The Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank (SL) Limited, J.D. Okrafo-Smart told the Global Times in an exclusive interview last evening that, debtors owe the bank in excess of Le150 Billion (One Hundred and Fifty Billion Leones).
He said that a debt recovery team of nine (consisting of seven lawyers and two debt collectors) has been set up to recover this staggering loan.
According to Mr. Okrafo-Smart, since he took over the crisis-ridden bank about a year and a half ago, he has been able to recover Le12 Billion (Twelve Billion Leones) from debtors.
He said that, Sam King Services owes the bank in excess of Le12 Billion (Twelve Billion Leones). Another major debtor, the Proprietor of Kona Lodge has had one of his hotels seized and is up for sale now. Sam King’s Leone Lodge at Aberdeen is also up for sale plus a property he owes at Wilberforce.
Mr. Okrafo-Smart said that, he was determined to turn-around the bank and make it profitable once again. “I did not come to this bank to make my reputation…I came here to protect my reputation”, said the Rokel Bank salvaging MD.
He said because of the financial position in which he met the bank, he decided not to buy a new official vehicle for himself. “I am using the old Land Rover vehicle which I met here…It is about seven years old now”, he told the Global Times.
Mr. Okrafo-Smart said that, the future of Rokel Commercial Bank is bright. “I want to ensure that, whoever takes over from me in about a year or two from now is able to keep the bank afloat”, said Mr. Okrafo-Smart.
Mr. Okrafo-Smart served as Managing Director of UTB (Union Trust Bank) for five years before he retired.
As a Chartered Accountant, he was recruited by the Government of Sierra Leone (the majority shareholder 51% of Rokel Commercial Bank) to turn around the bank after it was run down by the erstwhile Managing Director, Victor Cole.