AMCON: Between reviving and killing businesses

 
Thu Jan 2nd, 2020 - Lagos
 


If the statutory meaning of AMCON is Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, its practical, individualistic meaning is Asset Mismanagement Consortium of Nigeria. The reason is not farfetched.

Established by an Act of the National Assembly in July 2010 with an intended 10 years lifespan, AMCON is supposed to be an interventionist government institution. The enduring leitmotif was in consonance with such other agencies elsewhere as the National Asset Management Agency of the Republic of Ireland and the Malaysia Pengurusan Danaharta with similar responsibilities. Unfortunately, the tragedy of our current condition is borne out of the fact that an organization conceived to be a stabilizing tool aimed at resolving the non-performing loan assets of banks and corporate organizations is performing its statutory function only in the breach. If the three-fold mandate of AMCON which include: reducing the level of non-performing loans on the books of eligible banks; assisting in the recapitalization of banks deemed to be in grave danger, and managing all acquired assets in a manner consistent both with minimum resolution cost, is anything to go by, AMCON’s balance sheet is a sad tale of inconsistency and debauchery.

In May 2017, AMCON took over all the assets belonging to Wokson International Limited, an Asaba-based conglomerate and those of its principal, Dr. William Oki as ordered by a court through the Receiver Mr. Robert Ohuoba via a protective order from the court due to an alleged N5billion debt. At about the same time, AMCON again, announced its takeover of Gateway Portland Cement Limited in Ogun State over an alleged debt of about N3billion following an injunction granted against the company by the Federal High Court Abeokuta Division, Ogun State. Before then was the rift between AMCON and the Hardley Suites on Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos. AMCON took over the sprawling Hardley Apartments owned by former Nigerian international soccer star and Africa’s legend, Nwankwo Kanu along with his ex-banker friend, Ayoola Gam-Ikon over alleged debt of N924million in January 2016. Another one is Aero Contractors, the oldest aviation company in the country owned by the wealthy Ibru family. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had halted all credits to the airline over an alleged $200million debt. In February 2016, the airline confirmed that the corporation had bought its debts making it the highest shareholder with 50 per cent equities of Aero Contractor. AMCON consequently appointed a chairman to oversee the operations of the airline. The rest is now history.

 
 

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source: Guardian