Indian businessmen among Nigerian bank debtors


Sunil and Haresh Vaswani, who own a firm Premium Seafoods in the country, have been listed in an advertisement by the West African Central Bank as owing USD 19 million to Equitorial Trust Bank (ETB) which was recently declared bankrupt by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The current list is the second to be published by the regulatory body and estimates the total debt to be around USD 2.9 billion.
The debts spread across five banks namely- Bank PHB Plc, Equitorial Trust Bank, Spring Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc and Unity Bank Plc.
The duo are also awaiting a court judgement on October 26 on another case with the Nigerian government on their expatriate quota positions of their Stallion Group Limited companies, and are also pleading to stop an earlier deportation order from the country.
Nigeria's former vice president Abubakar Atiku and a serving ambassador to South Africa Buba Marwa have also been listed as loan defaulters.

"Publishing the names of bank debtors is now necessary. Following the recent regulatory action of the Central Bank of Nigeria on the five banks, it has become necessary to use this medium to request the following defaulting customers of the affected banks to pay without further delay their indebtedness," Mohammed Abdullahi, CBN spokesperson had said.
"If the banks fail to pay the debts we will take all appropriate legal actions to ensure repayment. These are the largest debtors and the CBN will continue to publish the list of defaulters on an on-going basis," he added.
After an audit, the CBN had on August 19 published the first names of debtors who owed money to five banks- Afribank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc , FinBank Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc and Union Bank Plc which had their CEOs sacked on August 14.
As a follow up, the CBN governor Lamido Sanusi had announced the injection of USD 2.6 into the five banks.

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