Saturday, November 25, 2017

Bank of Industry and fraud within

There is massive corruption in the Federal government's Bank of Industry (BoI). The fraud runs into billions of naira. The Bank not only trades with cheap government funds meant to support industries and industrial development in Nigeria, it is also defrauding Nigerian industrialists of their hard earned earnings.

If in doubt, the federal government should direct its public service monitoring agency, the Servicom, to ask for a comprehensive listing of all loan applications approved by the BoI and see what percentage of the supposed loan approvals for industries, were ever disbursed within even six months. It should be noted that these are businesses which are qualified and have been duly adjudged, so by the Bank, which goes ahead to collect as much as 14% of the approved loans in upfront cash, but never disburses for as long as two years, without any reasons.

What is worse, is that apart from funds from the federal government through the Central Bank, the BoI is also collecting billions of naira from state governments across the country, for partnership funding for business expansion for small-scale industries in the states and for years, not a dime of such funds are disbursed to any intended beneficiary. The pertinent question may be, who is benefiting from the difference between the five to 10% supposed interest rates to SMEs and the 25% to 35% interest rate commercial Banks are apparently rationing out the funds meant for long term investments for hundreds of businesses, as massive short term loans, to a handful of traders and importers of finished goods.

As a result of this large scale development banking fraud, the economic recovery projections of the government will always be wide off mark. Virtually all federal government ministries and the government's economic indices monitoring agencies, will be basing their economic growth projections on funds already given to the BoI, without knowing that such funds are never released to intended beneficiaries for years.

There are reasons to believe the Central Bank is probably complicit in this evil. The government will be shocked at what will be discovered if it opens up a web portal for example, for disappointed Nigerian businesses, to forward proof of BoI's failure. Such disappointed small, medium or large-scale industrialists should be asked to also detail how much they have paid into special BoI accounts for years, without getting any loans. Yet a chunk of the payments BoI collects from loan-seeking industrialists are non-refundable. The refundable part of the deposits the BoI is fraudulently collecting, are refunded after upwards of two years at less than 10% interest per annum, when even Bank to Bank lending in Nigeria, is at almost 20% for onward lending to end users at as high as 35%.

To be fair, this fraudulent way has probably been the way the BoI had always being doing business. That much is obvious when it is realised that the bank, despite its very low customer base, the Bank had always been competing with major commercial banks in the profits it has been declaring for the past several years.

Please share this as much as possible as we may have identified one of the many reasons our youths will rather endanger their lives, in a poorly calculated risk to smuggle themselves to Europe, than to face the near certainty of penury and ultimate death in Nigeria. The government keeps wondering why, when it has made provisions for so much cash injection into the economy, not knowing that all such funds have been cornered by a few.
With industrialists of all cadres, having no access to the funds the government deliberately set aside for business expansions, there is simply no way more Nigerians can get employment.

*courtesy: O'seun Ogunseitan

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