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Sunday, July 3, 2022

AMCON goes tough on debtors

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) yesterday warned its debtors and other  obligors to pay up or face the wrath of the law.

The Corporation said it will apply the law to recover its debts and the accrued interests.

The Corporation, in a statement to debtors, said it intends to focus, this year, on the most critical statutory imperative of recovering and realising debts owed to it.

It said: “In furtherance of the above stated intent, AMCON hereby gives notice to all debtors and other obligors connected with any such loans, to, forthwith and without further delay, pay up their debts or present a credible restructuring proposal.

“All debtors and connected obligors are further given notice that AMCON shall, without further recourse to them, deploy the full array of its special statutory powers under the AMCON Act to recover the amounts due and outstanding (principal plus accrued interest) in respect of all such loans. 

“Debtors and other connected obligors may wish to note that AMCON is under a mandatory statutory duty to realise and recover debts owed to it. Accordingly, debtors and other connected obligors will be well-advised to disabuse their minds of any erroneous notions that such debt obligations will not be vigorously pursued and enforced by AMCON. For the avoidance of doubt and contrary to any such patently erroneous notions, AMCON shall discharge its statutory duty dispassionately, and exercise the full gamut of its statutory powers to ensure the recovery of all debts owed to it,” the statement reads in part.

Enttled: “Notice to Debtors Under Loans Acquired by The Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria,” the statement urged debtors and connected obligors in doubt as to channels through which to effect payment, to contact the Office of the Executive Director, Credit and Restructuring at either our Lagos or Abuja offices.

The Corporation noted its primary focus last year was in assisting with financial system stability, by the recapitalisation of hitherto weak banks, and the de-risking of the books of banks in accordance with its primary functions and objects under the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (AMCON Act).

Already, the AMCON has engaged 70 professional valuers to determine the appropriate values of assets and properties of borrowers transferred to the bad-assets company through loan-purchase agreements with banks.

AMCON has also invested N3.14 trillion ($19.6billion) in the purchase of non-performing loans and recapitalisation of banks. With the bad debts taken over by the corporation, it now has assets spread across the country.  

AMCON’s Chief Executive Mustafa Chike-Obi said in November that the bank would recover 70 per cent of the N3.14 trillion ($19.68 billion) in non-performing loans it took off the books of banks after the 2009 bailout.

It has so far recovered 15 per cent of them.

He put the total number of non-performing loans at 9,000, of which the 200 biggest accounted for 80 per cent of the total debt.

Speaking recently during the inaugural visit of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency to AMCON’s office in Lagos, he said the engagement of professional valuers to evaluate all the properties spread across the country was part of AMCON’s commitment to ensuring that its assets are managed and disposed off in a transparent process that extracts optimal returns for the tax payers.

He explained that AMCON’s assets were primarily locked in the bad loans that it purchased and such assets would be realised upon enforcement of the loan agreements.

Chike-Obi however, pointed out that AMCON usually engage and advise every debtor to explore possible ways of resolving the bad debt through loan restructuring and payment rescheduling. He noted that the corporation only forecloses assets of borrowers who are not willing to pay.

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AMCON goes tough on debtors

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