First Bank Holdings Responds To NGX Query 

First Bank Holdings Responds To NGX Query

The First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc has responded to a letter from the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

According to PREMIUM TIMES, the letter seeks clarification on a document that published the claims made by Tunde Hassan-Odukale, the chairman of its flagship unit FirstBank, and his related parties to a 5.36 per cent stake in the holdings.

Recall that on Tuesday, the NGX authority had written to the group, demanding explanations on why the shareholdings of Mr Hassan-Odukale and his related parties were in two parts of 4.16 per cent and 1.20 per cent respectively.

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PREMIUM TIMES reports that NGX requested FBN Holdings to clarify the rationale behind factoring in an equity stake of 1.05 per cent belonging to Leadway Pensure PFA in the 1.20 per cent.

Recently, FBNH has been in a tussle over the “top shareholder title” after the acquisition of 5.07 per cent of the group’s issued share capital by billionaire mogul and the chairman of Geregu Energy Group, Femi Otedola was made public.

However, a notification from FBNH, addressed to the register of CAC showed that the consolidated shares of Mr Hassan-Odukale and his related parties at “5.36 per cent”, with Leadway Pensure PFA contributing 1.05 per cent of that lump figure.

PREMIUM TIMES reports it is difficult to explain how the shares of a pension fund administrator, which is often managed for investment from a pool of employees’ contributed funds, could be reckoned as part of a single person’s investment.

According to PREMIUM TIMES, a section of the website of Leadway Pensure stated, “Formed by a consortium of three (3) major financial service companies, Leadway Pensure is one of the most capitalized PFA’s in Nigeria with an authorized share capital of N2.0 billion. Jamb Result 

“Our shareholder’s fund is in excess of N7.0 billion, unimpaired by losses. Since inception we have positioned ourselves as one of Nigeria’s foremost Pension Fund Administrators”.

In a letter signed by the company’s Secretary, Seye Kosoko, the company revealed, “Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale has an indirect interest in Leadway Holdings Limited that holds 69% equity in Leadway Pensure PFA and as such exerts significant influence and control over Leadway Pensure“.

According to PREMIUM TIMES, FBN Holdings invoked Section 88(1) CAMA 2020 which defines a person with significant control as any person:

“(a) directly or indirectly holding at least 5% of the shares or interest in a company or limited liability partnership;

(b) directly or indirectly holding at least 5% of the voting rights in a company or limited liability partnership;

(c) directly or indirectly holding the right to appoint or remove a majority of the directors or partners in a company or limited liability partnership; Information Guide Nigeria

(d) otherwise having the right to exercise or actually exercising significant influence or control over a company or limited liability partnership; or

(e) having the right to exercise, or actually exercising significant influence or control over the activities of a trust or firm whether or not it is a legal entity but would itself satisfy any of the first four conditions if it were an individual.”

“It was to the extent of the foregoing that we included the 1.05% of Leadway Pensure PFA’s holdings as part of the indirect holding of Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale, for full disclosure and transparency, in line with the provisions of the extant rules and regulations.”

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Idongesit Akpa-Ayang

Idongesit is a graduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo. Currently working as a news reporter at InfoGuide Nigeria.

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