By Dipo Olowookere
Efforts are presently being made by the board and management of Omatek Ventures Plc to resolve the company’s indebtedness to the Bank of Industry (BoI) so as to forge ahead.
Business Post gathered that in December 2012, nearly seven years ago, the firm secured a term loan and working capital facilities totalling N5.81 billion from BoI for the purpose of financing the procurement of assembly components for the production of laptops.
But things went bad for the company and it could not service this loan, which made the lender to obtain a court order to take over premises of the tech company.
Last week, precisely on Thursday, October 31, 2019, the board of directors of Omatek Ventures held a meeting at the Muson Center in Lagos and the issue of the N5.81 billion debt was discussed.
At the gathering, it was agreed that the bank should be approached with a view to finding an amicable way of resolving the matter, including offering a part of the company’s premises to BoI.
In a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the board said it was agreed that, “In the matter of the company and the Bank of Industry (BOI), a speedy resolution be sought as soon as possible, by making an offer to the bank to allow the company keep the factory and the entire stock contained therein, and that the unoccupied part of the premises be accepted by the bank as settlement of the debt; and that the bank should allow the company to participate in the N-Power ICT Empowerment program of the federal government, given that Omatek as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) has the capacity, experience and after sales support service required to implement the program.”
Business Post gathered that as part of the requirement for obtaining the N5.81 billion loan, the BoI had requested for the Irrevocable Standing Payment Order arrangement with the defunct Skye Bank Plc in its favour, all assets debenture and an Irrevocable Personal Guarantee of late owner of the company, Mrs Florence Seriki, who passed away in 2017.
The development finance bank said after the death of Mrs Seriki, it had several meetings with the acting Managing Director of the company, Mr Yemi Ogundipe, which confirmed the initial reservations of the bank that the company had issues bordering on corporate governance under the leadership of the late chief promoter.
“Though the current management of the company agreed to strategise and commence repayment after settling in, it was obvious that there was no clear plan on the ground to actualise that commitment,” the BoI had said.
But when things were not forthcoming, the matter went to court and Mr Ade Oyebanji was appointed by the lender as a receiver, who took inventory of all items located at the Omatek’s premises on Plot 11, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun , Ikeja, Lagos, in January 2017.
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