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Business News of Saturday, 6 August 2022


Polaris denies report of Central Bank of Nigeria’s plan to sell bank for N40 billion

Polaris Bank has refuted a report that claimed that the Central Bank of Nigeria was about to sell the bank to Auwal Lawan Abdullahi for N40 billion.

The bank made the disclosure in response to media reports about an alleged secret acquisition of Polaris Bank.

The statement by the bank said that such speculative publication was a deliberate intention to create panic and as such, should be disregarded.

Back story

According to a recent media report, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele has secured presidential authority to proceed with the transaction, and a public announcement is about to follow.

A son-in-law of Ibrahim Babangida named Auwal Lawan Abdullahi was the chosen customer for the sale of Polaris Bank.

The report also made the case that Emefiele and others rushing to seal the deal for N40 billion could get more from Nigerians by publicly listing the bank for sale as opposed to the customary covert actions that would essentially benefit only those facilitating the backroom negotiations.

What Polaris Bank is saying

Dismissing the report, the Bank said, “Our attention has been drawn to an online report on the purported sale of Polaris Bank Limited. This publication is speculative, deliberately intended to create panic and should be disregarded by the banking public.”

The bank added, “Stakeholders may recall the regulatory intervention in the erstwhile Skye Bank by the CBN and the subsequent injection of capital via the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria through a bridge bank process, which birthed Polaris Bank in 2018.”

The bank stated that it has seen growth in customer base and profitability since the CBN interventions.

“The bank has since stabilised its operations following the intervention; improving its balance sheet, customer base and profitability.”
The Bank stated that it would return to private owner but would give proper notice to stakeholders.

“Whilst the intention has always been to return the bank to private ownership, such a sale will occur following regulatory approvals with formal notification to all relevant stakeholders," it said.

The statement further said that the bank was committed to ensuring timely communication to the public in such an event.