How the published list of billionaire debtors will affect Nigerians

Deposit banks in Nigeria have so far published about 1426 Names of loan defaulters following the directives of the Central Bank. Surprisingly, prominent Nigerian businesspersons and politicians are among the list of billionaire and millionaire debtors, which may have an adverse effect on Nigerians.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had in April directed all financial institutions to commence publication of the names of loan defaulters from August 1 in at least three national newspapers. Before the list was published, a three-month grace period, which expired on July 31, was given to the debtors.

Out of the 14 banks that have published their list, Unity bank had the highest number of loan defaulters,Union Bank ranked second followed by Diamond Bank Plc. and Skye Bank Plc. at 260,176,173 and 107 names respectively.

It is also not surprising to note that the list published by these banks includes government investment companies and State House of Assembly. This can be attributed to the high level of corruption in all arms of the government where people are not held accountable for the funds allocated to them. it was quite outrageous to find the defunct telecommunication company, Starcomms Ltd, as the highest defaulter on the list for Fidelity bank. They were given loans thrice by the bank in 2007, 2009 and 2011 which amounts to N3.09 billion. This same company is also indebted to more than one bank.

This list could shed light on the various atrocities being perpetrated in the Nigerian banking industry such as bribing bank officials to get loans and the Nigerian “man-know-man” syndrome.

Effect on Nigerians

This CBN’s directive will adversely affect businesses of the companies involved and may do more harm than good to Nigeria’s economy since these firms do not only provide some of the most essential services in Nigeria but are also major employers of labour.

Meet some of the popular Nigerian millionaire/billionaire  debtors

Mr Sam Nda Isaiah – Director Banana Republic

Mr Sam Nda Isaiah whose name appeared on the list of delinquent debtors for Enterprise Bank was a presidential aspirant for Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the 2015 presidential elections. He is also the founder of leadership newspaper group. He currently owes Enterprise Bank Plc. N114m.

Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu – Director BGL Securities Limited

He served as the Minister of Finance in two regimes, Minister of National Planning and Minister of Transport. His debt to First bank is N1.65bn.

Umar Mutallab – Director Deanshanger Project Limited

Umar who owes Unity bank Plc N3.6bn, is the former Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Plc (1999–2009). He is the chairman of Nigeria’s first Islamic bank, Jaiz Bank International Plc, which was established in 2003. He is also the father of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the student who attempted to detonate plastic explosives aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253.

Sir Emeka Offor – Director Global ScanSystem Limited

Emeka Offor who owes N181m to Diamond Bank is a very controversial Nigerian government contractor. He is not new within the business and political circle.

Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa- Director of Thriller Endeavours

Abike whose company owes Diamond Bank N122m is a Nigerian politician and a former member of the Nigeria Federal House of Representatives representing Ikorodu Constituency in Lagos State. She was the Chairman of the House Committee on Media & Publicity. Although, her inclusion on the list has sparked up controversy as she took to twitter to tell Nigerians that she owes no one.

Senator Ayodele Arise and Mr. Dayo Adeyeye – Directors of International Payment Device

Senetor Ayodele Arise represented Ekiti North Senatorial district from between 2007 and 2011. Mr. Dayo Adeyeye was a former minister of works during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan and a strong critic of President Muhammadu Buhari during the elections. Their firm owes Unity Bank Plc.  N81.9m.

Solomon Ogba – Delta Mega Trend Limited

A sports enthusiast, who is the former Delta State Commissioner for sports. He is currently the president of Athletic Federation of Nigeria and owes Diamond Bank Plc a whooping N89m.

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