By Abiemwense Moru
The House of Representatives on Monday queried the Acting Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr Waheed Olagunju, over the N500 billion power and airline intervention fund (PAIF).
The PAIF was established by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2009, but is domiciled and managed by the BOI
Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee investigating activities of Development Finance Institutions (DFI), Rep. Emeka Anohu (PDP-Anambra) gave Olagunju, a 72–hour ultimatum to furnish them with details.
The chairman said that Olagunju should get details of all the airlines that benefitted from the loan and their level of indebtedness.
Anohu, who made these demands at the ongoing investigation where the acting managing director was queried, said it was necessary to know how the DFIs had impacted on Nigerians.
“The DFIs were established to stimulate the economy and one of the ways to know to what extent this has been accomplished is to find out how many Nigerians have benefited from the various intervention funds in these institutions,’’ he said.
Members of the ad-hoc committee insisted that the BOI should account for how the fund was utilised.
Rep. Chukwuemeka Ujam (PDP-Enugu), Rep. Darlington Nwokocha (PDP-Abia) said respectively that N500 billion was a huge sum of money and private companies that benefited from the policy must be made to account for it.
In his defence, Olagunju said: “We have been able to invest about one trillion naira since 2001, in addition to managing the N500 billion Power and Airline Intervention Fund (PAIF), set up in 2009 on behalf of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Also, from the four billion naira approved for Micro Finance banks, we have been able to disburse N3.1 billion till date.
To show how healthy the BOI is, 97 per cent of our disbursed loans are performing.”
Olagunju also informed the committee that the bank was on the verge of completing 100 million dollars solar power project facility from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
He explained that a pilot project would commence in the six geo-political zones before going national with six export-based companies already shortlisted to benefit from the loan facility.
According to him, because commercial banks cannot play the role of DFIs; and for entrepreneurs and investors to minimise cost of production and other risks, it is BOI’s mandate to support projects in high priority areas by paying lots of attention to game changing projects.
Asked about the position of the management of BOI on the proposed Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Olagunju said based on the official explanation offered on the proposed bank; BOI was not opposed to it.
“BOI is not opposed to the proposed bank because the official explanation was that the DBN would source for funds and retail it to DFIs.
`The proposed bank would be a great development because DFIs would have opportunities of accessing funds for their various intervention projects.
The Committee, however, requested BOI to make available to it full details of beneficiaries of its various intervention facilities.
The investigation continues on Wednesday, Jan. 25.