'Richest man a bank debtor'

2009-08-19 12:54

Lagos - The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday published a list of high-profile debtors of the five ailing banks whose management were sacked last week.

On Friday, CBN governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi announced the removal of heads of Afribank plc, Intercontinental Bank plc, Union Bank plc, Oceanic Bank plc and Finbank plc for piling up billions of dollars in bad debts and inefficiency.

He accused the management of giving loans to prominent Nigerian businessmen and companies without adhering to good corporate governance and risk management practices.

In a published advertisement on Wednesday, the CBN said billionaire tycoon Aliko Dangote, rated by US Forbes magazine as one of the world's richest Africans with a net worth of around $3.3bn, was among the debtors.

The CBN said Dangote had a non-performing loan of 2.5 billion naira in Ocean Bank plc through his Dangote group of businesses.

The 52-year-old owner of the Dangote consortium was recently unanimously elected president of the Nigeria Stock Exchange.

Dangote controls much of Nigeria's commodity trade, including rice, salt, cement, textile, vegetable oil and sugar.

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