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Published On: Mon, Mar 10th, 2014

BOI MD, Oputu, in sit-tight drama

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Bank of Industry Evelyn N OputuFrom Ayodele Samuel, Lagos & Aisha Biola Raji

There are indications that Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BOI), Evelyn N. Oputu is currently sitting tight as she has completed her second term since November 30, 2013, making her tenure illegally overshot, our investigation has shown.

But a senior official of the bank who declined to speak on record claimed that Oputu’s second term only expired in December.

Oputu hails from Edo state in the South-south geo-political zone, also called the Niger Delta area, where President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan equally hails from.

She was appointed in 2005 and served for four years before her tenure was renewed in 2009.

The federal government’s policy on appointments into such public offices allows for maximum of eight years for each appointee, with federal character principle of rotation mostly applied to pave way for representation of the six geo-political zones in the country.

But Oputu took over from Dr. Larry Osa Afiana, also from Edo state, who was the first Managing Director of the bank. Afiana was appointed in 2001, soon after the bank was established. He served for only one term and his tenure was not renewed after it was trailed by some controversies.

According to a source within the federal ministry of trade and investment, saddled with the task of supervising the bank, her elongated stay may not be unconnected with the support of some top shots in the Presidency as well as the ministry.

The source said, “Her continuous stay is all these women’s things”. He stressed her tenure appeared to have been extended by one year even though it is not certain if it was officially done.

He asked one of our reporters to contact spokesman of the bank, Mr. Waheed Olagunju for further explanations on the tenure matter. But we could not get Olagunju, who was said to the out of the country on official assignment, to respond to our inquiries.

Established in October 2001 following the re-organisation of the defunct Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB), the bank is a financial institution with N250 billion share capital, designed to develop Nigeria’s industrial sector with a mandate of providing support financing to large, medium and small-scale enterprises, expansion of existing industries and revitalisation of ailing industries to make Nigeria compete favourably in the global economy.

The Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) holds 58.86% of the N250 billion share capital; the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) controls 41.12%, while 42 private shareholders hold 0.02% of the share capital. The bank’s leadership structure comprises an MD, three executive directors, two general managers and four assistant general managers.

It also has nine principal managers and fourteen senior managers. Meanwhile, worried by the alleged misleading financial statement prepared by the BoI and the unsatisfactory responses from its management, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has queried the bank over alleged missing assets.

The FRC, in the query, accused BoI of attempting to mislead the public through its report. The council therefore requested that all documents relating to the bank’s transactions and operations be provided for verifications.

In a letter titled: ‘Re: Non-compliance with Statement of Accounting Standards (SAS)’, dated February 6, 2014, addressed to the BOI MD, Ms Oputu, the council referred the bank to the several meetings with it and the minister, trade and investments, Olusegun Aganga, as unsatisfactory.

The letter was signed by FRC Executive Secretary, Jim Obazee, copied Aganga, and the partner, Akintola Williams Deloitte, as well as the bank’s auditor.

“Our council has reviewed your submissions and we regret to inform you that we are unsatisfied because the report is still capable of misleading a relevant stakeholder.

“You are hereby required to furnish our council, not later than seven days from the date of this letter, with the under-listed documents/reports as they may provide a pathway for an amicable resolution that will give our council comfort on this matter”, the council said.

The documents being requested for by the council include sources of the reclassifications of its investment properties which were not in BOI’s 2010 and 2011 accounts but in the restated accounts for the two years.

Others are management discussion and analysis for classifying the investment properties into previous categories in the first place and, the valuation report, from an FRC registered valuer, on all the investment properties that are now recognized in the restated financial statements and also accounted for in the 2012 accounts.

Also requested by the FRC are applicable values of the individual investment properties, auditor’s physical verification attestation letter on all the investment properties and also, a schedule of rental income earned on each of the properties over the last three years (2010, 2011, and 2012).

Others are the evidence that the rental income was recognized in the BOI’s income statement, the rental income receivable and the identity of the debtors, the scheduled of occupants of the investment properties analysed into related parties, third parties, corporate, individuals etc, and the evidence of BOI’s ownership of all the restated investment properties including, but not limited to, certified title documents.

In addition, the bank was also asked to submit to the FRC, the three years audited financials of the managed funds covering 2010, 2011 and 2012 for each of the funds.

The bank was also requested to submit the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the BOI and the National Automotive Council (NAC), on the management expenses on the NAC managed intervention funds as well as the attestation of the external auditors of the NAC funds.

BOI had created an exceptional item of N1. 255 billion for NAC from the intervention fund that is principally for onward lending to qualified beneficiaries in the automotive industry. FRC, it was learnt, is interested in the conditions for this.

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