15 October 2009

Nigeria: Behold, the Failed Debtors

PDP chieftain Chief Tony Anenih, Mr. Femi Otedola, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Chief Kola Daisi led the list of prominent politicians, business moguls and academics listed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday as having non-performing loans of about N400 billion in five banks.

The banks are the Bank PHB, Spring Bank, Wema Bank Plc, Equitorial Trust Bank Plc and Unity Bank Plc. These were the latest banks into which CBN pumped N200 billion in support when it published its last audited report.

According to the list, Chief Anenih and Osahon Asemota owe Spring Bank Plc N2.065 billion while Chief Femi Otedola has a non- performing loan of N5.154 with Bank PHB.

Chief Kola Daisi, the former Chairman of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture [NACCIMA] owes Spring Bank Plc N24.50 billion while prominent academic and Lagos Business School director Professor Pat Utomi owes the same bank N2.743 billion. Utomi and another person, Chris Baywood Ibe were said to jointly owe N116 million.

Prominent investor Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, owner of the NICON Group, owes Wema Bank Plc N3.74 billion, according to the CBN list, while Alhaji Sani Dangote and Alhaji Kaita are indebted to Spring Bank Plc to the tune of N132 million. Spring Bank is also owed N111 million by one Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, though it was not clear if this was the former vice president.

Chief Cletus Ibeto's name was listed in several places in the list of those indebted to Spring Bank Plc. In all, he owes the bank N4.188 billion. Among other prominent companies and persons on the list were Transcorp chaired by Mrs. Ndidi Okereke-Onyiuke, N16.6 billion; Senator Usman Al-Bishir, N574 million; Benue Senator and former Katsina State military administrator Colonel Joseph Akaagerger, N534 million; the construction firm Lodigiani, partly owned by the Yar'adua family, N528 million; former minister Alhaji Bello Kirfi, N513 million; as well as prominent Buhari Campaign Organisation member Engineer Buba Galadima, N354 million.

CBN said on its website yesterday, "In furtherance of the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to assist the banks affected by the outcome of the recent CBN/NDIC Special Examination, we publish herewith the list of non-performing loans of N100m and above for Bank PHB, Spring Bank, Unity Bank, Wema Bank and Equitorial Trust Bank as at June 30, 2009."

CBN sacked the Managing Directors of Bank PHB, Spring Bank and Equitorial Trust Bank Plc early this month for having weak corporate governance and serious liquidity stress.

In August, the MDs of Oceanic Bank Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Afribank Plc and FinBank Plc were sacked for similar reasons. They have been charged to court while names of their prominent failed debtors were also published.

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