Ex-minister Dalhatu’s firm, Chicken Republic owners, others owe UBA N9.3bn


debtors-of-UBA-360x225The name and shame campaign of delinquent debtors, which Deposit Money Banks in the country commenced on Monday continued on Wednesday with the United Bank of Africa Plc releasing the names of its customers with non-performing loans.

The list, which initially had 119 names, was recalled at the last-minute for a review that later reduced the names to 56.

It was learnt that some major customers approached the bank to re-negotiate their loans when it dawned on them that the lender was going to make good its threat to publish the list.

A firm, Highland Marketing Limited, in which a former Minister of Power and Steel, Mr. Bashir Dalhatu, and two others were listed as directors, owes UBA N459.28m.

Food Concepts Plc, owners of the Chicken Republic brand, topped the UBA debtors’ list with N1.7bn .

The directors listed for Food Concepts are Chief Dele Fajemirokun, Mr. Deji Akinyanju, Mr. Idris Mohammed, Mr. Mark Hilton, Bashorun Odunaya Olagundoye, Alhaji Tunde Yusuf, Doyin Akinyanju and Mr. Paul Farrer.

Among the first six on the debtors’ list were Meno Oil and Gas Limited, European Soaps and Detergent Limited, Rockbridge Energy Limited and Combase Energy Limited respectively.

It was observed that UBA list had a significant number of players from the oil and gas sector with hundreds of millions of naira in non-performing loans.

A few of the players in the oil and gas sector whose names appeared on the list are Lloyds Energy Limited, N401m; Enegas Power Limited, N400m; Sigab Oil and Marine Services Limited, N330m; OBD Petroleum Limited, N172m; and Vine Oil and Gas Limited, N103m.

It was learnt that the directors of debtor companies, whose banks had yet to publish their debtors’ lists, had commenced last-ditch negotiations with the lenders in order to avoid possible embarrassment.

It was gathered that Standard Chartered Bank, Keystone Bank and Wema Bank Plc would publish their lists of debtors next week.

Officials of the banks, who spoke under condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, told our correspondent the lenders would most likely publish their lists next week.

Those that have so far published their debtors’ lists are Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Union Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Heritage Bank Limited, Enterprise Bank Limited, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Access Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and Unity Bank Plc.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had on April 22, 2015 directed the banks, discount houses and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria to publish the list of their delinquent debtors from August 1.

They are to publish the names in at least three national newspapers on a quarterly basis.

In line with the directive, the banks gave the chronic debtors a three-month grace period, which expired on July 31.

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Hamilton Nwosa

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