We have been told severally in business management classes that no successful business was built without other peoples’ money. And then reading that the likes of Richard Branson, Aliko Dangote, Donald Trump have borrowed and are still borrowing to run their businesses lends credence to this assertion.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had on April 22, 2015 directed the banks, discount houses and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to publish the list of their delinquent debtors from August 1, 2015.
In line with the directive, the banks gave the chronic debtors a three-month grace period, which expired on July 31. The banks are to publish the names in at least three national newspapers on a quarterly basis.
So far, many banks have published their debtor’s list, but rather than achieve the intended result, many banks are facing litigation in court over wrong debtor figures and disclosures and mistaken inclusion.
Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Kaku Idika Kalu, MRS Oil and Gas, Abike Dabiri-Eruwa, Olatunde Ayeni, among others have denied owing their banks.
Another category is the likes of Jean Chiazor Anishere, President of WISTA-Nigeria and Tunji Brown, Secretary of Nigeria Shipowners Association (NISA) whose published figure of indebtedness is grossly wrong. And their banks have acknowledged that there was mistake and require reconciliation.
Taking a facility from bank is a legitimate action from which the banks make money. In fact, being credit worthy in bank is classified as asset. Bankers seek credit worthy individuals to give facility because it is business. Can you imagine Jean taking a mortgage facility ofN30million that is serviced as negotiated but the bank claimed she is owing N50million!
I personally, had in 2003 taken a “No Wahala loan” that turned out to be a Wahala loan from UBA, all because I finished paying back but the account officer failed to do her job. Two year later, the interest had accumulated beyond the principal. And I had to pay thereafter, for no fault of mine. Well, I doubt, if such could happen today with good lawyers around!
The truth remains, therefore, that one caught in this web of action by banks should sleep well because in business there must be debtors and creditors. One needs the banks as much as the banks need one.
No doubt, some relationships have gone awry in this regard and some banks can only but regret their deficiencies in transaction management, with huge damages paid to customers.
On this plank, there is no harm in borrowing. Wouldn’t you rather be a good borrower than be an acclaimed thief? Many have stolen from government treasury and are living in fear of arrest any day. Borrowing is honourable!