…to recover outstanding Agric bank’s loans
By Emmanuel Aziken
ABUJAâ€”The Senate has launched a move to unveil the circumstances under which N94.4 billion belonging to government ministries and agencies were trapped in twelve failed banks that were unable to meet the conditions of the 2005 banks consolidation exercise.
The Senate’s action follows the disclosure penultimate Wednesday of the culpability of some bank directors in the N53 billion insider credit abuse scam in the twelve failed banks.
Besides asking for the punitive punishment of bank directors involved in the insider-credit abuses, the Senators also want to compel financial regulators to conduct a forensic assessment of all pending bank credits above N50 million to determine the possibility of default.
In a separate development, the Senate committee on Banking is moving to recover what it claims as billions of outstanding loans obtained by big time farmers from the Nigeria Agricultural and Cooperative Development Bank (NABCRD).
The Senate panel after an oversight visit to the Kaduna based institution asked the bank to compile the names of its big time loan defaulters for possible exposure as it recently did to indebted directors of the failed banks.
Details of the Senate committee report on the agonies of depositors of failed banks had shown that government agencies have N94.4 billion trapped in the failed banks.
The government funds unlike the private deposits are not covered by the Central Bank guarantee that allows assuming banks under the Purchase and Assumption scheme to assume the deposits.
The Senate report which was essentially focused on the agony of private depositors gave a peep into the estimated amount of public deposit in the failed banks which it put at N94.4 billion.
The report only cited the Presidential Committee on the Disposal of Properties in the Games Village Abuja which deposited N902.9 million and N172.5 million in Fortune International Bank Plc and All States Trust Bank Plc respectively, two of the failed banks.
The Senate motion sponsored by Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw (PDP, Cross River South) is co-sponsored by Senators Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), Ahmad Lawan, Ikechukwu Obiorah, Omar Hambagda, Uche Chukwumerije, Smart Adeyemi, Osita Izunaso, and Lee Maeba.
The motion is also endorsed by the Chairman of the Senate committee on Banking, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu who tabled penultimate Wednesdayâ€™s report on insider abuses by the bank directors.