The town hall meeting with stakeholders in both the local and international communities, which will hold in London on Friday, is to assure correspondent banks abroad that the actions taken against five troubled banks in Nigeria are proactive measures aimed at ensuring the soundness of the Nigerian banking sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said.
The CBN said on Wednesday that the purpose of the trip to London was to ensure that confidence in Nigerian banks was not only sustained but enhanced.
The Head, Corporate Affairs of the CBN, Mr. Muhammed Abdullahi, said in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja that the apex bank was able to forestall any immediate negative reaction to the changes made in the affected banks - Intercontinental Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Finbank Plc and Afribank Plc - by explaining the rationale behind its actions in a way that people would understand.
”With effective communication and continuous assurance that the banks are safe, we were able to prevent a run on the banks,” he noted.
He added that the same must be done for the international community, saying that ”Nigerian banks have correspondent banks, which give them lines of credit to cater for their international transactions and other businesses. They should, therefore, understand the need for the reforms and the fact that the sector will be stronger for it, to prevent any negative consequence.”
He said the target audience would be the correspondent banks, local and foreign investors willing to invest in the Nigerian economy as well as Nigerians in the Diaspora.
According to him, ”The Nigerians in the Diaspora, who use these banks to conduct their businesses, or to transfer money to Nigeria must be assured that there is no cause for alarm because the banks have only been made stronger.”
He said the new managing directors of the banks would be on ground to assure stakeholders of the strong footing of their individual banks and to have one-on-one meetings with the target audience.
Our correspondent, however, gathered that Mr. Lai Alabi, who was appointed to replace Mr Erastus Akingbola as the managing director of Intercontinental Bank would also attend the meeting alongside the Acting Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Joseph Ajewole.
A reliable source also said that the CBN Governor, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, would meet with the United Kingdom‘s Financial Services Authority today (Thursday) to discuss both countries’ challenges in the wake of the global financial crisis and also chart a way forward.