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Suru Ventures tasks Oceanic Bank on loan recovery

A Lagos-based businessman, Mr Edward Akinlade, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop Oceanic Bank from transferring customers’ loans to Asset Management Company without their consent. Akinlade, Chief Executive of Suru World Ventures Nigeria Ltd., told newsmen in Lagos that Oceanic Bank allegedly offloaded his company’s loans, thereby denying him access to its funds in the bank. He said that the company was having a good relationship with the bank since it opened its account in 2007, adding that the company was regularly servicing the loans it took from the bank. According to him, the relationship became worse in late 2009 when the bank allegedly requested for a winding down of the company’s various facilities which were still within their tenors. ‘’The bank classified our accounts as non-performing loan accounts and subsequently sold our loans to Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) for N8.2 billion without our knowledge, thereby blacklisting our company in the eyes of the financial world,’’ Akinlade said. He said that the action of the bank had impacted negatively on the company’s business as majority of its projects remained uncompleted while about half of its 5,000 workers had been laid off. Akinlade also accused Oceanic Bank of withdrawing about N111 million from the company’s account and paying some of its contractors without the company’s authorisation. ‘’We consider such action unprofessional and against the banking ethics. We vehemently oppose the deliberate exploitation meted on us by the bank. We cannot fold our hands and watch the bank continue to charge interest on the frozen and un-drawn balances,’’ he said. Contacted, Mr Lumi Igun, Oceanic Bank’s Head of Public Affairs, declined comment, saying that the matter was in court.


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