BoI Laments N5.81bn Unpaid Omatek’s Loan, Seven Years After
Omatek Ventures Plc’s indebtedness to the Bank of Industry has entered its seventh year as the bank claimed the company has not serviced the N5.81bn credit facility since 2012.
Responding to our correspondent enquiries on the status of the credit facility, BoI said every effort to ensure payment by the company had not been successful.
“The customer has not made any payment on its account since the inception of the loan till date as every effort to get the customer to pay was not fruitful,” BoI said.
“The new management made promises to make some commitment payment as a sign of goodwill in 2017. Till date, no payment was made to the bank towards settling its indebtedness.”
Omatek, which was founded by the late Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Florence Seriki, locally assembles computer cases, speakers, keyboards and mouse, computer systems and notebooks, among others.
BoI said it granted a term loan and working capital facilities totalling N5, 808,429,033.95 to the company in December 2012, for the purpose of financing the procurement of assembly components for the production of laptops.
As part of the requirement for obtaining the loan, the development finance bank said it requested for the Irrevocable Standing Payment Order arrangement with the defunct Skye Bank Plc in favour of BoI, all assets debenture and an Irrevocable Personal Guarantee of the late Seriki.
The bank explained that there was an absence of corporate governance in the company under the leadership of its late CEO, adding that this became evident after her demise in 2017.
BoI management said, “Following the burial ceremony of the chief promoter, several meetings were held with the Ag. Managing Director of the company, Mr Yemi Ogundipe, which confirmed the initial reservations of the bank that the company had issues bordering on corporate governance under the leadership of the late chief promoter.
“Though the current management of the company agreed to strategise and commence repayment after settling in, it was obvious that there was no clear plan on the ground to actualise that commitment.”
It was gathered that the bank appointed Ade Oyebanji as a receiver, who took inventory of all items located at the Omatek’s premises at Plot 11, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun , Ikeja, Lagos, in January 2017.
In a letter to shareholders last month, the management of Omatek Ventures said it was exploring out of court settlement with BoI in order to reach an amicable agreement on the loan default. The letter was signed by the Company Secretary, Femi Ikotun.
According to the technology firm, it received a Federal High Court’s judgment striking out the suit filed by BOI against Omatek and had directed the bank to release Omatek property that it had locked up.
However, up till now, Omatek said the bank had refused to release its property.