Adebayo Adeleke, former General Secretary of the Independent Shareholders Solidarity Association of Nigeria (ISSAN) on Tuesday described as irresponsible, a statement by Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at his post-Monetary Policy Committee meeting press briefing that the apex bank “would rather dispense with shareholders than put depositors money at risk.”
Adeleke, chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Lancelot Ventures Limited in a written reaction to immediately after the Emefiele addressed the press, described such comment as “a warped reasoning.”
For him, the CBN governor, like his immediate predecessor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi have continued to pretend as if “shareholders are not an integral part of the economic landscape.”
It is such mentality, he continued, that informed “the action of Lamido Sanusi in destroying shareholders value during his tenure, when his action led to the collapse of t Nigeria’s banking and financial system between 2008 and 2011, the shadow of which is still visible to this day.
Continuing, Adeleke, an Independent Director Unitrust Insurance Company Limited since 2016; Non-Executive Director at BOC Gases Plc since 2016; and Non-Executive Director at May & Baker Nigeria Plc between July 2010 and 2021, said “Emefiele appears to be ignorant of the fact that over N30 trillion market capitalisation (of the NGX) today is a measure of shareholders’ investment in the economy.
“He is also oblivious, or pretends to be, of the fact that more than 60% of the so-called depositors’ money belongs to shareholders and shareholders’ companies.
“Emefiele would prefer to ‘dispense’ with shareholders as if he would have any bank to regulate if the shareholders did not form that company (bank) ab initio.
“This regulatory attitude of treating shareholders as expendable item is partly responsible for the narrow visioned approach to solving issues.
“That unguarded statement sends a wrong signal to foreign investor who may want to invest in our banking eco-system that the regulator, and by extension the government, cares less about them and their investment. That they as catalysts of capital formation and economic development are held in high contempt,” he stressed further.
Furthermore, the investor who is audit committee member of companies quoted on the Nigerian Exchange Limited, also reminded the CBN governor “that without shareholders who provided a platform of a Company for Emefiele to build a career, there would be no Emefiele.”
Shakespeare, he argued further, was apt when he said “but ’tis a common proof that lowliness is young ambition’s ladder. Whereto the climber upward turns his face. But when he once attains the upmost round, he then unto the ladder turns his back, looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees by which he did ascend.”
He called on shareholders who are truly shareholders to individually and collectively condemn the statement by Emefiele in unequivocal terms.