it was strong enough to manage its risk. Renaissance Capital was wrong. Its PR supremo Matthew Pearson has already started a damage control exercise by trying to limit the damage wrought by his firm’s irresponsible analysts. But then Renaissance Capital is a dubious research firm backed by Russian oligarch money. Its chief executive, Stephen Jennings sees Africa as the next big thing and is happy to continue praising Nigerian banks as long as they steer their securities business to his other firms. This scenario has repeated itself time and time again in developed economies where analysts tout stocks backed by their employers in order to get profitable deals. That report should have been thrown into the trash but the gullible Nigerian press swallowed it hook, line and sinker.
 
Recent Developments

  On Wednesday, August 12, 2009, Intercontinental Bank commissioned an advertisement in The Guardian where it appealed to the President and released an abridged version of a list of purported debtors. The list which was released by A.O.S Practice, its loan recovery agents, included three popular petroleum marketing firms Rahamaniyya, Capital Oil and Tanzila Petroleum. Their respective promoters, Alhaji Abdulrahaman Bashir, Patrick Ubah and Alhaji Shehu Badamasi were also named. To put it mildly, the advertisement was ill advised and stupid. A few bankers who agreed to speak to me yesterday unanimously agreed that Intercontinental Bank was trying to undermine the CBN and prepare the public for a huge bad loan provision in its financial statements.
 
Intercontinental bank issued a denial on Friday, August 14, 2009. This is a matter that the NBA should look into as one of the parties must be lying. If the bank did not authorize the publication, then the lawyer, Chief Ajibola Aribisala must be disbarred for acting contrary to his client's instructions. But since Intercontinental Bank still retains the firm as its loan recovery agent, it is obvious that the two firms were acting in concert. The first statement of the advertorial reads: "We are the Solicitors to Intercontinental Bank Plc., hereinafter referred to as "Our Client" in respect and on behalf of whom we have instructions to write to your esteemed office." In my opinion, there is no ambiguity in this sentence.
 
The advertisement then goes on to classify the Nigerian banking sector into two groups; those devoted to the growth of Nigerian industry and those acting on behalf of foreign-based institutions. In his inimitable Yoruba-influenced English, Aribisala then goes on to say that Intercontinental Bank belongs to the former group. According to him, "By using its broad financial base, our client as with other banks of its ilk, have patriotically oiled the wheels of wholly Nigerian owned manufacturing entities, production companies and investments corporations with the allocation of the needed finance to such businesses and companies ostensibly driven by persons perceived to be (sic) immense integrity." He argues that it is wrong to classify Intercontinental Bank as risk-prone while other less patriotic banks are being recognized for their financial prudence. Aribisala ends this rambling preamble by suggesting that there is a cabal of influential people who are bent on destroying the banking sector by defaulting on huge credit facilities.
 
  However the most curious part of the advertisement is the complaint which Intercontinental Bank presents to the president. It says that it does not have a "preponderance of bad loans" on its books but has been held hostage by an influential cabal whose members have saddled with non-performing loans. What is the meaning of this dumb statement? Mr Aribisala who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria then shockingly condemns the Nigerian legal system which has made him wealthy enough to acquire the Protea Hotel Kuramo Waters, Victoria Island.
 
The lawyer also asks the government to amend the legislation covering financial crimes in order to strengthen the system. If he is really serious about such reforms, then Erastus Akingbola should end up in jail for his role in plundering shareholder funds. The timing of this letter is highly suspicious. For instance, the Tanzila Petroleum case was reported well before Sanusi became the CBN Governor. Why didn't Intercontinental Bank write to the president then? Why start this media campaign now?
 
Opinion and Analysis
 
Intercontinental Bank is an institution built on quicksand. Its top executives have never felt the need to instill a culture of ethics and good corporate governance. Buoyed by soaring oil prices and a bubble stock market, they invested heavily in high risk sectors such as downstream oil marketing and margin trading. Now that the house of cards has collapsed, Intercontinental Bank is trying to shift the blame to businessmen and a convoluted legal system. Alhaji Shehu Badamasi's case is a good example. The oil and gas man used 600,000 shares of a small insurance company to borrow 17 billion naira from the bank and then used the money to buy luxury houses. What sort of bankers would sign off on such a glaring case of diversion?
 
 Dr Akingbola is the Madoff of Nigerian banking, a crook who brazenly diverted funds to his wife’s companies while emasculating all his top management executives. He hides behind the cloak of religiosity using his “Christian” carapace to fool members of the public. He has decimated an institution by refusing to hire competent managers and allowing parochial ethnic and religious considerations to influence key judgements. Even junior staffers of the bank are taught that the bank is built on Jesus and cannot be "pulled down" by detractors. This sort of shallow thinking encourages sloth and inefficiency. How can managers be effective when they are not held accountable for their actions?
 
Intercontinental Bank's argument that a cabal is trying to destroying the financial sector holds no water. If a "smaller" bank like AccessBank could force African Petroleum, an energy behemoth, to meet its obligations, what prevents Intercontinental Bank from using the same means unless its people have dirty secrets? The bank is at war with nearly all its clients in the energy trading sector as a result of its sharp practices. These firms know that they have the bank over a barrel and will continue to use this as a bargaining tactic. The bank's venture into real estate has also been a failure as the economic meltdown has cooled the market for luxury houses. 
 
Erastus Akingbola's foray into downstream marketing had less to do with patriotism and more to with good old lucre. The bank's bosses saw the sector as an easy way to exploit oil traders by charging abnormal management charges and "upfront" interest. Since most of these marketers were swashbuckling cowboys who desperately needed these loans to finance imports, they did not bother to contest the loansharking habits of the bank. There is a lack of accountability and transparency in Intercontinental Bank. Intercontinental Bank also borrowed heavily from foreign financial institutions and regular loan repayments have exacted a heavy toll on its balance sheet.
 
During his days at the helm of First Bank, Mr Sanusi said something very important when the he spoke to the Financial Times. He explained that the size of a bank was secondary to its ability to manage risk. This ideology explains why some banks have been able to weather the storm in spite of their huge loan portfolios. GTBank, for instance, recently gave a 50M dollar loan to AMNI International and was part of the consortium that financed a recent Lafarge WAPCO project. What project has Intercontinental Bank financed this year? Instead, Dr Akingbola has been on a nationwide tour lobbying Northern traditional rulers to put pressure on Sanusi L. Sanusi. In the past three months, he has visited countless emirs, the Sultan and northern governors.
 
In spite of the bank's professed patriotism, the bank has done nothing with the 100 million dollar loan that it got from the African Development Bank. Instead, Intercontinental Bank keeps making the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The bank was named in the controversial Gbenga Daniel affair where a lowly cook had 400 million transferred into his account. It was also named as one of the underwriters that refused to meet their obligations to African Petroleum’s public offer.
 
The End of Erastus Akingbola’s banking career.
 
Sanusi has done the right thing by dismissing Erastus Akingbola and his fellow travellers in the banking industry. We can no longer allow ourselves to get sentimental over matters of such importance.
 
 
 
 
Dayo Coker.
Blogger and Policy Analyst
dayocoker@gmail.com

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justice for rouge akingbola

it is very had to see justice done in this case,but one thing is certain,the Almighty will revisit any bad judgement, it is a matter time when this will come to light,the power to be that are incharge in nigeria should continue, we will not leave for ever, and God is the onwer of all tings pus what we do have,but it will be better to leave a good name for the incoming generations, however most of the leaders are not worried about leaving good names, they only think about today, end off.

Ole Buruku! Why do people steal in the name of God.
See how this thief setup a personal website to launder his image:
http://erastusakingbola.com

Pastor, Philantropist..... Ole....

Wow, surely wonders shall never end. Who could have imagined that some claimed big banks are nothing but a grave center. In fact, Sanusi needs to continue with what he is doing presently. We need to get out of the banking industry rogues and executive criminals to prevent another serious financial catastrophe. If the banking system should fail, most sectors of the Nigerian economy will fail and the result will be a completely failed Nigeria. We need to start our cleansing from somewhere and if starting with the banks is in force, so be it. Gradually, this uprooting will extend to all those ingrates and idiots who ought not to be in the banking system or any system of governance for that matter. All hail SANUSI LAMIDO SANUSI. We are in support of you.

A solid, solid, SOLID piece of writing! Great piece! Good research, excellent delivery. We need people like you to support Sanusi so that reforms like these dont stop with the person who initiated them not the half-baked Deputies who just mimic the action of the one who leads.

Having gone through this submission, I just cannot but admit that Dayo has what it takes to be a great analyst. I don't comment much but refusing to comment on this piece is like refusing to acknowledge the taste of honey. With all the comments so far? It is glaring that Nigerians are fully awake and will not allow any individual to make fools of them any longer. Depositors are supposed to be the King while the Banks play the roles of their servants but the reverse is the case with most of Nigerian banks.The banks top shots are enriching themselves at the expense of the depositors. This trend just have to stop and someone has to put an end to it and scrub the entire system clean. It realy does not matter whether the cleaner is from the North, East, west or South the most important thing is that the sytem be cleansed.

Wonders shall never end! In 2005, they were busy looting Inter and someone must die to show that they are serious about debt collection. It was amazing and magical when daylight murder was turned to "suicide"case. So the jailor could be afraid of jail and killer afraid of death. May beGod's time to tell us what really happen to Charles Alaba Joseph. There is no more hidding place for evil doers, no shield (money) to cover their track. IG Onovo, please reopen Charles Joseph's case now.

well done Dayo and well written. its about time that Crooked/fraudelent banking officials are held accountable for their sharp practices. exposing/dismissing them is not good enough. They should be sent to jail.

MR AKINGBOLA YOU MUST KNOW NOW THAT WHAT GOES AROUND MUST COME AROUND ONE DAY,YOU KEPT SOMEBODY IMPRISON DURING HEAD OF STATE GEN ABACHER REGIM.NOW IS YOUR SEASON GOD SEE YOU.ONE DAY YOU WILL LEAVE ALL THE MONEY AND DIE

The Vanguard March Story was planted by Akingbola & Co. when they got words that Lamido Sanusi was being tipped as CBN Governor. Dayo referred to the media campaign of calumny in his article. The trouble with us is that when God gives us chance of good leadeship we throw away the chance with stupid excuses based on religious, tribal and political sentiments. Had we allowed Murtala, Idiagbon, Abiola (instead of Babangida, Abacha, Obasanjo and standstill Yardua) to spend longer years, perhaps Nigeria would have changed for the better. Corruption in Nigeria knows no religion, tribe and politics: sample Dangote, Otedola, Igbinedion, Ibori, Turaki, Odili, Saraki, Ebeano Nnamani, Mbadinuju, Akala, Gbenga Daniel, Adekeye and Deputy of defunct Commerce Bank, Ehindero,Umaru Dikko, Babangida, TafaBalogun, Okiro, Lafiaji, Ogbulafor, Oyinlola, Obasanjo, Andy Uba, Atiku, Tinubu, Rufus Giwa, Bunmi Oni of Cadbury....endless! What do we do in a complex country with complex people easily gullible to deceitful religious, tribal and political sugarred preachments? Bloodless revolution? Bloody revolution? Prayers? Lamentations? Effusive internet diarhea? God will not help us until we decide to sort ourselves out either way or anyhow.

time up Akingbola.

Dayo this is an impressive write up. Keep up the good work.

You know, I almost swallowed the Sanusi line, hook, line and sinker, until someone brought me a copy of that Vanguard article from way back in March, when Sanusi was still MD of First Bank. The writer of that article needs to be canonised. He predicted the exact events we are now witnessing, and his theory of a Northern takeover of the banks CANNOT now be dismissed.

All Southerners need to saddle up and be ready to fight. The Usman Dan Fodio Jihad just assumed a deadlier dimension.

Dayo, thanks very much for this, can you pls get us the picture of that Zenith guy who has come to capital market 3 times to raised fund with the help of that crook at NSE and allhe can show for it are the sprawling family businesses, civic centre and Visa fone. pls go after him.

Corruption has no ethnicity, religion or creed. It is not a northern or southern Nigerian issue. It is a Nigerian issue and no part of the country can claim righeousness. I have no problem with Lamido's decision to start his dirty laundry cleaning from the hub of Nigeria's banking sector which is in the south. He should be ready to go even further least he suffers the same faith as Ribadu.

That article culled from Vanguard Newspaper has really got me thinking. Almost all the predictions have come to pass as at today. This seems more than just another conspiracy theory. Softly softly o, people, before we swallow Sanusi’s agenda line hook and sinker... softly softly o.

Erastus or what ia his name may I ask, how can you claim to found your bank on Jesus but you do not apply Jesus wisdom and principles in running it. Frittering away people's life savings and deposits with you by giving billions of naira unsecured loans to your friends without adequate collaterals.Banks are supposed to give short term loans and not long term after all. And to the Chattered Institute of Bankers (CIBN), you should apologise on behalf of your President or so for this shame as is the case in civilised countries. Are you supporting your man for giving out billions of loans to individuals which cannot be repaid to the extent that you want to group and go to court to frustrate the sanitizing exercise? If your man is a banking guru, it should show by the success of the bank he manages not the failure. Without the borrowing window in CBN and this latest government bail out, the bank will be unable to meet its liabilities to its creditors. Tell me CIBN eggheads, is this what your Institute can offer. Please we need strong institutions(Intercontinental Bank in this case) and not strong individual/man/men(like the removed CEO). Thank you.

Dayo or wetin be your name. Try to do more on Cecilia and others. I am not surprised at the chain of events. there are a lot of dosiers about our men and women of timber and iroko (apology to Mimiko). Only God can fight for the masses. No wonder the wide gap between the rich and the poor

For those calling Akingbola bad names i ask, where were your fathers 20 years ago when Akingbola was building what is now known as Intercontinental Bank? Even your fathers cannot open their mouths when people talk in Nigeria. If you have nothing to say to the good poeple of Nigeria and the world at large, just shut your mouths and look for better ways to 'kill time' as they say in my place. Dayo, if you have personal grudge with Akingbola go settle it.

i wonder what kind of future this country is bringing up_ a bunch of negative,cynical and hypocritical folks.

fine the recent events have been an eye opener for all but the practise of tearing down and maligning characters of highly placed citizens is nothing to write home about.

it is instructive to say that mr coker has not been generous with all the other details that led to the sudden decision of cbn on 14/08/09. he owes the duty to the public towards empowering everyone with the background information within the banking circles of the chain of events that eventually led to the action of the cbn last week friday.

until we start celebrating the little achievements in our midst we shall eternally keep robbing from the vaults of life breakthrough ideas and innovations that will keep the wheels of industry turning in the land.

let s make this forum a platform for sharing of breakthrough ideas and not celebration and gloating over capitalists who we erroneously feel are behind our misfortunes as a nation.

lamido is leading a revolution ...yes but has anybody been able to dig into his pasts,antecedents,corporate decisions influenced largely by his beliefs?can anyone state how he was queried at the bankers forum for his demarketing campaigns as the MD of fbn? can somebody talk about his malicious intent in his dealings with employees in the organizations he once worked for?

until we have a full picture of the events that lead to his action last week we may be doomed to the utter regrets of celebrating a soul with a malicious intent.

thank you.

I believe in the eyes of consolidation Euphoria, there is lot of things the investors and all citizens need to know. That Nigeria is a place that anybody can do anything and get away with it, which is a bad conductor of public progress. Dont' be suprise that this saga is swope under carpet as other have been.
Akinbgola is just one of those scape goat that Dayo pointed. Dayo did a good thing by exposing the one that he has some fact on. It doesnt mean grudges because there is no saint in Nigeria, lets call a spade a spade. I used to respect Akingbola, if there is someone that run down the banking ethics he should have been the last. But he just as other Nigerian businessmen are playing the capitalist game in the very wrong way by taking the populace to the cleaners. Lets aggree there is bound to be default by bankers, but how many time will the Nigeria's top "Political Businessmen" send people to early grave through failed banks. What ever name people call Sanusi's action even though he too is not clean, it is very commendable to make the populace who spend their working life saving for better future to watch-out for the predators and secure their money in verious other businesses because this people dont care a shit about our progress but theirs.
Dayo You are doing a great job here and lets wish Sanusi goodluck until his own cup is full someday.

Udom1.

Obasanjo and many other big boys in PDP don't want Yar'Adua for a second term so PDP is now at war with itself. This is only the beginning of heads rolling. Yar'Adua will continue to systematically block every funding avenue for Obasanjo and his buddies (you think Atiku's recent make-up with OBJ and his recent visit to Otta was for play?!). Let's think rationally about the events of the past few months in the banking sector. It appears that Yar'Adua, through CBN, has systematically overthrown the top management of several top banks (almost all of them linked in some way to Obasanjo) and put in his own people. I am really curious to see who got all those MEGA loans from these five banks. It wouldn't shock me at all if those loans went towards funding Obasanjo's failed bid for a third term. It would make sense given that none of those loans were collaterized and of course since OBJ's bid failed, the banks couldn't get paid back with the anticipated loot from OBJ's third term. Of course, this is all conjecture but one thing I am 100% sure about is that the dismissals are 100% political. It might not be a North vs. South political move... but it's DEFINITELY political and most likely a Yar'Adua vs. Obasanjo et. al move. Let's all watch events unfold. It's going to be a very interesting few weeks. Will Yar'Adua sell off the banks to "foreign" investors for kick-backs to help fund his second term bid? I mean, he's going to need LOTS of money to buy the votes because no Nigerian with common sense would vote for his good-for-nothing government again. Will Obasanjo's cronies take the punches without fighting back? Does anyone really think the legendary Mrs. Ibru will let her baby, the bank she single-handedly built into a powerhouse, go just like that without a fight? You think the Doyenne of one of the oldest and most powerful business families in Africa will take that blow without a full-scale battle? Poor Sanusi... He is getting played like a pawn in the corrupt chess game of Nigerian politics.

Posted by Mustapha B. on Aug 16 2009
Fellow Nigerians, let's open our eyes and put on our thinking caps. The latest CBN move has little to do with our national interests. There are many red flags in this hurried move, right before election year, that we would be the biggest fools if we refuse to see Sanusi as another tool in the big game our elite politicians play to stay in power and keep their hands in the honey pot of stolen oil money. Here are serious points to consider as we all try to make sense of the CBN's latest move: 1) Why didn't Sanusi wait until he had finished "testing" all 25 banks before hastily firing the 5 MDs? 2) Why pick these 5 as scape goats? Very few of the banks (about three or so) were not substantially decimated by margin lending. They weren't much worse than the rest of the banks. 3) Why didn't Sanusi explore other alternatives before the forced take-over? Like many have rightly pointed out, why didn't he wait for the companies to conduct their own fund-raising? When the US Treasury bailed out US banks, they all got the chance to raise capital on their own and most of the banks kept their management. 4) Most of the acting MDs Sanusi has appointed to take over these banks have terrible track records. I know for a fact that Lai Alabi gave himself a N50 million severance package for the 3 months of work he did at Wema Bank. Imagine that, N50 million for 3 months of work!!! Oh, he also left with 3 official cars. Just go asking senior people in the banking industry about these people - they are big-time crooks, all of them. These acting MDs are even worse than the sacked ones! 5) Was this really the best option for getting these banks on their feet? He not only fired the CEO's but also fired all the Executive Directors. These are the people that know the most about the banks. Wouldn't it have made more sense for the government to bring in external auditors and rolled out an orderly transparent process of rehabilitating these banks? This sudden decapcitating smells of a dirty political move. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever otherwise. 6) Most of the sacked bankers had very close relationships to Obasanjo and his regime. What did Akingbola do when he got word of his impending dismissal? He high-tailed it to Otta to see OBJ befor submitting his resignation letter. Is this a coincidence? The sixth point is probably the most important one. Nigeria is completely enthralled to a powerful elite class. Members of this class don't step on each other's toes publicly unless they've declared war on each other. Next year is election year, so it's war time. Nigeria's vast corrupt and violent political machine is kicking itself into overdrive. The various parties and factions are spending sleepless nights strategizing and plotting to overthrow Yar'Adua's useless do-nothing government. Papa Yar'Adua, God bless his frail but greedy old heart, wants to stay for another term. He's hurriedly getting things in place to secure his run for next year. Dangote as the head of the NSE? Wasn't he found guilty of manipulating this same Stock Exchange? Only in Nigeria can this nonsense happen! I bet you Dangote switched alliegiances (because OBJ sided with Otedola) and has already made a fat donation to Yar'Adua's re-electon war-chest. Here comes the real political intrigue. Yar'Adua has consistently shamed and defied Obasanjo, biting the very hands that gave him the job.

These guys have done well in the banking industry, no matter what anybody says.
They might have made mistakes, but their impact in the banking sector can never be forgotten in a hurry. We should rather not add salt to their injury at this trying moment of their live.

Great Nigerians and fellow piamentarian, I hope we are conscious of the fact that we are analysing the opinion of someone that we probably need to understand where he is coming from. He seems to have something against religions. Well, he has his right but the issue of risk management is different from embezzlement. Can we please try to separate sentiment from facts? Lets get our facts intact and organised before analysing them. I wait to discover more of the truth. God help Nigeria

well done Dayo,this is a wonderfull piece,no wonder Erastus has been seen going about the country giving fake schoarships and fake promos while his house is seriously burning,thank God for Sanusi,he has shown the world that he is an exceptional nigerian,the ball is in the court of the EFCC,hope they will have the courage to complete this job.Lets jail some of the people for christ's sake,at least it will go a long way to reduce their number in our society.

Dayo,
One could have been easily carried away by your article but for the venom with which it was written.
I was also pleased to read the 23rd of March article culled from the Vanguard. It is amazing how the story (?prediction) seem to have been played out to the letter except that First bank was excluded.
Obviously there is more to what is happening than meets the eyes.
I wonder why you singled out only one out of the five affected CEO's and are rejoicing at what you termed 'his fall' The fall of a man is not the end of the man, so don't rejoice yet until we get to the end of the saga. A man that falls can also rise again.
Let's watch our pen and not generate unnecessary sentiments. I did't hear anything about the debtors and banking or legal procedures to recover debts? Was this initiated and how far has it progressed?
What is the veracity of the N26billion bad loan provision by Sanusi in 1st bank story? Is this a banking proceedure?
I see more of politics in all these than banking or its regulation.
We continue to watch out for more.
We have not heard the last yet.

dayo,
Your write up is quite interesting but i dont think that sanusi should be getting all these praises afterall it was under his stewardship at first bank that the bank had to make N26billion bad loan provisions.Imagine,and he is claiming to be mr risk manager.i believe there is a rot in the nigerian system and everyone is a part of it

God this, God that...please lets not lose focus of this discussion, Mr Dayo Coker wrote a fantastic expose on one of the ailing banks (i'm guessing the one in which he has more concrete information about) using facts and already established information in the public domain. Please focus your comments on the actual issues and stop galivanting around with gibberish relating to tribe, religion and other mundane and non progressive issues. [b]Please don't be retarded open your eyes and minds to the truth[/b]...Nigeria is filled with corrupt people and they exist in places of financial, political, religious and tribal authority.

This cuts into the core of the deep-rooted cancer that has eaten and is still eating into the fabric of our lovely nation.Lets forget about power failures(NEPA/PHCN), Bad Roads,Bad Hospital and general lack of infrastructure e.t.c. for a moment.Without Leadership I mean effective leadership like those exercised by Tunde Idiagbon( iam not advocating for a return to military rule) But show me in recent times when the fear of God as well as rule of law has been instilled into the hearts and mind of Nigerians?Dora Akunyili of NASDAC fame.and a few others. I fully agree with Mr Iwuanyanwu's comment about people using religion as a cop out and cover up as an excuse to carrying committing atrocities.There is obviuosly a problem of leadership in our country. The manner in which we train and educate our 'leaders'is fundamental to progress in not just the financial/banking sectors but to all other sectors and the country as a whole and a transformation of our beloved country, Nigeria..Like most 'reasonable' folk, I am trying to contribute towards a rennaisance of the brand 'Nigeria' and it is my contention that the way and manner in which we develop and empower our leaders is key to how we see a transformation in this country.The government needs to send out a strong message of values, intent,morals and accountability to which they need to lead by example and slowly build that into the system.I know we have lots of different initiates like Vision 2020. But these initiatives need a fresh pair of eyes and we need to start asking the right questions across the board. Why is it not working? What can we do to make it work? Are we(Leaders) committed to seeing it work? How do we carry people along with us?We cannot continue to do things the same way all the time and expect a different result.

Vanguard Publication dated March 23 2009.
Nigeria: Group Plots Takeover of Five Top Banks
Omoh Gabriel and Emeka Mamah
23 March 2009
________________________________________
ANTI-CONSOLIDATION forces have regrouped with the hope of dismantling the structures and forcing a takeover of the top five banks in the country, Vanguard can now reveal.
The grand plan by the group is to cause panic and uncertainty in the industry and make the target banks look unsafe for depositors.
Meantime, indications emerged yesterday that the Federal Government may announce the names of a new Governor of the Central Bank (CBN) and the Auditor-General of the Federation (AGF) in April just a few weeks before the tenure of the incumbents run out.
However, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has expressed concern over what it described as the rapidly deteriorating liquidity situation in the banking industry and tasked the Central Bank (CBN) to make public information on causes of the development as well as the scale of the crisis.
Vanguard investigations revealed that the aim of the anti-consolidation forces is to cause loss of public confidence in the banking industry and compel the Federal Government to move in by injecting funds. Further, they ultimately plan to instigate government to take equity holdings in the targeted banks.
Vanguard gathered that the group at work is made up of former bank owners who lost out during the consolidation exercise, a powerful clique in the present government, and some aggrieved persons in three of the six geopolitical zones in the country who felt left out in the consolidation exercise.
Presidency sources disclosed that those who felt left out in the consolidation exercise are up in arms to recoup what they felt they lost during Obasanjo years.
Part of the plans hatched by the group is to ensure that the incumbent Governor of the Central Bank, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, does not get a second term. The plan is also to ensure that whatever gains consolidation recorded are discredited. This, it was learnt, was meant to force the President to act quickly in the matter of appointment of a successor to Soludo as they anticipate that the president's slow move may scuttle their dreams and cause the renewal of Soludo's re-appointment for a second term.
The group's second game plan is to make Nigerian banks look unsafe in the eye of the banking public. Part of the game is to spread rumours that some banks are unsound and are on the verge of collapse. They send out text messages to individuals and account holders passing wrong information on their target banks. At the moment, the group's target is one of the high-flying new generation banks where they have sent out several messages.

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