The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) at the weekend decried the falling value of its N5 trillion assets, stating that their current worth might not exceed N1 trillion owing to the toxic nature of banks’ belongings.
Its Managing Director, Ahmed Lawan Kuru, who spoke at the inauguration of the new Muiz Banire-led board by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed in Abuja, pointed out that debt was a most difficult thing to recover.
The development, he added, was adversely affecting the value of assets in the corporation’s portfolio.
His words: “We know that with the inauguration of this board, things will be more efficient. The turnaround time will be faster. We have been able to recover N1 trillion but we have more than N5 trillion that is outstanding.
“If today, AMCON disposes all that is in its possession, we may be able to recover maybe N1 trillion.”
Kuru appealed to the minister to impress it on the debtors to defray their liabilities, adding: “Those that are doing big business with government must be made to settle either with AMCON or the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) because they can’t be owing and still want to do business with the government.”
The organisation was established in July 2010 by the Federal Government to rescue banks through purchase of their non-performing loans as well as recovering the debts.
Since coming on board, it had recovered N1 trillion, according to the minister.
She said of the total, cash accounted for 60 per cent while non-cash like properties and securities represented the rest 40 per cent.
Ahmed noted that during the period, AMCON paid N1 trillion debt to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) while its total debt obligation to the nation’s lender of last resort is currently in excess of N5 trillion.
The minister stated that owing to the current economic realities, government could not afford to write off the debts.
She charged the new board on creative strategies for the recovery of the outstanding loans.
In a related development, textile workers have vowed to resist any moves by the parastatal to sell the Nigerian Braiding Manufacturers Company over a N1.5 billion indebtedness.
About 2,000 factory workers, comprising 400 staff and over 1, 500 casuals, who had been denied salaries since December last year, stand the risk of losing their jobs if the firm is disposed of.
Addressing newsmen in Kaduna, the General Secretary of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria in Kano, Jigawa states, Comrade Ali Baba, alleged that AMCON had already appointed a receiver.
He recalled that trouble started 19 years ago when the company took a N100 million overdraft whose interest it could not meet over the years thus accumulating to the current N1.5 billion figure.