From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Bank of Industry (BoI) has assured the House of Representatives that it is working assiduously to recover the N8 billion owed it by 53 debtors.
Managing Director of the bank, Olukayode Pitan, said the debt recovery drive was already in top gear. He, however, noted that some of the debtors had taken the bank to court over the issue assuring it would not back down until funds are recovered fully L-R Ogundeji R K. Deputy Director, FIIRO; Segun Adeleye, President, World Stage Limited; Barrister Sunday Oduntan, ED Research and Advocacy, ANED; Dr Abimbola Adegboye, Deputy Director, NAFDAC; Mr Soji Adeleye, CEO, Alfe City Institution and Dr Ayodele Shittu, University of Lagos at the World Stage Economic Summit 2017 held at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on 23 August, 2017.
Recall that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Kingsley Chinda had, last week, threatened to arrest Pitan over the N8 billion debt, after the BoI boss failed to appear before it to defend the query issued to it over the debt in the 2015 Auditor General of the Federation report.
Speaking at the resumed hearing of PAC, Pitan said the BoI complied with the directive of the office of Auditor General of the Federation on the recovery of the debts.
According to him, the AGF’s office directed the bank to either publish the names of the debtors in three national dailies or recover the debts. Pitan said in compliance with the directive, the bank began the recovery drive immediately with the publication of the list of debtors in three national dailies. He noted that the bank has recovered some money while some of the debtors were reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“Also, some of them have subjected the recovery process to litigation while the property of some of them are on the verge of being sold,” the BoI MD said.
Furthermore, Pitan said the bank will not relent in its efforts to recover the debt fully. However, he stated that though the debt appeared huge, the bank was prepared for such developments.
The BoI boss, who assumed office as the Chief Executive of the bank recently added that, “the bank is not under duress; this does not in any way threaten our business. We are rated and in a healthy position.”
Speaking on the N2.7 billion YouWin fund domiciled with the bank for disbursement since 2012, Pitan explained that the bank was only able to access N870 million.
He said out of this sum, N129 million was returned to the treasury through the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in 2015.
The PAC directed the bank to furnish it with details of the debt recovery, as well as details of transactions on the YouWin programme.