With less than two weeks to the expiration of the August 1, 2015, deadline that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) gave banks to publish names of chronic debtors, concern is growing in industry circles that the exercise could lead to lawsuits, thereby making it harder for lenders to recover their funds.
Findings reveal that as most banks are finalising arrangements to go ahead with the publication of the names of recalcitrant debtors, such borrowers are also raising an alarm that the exercise could negatively affect the economy.
For instance, in a press statement last Sunday, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) urged banks not to proceed with the publication as many debtors defaulted due to factors that could be linked to ill-thought out government policies. The Chamber said: “It is important to avoid sweeping generalisations and examine the context of default on a case by case basis.
There are varying causal factors for loan default, which has to be taken into account in matters of this nature.” Also, the Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI) recently faulted the planned publication of the debtors’ list, arguing that its members owed banks because they, in turn, were owed over N500 billion by the Federal Government, a development, it said, had resulted in many construction firms in the country being close to shutting their shops.
Specifically, the FOCI President, Mr. Solomon Ogunbusola, said: “All construction companies in Nigeria are being owed huge sums of money amounting to over N500 billion.