Nigeria Wants Jobs Protected in Nationalized Banks
Nigeria will sell three nationalized lenders to investors on the condition that there won’t
be job cuts, said Mustafa Chike-Obi, chief executive officer of Asset Management Corp. of
Nigeria, which runs the banks.
“In selling the banks, Amcon is prepared to concede some value to the buyer just to protect
the workers,” he said in a speech today in Lagos, the commercial capital. The state-controlled banks have attracted attention from investors that think “it is the right time to invest when shareholders are out of the way and no more a risk,” he said.
The central bank of Africa’s biggest oil producer fired the chief executives of eight of the
nation’s 24 lenders in 2009 after a debt crisis threatened the banking industry with collapse.
It bailed out eight lenders with 620 billion naira ($4 billion) and Amcon was set up to buy bad
debts, allowing the banks to resume lending and rebuild their balance sheets.
Three of the bailed-out lenders, Afribank Plc, Bank PHB Plc and Spring Bank Plc, were taken
over by the government on Aug. 5 after they were deemed unlikely to recapitalize. They were
handed over to Amcon to manage.
Union Bank Nigeria Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Finbank Plc, Oceanic Bank International
Plc and Equitorial Trust Bank Plc, have signed agreements to be acquired by other lenders
ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline.