The Senate Committee on Industry has accused the Managing Director of Bank of Industry ( BOI), Olukayode Pitan of perceived indifference to the identities of beneficiaries of loans given out by the Bank across the country.
The lawmakers made the observation on Wednesday when Mr Pitan appeared before the Senate Committee on the occasion of the 2022 Budget defence.
The MD, BOI in his presentation has said he was ignorant of the identities of the beneficiaries but aware of the loans’ destination.
He told the lawmakers that the loans are secured through bank guarantees provided by commercial banks on behalf of the beneficiaries.
He said: “Loans are given to commercial banks that provide guarantees, which then forwarded the money to the beneficiaries.”
Not comfortable with his explanation, Senator representing Bauchi North, Adamu Bulkachuwa, accused Pitan of being economical with the truth.
“The MD/CEO, you made comments while trying to answer my questions on the distributions of loan beneficiaries. You actually said that you were not in the position to know, exactly where these loans are going, with regards to the geopolitical areas of the country.
“Does it mean that the Bank of Industry does not know where the loans are going to and where the actual beneficiaries are located in the country?
“If you don’t know, we are interested in knowing where those loans go to.
“You, the giver of the loan should be more interested in the loan and where each kobo you give out is going and which part of the country is benefiting. You should be able to know. You should not leave it for the commercial banks to handle alone.
“Our interest is to know how the bank of the industry is performing its duty in terms of ensuring that industries are spread across the country”.
Mr Pitan in his response however maintained that the Bank was aware of the volume of funds distributed but not the beneficiaries.
“The Senator misunderstood me. BOI knows where our money is. We know where every kobo goes to but not the beneficiaries because we are not the ones determining the beneficiaries.
“The commercial banks are the ones that give guarantees because they are the ones that would finalise the process.
“They determine where the loans go but there is no loan that goes out of the Bank of industry that we on our own, don’t analyse. It is a requirement every month for the Bank of industry to provide the document. We know exactly where our monies are.”
Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West, Christopher Ekpenyong, lamented that people in his Senatorial district were unable to access loans from the Bank of Industry and further submitted that Union Bank and United Bank of Africa (UBA) do not give Bank a guarantee to his people.
Senator representing Lagos East, Tokunbo Abiru, who incidentally is the Chairman of the Committee also expressed dissatisfaction over meagre allocation for the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises which are the real driver of the economy in the 2021 budget.
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