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EXTERNAL AUDITORS: CBN DIRECTIVE IS COMMENDABLE – GTBANK MD

By NBF News

Tayo Aderinokun:
The Managing Director, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Tayo Aderinokun, said on Tuesday, that the directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria to commercial banks, to replace external auditors that had spent over ten years with them was commendable.

Aderinokun said this at the Completion Board Meeting of the initial public offer of the GTB Balanced Fund, held in Lagos.

Aderinokun, while fielding questions from our correspondent on the sidelines, said that the directive was for good practice, saying that, 'The directive is in the right direction. The truth of the matter is that you get more familiar with your auditor as they spend more time auditing your account, so it is a right step in the right direction.'

The apex bank on Monday, directed all deposit money banks to replace external auditors that had spent over 10 years auditing their financial records not later than December 31, 2010.

The CBN, in a statement signed by its Head, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Muhammed Abdullahi, said that the tenure limit included years spent by the auditors with constituent legacy banks.

The statement added that the directive was in line with the provisions of 'paragraph 8.2.3' of the CBN Code of Corporate Governance for Banks, noting that it would mandate affected auditors of the banks that failed to comply with the directive to resign at the expiration of the deadline.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, GTB Asset Management Limited, Mr. Egbert Imomoh, said that arrangement had been concluded to float one billion units of GTB Balanced Fund.

According to Imomoh, the fund is open ended and constituted under a trust deed.

He noted, 'The fund has an initial target of one billion units. However, the fund manager will register additional units of the fund with the commission and issue same to subscribers in the event of over subscription of this initial tranche.'

Imomoh pointed out that the fund was aimed at investors who had a long-term investment perspective and sought to achieve returns from a mix of growth and income assets.

He said, 'The fund seeks long term capital growth, consistent with preservation of capital and balanced by current income. The fund will invest in a selection of growth and income assets comprising Nigerian quoted equities, real estate- related assets, investment grade fixed income securities and money market investments.'