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Senators fight Bank of Industry over loans’ beneficiaries

..as Senate Panels Berate BOI over meagre allocation for SMEs  

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ADEKUNLE ADESUJI, Abuja

Members of Senate Committee on Industry on Wednesday clashed with Managing Director of Bank of Industry, Olukayode Pitan over Loans’ Beneficiaries across the country.

The Managing Director of BOI had appeared before the Committee on Industry for interactive session on 2021 budget.

However, trouble started when the Managing Director of BOI claimed that they don’t know the loans’ beneficiaries, but the destination of the loan.

He said the loans are secured through bank guarantees provided by commercial banks on behalf of the beneficiaries.

Loans are given to commercial banks that provide guarantees, which then forwarded the money to the beneficiaries, he added.

Angered by the submission of the Managing Director of BOI, the trio of Senator  Adamu Bulkachuwa, Senator Christopher Ekpenyong and Senator Danjuma La’ah said that they in dark about the activities of Bank of Industry in their Senatorial District.

According to Danjuma, I don’t know what is going on with Bank of Industry activities in my Senatorial district.

Also, Senator Ekpenyong in reaction lamented that most of the his Senatorial district members are unable to access loans from Bank of Industry adding Union Bank and United Bank of Africa (UBA) do not give Bank Gurantee to his people.

In addition, Senator Bulkachuwa said, “The MD/CEO, you made comments while trying to answer my questions on on the distribution’s of loan  beneficiaries. You actually said that you were not in the position to know, exactly where these loans are going to, with regards to the geopolitical areas of the country.

” Does it mean that the Bank of Industry does not where the loans are going to and the actual beneficiaries are located in the country? We are interested in knowing where those loans go to.

” You, the giver of the loan should be more interested in the loan and where each kobo you give out is going and which part of the country is benefiting. You should be able to know. You should not leave it for the commercial banks to handle alone.

” Our interest is to know how the bank of industry is performing its duty in terms of ensuring that industries are spread across the country.

Mr. Pitan however  said, “The Senator misunderstood me. BOI knows where our money is. We know where every kobo goes to. In was actually answering a question on whether we are the one that determine the beneficiaries.

“The commercial banks are the ones that give guarantees because they are the ones that would finalise the process.

“They determine where the loans go but there is no loan that goes out of the bank of industry that we on our own, don’t analyse. It is a requirement every month for the bank of industry to provide the document. We know exactly where our monies are.”

The Committee Chaired by Senator Tokunbo Abiru expressed dissatisfaction to meagre allocation for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises which are the real driver of economy in 2021 budget.

The Bank of Industry in 2021 budget released N165 billion to large enterprises in the country while Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises benefited N40 billion as at September, 2021.

Managing Director of BOI while defending the meagre allocation  Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises said most people in that level are not ready to repay the loan believing that the money is government money and they don’t have to pay it back.

The Committee wondered how could to large enterprises in the country while Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises got meagre allocation in the 2020 budget adding that the development is a sad development.

 

 

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