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Jaiz Bank in succession crisis as two MDs emerge

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There appears to be a brewing boardroom bickering at Jaiz Bank Plc over the tenure of the current Managing Director and the appointment of a successor.

The two claimants are the current Managing Director, Mallam Hassan Usman and a new candidate, Mr. Mohammed Shaheed Khan, who was appointed by the board to succeed Usman.

It was alleged that due to COVID-19 pandemic which ravaged the bank’s board, the current MD fought back to regain his seat while a new appointment was subsisting.

Reacting to the alleged infighting among directors, a top official of the bank said there was no rift on the board of Jaiz Bank.

“In fact, the board of directors held its 34th board meeting with 100 per cent attendance on the 27th of October 2020. This was followed by a successful Extra Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) the following day which was presided over by the Chairman, Dr Umaru Mutallab,” the source said.

Regarding the offer of appointment to Khan, the source said the offer was given subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The apex bank approved terms different from what was offered to Khan and the board consequently decided not to proceed with the process of appointing him as managing director of the bank.

According to investigation, both the current managing director of the bank and the new candidate have been caught in the bitter boardroom politics of Jaiz Bank.

Findings confirmed that some shareholders of the bank have sharp disagreement with some directors and board members.

It was gathered that some board members took advantage of COVID-19 infection of some of their colleagues to gain upper hand to reverse the decision of the bank to hire a new Managing Director/ CEO.

The boardroom crisis may cost the bank about N2 billion being the six-month salaries of Khan at $175,000 per month.

Investigation showed that the new candidate, Khan (who is a foreigner) was offered a letter of appointment on August 3, 2020.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also on 17th September 2020 confirmed that it has no objection to Khan’s choice.

A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We have a boardroom crisis at hand. The current MD/CEO, Mallam Hassan Usman, was doing well but some directors insisted on change. They asked him to proceed on retirement and set machinery in motion for the recruitment of a new MD/CEO.

“Along the line, some board members who wanted the MD to retire became ill. Some aggrieved shareholders and board members held an Emergency Board meeting to nullify the retirement notice of the current MD/CEO.

“This is the challenge at hand. We are expecting the intervention of the CBN and restoration of peace to the board.

“The new candidate has written the bank to demand N2 billion as salaries for six months at US$175,000 per month. We may be drawn into a prolonged legal battle.”

Another source in the bank said: “I think the problem at hand was borne out of mutual suspicion among board members.

“Some board members are nursing fears that they may be edged out by certain powerful shareholders. We are really in trouble. And this is the first Islamic bank in Nigeria. Business interest is overriding the fear of Allah.”

A letter to the Chairman of the board of Jaiz Bank, Alhaji (Dr) Umaru Mutallab and the CBN by Khan’s counsel, A. U. Mustapha (SAN) gave insights into how Jaiz ran into crisis.

The letter, dated 26th October, 2020, was also copied the President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and the Secretary of Jaiz Bank.

The letter said: “Khan, who has a Fintech background, strong network and profile, was approached by Jaiz Bank because the current Managing Director was retiring, and the Bank needed transformation (both cultural and digital) to compete with other digital focused Islamic banks and incumbent banks.

”After rigorous and exhaustive interviews, Khan was offered a letter of appointment as managing Director/CEO of Jaiz Bank on the 3rd of August 2020 and the same letter was duly accepted. Thereafter, a Contract of Employment was drawn between Jaiz Bank and Khan.

”On the 7th of August 2020, Jaiz Bank wrote to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) requesting for its approval to appoint Khan as its MD/CEO.

“The CBN replied by its letter dated 14th August requesting for further clarifications.

“On the 21st of August 2020, Jaiz Bank wrote another letter to CBN where it acknowledged CBN’s letter dated 14th august 2020, stating “we will strongly request your kind consideration and approval for the appointment of Muhammed Shaheed Khan as managing Director Designate.”

“In response to the passionate request, CBN, by its letter dated 17th September 2020 CBN formally confirmed that it “has no objection to the appointment of Mohammed Shaheed Khan as Managing Director/CEO for two years from the date of his appointment.

“Following his appointment as the MD/CEO of Jaiz Bank, Khan completed all formalities and resigned from his previous job and his resignation was duly accepted by the board of his former employers.

“He withdrew his children from their current school, donated/sold his furniture, secured a smaller accommodation for his close relations and thereafter, started working remotely for Jaiz Bank.

“On the 3rd and 11th of September, Khan attended to official electronic mail from the Company Secretary “Executive Directors would like to have your input on a proposal to secure some IT infrastructure, details of which will be shared with you shortly”;

”But the current outgoing Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, Mallam Hassan Usman, on the 25th of September 2020, after an emergency board meeting, informed Khan that Jaiz allegedly cannot proceed with the appointment.

“Khan replied by claiming that he had been in contact with the Chairman and Company Secretary as the Chairman had no knowledge of the alleged termination of his appointment and that as an outgoing Managing Director, he lacks the authority to send the correspondence.

“On 30th September 2020, Khan wrote the Chairman, Board of Directors of Jaiz Bank, Alhaji (Dr) Umaru Mutallab CON, FCA, and the Company Secretary that he has completed all the formalities and as per the offer letter and he will be joining Jaiz Bank on October 2nd 2020.

On the same 30th September 2020, Alhaji (Dr) Umaru Mutallab CON, FCA, Chairman; Board of Directors of Jaiz Bank replied back “We look forward to your resumption on the 2nd of October officially as MD designate while the visa formalities are being finalized. On behalf of the Board, we look forward to seeing you soonest in person in Nigeria.”

Source: The Nation

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FG establishing oxygen plants in 36 states – NEC

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The National Economic Council (NEC) says the Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states of the federation.

Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi made this known to State House correspondents after a virtual NEC meeting on Friday presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Umahi said that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who chaired the NEC Ad hoc committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to ease the lockdown of the economy, presented a report to the council.

“The Federal Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states in the country, but currently six states have been provided with oxygen cylinders so far.

“The Federal Government has paid for 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines coming in batches and therefore a considerable amount of the vaccines will come into the country between now and January 2022. Nigeria is now classified among the 50 countries in the green zones.”

Umahi said that NEC also received states’ performance report on COVID-19 from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

He said that the council was also updated on the global situation of COVID-19.

He said, “Over 237 million confirmed cases and over 4.8 million deaths due to COVID-19. There are now over 6.3 billion vaccine doses administered.  Nigeria is still in the first wave of vaccination and vaccination tools will improve as the country receives additional vaccines. COVID-19 cases have declined by 7.5 per cent over the last week.”

Umahi said that states were urged to continue to push testing activities in order to detect new cases before the situation worsened.

According to him, an update on travel restrictions on certain countries expected to be announced soon by the Federal Government.

The governor said that the council also received an update on the situation regarding Cholera outbreak.

“Current Cholera situation in the country; suspected number of cases   is 88,704. Number of states is 31 and the FCT. Number of deaths is 3,208.

“Multi-sectoral emergency operation centres activated at level 2 continues to coordinate the national response,” he said.

He listed the challenges to include difficulty in accessing some communities due to insecurity, open defecation and lack of potable drinking water.

Umahi said other challenges were lack of basic health primary healthcare infrastructure, inadequate health facility and cholera commodities for case management.

Umahi said that NEC commended the insightful presentations and congratulated the outgoing Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on his new appointment at the WHO and also welcomed the incoming Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa.

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Bakare meets with Buhari, opposes clamour for power rotation

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Founder of Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare, says the region to produce the president of Nigeria should not be an issue.

He stated this in Abuja on Friday during an interaction with reporters at the presidential villa after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that Nigerians are only bothered about a leader that would ensure the prosperity of the country.

The pastor said the “immaturity” of the citizens is responsible for “making us say power must either be in the North or be in the South, instead of looking for the best.

“Listen to me, if where the President comes from will make the place he has come from to be better, the northern part of Nigeria should be richest and the most progressive and the most developed because out of 61 years, the North has produced either the President or heads of state for 40 to 41 years and yet, see the retrogression in the North.

“If it’s from the South, why should a person like President Obasanjo freeze and seize the account of Lagos State in his own tenure? If it’s from South-South or South-East, why couldn’t President Jonathan use all his powers to develop South-South/South-East?

“If there are agreements between politicians on rotation, a bargain is a bargain. That is between them. But as far as this country is concerned, what we need at this stage is a man who can drive us to the Eldorado.”

The pastor commended the national assembly for empowering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the mode of transmitting election results.

“Perhaps one of the best things the present national assembly has done, especially the senate, because, with that, Nigerians can vote and then results can be transmitted so easily,” he said.

“Not only that, part of the state of the nation address that I did on October 10, I emphasised how Nigeria youth, especially undergraduates, are disenfranchised in our country.”

 

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FG declares Tuesday Oct 19 Eid-il-Maulud holiday

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The Federal Government has declared Tuesday October 19 a public holiday to mark the Islamic festival of Eid-il-Maulud in “commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).”

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore.

Aregbesola congratulated the Muslim faithful both at home and in the diaspora for witnessing this year’s occasion.

He urged all Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, patience and perseverance which he said “are the virtues of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), adding that doing so would guarantee peace and security in the country.”

The statement added, “Ogbeni Aregbesola enjoined Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to refrain from violence, lawlessness and other acts of criminality. As the indisputable leader of our race, we must show responsible leadership in Africa.

“While calling for a stop to all divisive tendencies across the country, the minister urges all Nigerians and the youth in particular, to embrace the virtues of hard work and peaceful disposition to fellow humans, irrespective of faith, ideology, social class and ethnicity and cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari’s led-Administration in its effort to build a progressive and enviable nation that all citizens would be proud of.”

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