5,000 AMCON debtors go into hiding

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5,000 AMCON debtors go into hiding

5,000 AMCON debtors go into hiding
June 02
07:12 2018

Over 5,000 debtors in the books of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) have gone into hiding making it difficult for the corporation to trace them.

AMCON Managing Director, Ahmed Kuru, who disclosed it yesterday during a media parley in Lagos, said the debtors will surely be found. He said the corporation has engaged lawyers and asset tracers to go after them, adding that hiding does not solve the debtors’ problems nor absolve them of their obligations. He however said the corporation has so far recovered N740 billion at the close of 2017 financial year.

AMCON had acquired 12,537 non-performing loans worth N1.7 trillion from 22 financial institutions, following the 2009 banking crisis.

“Some of them have decided to change their addresses, and there was even an instance where someone’s house, was number 19, he legally removed it to plot 2015. If we looked for him, we will not find him, because he has changed his address,” he said.

Continuing, he said: “But we are looking, and hiding will not help. To borrow money is not criminal. We must borrow money from banks. But what we do thereafter  will make it criminal. If you want to hide under national hero, there is a problem. It is an obligation, and most loans are taken from depositors’ money. It is simple logic, if you do not pay, banks needs to collect their money for them to pay depositors. So, we must meet our obligations”.

The AMCON boss also spoke on debt allegedly owed the corporation by the promoter of The Hardley Apartments and former captain of the Nigeria Super Eagles, Nwankwo Kanu.

AMCON had in 2015, obtained an order from the Federal High Court, which gave the corporation permission to take possession of The Hardley Apartments located at No. 46 Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Off Elsie Femi – Pearse Crescent, Off Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, in Lagos State. This order still subsists, pending the determination of the substantive matter.

When asked if Kanu’s debt will be forgiven based on his status as a “national hero”, Kuru said: “Part of the obligation to be a national hero is to meet obligation. You must be able to meet your obligation. A hero must be able to meet his obligations. You took a commercial loan to set up a hotel. What he told us was that somebody cheated him. He had one partner that was supposed to be remitting money and was not remitting money. How does that concern us?  Let him take that person to court”.

Speaking further, he said: “I think part of the integrity test is for somebody’s ability  to honour his obligation voluntarily without going through court process. If you want some concessions and some considerations, I think that is another issue entirely. But you cannot on the basis of being a national hero not meet your debt obligation because I have not heard of any ‘National Heroes’ Fund”.

Kuru said the corporation will by next month be releasing the names of debtors to the press, and the obligations standing against their names.

“But we decided last week that we will give them a last chance, and take this as a final notice. You have N10 billion obligation, and you want to be a senator. Fine, you may not have N10 billion to pay me. But let us sit down and have understanding. I will pay you in two years, or I will pay you in five years. There is no body to give N2 billion or N30 billion today.  But sit down with us and explain how you want to pay. They are just looking the other way and want to take responsibility as leaders. I do not think it is fair”.

Kuru said that by 2023, AMCON should have ceased to operate after its 10-year mandate expires. “Frankly speaking, personally, I feel that by 2023, regardless of whatever is the situation, AMCON should wind down because if after operating for 10 years, in addition to two to five years when the facilities were in the commercial banks, you did not do anything, then there is nothing you can do by 2020. So, at that stage, I believe that what we should be able to do, if we have any outstanding collaterals that were not realized, I think, we have enough facilities in CBN and NDIC to  take care of that.”

AMCON Executive Director, Aminu Ismail, said the corporation posted a loss of N16.4 billion in 201

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