Ever since the CBN gave the directives that banks should publish the names of debtors, accusations and counter accusations have been flying around as banks, individuals and firms have been going back and forth over the debt.
The latest player in this drama is a major oil marketer, MRS Oil & Gas Company Limited, that has come out to deny the publication by First City Monument Bank Limited (FCMB), that it is owing the bank to the tune of N6.2 billion.
On Tuesday, August 4, FCMB, like other commercial banks in the country, had published its list of defaulting debtors, in a name and shame tactic which was first introduced by former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to force them to repay their loans. In FCMB’s list of defaulting debtors, MRS had topped it with N6.2 billion, which it said was the oil marketer’s indebtedness to the bank.
However, MRS’ management, in a statement yesterday, said that the oil marketing company does not owe FCMB the amount claimed in the publication, adding: “This is evidenced by the report of our forensic auditors MCL Solutions Ltd.”
The oil firm’s management said: “MRS, its forensic auditors and lawyers have made various attempts to reconcile this account with FCMB unsuccessfully. This led to our forensic auditors having to report the matter to CBN for intervention.”
MRS accused FCMB of embarking on a smear campaign to tarnish the image of the company and its directors judging by the antecedent and recorded actions against the company; one of which was the case filed against MRS at the High Court of Lagos State, which was later struck out by the court.
“It will appear that this fraudulent manner of extorting monies from clients through overcharges is fast becoming the modus operandi of FCMB. It will be recalled that an online report was recently circulated where FCMB had overcharged a client by N1 billion, as reported in the case of Zumax vs FCMB.
The incompetence of the FCMB team is further demonstrated where names of people who are not and have never been directors of the MRS are mentioned in the referred publication. For the avoidance of doubt, Messrs Patrice Alberti, Andrew Gbodume and Paul Bissohong are not directors of MRS,” the company stated.
It assured its customers and business associates that MRS was not indebted to FCMB as claimed and published, adding that its lawyers had been instructed to take appropriate remedial action against FCMB.