Mr Ahmed Kuru, the Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on Friday said the corporation recovered N740 billion from debtors in 2017.
Kuru stated this at a news conference on ‘Debt Recovery, Nigeria Economy and the Corporation’ in Lagos.
“Up to the financial year of 2017, we have recovered a total of N740 billion. Of course, we have a lot of substantial assets that we are holding in terms of real estate and some other forms of assets.
“But most fundamentally is that quite a lot of traction has been achieved over the period,” he said.
According to Kuru, AMCON has recovered an average of about 37 percent of what it is supposed to recover.
“And in the best climes, the best that asset management companies have done in terms of recovery is about 50 percent. So, if you gauge what we have done against what is obtainable internationally, you will see we have done well,” he said.
Kuru said during the period, AMCON disposed some financial assets, including three banks and was in the process of divesting its interest in Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN).
“This is in addition to quite a number of small businesses that we had intervened in and disposed. Our intervention in the agriculture sector is in the region of about N1.7 trillion.
“The structure of AMCON at conception was that there was the assumption that those loans that were purchased would be restructured and liquidity provided so that new life would be given to some of those businesses.
“Unfortunately, for a substantial part of businesses that were restructured and injected with funds in the past, their performance level is less than 10 percent,” said Kuru.
According to him, AMCON’s loss reduced from N164.94 billion in 2016 to N16.41 billion in 2017.
“As we all know, AMCON was not set up to make profit. We are not a profit-making organisation. Basically, we are a resolution agency.
“The corporation has done very well in terms of what its mandate was, which is to bring financial stability.
“We have started seeing a situation where our excess loss position is gradually reducing,” he added.
He explained that for AMCON perform well, the economy must be growing.
“If the economy is doing very well, some of those businesses that are defaulting will also be doing well. If the economy is not doing well, then those underlying businesses would also not be doing well.
“We are sitting on substantial real estate assets because due to the economic situation if we sell them today, we are going to record a lot of losses.
“When the economy picks up, the real estate market would also start booming and then we would be able to sell. If we dispose them now, we might not be able to recover the value,” he said.
Kuru said the corporation was working with the judiciary and the legislatures to see the areas of the AMCON Act that could be amended for more efficiency.
“The National Assembly has been supportive. We are trying to have a special tribunal where some specific high courts and Judges with integrity, would put our cases on the fast track.
“We have now decided to change our strategy from restructuring and resolution to recovery. Now, when we confiscate the asset, we look for different buyers, that is, people that would bring fresh capital,” said Kuru.
He said the corporation was approaching the 2023 date set to conclude its operations and promised to work hard to dispose the remaining assets before that date.