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AMCON extends repayment period for N1.5trillion debt

By on February 20, 2013

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has restructured a total of N1.5tn loans as part of efforts to recover debts owed it by corporate organisations, our correspondent has gathered.

The amount represents an increase of N500bn and N1.072tn from N1tn restructured as at January 2013 and N428bn restructured for 518 obligors in 2011, respectively.

The lead counsel to AMCON, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, also told our correspondent in an exclusive chat that one of the biggest loans bought by AMCON totalling about N80bn was restructured last week.

It was gathered that five debtors owed AMCON above N80bn as of September last year. They are Zenon Petroleum, MRS Holding, Seawolf, Arik Air Limited and Falco Securities Limited.

Agbakoba said, “AMCON was established to look at the debt profile of debtors in order to assist them work out a financial deal. AMCON does not intend to drive anybody out of business. So, nobody should think they can get away with their debts without paying.

“Many loans have been restructured; one of the massive loans worth about N80bn has just been restructured. I was also involved in another deal where an oil company that owed Oceanic Bank N30bn got a restructuring from 24 months to eights years with a N6bn waiver.”

The CBN had in a move aimed at strengthening financial stability and instilling discipline in the banking sector last year blacklisted 113 companies as well as their principal shareholders and directors, where the outstanding value of the loans purchased by AMCON amounted to N5bn or more, from taking further credits from banks until full liquidation of the agreed indebtedness.

The Managing Director, AMCON, Mr. Mustapha Chike-Obi, had said, “We have 13,000 debtors and have about 100 employees working on them. So, we are doing 100 restructuring a day. So, the amount of debt recovered and restructured is always changing. But we have restructured about N1tn loans.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria wants us to be using the word restructured loans because recovery is cash you actually have on your hands. But when you restructure and the person is performing, the CBN doesn’t want you to use the word recovered, but restructured-performing loans.”

The Executive Director, Finance and Operations, AMCON, Mrs. Mofoluke Dosumu, had earlier said that the corporation had recovered N83bn in cash, while other cash receipts from its assets were put at N49bn.

She said, “The publication by the CBN was to enable those people to come and sit down with AMCON and settle their debts. When you cannot borrow from any bank in Nigeria, I doubt if HSBC or Citibank in Europe will be willing to lend to you to continue that business.

“So, you have to sit down with AMCON and settle. So, no matter the obstacles that are put on our way, AMCON will ensure that its debts are fully recovered. We have the support of the CBN and the Ministry of Finance.”