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CBN Names Atiku, Others Leading Bank Debtors As New Audit Reveals N348bn Debt

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Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (right) listening to the chairman of TSI Property and Investment Holding Limited, Gen Anthony Ukpo (rtd) while the state Commissioner for Transport, Hon George Tolofari (middle) watches, during the 2nd Rivers State Summit at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, yesterday. Photo: Donatus Ken

Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (right) listening to the chairman of TSI Property and Investment Holding Limited, Gen Anthony Ukpo (rtd) while the state Commissioner for Transport, Hon George Tolofari (middle) watches, during the 2nd Rivers State Summit at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, yesterday. Photo: Donatus Ken

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is among prominent Nigerians named Wednesday by the Central Bank of Nigeria as leading debtors to the troubled banks being probed by the apex institution. Others are Peter Ololo, Femi Otedola, Aliko Dangote, Jimoh Ibrahim, and Michael Oyewole and their companies are among the prominent names in the new list of bank debtors released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, was  named among the debtors to Spring Bank. He is said to be owing the bank over N101 million.

The total amount owed by the debtors to the four troubled banks identified by the CBN, in the second audit of 14 banks, is in excess of N348billion. The CBN classified the loans as nonperforming. The troubled banks are: BankPHB, Springbank, Equitorial Trust Bank and Unity Bank

However, the N348billion excludes debts owed to Wema Bank Plc. The CBN did not list the total amount of loans owed to the bank on its website. Wema Bank was given until the end of June, next year to recapitalise.

Debts owed to Bank PHB topped the debtors’ chart, with over N170billion as at October 5. Spring Bank followed with the second highest of over N95billion as at September 30. Equitorial Trust Bank was next with N46 billion as at June 30 and Unity Bank trailed the list with over N36billion, as at June 30,

According to the CBN’s classification, the monies were given to the individuals and corporate organizations in the form of loans, overdrafts, term loans, margin loans and through a whole host of other facilities.

The release of the debtors’ list is in conformity with the promise by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the CBN governor at the just concluded World Bank/IMF Meeting in Instanbul, Turkey, that he would release the names of the debtors and that there would be no sacred cows.

The total amount owed also confirms Mr Sanusi’s statement that the first five banks – Intercontinental Bank, Afribank, Union Bank, Oceanic International Bank and Finbank were the most troubled of all the 24 Nigeria Banks, with a total debts exposure in excess of N747billion. Mr. Sanusi fired the chief executives of those banks on August 14, shortly after the CBN concluded a stress audit on them.

Other prominent figures on the latest debtor list are: Mike Adenuga (jr), Sanjay Mathur, M. E. Omotsola, J. O. Ariyo, Tunde Akinyera, Kola Adegbola, O. G. Banigo, Sanni Dangote, Bello Dangote and Kola Daisi.

The Igbinedion University, Ekene Dili Chukwu Ltd, Bayelsa State government, Wema Asset Management Limited, Transnational Corporation Plc, and Odua Investment, are also on the list.The Central Bank said that the release of the new list is a continuation of its banking industry cleansing efforts. “In furtherance of the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to assist the banks affected by the outcome of the recent CBN/NDIC Special Examination, we publish herewith the list of non-performing loans of N100m and above for Bank PHB, Spring Bank, Unity Bank, Wema Bank and Equitorial Trust Bank as at June 30, 2009”

Mohammed Abdullahi, the spokesperson for the CBN, said: “The CBN will help all the five new banks with capital adequacy issues in their loan recovery efforts, just as it did with the last five. This is because it is the nonperforming loans in all the affected banks that put their capital at risk. CBN will remain consistent and fair in its stance on banks that are in similar situations.”

According to the regulatory body, publishing the names of bank debtors is now necessary. “Following the recent regulatory action of the Central Bank of Nigeria on the five (5) banks, it has become necessary to use this medium to request the following defaulting customers of the affected banks to pay without further delay their indebtedness, failing which the banks will take all appropriate legal actions to ensure repayment. These are the largest debtors and the CBN will continue to publish the list of defaulters on an on-going basis,” the statement stated.

Our correspondent report earlier this week had said that “Nigeria’s anti-corruption police said it would soon begin investigations into Bank PHB, Equitorial Trust Bank, Spring Bank and Wema Bank..’’

The Economic and Financial Crimes commission has began prosecuting the five Chief Executives that were sacked by Mr. Sanusi in August. Some are out on bail while others remain in custody following their failure to meet bail conditions. It is expected that the EFCC will also closely examine the records of the last batch of CEO’s sacked by Mr. Sanusi. In total, nine chief executives have been sacked after an audit of all of Nigeria’s 24 financial institutions. Due to the banks’ illiquidity and under-capitalisation, the Central Bank has had to issue nearly $4 billion to bailout the nine affected banks.

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90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”

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We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.

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Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW

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Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.

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