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I was scammed by the Bank of Industry, my loan was diverted after approval – Small Scale Producer

Producer of starch in Abraka, Delta State, Mr Emiola Rotimi, about three months ago made a distress call to SOJ WORLDWIDE ONLINE NEWS, http://www.sojworldnews.com about his predicaments in the hands of the officials of the Bank of Industry, Delta State branch.

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He narrated how he applied for a loan of N5 million and how he went through all the processes to obtain the loan with two guarantors who were accepted by BOI till when the loan was finally approved.

He told SOJ WORLDWIDE that the loan was approved, he waited endlessly from 2019 till date for the bank to do the needful but none was forthcoming.

We made enquiries at the branch of BOI in Delta, the Manager of the branch identified as Mr Andrew did not deny knowing Rotimi Emiola but said he was not qualified for the loan.

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SOJ WORLDWIDE ONLINE NEWS publish here-below the petition of the loan applicant, Mr Emiola Rotimi and our findings from the Bank of Industry.

Rotimi added that he was not the only one allegedly scammed by the officials of the bank.

PETITION BY MR EMIOLA ROTIMI

“I am Mr. Emiola Rotimi, The promoter of Rotimi Emmy Farm Venture, registered with Corporate Affairs Commission. I am an agriculturist and producer. I am into cassava starch production and my factory is located in Abraka, Delta state, Nigeria.

In the year 2016, I approached Bank of Industry, Asaba Delta State for Equipment loan and working capital under Agriculture Loan Scheme. l submitted my Business plan which scope the details of my business. After four months to six months, they invited me to BOI office. I was introduced to one Mr Ofu as my Account Officer. He asked a lot of questions about the business whether I am a startup or existing business owner and I told him that I am an existing Business owner but I need capital for expansion.

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After one year, no any news from him. I kept going to Asaba and making phone calls, yet, nothing was done. I requested to see the Branch Manager and I had a good opportunity to discuss my matter with him. He was very annoyed with Mr Ofu. He asked him to look into the application since I am eligible to get the loan. The manager promised that he will send my application to Lagos for approval.

In 2018, the manager Mr. Andrew by name called me and said Congratulations. He said my loan has been approved. He and Mr Ofu came for inspection of my factory. They requested that my guarantors must be a Level 13 and above civil servant which I was able to get.

He requested for the photocopies of my guarantors’ ID card which I gave him. He also requested for the particulars of their vehicles and house documents which I gave him. He gave me another form for my guarantors to fill their BVN and attach their passport photographs.

After all these, he gave me “AFFIDAVIT OF NET WORTH” for them to fill. Later I took the form to Court of law for oath and paid some amount of money. In the affidavit it was stated that if I don’t pay back the money my guarantors will be held responsible by debiting the money from their accounts.

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After about 8 to 10 months, Mr. Ofu called me, that was in October 2019 that my goods (machinery) will arrive but I should look for transport money from Lagos to Abraka which I agreed.

Nigerians, here I am now, please I need your help. Andrew and Ofu have diverted my loan. I called Mr Ofu since October 2019, he has not been answering my phone calls. I called Mr Andrew, he also did not pick up my phone calls. I went to Asaba, they did not allow me to see them. It has been over a year now.

I therefore call on Mr. Kayode Pitan the MD of the Bank of Industry, to use his good integrity to step into this matter by giving back my loan to enable me contribute to the growth of the economy of this country and also help to reduce unemployment by employing not less than fifteen persons to work with me and also pay my tax to the government.

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I also appeal to the Nigerian Human Rights activists to stand in the gap for me. I am calling on the good Nigerians, let us arise and support the government to fight against corruption in our society.

The contact of Mr Andrew, the Branch Manager Asaba – phone/WhatsApp 08033070547. Account Officer- Mr Ofu phone/WhatsApp 08013537366. My personal contact – Mr. Emiola Rotimi. 08180734822, also on WhatsApp.

I am looking forward to seeing the positive responses speedy solution.”

After SOJ WORLDWIDE made the enquiry from BOI, their response is published below to enable those in authority at the Ministry of Labour and Productivity and the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry intervene as soon as possible.

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BOI RESPONSE TO OUR INVESTIGATIONS:

“Mr. Adesoji Omosebi

The Editor-in-Chief

SOJ WORLDWIDE ONLINE NEWS

Dear Omosebi,

Once again, we thank you for your inquiry and patience.

We can confirm that Rotimi Emmy Farm Venture applied for a loan from the Bank of Industry.

As an equal-opportunity supporter of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria, we responded to the application as we do thousands of others the Bank receives from around the country.

The application for an initial loan of N40.0M was received on February 3, 2017 and our acknowledgement was sent on February 15, 2017. However, a major setback of the proposal, as stated in the acknowledgement letter, was the lack of acceptable collateral.

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It is the Bank’s policy for all loan applications above N10.0M to be secured by Legal Mortgage (LM) or Bank Guarantee (BG). Upon further enquiry by the customer, it (the company) decided to reduce its request to below N10.0M, which was to be secured by two (2) guarantors and 10% security deposit.

The business plan that was done by our SME Consultant, Micheal Stevens Consulting showed a project cost of N56.85M and a required loan of N40.0M. However, the revised application of N5.0M of the company did not indicate how the N35.0M gap created by the reduced request would be funded. And the customer’s inability to demonstrate capacity to bridge this funding gap made it difficult for the application to meet our minimum Risk Acceptance Criteria, RAC.

On the claims that the disbursement of the facility was stopped at the state level, after approval at our headquarters in Lagos, it goes without saying that since the application did not meet our RAC, it was never presented for approval and there was therefore no issue of diversion by the State Office.

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Please be assured that the Bank of Industry is committed to the development of MSMEs across the country. In 2020, the Bank disbursed loans and advances totalling ₦749.84 billion to customers.

Kindly contact us for further inquiries and clarification on the subject matter as may become necessary.

Regards

FOR: BANK OF INDUSTRY LIMITED”.

Mr Emiola said BOI was economic with the truth and that he has all the evidences and documents to back up his claims.

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www.sojworldnews.com (c) May 27, .2021

Written by Adesoji OMOSEBI

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