Friday, March 5, 2021

Drama as Heritage Bank staff shut NIGCOMSAT over N500m loan


Jaafar Jaafar
A graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief o Daily Nigerian
tiamin rice

By Mustapha Usman

No fewer than 50 staff of Heritage Bank on Tuesday invaded the office of Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited, NIGCOMSAT, in Abuja for defaulting loan repayment.

DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that in 2013, the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, engaged the service of the company for electronic registration of its members in the build-up to the governorship election in Anambra State.

In order to execute the contract, sources said, the former management of the company led by the managing director, Timansaniyu Ahmed-Rufai, directed the company’s multi-purpose cooperative society to take the loan from Enterprise Bank (now Heritage Bank).

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Sources in the company said the loan was used for the purchase of laptops, allowances and software development, while the management allegedly “pocketed the rest of money”.

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The deal was struck when the present managing director of the company, Abimbola Alale, was the executive director in charge of Marketing.

Sources also said others involved in the deal were the then executive director of the company, Olabode Oroge; head of Finance and Accounts, Ronke Ajala; president of the multipurpose cooperative, Babalola Kayode and; vice president of the cooperative society and chief facilitator of the deal, Isaac Olasehinde.

Efforts by the management of the company to make the PDP pay for the service however failed, while interests augment on the principal.

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DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that the bank had already sacked the affected staff who authorized the loan.

But as early as 9am on Tuesday, the angry staff of the bank, appearing in black, stormed the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Expressway office of the company, and restricted passage into the premises.

The bankers, who came in 20 cars, said nobody would be allowed to go out of the premises until the managing director gave them “assurance on the loan repayment”.

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The irate bankers finally left around 12pm after the head of Administration, Samiya Usman, head of Human Resources, Fati Suleiman, and other top management staff of NIGCOMSAT addressed them.

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They were assured of management’s resolve to urgently look into the matter.

The spokesman to NIGCOMSAT, Adamu Idris, however clarified that the said loan was not taken by NIGCOMSAT or on its behalf.

“It is purely issues of cooperative society, and they have the mandate to act independently. So NIGCOMSAT as an entity should not be dragged into it,” he said.

He also said the management had summoned emergency meeting with the leaders of the cooperative society, adding that the management would take “serious action” on the matter.

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