BoI explains EFCC investigations over cement management …fund grows from N9b to N13.2b in 5 years
The Bank of Industry (BoI) yesterday explained that the investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the allegation of misapplied cement funds had since been resolved.
According to the Bank's management, parties to the transaction have addressed the concerns raised with the new terms reached on how to manage the funds which have grown from N9 billion in 2011 to N13.2 billion as at last week Friday.
Indeed, BoI was appointed in 2009 to manage the fund that accrued from levies on imported cement for the development of Nigeria’s cement industry.
'As and when the funds were released since its inception , BOI granted loans to entrepreneurs in the cement value chain, specifically for investment in risk assets in the cement industry’s value-chain. Between 2011 and 2015, the Federal Government transferred N9.6 billion to BoI based on earlier scheme as approved by the Federal Government.
'When the CTIN was later established, BOI was in 2013 asked to transfer the fund to CTIN’s account with a private commercial bank. A directive that was not carried out by the then management of the bank. In late 2015 the CTIN petitioned the Presidency following which an investigative panel was established. However, BOI Management had since resolved the matter amicably with CTIN since late February 2016 during which it was agreed that an interest rate of eight per cent should be applied to the fund retroactively to previous releases based on which the fund grew to N12.3 billion as at December 2015. The management of the Bank had since February 2016 met and agreed with the Chairman of the Board of CTIN and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote on further utilization of the fund, based on agreement by the two parties-BOI and CTIN.
'Going forward, effective from last Friday 17th February, 2016 BOI and CTIN agreed that the bank should invest the sum that has now risen to N13.3 billion in the money market on behalf of the institute at an interest rate of nine per cent.
BOI maintained that the fund was not misapplied as stated in the said petition. The Bank has furnished EFCC with all documents relevant to the fund since its inception in 2009 and documentary evidences that show that the matter had been resolved between it and CTIN since late February, 2016 when it was agreed that was better for the fund to be managed by a Federal Government owned bank rather than privately owned comercial banks .