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Bank Debts: Our inclusion is an error, Obat Oil tells CBN

By Ola Ajayi
Obat Oil and Petroleum Ltd has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to retract its earlier statement that listed its name as one of the debtors owing five banks whose Chief Executives were axed by the apex bank.

He said it was a serious mistake on the part of the bank to have included its name among the debtors.
The apex bank had stated in an advertorial that the company was owing over N5 billion in  Oceanic Bank PLC and Intercontinental Bank PLC.

In a letter to Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, written on behalf of the company by its counsel,  Adebayo Adenipekun (SAN), it argued that all the necessary things expected of him were met adding that it was a grae error on the part of the bank to have added its name.

The letter read in part”That our client is in actual fact several months ahead in payment of the interest on the loan as it has by the end of July, 2009 paid N1,307,324,621.43 out of the total of N1,416,666,666.67 required to be paid by the end of 2012”

“Our client as at the end of July, 2009 had paid the total of N1,307,324,621.43 (One billion, three hundred and seven million, three hundred and twenty four thousand, six hundred and twenty-one naira and forty kobo) as payment on the interest out of the total of N1,416,666,666.67 (One billion, four hundred and sixteen million, six hundred and sixty-six thousand, six hundred and sixty-six naira and sixty-seven kobo) agreed between the parties, the letter stated.

It stated further that,  “out of the first N2.5 billion facility which is payable over 60 months period including 24 months moratorium it has paid several months ahead in payment of the interest on the loan as at the end of July, and therefore can not be described as ‘Non-performing’”.

With regard to the first N2.5 billion facility granted by Oceanic Bank, the letter reads: “We have the instruction of our client to inform you that contrary to the contents of your publication, it had consistently as and when due met its obligations to the above mentioned banks in satisfaction of the loan facilities granted to it as a result of which the said loans cannot as stated in your publication be described as non-performing…

Having kept its own part of the agreement, it stressed that it was unbecoming of the bank to have included the company one of the debtors.

Therefore, it called on the bank to retract the statement earlier made.“It is in the light of the above that we urge you to urgently correct the negative publicity which the publication of the CBN has attracted to our client.

This can only be achieved if immediate steps are taken to retract the part of the publication concerning our client. It is only reasonable to expect that the said retraction will be accorded the same prominence as that enjoyed by the initial publication.”, it added.


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