Okon Bassey in Uyo
At least 90 staff members of the Akwa Ibom State Government owned financial outfit, the Akwa Savings and Loans Limited have been pencilled down for sack in a renewed move to restructure and reposition the bank for global competitiveness.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Ebong Bassey, who disclosed this while fielding questions from journalists in his office monday, said that already 40 staff had been disengaged.
Noting that the bank was on the verge of collapse, he equally announced that more than 50 staff would have their jobs terminated soon in a concerted effort to strengthen the capital base of the bank.
Bassey hinted that some staff of the bank who had been indicted by a special panel on various cases of fraudulent practices are already in police custody and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation and necessary legal action.
He expressed regret that the previous management of the bank deviated from the core mandate and vision of the founding fathers of the bank, thereby running the institution as a charitable or non-profit organisation.
According to him, this management team inherited a whooping N1.8billion debt and has within five months recovered N1.4 million; while efforts have been intensified to recover all that remain in the hands of debtors.
The CEO of the bank posited that as soon as external auditors’ report is submitted to him in March this year, he will go ahead and publish names of the debtors in both national and local dailies.
He revealed that a good number of the debtors have written and submitted post-dated cheques to the bank, so as to prevent their names from being published.
Bassey vowed that no mercy will be shown to any defaulter as he was bent to recover the loans from the debtors and put the bank back on sound track and not to be distracted by those who not mean well for the bank.
The CEO alleged that since he launched the loan recovery and bank’s restructuring projects, he has faced series of spiritual and physical attacks, character assassination, bad press and name calling, but promised to remain resolute and focused in his determination to rewrite the story of the bank.
He indicated his intension to shut down some branches of the bank to pave way for an enhanced productivity and quality control.
On the way forward for the bank, he said he had marshalled out plans to usher in new innovations into the bank to attract the federal government’s and World Bank’s Low Income Housing Scheme to the state.