May 23, 2024

 

Contrary to the claim of the talk-then-think chairman of the Osun PDP, Mr Sunday Bisi, that ex-Governor Adegboyega Oyetola sold Omoluabi Mortgage Bank to Citi Trust Limited, the fact of the matter is that the said stake was actually sold by the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola at a time Dr Wale Bolorunduro, who was recently nominated as Chairman of the bank by Governor Adeleke, was the Commissioner of Finance in the state.

In 2013, the government of Aregbesola went to the Nigerian Stock Exchange in order to increase the company’s share capital by N1.65bn so as to be above the N2.5bn minimum capital requirement set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for mortgage banks in the country.

Bolorunduro said in an interview, “Why Omoluabi Public Offering Opens, Closes Same Day” granted Daily News Watch but published on the website of the Osun State Government on 31st December, 2013, that ” The Capital Market we could say was sleeping and Osun has to wake it up and we believe that come 27th December, 2013, Omoluabi Savings and Loans Limited would have been able to raise N1.65bn and the share would be public. The law of the country does not allow us to restrict it to only Osun citizens.”

After the Privatisation, the bank was listed on the Alternative Securities Market (ASeM) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2014.

The Osun State Government and its 30 local government councils were left with 39.9% while Morgan Capital Securities Limited and UniCapital Limited obtained 38.96% and 21% equity stakes respectively in the company.

By 2018 when the government of Aregbesola eclipsed, the equity of Morgan Capital, as referenced on page 7 of the 2018 Annual Report and Financials of Omoluabi Mortgage Bank, had increased to 43% with 2,196,031,423 shareholding while that of Uni Capital Plc was reduced to 14.1% with 705,170,000 share holding. Both the state government of Osun and the 30LGAs retained their 40% stake. The shareholding structure of 40% for the state government and the local government councils was retained and untouched throughout the tenure of Oyetola. So from where did the lie of Oyetola selling Osun shares to private investors come? The later divestment of shares to Citi Trust was an internal arrangement among investors within the company which had no link or connection with the state government. No share of the Osun people in the LIVINGTRUST Bank was sold under the administration of Oyetola.

Find below the Ownership Structure of the bank as at 2018:

1. Morgan Capital Securities Ltd – Holding 43.9%, No of Share Holding -2,196,031,423
2. *Osun State Govt – Holding 18.2%* , No of Share Holding 909,706,292
3. UniCapital Plc- 14.1%, No of Share Holding 705,170,000
4. *Osun State Local Govts – 21.8%* , No of Share Holding 1,090, 133,708
5. Other Retails – 2.0%, 98,958,577

It is gladdening that the story of Omoluabi Mortgage Bank ( now LIVINGTRUST Mortgage Limited) is coming at this period. For it will afford the people of Osun a great opportunity to confront both Rauf Aregbesola and his protégé, Wale Bolorunduro, with questions of how our commonwealth was brazenly mismanaged by them. But while this is going on, the loquacious PDP Chairman in Osun, Sunday Bisi, should be advised to hold his peace for the discussion is above his knowledge and pay grade.

Meanwhile, the government of Senator Ademola Adeleke should note that it is now an offence, going by the CBN’s 2023 Corporate Governance Guidelines for Commercial, Merchant, Non-Interest, Payment Service Banks in Nigeria, for a government to own more than 10 per cent stake in a bank. The Regulation states, in Section 20, that “Government’s direct and indirect equity holding in a bank shall not be more than ten per cent (10%), which shall be divested to private investors within a maximum period of five years from the date of investment.”

Let’s see what would become of the 40% shares of the state government and its local governments in the bank in the years to come.

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