The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) yesterday said that the corporation has so far recovered N644 billion from debtors.
Speaking during a media briefing in Lagos, the AMCON Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Kuru, said the corporation would continue to engage debtors to pay up their debts.
The AMCON boss noted that 80 per cent of the bad loans it acquired from banks were beyond redemption. He said: “Financial institutions have primary responsibilities to give out loans, and more than 65 per cent of banks’ incomes are from interest and loans. All these facilities they have transferred to AMCON, 80 per cent of them are already inside the coffin. The only things that supports them are the supporting assets.”
Kuru said that AMCON was not set up to manage any business, adding that it does not have the capacity to do so. “We looked at those businesses with us that are not dead, but are in intensive care system. More than 80 per cent of the firms we acquired are in the caskets. We are more of a resolution company, with the power to sell the assets of the companies to recover our money. Some of them we injected funds into, but some of them have passed the stage of redemption,” he said.
He said that AMCON’s intervention in the country actually prevented the collapse of so many businesses, adding that the corporation is going about the mandate for which it was created by the federal government in 2010 to manage the huge Non Performing Loans (NPLs) in the banking sector. He said AMCON had not in any way abdicated that assignment to ‘run businesses’ as perceived by some people.
Kuru explained that AMCON does not have the power to seal businesses, unless it gets the order from courts, adding that some of the properties in the possession of AMCON are not easily sold because of cash crunch in the economy. ”We want debtors to come and talk to us on how they want to pay. We do not gain anything by embarrassing anybody,” he said.
Kuru added that AMCON had never and would not run any business, but as facilitators, “we encourage competent professionals to manage businesses”.
Speaking on the takeover of Aero Contractors, he said the company employs over 1, 600 staff with only four aircrafts in operation. He said AMCON would do everything within its power to ensure that Aero Contractors survives because it is in the national interest.
On the continued posting of losses by the corporation, he said: “AMCON cannot make profits. It is not possible for AMCON to declare profits. We received about N160 billion annually from the Sinking Funds. The main objective of AMCON is to ensure it discharges its obligations at the end of its term.”
The loans acquired by the corporation from the banks were re-valued in line with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) at the time of acquisition, he disclosed.