350 businessmen owe banks N2.5trn – AMCON

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The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has said at least 350 individuals in the country currently owe banks N2.5 trillion.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AMCON, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, disclosed this at a Retreat for House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency in Enugu yesterday.

He told the committee members that the corporation’s recent assessment of obligors as at December 31, 2016, identified 350 accounts with current exposure of N2.5 trillion, representing about 80 per cent of AMCON’s total obligor debt.

The amount, according to him, was enough to cover the 2017 budget deficit.

He said: “AMCON has also repositioned its debt recovery approach to strengthen legal and credit restructuring units to collaborate on the aforementioned 350 ‘loan defaulters,’ enhance the restructuring and turnaround team and engage in asset tracing to enhance recovery. Despite the difficulties, AMCON continues to persevere in the face of adversity.”

Providing additional insight into AMCON challenges, Kuru said the corporation’s failure to recover the debt, principally owed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), cannot be quantified as it goes beyond economic cost.

He said AMCON debt repayments to CBN in the last two years were N456.4 billion and N517.7 billion, respectively, while the actual payments were N256.7 billion and N191.1 billion in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

The AMCON chief added: “This translates to a funding shortfall of N199.7 billion and N326.4 billion in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Of this shortfall, repayments due from AMCON in 2015 and 2016 represented 42 per cent and 53 per cent, respectively, while the resolution cost fund represented 58 per cent and 47 per cent in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The funding plan envisaged contribution of 70 per cent from the resolution cost fund and 30 per cent from recovery.”

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