Sixty-Two debtors are owing the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) N10 billion and above each, the agency has said.
The corporation was established on July 19, 2010, when AMCON Act was signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan, with a mandate to acquire bad loans from banks, pay the banks and recover the loans from the debtors.
But eight years into its operation, the corporation is being owed N10 billion and above by each of the 62 high-profile debtors. The debt represents 40 per cent of the 12,537 obligors.
AMCON said that 431 debtors, representing 37 per cent of the debtors, owe between N1 billion and N10 billion; 1,998 debtors, constituting 16 per cent of the total obligors, owe between N100 million and N1 billion while 10,046 debtors, representing seven per cent of the total obligors owe between N100 million and below bringing the total number of bad loans under AMCON management to 12,537.
AMCON was created to be a key stabilising and re-vitalising tool aimed at reviving the financial system by efficiently resolving the non-performing loan assets of the banks in the economy.
The corporation has in the last eight years of operation, bought Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) worth N5.4 trillion from banks.
There is N3.8 trillion AMCON Bond held sorely by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and this is expected to mature by 2023.
AMCON’s Managing Director Ahmed Kuru announced that the corporation has so far recovered N1 trillion from the bad debtors, and the agency was doing everything within the ambit of the ambit of the law to recover the remaining debts.
But recovering the remaining debts from billionaire debtors, who are taking strategic steps to ensure they do not payback will remain an uphill task, and perhaps impossible.
Financial pundits insist that since it took AMCON eight years to recover N1 trillion out of the N5.4 trillion bad debts, it is doubtful if it could recover substantial amount by 2023, which is its sunset timeline. The N1 trillion recovery represents a meagre 18.51 per cent of the total debt portfolio.
Speaking on AMCON operations and results achieved so far, a Board Member at Standard Bank Group, South Africa, Atedo Peterside, said that one third of the money that the Federal Government squandered on AMCON can resolve most of Nigeria’s social and economic problems including fixing the power sector.
Peterside who did not elaborate further on AMCON’s operation, spoke during ‘A Consultative Roundtable with The Central Bank of Nigeria Governor’ tagged: ‘Going for Growth’ held in Lagos.
The shareholders of banks contributing 0.5 per cent of their total assets as at the date of their audited financial statements, annually for 10 years to the Sinking Funds are also furious about AMCON operations.
They are seeking stoppage of such funding to enable them have enough value for their investments in the lenders. There is also N50 billion CBN contribution to AMCON operation which is spread across 10 years.
As highlighted earlier, N3.8 trillion was raised by the Federal Government through the CBN-purchased bonds for AMCON operations. The raised fund represents 42.64 per cent of the N8.91 trillion annual budget for 2019 already signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.