The Bank of Industry (BoI) Wednesday, explained that investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the allegation of misapplied cement funds had since been resolved between the Development Finance Institution (DFI) and the Cement Technological Institute of Nigeria (CITN).
According to the acting Managing Director, BOI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, both parties to the transaction have addressed the concerns raised with the new terms reached on how to
manage the funds which have grown from N9 billion in 2011 to N13.2 billion as at last week Friday.
Indeed, BoI was appointed in 2009 to manage the fund that accrued
from levies on imported cement for the development of Nigeria’s
cement industry chaired by Aliko Dangote under the guise of CITN.
Olagunju during a press briefing, said, “I called Dangote telling him about EFCC inviting us over the petition and he told me that he would let them know that all the issues have been resolved and when I visited him, he gave me a letter saying to EFCC that they have settled with BOI that there are no more issues between BOI and CITN and they submitted a letter to EFCC through his own office where he also gave me a copy of the letter, so we showed them copy which stated that the issues have been resolved. It was a cordial and friendly interaction we had. We are working together to ensure we succeed in building a very good country. So there is no rancour and no acrimony between and CTIN,” Olagunju said.
“When the funds were released since its inception , BOI granted loans to entrepreneurs in the cement value chain, specifically for investment in risk assets in the cement industry’s value chain. Between 2011 and 2015, the Federal Government transferred N9.6 billion to BoI based on earlier scheme as approved by the Federal Government.
“When the CTIN was later established, BOI was in 2013 asked to transfer the fund to CTIN’s account with a private commercial bank. A directive that was not carried out by the then management of the bank.
In late 2015 the CTIN petitioned the Presidency following which an
investigative panel was established.
“However, BOI Management had since resolved the matter amicably with CTIN since late February 2016 during which it was agreed that an interest rate of eight per cent should be applied to the fund retroactively to previous releases based on which the fund grew to N12.3 billion as at December 2015. The management of the Bank had since February 2016 met and agreed with the Chairman of the Board of CTIN and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote on further utilization of the fund, based on agreement by the two parties-BOI and CTIN.
“Going forward, effective from last Friday 17th February, 2016 BOI
and CTIN agreed that the bank should invest the sum that has now risen to N13.3 billion in the money market on behalf of the institute at an interest rate of nine per cent. BOI maintained that the fund was not misapplied as stated in the said petition. The Bank has furnished EFCC with all documents relevant to the fund since its inception in 2009 and documentary evidences that
show that the matter had been resolved between it and CTIN since late February, 2016 when it was agreed that was better for the fund to be managed by a Federal Government owned bank rather than privately owned commercial banks .
“We will continue to do our work professionally and diligently and please let whenever we get information, it is just a phone call away, instead of reporting fiction that I heard EFCC was coming and I ran away, why will I run away given my profile and I will not do anything to warrant my running away. So whoever wrote the story please talk to him and I do not know why he reported the fiction. Journalism is serious business and development finance is also to serious business. In fact we have had a lot of troublesome customers and the EFCC had helped us pursue those customers to recover our loans. So EFCC is also our development partner because we have a lot of customers who have forged Certifcate of Occupancies and we have handed them over to the EFCC and they have helped us recovered some of our money from those customers and when we have meetings, the EFCC gives us some of their staff to help us negotiate at those meetings. So we have no issues with them because they are our development partners. We are transparent and pursuing our vision to be Africa’s leading DFI operating along global best practice,” he stressed.