Interviews

‘Why we are celebrating our customers’ – BoI MD, Rasheed Olaoluwa

The Bank of Industry (BoI) on Friday October 17, 2014, in Lagos inducted into their hall of fame their loyal customers who have done business with them for years with integrity.

The event held at the bank’s Marina Lagos office and according to the Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, the inductees are companies that have remained loyal with the bank. They have secured loans from the bank and have repaid at the appropriate time.

The managing director also blacklisted 24 companies which allegedly failed to repay loans granted to them. Olaoluwa alleged that the blacklisted companies were involved in shady deals. He said that BoI decided to “Name and shame the bad customers’” to help Nigerian banks to identify business people with no respect for integrity and purpose. He spoke more about the ceremony.

Why this initiative?

Bank of Industry has for years been the leading development bank in Nigeria. We have financed a lot of projects in several sectors we just thought after so many years of project financing we should recognise and celebrate our outstanding customers. Customers who have taken loans not only ones, in some cases five times and they fully repaid. These are people who are worth celebrating. That is why our board of directors approved the establishment of a hall of fame, we have 10 inductees in this inaugural list. These are the 10 we are celebrating.

There are other companies on the bank’s debt list, can you tell us more about these?

Every coin has two sides, just as we have the exemplary customers we inducted into our hall of fame, we also have people who haven’t done so well, not necessarily in terms of not being able to pay their loans but in terms of the characters they displayed. A lot of them gave cloned documents they diverted loan proceeds to other ventures not mentioned in their document. We just thought we should name and shame those people, by putting their list on our website.

At times it is not the fault of these debtors not to repay their loans, what is the bank doing to monitor them?

What we have done of late is to appoint Business Development Service providers, these are people who will work with SMEs to help them improve the quality of their businesses and by the time they get to us they are bankable.

Going through the list they are majorly manufacturers, was that deliberate?

We did not discriminate in coming up with the list of inductees, we only considered performance. The criteria are very clear. The inductees have taken loans more than twice they have repaid as at when due, they met the criteria.

-FEMI OYEWALE

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