The lives of some Nigerian millionaires and billionaires will resonate as one dismal lie from one end to the other, by the time Access Bank Plc. completes its revenue recovery drive. While this sad reality extends beyond the reaches of Access Bank, the pathetic case of Muyiwa Bakare and some other bank debtors has become hot gossip across the cubicles and halls of first generation banks and Nigeria’s high society circuits.
Bakare, who is the son of a former billionaire auto magnate, Chief S. O Bakare, founder of Oluwalogbon Motors, is currently indebted to Access Bank in several millions and this has incited the dissatisfaction of the bank’s management led by meticulous banking Czar, Herbert Wigwe. The latter has reportedly embarked on a debt recovery scheme as part of his drive to recover outstanding debts from the bank’s chronic debtors.
It is interesting to know that Bakare is simply one of many debtors of Access Bank whose outrageous debts may put the bank in precarious financial situation if the bank’s management does not recover loans owed by them by year’s end.
At the backdrop of Access Bank’s debt recovery drive, pundits note that Skye Bank may need to initiate a similar scheme to recover debts owed it by debtors such as Festus Fadeyi, Pan Ocean Corporation boss, who allegedly owes the bank N196 billion.
Besides Access Bank and Skye Bank, several other new generation banks are doing battle to recover outrageous debts owed them by career debtors. The latter despite their disgraceful insolvency and indebtedness in billions, continually parade themselves as Lagos big boys and sophisticated members of Nigeria’s high society.
In reality, they are chronic debtors and poor managers of wealth who have gone bankrupt, argued a highly placed source in one of the banks affected by their debts.
Interestingly, however, you couldn’t have forgotten so soon the Bakare’s expensive 50th birthday shindig for his wife recently. The party was allegedly borne of his desperation to save face and make the world believe that even though Access Bank aggressively seeks to recover debts owed it by him, he is still rock solid. Further findings substantiated the fact that for Muyiwa, the birthday celebration goes beyond just celebrating his wife; it presented a platform and opportunity to keep up appearances.
Muyiwa, the former MD of the moribund Metropolitan bank, never imagined that throwing his wife a 50th birthday bash, valued at over N200 million, would be his ultimate undoing.
The party generated a buzz in high society circuits due to its grandeur. Bakare embarked on a spending spree, contracting popular artistes, King Sunny Ade and Wizkid, to perform all through the event.
Sources close to the socialite revealed that had he not organized the bash in honour of his wife, he wouldn’t attract the attention of his creditors, Bakare simply failed to heed the voice of reason and apply tact in his affairs, according to his closest friends and associates.
Not too long ago, his former creditor, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) had gunned for his jugular in its bid to also recover debts owed by Bakare.
The bank reportedly seized his assets including choice and very property in exclusive neighbourhoods across Lagos.
The scandal dealt Bakare a devastating blow, almost wrecking him but rather than count his losses and learn from his mistakes, he desperately sought to keep up appearances and make people believe that his life was still rosy; hence he threw his wife the 50th bash.
That happened to be his greatest undoing. Soon after he threw the party, creditors went after him thinking that if he had over N200 million to squander on his wife’s birthday party, then he should be able to settle his outrageous debt to the bank.
Had he known, the former billionaire would have retraced his steps and desisted from living a lie to keep up appearances. .
An alumnus of California State University in Northridge California, Warwick Business School and Lagos Business School, not even his education and exposure and privileged background could save his father’s Metropolitan bank, from going under then. And so went his cash cow too.
However, as Bakare struggles to keep up appearances, Fadeyi deals with his own grief. Recall that the well-heeled founder and CEO of Pan Ocean Corporation, an indigenous independent oil and gas company, acquired a multi-billion naira loan from Skye Bank, back when, loan defaulting did not occasion sleepless nights for the culprit.
For Fadeyi, being indebted to Skye Bank didn’t seem a big deal as the economy was buoyant and nothing in the forecasts showed that the business he invested the money in would tank atrociously. Well, it did and his money went down the drain.
Fadeyi has been cliffhanging since the sad incident. To compound his troubles, in 2016, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sacked the board of directors of the bank, Fadeyi inclusive. The Pan Ocean boss and fellow directors had to be sacked to save the bank from total ruin.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, contended that the intervention became inevitable in view of the bank’s liquidity and non-performing loan ratios which had been below and above the required thresholds respectively for a while.
Few months on since they incurred unserviceable debts thus putting their banks in precarious states, Bakare, Fadeyi and several other accidental billionaires have met their waterloo in crusader bank chiefs like Wigwe who would leave no stone unturned to recover debts owed them.