- DSS, ICPC may quiz Acting MD
- No truth in the allegation – Bank
Heads may roll at the headquarters of the Nigerian Export – Import, NEXIM Bank, following a petition sent to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Concerned Common Citizens of Nigeria, CCCN, alleging that the acting Managing Director, Mr. Bashir Wali and Executive Director, Corporate Services, Mrs Folake Oke Itohan conspired to promote over 120 staff, with packages running into billions of naira without passing through the due process.
A highly placed security source yesterday told Nigerian Pilot that the president has already ordered the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the Department of State Security Service, DSS and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, ICPC to commence investigations into the matter.
According to the source, the security agencies may quiz the two bank chiefs for interrogations, especially with regard to the welfare packages involved in the promotions. “This is specifically relevant as those favoured in the promotions are cronies of the acting MD and the Executive Director in charge of corporate services,” the source explained.
He further added that the CBN Governor who is the supervising officer of the bank may today issue a query to Wali and Mrs. Itohan to explain the sudden promotion of over 120 staff.
The NGO had on Monday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order a full scale investigation into the alleged promotion scandal that has hit the Nigeria Export-Import, NEXIM Bank, saying the action of the acting Managing Director/Chief Executive of the specialised institution, Mr Bashir Wali, has the potential to embarrass the Federal Government, given the present economic conditions.
A petition jointly signed by CCCN’s President, Halima Yusuf and Secretary General, Unekwu Abubakar, expressed concern that the acting MD/Chief Executive and the Executive Director, Corporate Affairs, Folake Oke, who ordinarily are political appointees of the bank, are hiding behind a loophole created by the dissolution of the boards of government agencies to allegedly promote their cronies and allies in the bank.
The statement alleged that the decision of the duo is to unilaterally promote their cronies by hiding behind exercises earlier conducted by the dissolved board even though they are by law no longer supposed to remain in office.
The statement reads: “Their action is even more shocking because the Honourable Minister of Finance held a meeting with the interim leadership to warn them about the present situation and specifically noted the bank’s non-performing loans that have left it vulnerable and in no condition to take on additional expenses.
“Yet, they went ahead to carry out this action which everyone knows is in conflict with the present economic situation.
“In addition to promoting the staff via a memo issued late on Friday February 26, 2016, the Acting MD and Executive Director, Corporate Services have compiled 120 names of their surrogates to be absorbed into NEXIM to join its payroll without any form of interview or advertisement anywhere as required by law.
“The point is that these two individuals are in a mad rush to perpetuate and perfect this illegality without the knowledge of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the Federal Ministry of Finance and other relevant authorities that have a say in the affairs of the bank.
“We also found out that the ED Corporate Services who was fond of cutting loan deals during her heydays as ED Business Development has launched her agents to start selling jobs slots to people in a cash-for-employment recruitment exercise that cannot hold water.
It asked the interim management of NEXIM to revert and return the 92 staff that benefited from the questionable promotions to the status quo until substantive Managing Director and management board is appointed for the bank.
NEXIM Bank debunks allegations
Reacting to the issue, the Head of Communication of NEXIM, Chinedu Moghalu said the Executive Committee of the bank had merely sent a standard notification to all staff informing them of the results of the appraisal exercise for 2013 and 2014, which process has been ongoing since the last quarter of 2015.
He said the communication specifically informed staff members on individual performances and the eligibility for promotion or merit increment in line with section 5(4) of the Bank’s Staff Condition of Service which inter alia provides that ‘staff promotion shall be effected as reward for satisfactory performance either through examination and/or interview’.
“The Bank or its Management did not at any time notify any staff member that he/she has been promoted. Also, it is important to categorically state that there was no recruitment exercise ongoing at the Bank; and more specifically, nobody has been offered any employment formally or otherwise,” he explained.
Mr Moghalu stated that NEXIM remains committed to adhering to the highest standards of corporate governance and strict compliance with the Public Service Rules as applicable.
“The Bank would like to urge its shareholders, stakeholders and members of the public to ignore the misleading falsehood contained in the allegation,” he said, adding that the Bank would readily welcome any member of the media or other interested party that may be keen to verify the allegations contained in the publication.