2019: AMCON proposes exclusion of loan defaulters from public offices …Threatens to publish names of bad debtors
MD/CEO, AMCON, Mr. Ahmed Kuru
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria AMCON has made a strong case for the exclusion of bad loan defaulters from the nation’s electoral processes as well as holding any public office, insisting that many of the debtors cannot pass any integrity test.
The corporation currently has an outstanding N5trillion in its books as at the end of December 31, 2017, being Eligible Bank Assets EBAs, purchased from some banks at the wake of the financial crisis of 2009. This amount is owed by 350 high net worth individuals and corporate organisations, which constitute about 80 per cent of the total 14,000 bad loans it bought from the ill-fated banks.
Managing Director/CEO of the corporation, which is statutorily charged with the responsibility of recovering bad loans owed to financial institutions in the country, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, who spoke in Lagos, also said that the names and amount being owed by these debtors have been compiled and would soon be published in national dailies, in what stakeholders described as name and shame approach to loan recovery.
According to him, from the interactions with some of the chronic debtors, it is evident that many of them cannot manage themselves and therefore should have no business managing any public office, as they will make a mess of such offices.
He also hinted that there are many of such loan defaulters, who take the loans with the intention of not paying back from the onset, which cast a lot of doubts on their integrity and ability to honour obligations.
“It is obvious that many of these bad defaulters cannot manage themselves. Some of them also took the loans without any intention to repay them. Many of them have the ability to pay but they have refused to do that. These categories of people should not be allowed into the nation’s political space.
“You want to be a senator of governor but you cannot honour a simple obligation, which implies lack of integrity. There is very high level of impunity everywhere. People must be made to pay for their failures and as a nation, our leadership selection processes should be looked at again”, Kuru said emphatically.
He said that though he makes at least three new enemies every week, all efforts are being made to ensure that the corporation recovers the 350 loans, which constitute over 80 per cent of the entire loan stock before its 2023/2024 sunset time.
The CEO charged the media to be careful with some of these bad debtors, who move around to give distorted information to some media practitioners, urging them to always crosscheck with the corporation so as not to misinform and deceive the unsuspecting members of the public. He also assured that the corporation under his watch will do the right thing and follow the rule of law at all times.
On calls for the establishment of a special tribunal that would handle cases associated with the recovery efforts given the slow pace of administration of justice in the country, AMCON-boss said it might be an unnecessary duplication, arguing that some smart lawyers in a bid to waste time and prolong the cases may go court to challenge the propriety of the tribunal, which might defeat the purpose.
He however commended the judiciary for its support and cooperation with the corporation in its bid to recover the seized assets, saying that most of the judges place cases related to the recovery on fast track list, which has helped AMCON in no small measures.
Kuru also commended both arms of the National Assembly for their support and cooperation, saying that they have come to realise that AMCON’s job is a national assignment to salvage the nation’s economy and have therefore been doing their best possible to ensure that the core mandate of the corporation was achieved before its sunset time.