House of Reps Ask CBN to Allow Savannah Bank Commence Full Operation

Summon CBN, NDIC Boss over status of Savannah Bank

BY OBUTE JAMES

The House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to allow Savannah Bank to commence full operation in Nigeria.

The resolution of the House mandating its committee on Banking and Currency to interface with CBN and Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation to ensure Savannah Bank is fully back into banking business came as result of a motion of Hon. Magaji Da’u Aliyu on Thursday.

Hon. Aliyu who is representing Birnin-Kudu/Buji Federal Constituency of Jigawa State in a motion titled: Need to investigate the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation on the current status of Savannah Bank said the bank’s operating licence was withdrawn by the CBN on 15th February 2002 on the ground that Savannah Bank did not have enough assets to meet its liabilities, did not comply with CBN obligation and that the promoters had been unable to prevent further deterioration of the bank.

He said the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) took over as liquidator of Savannah Bank and sealed off the 118 branches of the bank across the country.

Aliyu said though the High Court of Federal Capital, Abuja ruled on 20th October 2006 that the CBN acted properly in revoking the bank’s licence, Appeal Court on 6th February 2009 ordered the re-opening of the bank and also ordered CBN and NDIC to pay N100 million to Savannah Bank as damages.

He said “History was made in Nigerian banking industry when in line with the order of the court, the licence was restored thus putting an end to seven years of agony for directors, depositors and other stakeholders of the bank.

“Further aware that seventeen years after Savannah Bank’s license was restored, the bank is yet to commence operation.

“Again aware that at the time of its forceful closure, the bank had nearly 85, 000 shareholders, a share capital of N1 Billion and about 118 branches with depositors fund who were hundreds of million.

“Concerned that most of the depositors whose fund were trapped in the bank for the last 17 years are either, dead, bankrupt, or in dire hardship after many years of depression and discontented.”

His prayer that the House Committee on Banking and Currency to interface with CBN and NDIC on the current status of the bank and also ascertain whether it has fulfilled all the requirements to commence operation was adopted by the House.

The House also mandated its committee to interface with shareholders and new management of the bank on possible ways to refund depositors fund as well as relate with CBN on effective measures put in place to avoid the reoccurrence of what led to withdrawal of license of Savannah Bank and its eventual closure in 2002.

The committee has two months to submit its report for further legislative actions.

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