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Breaking: Shareholders threaten court action over CBN’s policy on bad loans, dividends

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Shareholders seek N/Assembly intervention
By Peter Egwuatu
Shareholders, under the aegis of Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, PSAN, have decried the recent Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s rule that barred banks with huge bad loans from paying dividends and have called on the National Assembly to intervene with the aim of protecting local investors.

Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele

The shareholders also threatened to challenge the actions of the CBN in the nation’s courts if the apex bank refuses to rescind the policy directive barring challenged banks from paying dividend.

The communique signed by National Coordinator of PSAN, Mrs Bisi Bakare, after its emergency meeting held at its corporate headquarter weekend in Ogun State and made available to Vanguard stated: “That the timing of the CBN policy directives to deposit money banks , just two weeks to the release of the 2017 banks financial results complicated the expectations of domestic investors/shareholders; that the policy directive clearly demonstrated that the apex bank high level of incompetency in the management of the nation’s monetary policy and regulation of operating commercial banks; that the CBN board and management cannot be absolved of the high level complicity and sabotage in the reoccurring banks’loans and its attendant negative impact on domestic savings through portfolio investments.; that the nations apex bank owes it as a responsibility to Nigerians and the international community by publishing the profile of the loans defaulters and invoking the operating laws through the banks on all bad loans.

Members of the association also lamented that the policy directive by the CBN which short-circuits domestic investor’s paltry return on their investments remain a major setback and disincentive towards sustainable internal economic growth.

PSAN further accused the CBN management of plying the class game in most of its policies, stressing that outright barring, if challenged banks from paying dividends amounts to shifting the blame to minority shareholders.

“The contentious banks’ bad loans are failure pointers and collapsing state of the national financial regulatory institutions in the proactive management of the economy” the association said.

The association further blamed the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC for abandoning and reneging in their corporate responsibilities towards investors.

According to PSAN, “That the current focus on shareholders dividend toward bridging banks bad loans will not only impact negatively in the nation’s capital market but create an added impetus for individuals and corporate concerns to consciously defaults in their loans obligations.”

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