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Nigeria news: EFCC set to recover $2.6b bank debts

EFCC Chair : Farida Waziri

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has summoned the first batch of 100 bank debtors to appear at its office in the commercial hub Lagos today in hopes of recovering some of the $2.6 billion owed to Bank PHB (BPHB.LG), Equitorial Trust Bank, Spring Bank (SPRN.LG), Wema Bank (WEMA.LG), and Unity Bank (UBPL.LG).

“Effective from today, they will need to start paying. There will be no deadline but they will have to commit to paying,” said EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi.

The Central bank last week published a list of more than 600 firms, individuals and state bodies that have outstanding loans owed to the five troubled banks.

Babafemi said the agency hoped to question this week most of the 600 debtors, which includes conglomerates Transcorp (TCNP.LG) and Dangote Industries, fuel retailer Conoil (NTOL.LG), and the state governments of Bauchi and Anambra.

The central bank this month provided $1.3 billion to four of the five banks and removed three of their chief executives, saying lax governance had left them so weakly capitalised that they posed a systemic risk. [ID:nL2248283]

The EFCC arrested the former managing directors of Bank PHB and Spring Bank last week and was looking for the former head of Equitorial Trust Bank.

Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi has made cleaning up the banking system in Africa’s
Only six representing 93.02 percent of  microfinance banks (MFBs) so far audited by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are healthy.

Olufemi Fabamwo, director, Other Financial Institutions Department, CBN, said that the regulatory body had actually started target examination of MFBs in Lagos , disclosing that the apex bank had audited 60 out of 200 operating in Lagos , but did not disclose the result.