• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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BoI committed to supporting Nigeria’s industrialisation ambition

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As Nigeria’s most visible development financial institution, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has restated its resolve to supporting the country’s quest for industrialisation and diversification.

Waheed Olagunju, acting managing director, BoI, said this while refuting a media report which said he evaded arrest when the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) visited the bank’s corporate headquarters in Lagos.

Olagunju seized the opportunity to explain that the development bank resolved all the issues raised by the Cement Technology Institute of Nigeria (CTIN) and Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote in February.

A media report recently said the BoI’s MD evaded arrest when EFCC officials called in on the corporate headquarters of the bank over investigations relating to the sale of property and shares belonging to the bank.

But Olagunju said it was untrue as the EFCC officials who actually came to the Lagos office did not make any reference to the sale of property or shares, but were at the bank over a petition relating to the management of accruals from the CITN.

On Monday (June 20), the minister of Industry, trade and investment was in Lagos for a stakeholders’ forum organised by the Nigerian Automotive Industry to set an agenda for the automotive industry in Lagos,’ Olagunju said at a press conference in Lagos.

According to him, being the manager of NAC fund, he needed to be there to clear some doubts, adding that senior officers of BoI went to the EFCC on the day of invitation to tender the requested documents.

“We are managers of this fund and we were given N18 billion of the NAC Fund to manage. We have funds that we manage and they are independently audited on an annual basis and in our audited accounts you will find all the funds we manage, including the Cement Fund and the NAC Fund. We had a responsibility to attend that event because the NAC fund has generated a lot of debate and the minister called for a debate and we had all the major stakeholders present at the event, so there was no way I would not have attended the event at the CEO level. I could not delegate anybody to represent the BoI and I told my colleagues to explain to them why I could not make it,” he explained.

He further said he later went to the EFCC on the following day, where he tendered necessary documents and explained that all matters with Dangote had been resolved.

“I was not the MD in 2010 and I was not the line executive director when all those transactions took place. But when I assumed office as acting MD in February, one of my priorities was to look into our partnerships within and outside the country. I was briefed about issues regarding the CTIN and also heard the CTIN was not happy with BoI. I said that was regrettable, but that should not happen between BOI and Dangote because they are also our partners,” he stated.

He said the bank resolved the issue with Dangote in February at a courtesy visit.

“We later agreed that on the 20th of February the money should be paid to BoI to manage the fund for them on mutually agreed terms for the next 90 days. So we collected the money to manage from February to June.

 

ODINAKA ANUDU