From left: Chief Finance Officer, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria AMCON, Mr. Olugbenga Ataiyero, Managing Director/CEO of the corporation, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, Executive Director Operations, Mr. Aminu Ismail, Head, Real Estate and Construction,Mr. Tajudeen Ahmed, and Group Head, Corporate Services Mrs. Iyatum Victoria Adode-Kobiti, when AMCON released its 2017 audited financial report at the weekend in Lagos.


Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria AMCON, has said it saved Nigeria’s financial sector from imminent collapse due to the global financial crisis of 2009 that led to the closure of many banks and other financial institutions across the globe, having saved over 15,000 jobs as well as protecting more than N3.66 trillion depositors’ funds that would have gone with the financial meltdown.

In what appeared a stocktaking, Managing Director/CEO of the corporation, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, who spoke while fielding questions from journalists in Lagos at the weekend, said that AMCON, which acquired 12,537 Non-Performing Loans NPLs worth N1.7 trillion from 22 financial institutions in the wake of the 2009 banking crisis, has largely achieved its core mandate of stabilising the nation’s economy.

The MD however said that the corporation has stepped up its recovery efforts, and warned that it would be ruthless within the limits of its enabling laws in dealing with top chronic debtors, whose assets are still in its portfolio, especially given that its 2023/2024 sunset is fast approaching. He also warned all its obligors that the corporation more than ever before would step on powerful toes, especially those of the politically exposed individuals and business heavyweight who before now believed they are sacred cows, insisting that the agency is currently fine-tuning its enforcement processes, which would not spare any loan defaulter.

Kuru, who also disclosed that the corporation has officially released its audited annual accounts for the 2017 fiscal year, said as a result of the new recovery strategy, AMCON was restructuring its operational processes to enable it go after these crop of recalcitrant debtors in a manner that has never been witnessed before in the country. He however assured that the corporation would not operate outside the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria including the AMCON Act 2010, as amended in doing so.

“I want Nigerians to understand that our assignment at AMCON is not just tough but a daunting challenge, so we actually deserve the support of the media and that of the general public. I think people need to pity us because we are at that stage in the life of the corporation where we are dealing with the hardcore because the low hanging fruits have been dealt with earlier in the life of AMCON. I want you to understand that we are sitting on a substantial amount of assets, which we must one way or the other be resolve on or before our sunset, which is around 2023/24.

“It is also important for the media to have a full understanding of the magnitude of the challenges faced by AMCON because it will enable them understand the fight the corporation is up against especially with the individuals who heavily borrowed money from banks with no intention to repay, which contributed in no small measure in destroying the nation’s economy. “AMCON played strategic role in rebuilding the Nigeria’s economy with the recapitalisation of the banks, which prevented systemic collapse of the economy. It would have been unimaginable what would have happened to Nigeria’s economy if AMCON did not intervene at the time it did”, Kuru said,

Available records show that 350 loans valued at over N5trillion still in the book of the corporation constitute about 80 per cent of the entire 14, 000 loans it purchased, which it insists must be pursued at all cost albeit within the ambits of the enabling laws, since AMCON borrowed to purchase the Eligible Bank Assets (EBAs) during the first and second phases when it bought over the bad loans from the affected banks.

He continued, “Like I said earlier, we will deal with some of those key assets very soon like the Peugeot Nigeria Limited in Kaduna, CDL, Aero Contractors, Arik Air and a host of others. But I must tell you, as we close in on these individuals and entities that owe us, I want you to know that they will call us names, they will blackmail us, and they will threaten us, malign and harass us. However, I can tell you that hard as they will try, we will not be deterred in going about our normal duties as mandated by law. But as we do, we ask ourselves first if the action will stand right before God Almighty; secondly, will the action be in our national interest and, is our action within the rule of law. If the answer to these three guiding principles is yes, AMCON takes decisions. It is nothing personal.”

While commenting on the 2017 audited account, which he described as being better than 2016, he said although the corporation was not established to make profit like commercial banks, it could still return to profitability this year after losses in 2017 narrowed as the economy rebounded from its worst contraction in more than two decades.

According to him, the loss for the year through December improved to N16.4 billion ($45.3 million) from 164.9 billion naira in 2016. This, he further argued, implies that if the economy continues with the current positive outlook in line with Federal Government projects, AMCON would be expected to return to profitability at the end of the 2018 financial year.

He noted that the corporation’s current performance is in sharp contrast to 2016, which he partly blamed on the weak economy, which hindered efforts to recover loans and other assets in its hold. Details of the 2017 financial records show that gross earnings increased by 23 per cent to N341.8 billion, which represents a 21 per cent increase in interest income to N42.6 billion as well as the N41billion sale of Keystone Bank, which helped to boost the corporation’s performance even as operating expenses rose by 16 per cent.

Meanwhile, Executive Director Operations of the corporation, Mr. Aminu Ismail while speaking on the performance of the corporation, said that its costs were ‘driven’ by an increase in the price of aviation fuel and overhead expenses for the two airlines Arik Air and Aero Contractors, it took over.