Former Power Minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji and others to face the law for Bank debt – CBN
The former Power Minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji and other debtors amongst who are Femi Otedola, Alhaji Sayyu Dantata, Sir Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, are to be handed over to law enforcement agents if they do not pay off their debts. Other debtors are Mrs Elizabeth Ebi and Dr. Wale Babalakin whose firms, directors and shareholders were excluded from securing additional loans from local banks ought to be prepared for a bigger storm.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the weekend, announced that debtors, as well as their firms would be would face the wrath of the law, if they do not pay off their loans, they will be handed over to law enforcement agents to take it from there. Based on report published in one of the national dailies last week not fewer than 113 companies and 419 directors/shareholders were listed.
Ugochukwu Okoroafor, CBN public relations officer in a special report stated that should the debtors fail to repay their loans; the apex bank will engage the law enforcement agents to pull off full recovery, to guarantee financial solidity, as well as implant discipline in the banking sector. “We are a bank, not law enforcement agent. Should these debtors fail to repay their loans, law enforcement agents will take care of it for us,” he said.
A top CBN official, who appealed anonymity, also clarified that CBN had to bar the debtors from additional credit, to allow them honour their responsibility, adding that CBN decided to use expose them since it is the only way the debtors will be obliged to honour their contract.
Mustafa Chike-Obi, Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), declined comments on the matter saying, it was out of his jurisdiction, that it was a CBN matter.
Last week the CBN banned banks from giving out further credit to the affected persons and their companies. This action was necessary owing to problems the AMCON is having with the debtors, taking over bad loans valued at N3.4 trillion from the banks.
CBN’s Director, Banking Supervision, Mrs. A. O. Martins, in a written report said: “It has become necessary to stop debtors who failed to repay their loans to banks and had these loans subsequently transferred to AMCON, from further enjoying credit facilities from Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), until they fully repay agreed outstanding to AMCON.”
The CBN has however, made it a rule that any bank that fails to operate within the set guidelines for loaning would be compelled to make a 100 percent refund of the total principal and outstanding in the account of the customer and related parties as well as other penalties the CBN aggress on.
The report presented by CBN showed that NITEL, Zenon petroleum, MRS Holdings, which is owned by Dantata are indebted to the tune of N71.547 billion, N192.4 billion and N119.98 billion respectively. Others are Seawolf Limited – N98.32 billion, Capital Oil and Gas Limited-– N48.014 billion and Arik Air Limited, belonging to Arumemi-Ikhide – N85.481
CBN likewise engaged banks to avoid further credit to Cross River and Zamfara States for the reason that the Tinapa Business Resort has failed and Accountant General, Ministry of Finance, Zamfara to settle up loans taken correspondingly.