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Olateru: There’s no reason for aircraft accident probe delay beyond 1 year

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Akin Olateru is Nigerian, United Kingdom and United States licensed aircraft maintenance engineer. In this interview with WOLE SHADARE, he speaks on factors that have elongated the release of accident reports, plan by his agency to release six more crash reports before the end of February and the turn around of AIB to meet challenges of modern accident

 

 

 

The recently concluded accident investigation report writing course is an eye opener and critical aspect of accident reporting, what is the essence of the summit to aviation investigation?
This is end of the training session for accident investigation report writing and this has been conducted by (Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA). BAGAIA is Africa’s accord group represented by seven countries. The whole idea is training of accident investigators to make sure we develop regionally and that is the whole essence.

This is why the commissioners from BAGAIA; the CEO for BAGAIA Caj Frostell, is the one that took this training on accident report writing. Report writing is very important. When I came in 2017, we found out that more than half our investigators had not been trained and training is one of the key pillars of my administration. It is training training and training. You can’t have it better. The essence of report writing is if you are speaking and the other person does not understand, it means you are not communicating.

To ensure that we communicate, you ensure that reports cannot be faulted anywhere in the world. This is why we strengthen our capacity in terms of report writing. Because you investigate accidents, you come up with your safety recommendations and you present your report to the world.

Our reports can be assessed anywhere in the world. Since November last year; even on your phone, you can download our AIB App, you can see or download reports of accident investigation and this is the essence of it and also we make sure we extend this course to other stakeholders.

Nigeria Air force is represented, Nigeria Navy, DSS are represented in this training because when there is a crash and it is a breach of Annexe 17, which deals with aviation security, the practice is that we involve the Directorate of State Service (DSS). DSS are our own Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and this is purposely to join us in investigating accidents that have elements of breach of Annexe 17.

This is the first time in the history of AIB that the DSS is engaged in this type of training. It is very important for them to understand what we do for them to be able to marry it to their mandate. It is not when there are issues, that we start informing them. They need to be informed. I look forward to bigger and better coordination within all security agencies and AIB to the benefit of mankind and to the entire aviation industry.

What other benefits are there for Nigeria?
For Nigeria, we just had a team of accident investigators – about 18 of them. They have not had a five day training course since they were engaged in 2013. It is a very good way to move forward. They have not been trained on the basic function accident investigation in accordance with Annexe 13. The five day course that happened about two months ago, ICAO came to train us. Now we have gotten BAGAIA to train on report writing, which is a very important component of accident investigation.

Report writing is a very important function because normally, it is the sync of the accident investigation’s basic training and for people who investigate, they become very good investigators. The objective of the whole accident investigation is prevention of accidents and incidents to prevent more and the need to have safety recommendations and then you need to take safety actions to correct those deficiencies .

The safety recommendations, that is the whole objective of the investigation because those are the ones that leads to safety actions. So, how do you write effectively so that deficiencies are clearly known and proper actions are taken? The essential part is the report writing. You see, at times when you do a proper investigation, the report writing is lacking with the problem not being understood.

How do you ensure that accident reports are well written and fast/tracked and ensure that investigations are concluded in good time?
There are guidelines. Major investigations ideally should be concluded within a year. Sometimes, there are technical reasons that may make it take long. But ideally, it is within a year but for smaller accidents, it should be within six months. The international regulatory material is very clear. It states that reports should be made public and publicly made available.

The right way to do that is to post it on the website of the investigation agency so that anybody who so wishes can see the final reports download them for the information and use.

You talked about the laboratories that government has given approval for speedy completion. Could you let us into that project?
Thank you very much. The laboratory is called flight safety laboratory. We started the process in 2008 but the completion of the project was done in 2012, that was about five years ago. You can imagine you started this in 2008, a lot has happened. Aviation is a very highly dynamic industry. Things change by the day. Take for instance, aviation security.

Prior to 2000, the way we travelled was different. There was nothing like body scanners, nobody searches, you just go. Since 2002, things have changed. So, when you talk of aviation security in 2018, it is a complete ball game.

It is the same with accident investigation; a lot have changed. I will give you a few examples. Because of most incidents that happened, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has ruled that all aircraft must have Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and we need to upgrade the equipment we use in download to tell us the story. In the Dana accident case for instance, everybody died. In the Police Helicopter crash, everybody died.

There was nobody to tell us the story. It was only the CVR and Flight Data Recorder (VDR) that can tell us what happened as regards the conversation between the pilot and controller. This is why it is very important. Laboratory is very key to what we do. It is about the heart of our investigative activities. It is very important to us. Another benefit of the upgrade is to lead the region.
The flight safety laboratory as you aware, we have two laboratories.

The material science laboratory and the flight safety laboratory; It is where we have FDR and the CVR downloads. This contract was executed 2012. They started it in 2008 and finally executed due to whatever reason in 2012. By that time, as at today, look at it very well, the software is obsolete.

If you buy your computer in 2008 and compare it with what we have in 2018, you need to upgrade the software. There must be some upgrade. It is just to upgrade what we have and to incorporate very important component. which is the training side of it.

This is part of this contract, to continuously train people on how to use the equipment and the analysis of the data is the one that is most critical and you can’t train an expert in one week. It is an ongoing thing and that is the whole essence of the upgrade. Thank God for the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the upgrade was approved penultimate Wednesday for us to do proper accident investigation.

Just recently, your organisation was asked to investigate a crash in Sao Tome. Does that show that Nigeria has come of age in accident investigation?
Most countries in BAGAIA look up to us. We have already taken that leadership decision. We currently investigated Sao Tome accident. For the first time in the history of AIB, we were elected to investigate the Sao Tome crash. That was what happened last year. That accident report has been concluded. Prior to this training, we just concluded the final review of accident investigation.

For the first time in the history of AIB, accident investigations are concluded in six months. This has never happened before. We had accidents that happened in 2009 and are still investigating. Under my watch, accidents will be investigated and concluded within one year.

You have just spent one year in office, from the basis of this training, what is your projection going forward into 2018? How would you look back in the last one year as the CEO of AIB so far?
One year to me to the glory of God was an excellent year. I came in January 13, 2017. I did a review. We had 27 pending accident reports when I came in. Some dates back to 2005 and we were in 2017. I was wondering what really went wrong. Just like the Commissioner BAGAIA said, accident investigation should be concluded within a year.

We set everything in motion. Funding was another problem. In carrying out accident investigation, you need a lot of resources; manpower and finance. We pushed everything in motion and through the support of the Minister of State for Aviation, he gave us maximum support for that and we did what we were supposed to do.

To the glory of God, we released 11 reports by December 2017. One year, 10 final reports and one safety bulletin are some of the things we did last year. By the end of first quarter this year, we will be releasing another six and that will make it 16 out of the 27 we inherited.

That is how far we have done. Now, we simplify our processes. Now, you can download our app, AIB Nigeria app where you can report accidents. You don’t have to come to our office to file paper. We try to eliminate all these bottlenecks in reporting accidents. We were invited by BAGAIA to investigate the accident in Sao Tome. As I speak today, the final review of that accident report has been concluded. That means that we have concluded that accident investigation in six months. That is the first ever in the history of AIB to have started and concluded accident investigation within six months.

This is what it should be. If people are up and doing, this is what it is supposed to be. You can’t have an accident and then it dragged for years and years. There is no explanation for it. Because the whole purpose of accident investigation is to come up with safety recommendations to prevent future occurrence. There must be lessons learnt.

If you don’t investigate and come up with safety recommendations, how would people learn to prevent future occurrence. This is why it is very important. Accident investigation is a very serious business and we should all support it and make sure it is a serious agent of government in ensuring that our airspace is safe.

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Interest rates cut likely at MPC’s meeting in 2018 –Aigboje

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Managing Director, Capital Bancorp Plc, Mr. Higo Aigboje in this interview with Chris Ugwu, speaks on the financial services sector and the economy and concludes that there is a possibility of rates cut in 2018. Excerpts:

 

 

What is your take on the financial market?
The Nigerian financial market performance in 2017 was more stable than the previous year using some economic and market indicators as yardsticks.
Unlike the previous year where only the money and bond markets were active as a result relatively high interest rates occasioned in part by the ever increasing inflation rate and federal government’s appetite for borrowing, the stock market had its fair share in the upbeat with the stock market index closed northward and ranked as the third best performing stock market of 2017 globally.

The Foreign Exchange market experienced some level of stability owning to CBN’s actions on introduction of Investors’ and Exporters’ Window and CBN’s direct intervention occasioned by the accretion to the foreign reserves from oil revenues.
The banking industry also saw some level of better performance as some of the banks were able to latch on the opportunities in Nigerian Treasury bills in the year. The banks also saw an improved provisioning as a result of the improved performance of some of their debtors in the year.

Do you expect the gradual recovery in the economy to gain momentum this year?
In what we describe as a fair outing for the Nigerian economy in 2017 having come from a difficult year in 2016, I think the country looks poised to record better performance in 2018. In the early part of the year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected a growth rate of 0.8 per cent while the World Bank projected a growth rate of 1.00 per cent for 2017.

Recent forecast by both bodies have maintained their initial growth forecast for the country. However, we are more bullish as we maintain our growth estimate of 1.5 per cent for 2017. Growth in 2018 was projected to significantly improve on the back of firming oil prices, improved foreign exchange liquidity, rising government revenues and increase in the government spending.

Going from the third quarter 2017, GDP report released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the non-oil sector of the Nigerian economy needs to report signs of a recovery for growth to reach levels seen before the oil price decline as consistent negative growth in the non-oil sector will continue to remain a drag on the overall growth potential of the Nigerian economy.

I also hope that appropriate policies, both monetary and fiscal will be put in place in 2018 to drive economic growth. I think also that the Federal Government will rapidly pass the 2018 Budget into law and execute the projects in desirable time to boost economic activities. 1 am of opinion that if the government rides on the current events, which presently are in the favour of Nigeria, the country will grow by an average of 2.2 per cent in 2018, despite downside risk to this growth forecast.

So, what are the downside risks to Nigeria’s GDP growth?
The projected GDP growth rate for 2018 should become a reality if the government continues to boost its non-oil sector revenues and properly deal with issues relating to wasteful government spending and non-friendly business policies.
Some of the downward risks to GDP growth also include a sudden decline in oil prices due to increased production from exporting countries; a sudden rise in insecurity and insurgency, which may disrupt economic activities in Nigeria; improper management and use of its foreign reserves, which would lead to further depletion and cause FX volatility and lack of clear and proper fiscal policies to drive different sectors of the economy.

The trending patriotic policies by advanced countries may also hamper inflow of both Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPIs) even as some advanced countries have reported a rise in interest rates.

Looking at how some banks fared in 2017, do you think they will continue to return profits in 2018?
The Nigerian banking sector has remained one of the most vibrant and delicate sectors in the Nigerian economy especially as it has the capacity to send shock waves round the economy if it fails.
The sector has since 2015 continued to suffer significant headwinds as the CBN monetary policies and economic realities have continued to hamper its ability to significantly grow profits. However, most of the Tier-1 banks have been able to surmount these headwinds and have continued to surpass expectations even in the face of the unfriendly business environment and hostile business policies.

2017 saw the banking sector continue to post bumper earnings especially for most of the Tier-1 banks and a few Tier-2 banks. The rest of the group have continued to battle with high level of loan impairment, which has eaten deep into their operating profit and dampened their ability to grow their bottom line.

Non-Performing loans as at June 2016 stood at 11.7 percent and rose to 12.8 as at December 2016 with a large portion of the rise attributed to the banks in the Tier-2 space. The CBN may need to increase its oversight of the credit and approval process of the tie-2 banks in a bid to limit the rising NPLs.

The banks in 2017 are also expected to report higher interest income on the back of the high interest rate environment observed during the period while we expect an increase in cost to income ratio for the period.
Going forward, the banking sector is expected to remain robust and continue to return profits into 2018 but with the implementation of IFRS 9, which require banks to recognise impairment sooner and estimate lifetime expected losses against a wider spectrum of assets, which is expected take effect from 2018, we expect a prompt increase in the banks impairment charge, which will reduce profitability going forward but make banks stronger and less exposed to risk of impairment shocks.

Also, despite the reduction in interest rates, which is expected to increase banks’ lending to the real sector of the economy, the implementation of IFRS 9 may hamper some of the banks as an aggressive rise in loan advances would give rise to increased provisioning, which may affect the bank’s capital buffers in the immediate. All in all, the banks are expected to have a decent outing during the year 2018 with less shocks expected in the sector.

Do you think there is need for rates cut following the decline in inflation?
Having maintained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) and Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) at 14 per cent and 22.50 per cent respectively while also retaining the asymmetric corridor of +200 bps above and -500 bps around the MPR for over a year, we expect a rate cut at the first meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN in 2018, and we are of the opinion that the committee will cut the benchmark interest rate by 0.5 per cent or 1.00 per cent thereby taking the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) to 13.50 per cent or 13.00 per cent.

The projected cut in rate is imminent owing to CBN’s continuous slash in stop rates for treasury bills, which once stood at a high of about 18.815 per cent in May 2017 and closed the last auction date at 15.57 percent last November.
The continuous decline in inflation figures have also supported the banks target to reduce the interest burden on its debt obligation and also offer real return on its securities.

In a bid to reduce the country’s domestic debt obligation, CBN repaid all the maturing treasury bills that matured in December 2017 and have signalled that it would continue to drop its stop rate going forward into year 2018 even as the CBN targets inflation rate below 12 percent for 2018.

As CBN drops MPR rate, we expect the real sector of the economy to benefit as a few banks will be forced to lend to the real sector of the economy as government securities become less attractive given the low return being offered.
Businesses will also see their interest expense drop on the back of dropping interest rates and we anticipated the MPR to close the year at 12 per cent, 2 per cent down from 14 per cent benchmark rate as at December 2017.

What is your take on the stock market in 2017 and the prospects in the current year?
The Nigerian stock market had an impressive showing in 2017 having closed the year with return of 42.30 per cent making it the third best performing stock market behind Argentina, which returned 77 per cent and Turkey that returned 48 per cent, we have projected a 25 per cent return for the Nigeria Stock Market for 2018 though downside risk to achieving this target remain visible.

The market gains in 2017 were driven by impressive returns in the Banking sector, which returned 73.32 per cent, the consumer goods sector that returned 36.97 per cent and the industrial goods sector, which returned 23.84 per cent while other sectors of the market recorded gains except for the Alternative securities market (ASEM), which closed down by 8.60 per cent.

The trading aspect recorded significant recovery while the market witnessed increased issues compared to 2016 where there were no issues.
The year 2018 is expected to witness a similar trend observed in 2017 as economic indicators have improved and the world now projects increased investor confidence and GDP growth for Nigerian economy.

Going forward we expect to see more trading activities in the secondary market as listed companies will begin to trade at new highs never seen before even as their profitability soars on the back of a vibrant economy.
The primary market is also expected to be active in the year with expectation of new listings, mergers and acquisitions, Rights issue, listing by introduction etc. are all expected to drive overall market activity and deepen the market in the process.

What do you think will determine the success of the market this year?
The success of the Nigerian stock market will be hinged on many factors. Amongst them are the firming or stability of oil prices; constant monitoring and effective management of the foreign exchange market; improvement in corporate earnings for the period; significant focus on the non-oil sector to increase output; enhancing the country’s non-oil sector export proceeds to improve FX liquidity; a lower interest rate regime; effective implementation and communication of the government economic policies.

Others include government focus on the real sectors of the economy to stimulate the economy; improve market participation by local investors and Domestic institutional investors; continuous robust regulatory oversight of the listed companies by all the market regulators; passage of Petroleum Industry Bill, unbundling of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and listing of the resultant companies; listing of already privatised companies such as MTN, Gencos and Discos and effective use of monetary policies.

Having seen the nine months earnings result for most of the listed companies, investor will begin to take position in anticipation of the companies audited result, dividend declaration and Q1 2018 result, which we expect to boost stock prices in the immediate and also trigger further activities especially for companies, which report impressive performance for their Q1 2018 numbers.

Generally, despite the downside risk to the outlook of the equities market, we are optimistic about the performance of the equities market as we believe that most of the fundamentals are in favour of a further surge in the equities market.

In conclusion, despite the rally observed in the equity space in 2017, there remains a pool of untapped potential in the stock market as most of the listed companies still trade at prices below their book value while a few stocks still trade at prices below our recommended target price.

We believe the current prices still gives room for ample upside and significant return to investors despite the fact that the dividend yield of the company would have slightly inched lower on the back of rising prices but still remain attractive especially with the potential benefit of capital appreciation in the short to medium term. We however, advise that investment in the stock market be made mainly on fundamental analysis and not on the back of a band wagon effect, which could fizzle out at any moment and keep the investor trapped in a wrong stock.

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Nigerian now AACSB secretary-treasurer

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The world’s largest business education network, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, has appointed the Dean of Lagos Business School (LBS), Dr. Enase Okonedo, as its secretary-treasurer.
She was elected to the board in 2015, and her new position became effective February 6th, 2018.

Okonedo, according to a statement from AACSB, is an accomplished professional with more than 30 years experience in the financial services and business education sector.
She has held several leadership positions at LBS, including that of the EMBA director, academic director, and deputy dean of academics.

In recognition of her leadership and contributions to the Nigerian education sector, she was awarded a fellow of the Society of Corporate Governance Nigeria (SCGN).
Also, she is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA) and a fellow of the International Academy of Management (IAM).

Besides, AACSB has recognised Mr. Paul Orajiaka an alumnus of the Lagos Business School over the positive impact the business school graduates were making in communities around the globe.
Orajiaka – the Advanced Management Programme 20 and the Executive MBA 14, was recognised at AACSB’s 2018 Deans Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

He was among a group of 29 business pioneers from 13 industry sectors, whose careers are addressing today’s most pressing social, economic, environmental and educational challenges.
Orajiaka was nominated by the Lagos Business School and was honoured for his passion for social entrepreneurship.

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Fortis MFB: Regulatory hammer cuts earnings

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The technical suspension on Fortis’ shares for inability to submit financial statement as at when due impacted negatively on the earnings of the lender. Chris Ugwu writes

 

Microfinance Policy Regulatory and Supervisory Framework (MPRSF) were launched in 2005 and the objectives were to address the prolonged non-performance of many existing community banks.
This has been attributed to incompetent management, weak internal controls and high cost of transactions. Other objectives to be addressed by MPRSF are poor corporate governance, lack of well-defined operations, restrictive regulatory/supervisory requirements, and weak capital base of existing institutions.

Indeed, a huge gap exists in the provision of financial services to a large number of active but poor and low income groups, especially in the rural areas as a result of rigidity in operations of formal financial institutions in Nigeria.
However, despite the efforts, the problem of funding has remained a major militating factor against the effectiveness of micro finance banks in Nigeria.

This is because the Nigerian economy has continued to face major headwinds, from substantial decline in international crude oil prices to significant constraints to business activities in the north eastern part of the country owing to the activities of insurgents.

The fall in crude prices had heightened pressure on the Nigeria’s foreign reserves and the domestic currency, leading to the volatility in exchange rate and a dip in foreign reserves.
These microeconomic pressures and unrelenting regulatory adjustments have to a large extent constrained the margins of financial institutions in the country.

Fortis Microfinance Bank Plc, which had sustained considerable growth in bottom line, has also been affected by not only harsh operating milieu but investors’ negative perception following the suspension NSE placed on its shares for default in filing 2016 financial results as and when due.

The MFB, which began to show positive outlook earnings during the second quarter of 2016, dropped sharply in the third quarter of third quarter of 2017.
The share price, which closed at N2.58 per share in March 31, 2017 has remained at the same price even as at Friday due to the technical suspension placed on the shares of the company.
Financials
Fortis Microfinance Plc began the first quarter ended March 31 2016 with 55.31 per cent drop in profit after tax to N71.910 million from N160.933 million recorded a year earlier.
Its pre-tax profit equally dropped by 55.31per cent from N102.728 million the previous year to N229.904 million during the period under review.
Fortis’s interest income grew by 17.89 per cent from N566.429 million in 2015 to N667.774 million during the financial year 2016.

However, the lender’s second quarter ended June 30, 2016 profit after tax grew by 14.42 per cent to N267.996 million from N234.225 million recorded a year earlier.
The institution’s pre-tax profit equally grew by 14.42 per cent from N334.608 million the previous year to N382.851 million during the period under review.
Fortis’s interest income grew by 37.73 per cent from N1.304 billion in 2015 to N1.796 billion during the financial year 2016.

Also, the lender’s third quarter ended September 30, 2016 profit after tax grew by 15.27 per cent to N421.729 million from N365.845 million recorded a year earlier.
In a filing from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the microfinance institution’s pre-tax profit equally grew by 15.27 per cent from N522.636 million the previous year to N602.471 million during the period under review.
Its interest income rose by 44.38 per cent from N1.836 billion in 2015 to N2.651 billion during the financial year 2016.

Fortis’ full year ended December 31, 2016 profit after tax inched up marginally by 0.44 per cent to N586.255 million from N583.703 million recorded a year earlier.
The microfinance institution’s pre-tax profit however, dropped by 5.65 per cent from N882.521 million the previous year to N832.605 million during the period under review.
Its interest income increased by 19.26 per cent from N3.649 billion in 2015 to N4.352 billion during the financial year 2016.

Fortis Microfinance sustained positive bottom line in the half year ended June 30, 2017 with profit after tax growing by 152.82 per cent to N677.549 million from N267.996 million recorded a year earlier.
A report obtained from the NSE, showed that the microfinance institution’s pre-tax profit equally rose by 152.82 per cent from N382.851 million the previous year to N967.927 million during the period under review.
Fortis’s interest income rose by 40.53 per cent from N1.796 billion in 2016 to N2.324 billion during the financial year 2017.

However, the MFB’s third quarter ended September 30, 2017 profit after tax dropped by 82.52 per cent to N73.713 million from N421.729 million recorded a year earlier as challenges of operational environment tool toll on the company.
Its pre-tax profit equally fell by 82.52 per cent from N602.471 million the previous year to N105.305 million during the period under review.
Fortis’s interest income grew marginally by 3.36 per cent from N2.651 billion in 2016 to N2.740 billion during the financial year 2017.

Default in filing results
Consequent upon the inability of Fortis to submit its year end 31 December 2016 audited financial statements to the NSE when due, as required by the applicable provisions, the shares of the Bank were suspended from being traded on the floor of The Exchange.

According to the management, the non-rendition of statements to the Exchange within the material period was chiefly attributable to the fact that, as a banking institution, the statements of Fortis had to be submitted to the apex bank prior to being released for any purpose.

“The technical suspension of Fortis’ shares from the trading floor of the Exchange set off a chain reaction that culminated in several unintended outcomes, the most significant being the panic withdrawals of deposits it triggered. This was because the announcement was largely misconceived, misinterpreted and misunderstood as a revocation of the Bank’s operating license.
“Although the Exchange lifted the suspension on 15th September 2017, after the Bank submitted the financial statements and met other conditions for the lifting as required by the Exchange, it was impossible to change the mindset of majority of depositors within such a very short time, “the management noted.

It noted that the Bank is addressing these challenges, adding that in the third quarter of 2017, just as Fortis was on the cusp of migrating to a more versatile and robust Core Banking Application, several accounting anomalies were unearthed that had to be immediately brought to the attention of the Bank’s primary Regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Due to the observed accounting irregularities, previous financials filed with regulatory authorities and released to the public may have been impacted and may have to be restated where necessary. With the approval and guidance of the CBN, Fortis is currently engaged in a far-reaching house cleaning exercise, which at the end will culminate in the emergence of a leaner, healthier bank set apart by a renewed emphasis on professionalism and adherence to international best ethical standards,” the Bank said.

Outlook
In furtherance of the process of enshrining good corporate governance, the lender said it recently identified three qualified individuals with considerable experience to join the Board as independent directors who have no previous existing relationship with Fortis in any way, shape or form.

These individuals according to the bank, would be presented to the shareholders for their approval at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Bank, which is expected to hold during the first quarter of 2018.
“If approved, the addition of these individuals to the Board will enhance the Board’s capacity to perform its oversight functions and enhance the workings of various critical board committees.

Furthermore, negotiations are on-going with the bank’s group of foreign lenders to grant it the much needed respite through the restructuring of existing facilities,” it said.
The bank added that discussions are also at an advanced stage to engage a reputable firm of turnaround experts working in concert with a revitalized management team to quickly restore the FMFB on the path of sustainability and profitability, through the adoption of a revised business model and rejigging of the existing Five-Year Strategic Plan.

Last line
For micro finance sector to experience positive times, the industry should embrace changes in business environment, which presents uncommon opportunities to deepen penetration of the market through creativity and ingenuity.

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