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Nigerian news: Three Bank chiefs lose jobs, as CBN injects N200b to four banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria today sacked the  chief executive officers of three banks and provided 200 billion naira ($1.4 billion) in liquidity and loans for four banks.

The action aims to help stabilize an industry reeling from bad debts and comes seven weeks after Sanusi fired the heads of five other lenders and injected 420 billion naira into the companies.

The second part of an audit into the banking system covered 14 lenders, four of which had insufficient capital and liquidity and one that lacked capital, while having “healthy liquidity,” the central bank said in an e-mailed statement. The bank pledged to guarantee deposits at the troubled banks.

The fired executives were Francis Atuche of Bank PHB Plc, Charles Ojo of Spring Bank Plc and Ike Oraekwuotu of Equitorial Trust Bank Ltd. Sanusi had invited the chairmen and CEOs of the affected banks for a meeting in Abuja, the capital, before the decisions were announced.

“Who’s going to invest” if the central bank can arbitrarily take over a company in this manner, said Bismarck Rewane, chief executive officer of Financial Derivatives Ltd., a fund manager based in the commercial city of Lagos. “I don’t mind central bank intervention in the banks; I mind appointing managers when you don’t own the bank.”

The head of Wema Bank, who started in June, wasn’t sanctioned as the bank was already in trouble, the central bank said. Unity Bank’s management was also kept because the central bank said its liquidity is sound, even though it has inadequate capital. Both Wema and Unity have until the end of June next year to inject fresh capital, the statement said.