3
Business News Wed, 26 Apr 2017

BNI probes 'missing' Gh¢35million Venture Capital money

The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has initiated investigations into a missing Gh¢35million said to have been disbursed as loans by the Ghana Venture Capital Trust Fund.

The BNI suspect fraud since the beneficiaries of the loans cannot be traced. Consequently, the current Chief Executive, Mr Osman Sulemana and his predecessor Daniel Kofi Duku are to provide answers on the missing money.

Mr Osman Sulemana, on his part has explained that the monies were disbursed before he took over office and that, “when I took over there was no money”.

The BNI’s report after the investigations will inform government’s action to take on the individual’s involved.

It has been gathered that conflict of interest, fraud and complicity on the part of officers involved is to blame for the fund’s inability to recover monies disbursed as loans to some companies and individuals.

ADVERTISEMENT

The fund by its mandate provides credit and equity funding for small and medium scale enterprises.

Beneficiaries are to present valid business registration, company location and guarantors among others to be able to meet the criteria for loans.

However, it has been established that most beneficiaries cannot be traced and some of the guarantors mentioned have denied knowledge of the loan facility when the fund contracted a debt collecting company to collect the money.

Furthermore, loan officers are said to have given loans to family members with fake business registration certificates.

A former Member of Parliament is said to have received a cheque for a company but the money never got to that company.

ADVERTISEMENT

The former chief executive is said to have flouted the board’s directive not to disburse further loans.

The current chief executive, Suleiman Osman in an interview with Joy FM denied involvement in the scandal.

“If you have an investment institution like Venture Capital that has done disbursements of over Gh¢18million comes with interest of over Gh¢35million and you cannot get recovery, a total default rate of 90 per cent, then it tells you that they are not loans.

“If indeed they are loans, we should have been able to collect them. The ongoing investigations has led to some other individuals making fabulous publications on me and tarnishing my reputation as a CEO. I took over office in September 2016 and at that particular time the disbursements started in 2010. I did not disburse a single penny because the time that I took over office the institution had run into its knees, there was no money.”

Source: Graphic.com.gh