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» » AMCON SET TO SELL KEYSTONE BANK IN TWO WEEKS TIME
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The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) said it has recovered more than N2 trillion of the N3.7 trillion debts it bought over, representing about 56 per cent settlement rate.

Of the amount recovered, N644 billion is cash, while the balance are tangible assets.

However, it noted that the balance and a N2.2 trillion “financial accommodation” it borrowed as a buffer against inflationary trend and capital gains have been impacted by the lingering economic challenges.

The Managing Director of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, while speaking with journalists in Lagos at the weekend, also affirmed that remaining nationalized bank- Keystone, would be sold in the next two weeks.

He hinted that asset forfeiture has also risen by 200 per cent, with some voluntarily giving up collaterals, lamenting that turning the assets into money has been another difficult aspect because of the economic crisis.

According to him, what has been achieved so far was supported by contributions from the Sinking Fund Account, which was agreed with banks, as a way to fund the losses arising from the bad debts.

He insisted that the coming of AMCON was the best thing that happened to the industry, as without the intervention, the sector would have lost some institutions, about 12,700 jobs and more than N4 trillion.

He added that the policy is a success because it has become a model for four other countries.

Speaking on the recovery process, he said that the general economic problem, which is not peculiar to Nigeria, has stifled its pace, while many of the debtor organisations that are operational still face profitability challenges.

“Despite what was projected in the last five years, the economy did not actually turn up. A major evidence of growth is when people can afford today what they cannot afford yesterday, but that has not been the case.

“Recovery pace has also been affected due to devaluation and depreciating value of assets used as collateral. If the economy is doing well, no doubt some of the good debtors will respond.

Only five per cent of obligors (less than 200 people) owe 70 per cent of the total debt we have, so, we have stepped up modalities and collaborations to effect recoveries,” he said.

Kuru pointed out that the value of the collaterals are high, but are underpriced, because it is difficult to see many people who will part with the actual value, hence the corporation has refused to sell until economy improves.

Again, the recovery became difficult because some of the debts have been restructured severally, while others are written off, but the banks resubmitted them to AMCON for liquidity.

He said AMCON’s option of court process was a matter of last resort, as it appeared that its efforts to resolve it amicably over the years have failed and company concerned was not cooperating.

Some of those debtors are willful non-compliant, because they would rather engage in all manner of distractions, including telling lies to the media, just to cajole the corporation.

“This is not about AMCON and it is not also about personal interest. It is about taxpayers’ money. If they don’t pay, it will be left for you and me. So, we need the support of everyone to get these monies from them.

He also warned that the country must fight impunity and build institutions, otherwise the best of ideas and intellectuals from anywhere in the world will still fail in Nigeria.

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