Ahmed Kuru, managing director (MD) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), says the corporation has succeeded in recovering N644 billion.
Kuru disclosed this at a media briefing in Lagos, stating that the financial institution is on its way to achieving its objective of protecting the economy and retrieving acquired bad debts in the Nigerian financial system.
“We have so far collected cash of about N644 billion, and we have settle 56 percent of the total N3.7 trillion has also been settled. Settled doesn’t mean money in pocket,” he said.
“Like I told you, the challenge is from within, the framework is a bit faulty. You cant say that you are taking somebody’s liability, and this person’s business has failed, totally failed in the commercial bank, and you are giving the commercial bank liquidity.”
THE COURT OF LAW IS AMCON’S LAST RESORT
He further disclosed that seeking court orders in retrieving debts and sealing up companies was necessitated by many years of non-compliance from its debtors.
“We always tell them that we are not quarreling with anybody. If I tell you that there is somebody who can put N10 billion on the table today, I’m lying. But I believe that there are people that can tell me how they intend to pay the 50 billion, the 100 billion, the 150 billion outstanding debts,” Kuru said.
“Some of these guys, you see the lifestyle (they live), the moment you tell them to come and pay our money, it become a problem. So we understand these things.
“They go to the press and I want to tell you that there is nothing personal. Some of them would write that they don’t owe. I cant wake up in the morning and say come and pay me N10 billion; there must be basis.
“If I believe that you are not owing me anything, and I go to court, and say court help me collect this money, there must really be something wrong with me.
“I can tell you that our recovery process is very vigorous, AMCON doesn’t wake up one fine morning and go to court. We must have given these people it for the last five to six years, but the last resort is the court; that means we must have exhausted all manner of mediation. Going to court is very expensive, and we also don’t like the bad publicity.”
AMCON: WE’RE NOT OUT TO KILL BUSINESSES – BUT TO SAVE THE ECONOMY
Kuru explained that AMCON, with a 10-year lifespan, was not set up to make profit as such, but to deliver a social benefit of saving the economy and businesses from bad debts, adding that it is not out to kill businesses.
“The most important thing, like we always tell our debtors is; come and talk to us. We are supposed to help them, we are suppose to support them, AMCON is not out to come and kill businesses, we are to support businesses, and we have record to show businesses that we have supported and we have continued to support.
“We are supposed to be the economic catalyst, we are supposed to help with the economy. That is why we always advice that let us understand what the issues are, so we can work together, because with 12,700 accounts, it is a basket where opportunities can come up.
“We just want to protect the economy, support the economy and we also want to support the obligos in their businesses, but they must come and talk to us.”
He said recovering of bad debts is not a pleasant, but patriotic assignment, adding that nothing is personal about the recovery of the debts.