Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) recovered N134 billion in 2016, according to Ahmed Kuru, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.
Kuru said at a news conference in Lagos on Friday that N86.9 billion was from cash collections while N30.64 billion came from assets forfeiture.
He said that N7.9 billion was realised from sale of property and N8.7 billion from sale of shares.
He said that the corporation would continue to engage its obligors to enhance loans recovery, adding that AMCON would welcome customers with strategies for loan repayment within a specific period of time.
“They are quite a lot of challenges we are facing in debt recovery; we are not under illusion that it is easy to recover bad loans. Loan recovery is a very unpleasant job.”
He said that most of the customers were not willing to pay and would resort to court to seek redress.
The managing director said that court cases were slowing down the corporation’s loan recovery drive.
“Somebody can engage us for 10 years to 20 years in court and this is slowing down our operations.
Kuru said that 2016 was tougher because it was a year the country entered into recession for the first time in the last 25 years.
He said that it was difficult for people to meet their obligations due to higher inflation rate, currency devaluation, power sector challenges and drop in the price of crude oil, among others.
“It was a tougher year for Nigeria and once it is tough for Nigeria, that means it is tougher for business and AMCON too.”
AMCON boss said that 2017 would be a better year with the ongoing economic recovery, noting that once the economy picked up, obligors willing to pay back loans, would pay.
He commended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Assembly for their support to AMCON.
On Arik Air, he said that AMCON’s outstanding debt was N147 billion, noting that the airline would have shut down if not for the intervention.
According to him, AMCON intervention made it possible for the airline to survive.
He said that the airline was not paying salaries, insurances and fuel obligations, among others before AMCON intervention, adding that 30 aircraft of the company belonged to different people under leases and loans.
“AMCON has no business to run any business; we look for best personnel in the industry, independent of AMCON, to run any organisation we take over.
“We have disbursed more than N300 billion to support businesses to ensure their survival,” Kuru said.
In a remark, Olugbenga Ataiyero, AMCON’s Chief Financial officer, said that the corporation’s mandate was not to make profit but to reconstruct loans to help businesses.
Ataiyero said that there were over N5.7 trillion loans to be financed by the corporation through the CBN at six per cent interest.
He noted that N268 billion was charged into the company’s profit and loss as interest expenses annually.
The chief financial officer further said that the company would divest from some of its subsidiaries to reduce the losse.
He added that the corporation had adopted a cost-saving approach and would only engage in very crucial expenses.
Ataiyero said that loan recovery was very low in 2016 due to the recession and other challenges in the economy.
He said that the corporation had envisaged that banks would have contributed N288 billion as sinking fund in 2016 but were only able to contribute N136 billion, due to the economic crunch.