By Stanley Onyekwere with Agency Reports
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to probe the Bank of Industry (BOI) over alleged neglect of the basic ethics of the banking profession which are anchored on probity and honesty.
The Centre argued that BOI as a financial institution cannot be involved in a serious effort to recover loans from its debtors, describing the move as by the Management of the Bank as a shame, which EFCC must wade in to address.
This was contained in a press release issued yesterday by CACOL’s Coordinator for Research and Documentation, Mr OkechukwuNdiribe, on behalf of its Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran.
He said: “The BOI as a financial institution cannot be involved in a serious effort to recover loans from its debtors due to the fact that its management had for long compromised its integrity and dumped the basic ethics of the banking profession which are anchored on probity and honesty.”
“How can a banking institution whose management pressurizes loan applicants to engage in unethical acts such as “placating” top executives and “cleaning up” files expect such customers to abide by the rules guiding the repayment of such facilities?
“CACOL has sufficient reasons to believe that the management of BOI has been involved in this corrupt tradition for a long time. A case in point is that of Fredrickson Company Ltd. whose application for a N47.741m loan was approved in April 2011, but later cancelled because the company’s management refused to play ball in line with the expectations of BOI’s Management.
“BOI’s unprofessional handling of the above mentioned transaction was even investigated by the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) which delivered a verdict ordering the Management of BOI to pay the company N18m as compensation. Up till now, the Management of BOI is yet to comply with this verdict.
“It is our view that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which BOI’s management is purportedly collaboratingwith to fish out loan defaulters should first of all beam its searchlight on the procedure through which the bank- which was set up by the Federal Government to provide soft loans to investors in the industrial sector- disburses loans to applicants with a view to ascertain whether it is above board.
“We challenge the management of BOI to contradict our claims and take whatever steps it considers necessary if it considers our allegations as untrue.”