Santuscom Agro Investment Company Limited, an agro-allied firm, has petitioned the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, over alleged blocking it’s bank account and hindering the company from accessing about N300 million loan facility it obtained from Bank of Industry, BoI, by SunTrust Bank.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Chief Ofana Paul, in a letter made available to journalists, addressed to the Director, Consumer Protection Department, CBN, over blocking of the company’s account with SunTrsut Bank, after it was credited with the loan facility by BoI, on December 31, 2021 of the said amount.
The letter with subject ‘‘Complaint Against Suntrust Bank Ltd For Placing An Unlawful Post No Debit/Freezing Of Our Account With Account No 0002386699 And Our Loan Facility Of 300,035,160.00 From The Bank Of Industry To Up Scale Our Rice Processing Facility In Ogoja Cross River State’ to the CBN reads in part, “We hereby write to report SUNTRUST BANK LTD for unlawfully placing our account on freezing/post no debit and also disallowing us to utilize the loan facility of 300,035,160.00 availed and disbursed to us by the Bank of Industry (BOI) for the purpose of up scaling our rice processing facility in Ogoja Cross river state.
“Santuscom agro investment company limited (RC: 1439777) is an agribusiness company operating in rice cultivation, processing and packaging, for the past five years. Our brand OGOJA RICE has been a market leader enjoying a significant proportion (60%) market share within the rice value chain in cross river state. It is long grain, highly vitalized and 100% stone free.
“We received the money from Bank of Industry (BOI) on the 31st of December 2021 in line with the disbursement agreement between our company SANTUSCOM AGRO INVESTMENT COMPANY LTD and the BANK OF INDUSTRY (BOI), the loan is specifically for the up scaling of our rice milling facility, according to the agreement contained in our offer letter dated 21st July 2020,the repayment on interest on our loan starts immediately the facility is disbursed and we are in defaults already from the 31st of January 2022 and risk being black listed by the bank of industry as a result of the unlawful post no debit/freezing of all funds in our account by SunTrust Bank.”
According to the letter; “We have made all efforts to reach out to SunTrust bank for a possible resolution of any issues that has necessitated the bank to act in this manner, but all efforts have fell on deaf ears, in fact we have written to the MD of the bank to take action, but no response
“SunTrust bank issued us with a bank guarantee and meeting all conditions including a fee of N6,225,000.00 (Six Million, Two Hundred And Twenty Five Thousand Naira) as bank guarantee fee, APG and VAT, provision of collateral documents of our property in cross river state valued at over N900,000,000 (Nine Hundred Million Naira) and also with an instruction for the bank to also consider an asset debenture of machines in our factory, all efforts to put the bank on the table to see reasons to lift the unlawful post no debit on the account has been ignored by the bank
“We here by request for an immediate investigation and resolution to enable us commence our business and meet our repayment obligations to the Bank of Industry (BOI).”