Nda-Isaiah rejects ‘bad debtor’ tag

Debt copyTHE promoter and Chairman in non-executive capacity of Banana Republic Limited, a food and hospitality company has faulted the inclusion of his name, his wife’s and that of his company in the debtors’ list of the Enterprise Bank Limited.

The entrepreneur, who said he had built a public image and brand to protect jealously, said he would however, seek redress in the court over a development caused by “incompetence and unfathomable motives of some people.”

In a letter to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, made available to The Guardian, Nda-Isah said neither he nor his wife is the chief executive of the company as claimed by the bank, as day-to-day running of the business remained in the hands of the appointed managing director.

Noting that the relationship entered into dispute almost from the inception, he said that the Head of Abuja Operations, Lekan Busari, had agreed to handle the matter and restructure the loan on the understanding that Banana Republic’s loan is a disputed facility, not a bad debt or a defaulting facility.

Nda-Isaiah recalled that they actually went for N80 million loan for expansion of their business, which was quickly granted with about N2 billion worth of landed property.

But the real problem, according to him, started when the “account officers started behaving strangely and unprofessionally.”

“Upon approval, our account manager opened an escrow account in our name without our knowledge and deposited N67.5 million and started charging interest right away from July 25, 2013, on the entire N80 million sum, without any form of notification to us.

“The first drawdown of N18,647,500.00 in August was only allowed nearly one month after they had started charging interest on the entire loan sum. The next drawdown of N43,372,500.00 in September 2013, was only allowed nearly two months after commencement of interest charges to us. The total sum we were allowed to draw from the N80 million facility was only N61,920,000.00 even though they were charging interest on the entire N80 million approved.

“After the equipment had been installed, the bank refused completely to allow us drawdown the approved working capital, which was to be used to operate the restaurant. Various letters requesting drawdown were not even replied,” he said.

He reiterated that the failure of the bank to allow drawdown of the N12.5million working capital, which was part of the N80 million facility, complicated the dispute further and remained undisbursed till now.

They however, established a new communication line three months ago with Busari with hope of reconciliation, which resulted in N5.6 million payment to the bank on June 3.

He added that agreement was reached for payment of N5 million weekly for three weeks starting from early August, in an effort to bring down the debt profile, while the bank will disburse the remaining balance of the N80 million.

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