COVID-19 Probe : Reps Grill Bank of Industry Over Unrecovered Offtake Grants

House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee has grilled the Bank of Industry over the unrecovered Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) offtake grant from 19,538 Nigerians.

At the resumed hearing on the ongoing probe of the alleged mismanagement of the COVID-19 intervention funds by the Ministries Departments and Agencies MDAs and others, the Committee being Chaired by Hon Bamidele Salam directed the Management of the Bank ro provide it with relevant documents on all the disbursements

The Managing Director of the industry, Mr. Olasupo Olusi represented by the Executive Director of small, and medium Enterprises, Mr. Omar Shekarau who appeared before the committee was questioned over the COVID-19 fund managed by the bank on behalf of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and National Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

Omar said that the bank received N75 billion on behalf of the Ministry of Trade and Industry

According to him, “beneficiaries were under the five tracks of implementation, which included payroll support track totaling N47,592,550,000, General MSME grants totaling N4,124,550,000, Artisan and Transport track totaling N11,947,800,000, MSME offtake totaling N2,335,120,000 and CAC formalisation support track totaling N1,494,534,000.

“Bank of Industry received 12 per cent of the N75 billion totaling N9 billion as a running cost for the project.

“Under the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme, 19,538 beneficiaries failed to deliver their items after receiving the 30 percent mobilisation fee, thereby breaching the contract with the Federal Government.”

He said that those who benefited from the intervention programmes were Artisans, transporters, small business owners, and private and public school staff.

Reacting to the Committee question on the mechanism put in place to recover the MSME offtake, the Executive Director said the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency is in charge of recovering the loan.

When the bank failed to speak to its document, the committee unanimously resolved that the Agency should submit relevant documents on all the disbursements during the period.


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