Another major scandal has broken in the Bank of Industry (BoI), as assets allegedly declared missing by the bank have been sold.
Also sold were 127 million shares of the bank in Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria which were yielding good returns according to some staff of the bank.
The assets and the shares in Friesland Campina WAMCO were reportedly sold for N39.953 billion according to its 2015 accounts that is creating ripples in the presidency.
BoI in its previous accounts had declared about 12 assets missing and removed the “missing” assets from its books.
The sale of the assets hitherto declared ” missing” has however raised suspicions in its 2015 accounts that its books might have been cooked up over the years.
In the 2015 accounts exclusively obtained by InsideBusiness correspondent, the BoI, according to item 8 titled ‘other income’ under the ” Notes to the consolidated and separate financial statements” on page 72, reportedly made N800.04 million from the sale of the assets that were hitherto declared missing.
Under item 8.2 on the same page 72 of the accounts, BoI noted that ” gains on the disposal of plant and equipment represent the profit from disposal of properties located at plot 1220a Ahmadu Belly Way, Victoria Island, and 26, Idejo street, Victoria, Lagos.
The two properties- 1220a Ahmadu Bello way, Victoria Island and the one on 26, Idejo street, Victoria Island were among the properties hitherto declared missing by the bank in its previous accounts.
An impeccable source in the Bank told InsideBusiness that the identities of the buyers are known only to the top management staff.
“We are also curious about of the assets and situation is worsened by the fact that the sale was shrouded in secrecy. No one knows the buyers of the assets” a management staff told InsideBusiness on condition of anonymity.
Another worrisome development, according to some staff of the bank, was the sale of BoI’s stake in Friesland Campina West African Milk Company Nigeria (WAMCO), makers of Peak Milk.
The bank reported the sale under item 8.1 of the “Notes to the consolidated and separate financial statements” on page 72 of its 2015 accounts.
“Gain on disposal of equity securities represents profit realised on investment in unquoted equities of Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria Pls disclosed as available for sale shares in the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2015.
Further details on the WAMCO shares sale were reported under item 18.1 of page 76 of the accounts.
“During the year, the bank disposed its holdings of 127 million units investments in Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria Plc which cost N1,700,450,481.10”.
” The net proceeded realised on this sale amounted to N39,153,169,272.46. The profit realised on the disposal was N37,452,579,591.46″.
The gross proceeds was not disclosed in the accounts.
A senior staff of the bank confided in InsideBusiness that BGL Securities Limited was contracted to handle the sale.
BGL, a capital market operator was suspended by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) early last year for violating rules governing capital market operation. The company’s licence has since been withdrawn and its top officials barred from practice.
None of the management staff of BoI has responded to enquiries from InsideBusiness on these developments. Also, Okechukwu Enelamah, minister of Industry, Trade and Investments who signed the accounts, and the immediate former managing director, Rasheed Olaoluwa did not respond to enquiries.
Olaoluwa who supervised the operations of BoI in 2015 left the bank in February 2016 when the federal government removed heads of federal parastatals.
The presidency, InsideBusiness further gathered, is worried over the alleged large scale fraud in the Bank, particularly the sale of properties that had previously been declared missing over four or five years back.
Another source of worry for the government is the endorsement of the controversial 2015 accounts by Enelamah, a minister and one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s change agents.
Enelamah signed the controversial 2015 accounts on behalf of the board of directors together with the acting managing director, Waheed Olagunju.
BoI is a parastatal under ministry of Industry, trade and investments but it is owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), some private individuals and the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI), the investment arm of the Federal ministry of finance.
Ownership structure of the bank according to the BoI 2015 accounts shows that MOFI owns majority shares of 94.8% shareholding which translates to 69,857,608,888 shares. CBN owns 5.2% shareholding representing 3,827,446,730 while 42 other Nigerians have negligible shareholding amounting to 605,000 shares.
None of these owners signed the accounts.
The embattled minister may face sanction from the presidency over the BoI issue, according to sources in the Aso Villa.
The Aso Villa sources also revealed to InsideBusiness that the latest figure on the money that the minister and four banks aided MTN to repatriate illegally has risen to over $22 billion.
The figure, they said is contained in the final report of the investigation carried out by the Department of State Security (DSS).
The preliminary reports put the figure at $13.92 billion.
The minister who was sworn in alongside other cabinet members in November 2015, endorsed the accounts of a parastatal that he only oversighted for less than two months in 2015.
Enelamah on page 27 of the BoI’s Annual Report & Accounts 2015 admitted responsibility for the operations of the bank together with Olagunju, the acting-managing director.
With the ripples in the presidency by the 2015 accounts, Enelamah and the management team are now being asked to defend the sale of BoI assets and other infractions in the accounts.
Sources told InsideBusiness that they are likely to face severe sanctions if they failed to defend the flaws allegedly noted in the accounts.
Stranger things have happened at the Govt institution with the acting MD staging a multimillion Naira wedding for his daughter at the iconic Lagos Oriental hotel on August 20, 2016.
No less than 4 traditional rulers were in attendance, among them the Ooni of Ife.
Impeccable sources revealed that N9m was spent on catering for the event.
A container load of fabrics was imported and distributed for free to guests as aso-ebi. BOI superintends over the Cotton, Textile and Garment Fund which is supposed to revive indigenous textile companies.
Stranger still is the appointment of some 3 executive directors under the acting MD’s watch.