..as AMCON records N975bn recoveries
Barely one week after the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions called on Gen. Muhammadu Buhari Rtd., President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to issue an Executive Order on seizure of assets of persons who are indebted to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, Hon. Sir Jones Chukwudi Onyereri today in Kano State stated that the House of Representatives under the able leadership of Rt. Hon. Speaker, Yakubu Dogara will work with the Senate for a quick passage of the AMCON amendment Bill, which will ensure the Corporation gets all needed support from the National Assembly to meet its mandate.
Hon. Onyereri who was addressing his colleagues in the Ancient City of Kano at the opening of a 3-day retreat said given the sunset date of AMCON, which he stated was created by the government not to operate in perpetuity, the National Assembly, the executive and the judiciary must ensure that the recovery agency of government meets its obligation within the expected and acceptable timeframe. He said, “Earlier this year, we had a public hearing and a technical session on the AMCON amendment Bill. The Report on the Bill is out and will soon be presented before the House.
“This shows our commitment in ensuring that AMCON gets all the support it can get from the National Assembly in carrying out its mandate. This Bill is very important and we promise to work with the Senate in ensuring a quick passage of the Bill. As we are all aware, AMCON was not created to exist in perpetuity. There is a sunset date for AMCON and it is expected to have achieved its mandate before the sunset date. Therefore, and more importantly, we are here to interact with AMCON to see how we can further help in making sure that AMCON achieves this mandate for the common good of the country.”
According to the Chairman, the lawmakers are happy that AMCON as an interventionist institution of the Federal Government, especially under its present management, has performed above board, but are worried that the Corporation is often constrained by institutional and legal stumbling blocks that have continued to hinder them from achieving optimum results especially since public funds were used to buy these loans that helped prevent the EFIs from going under. As a matter of public urgency, he stated that AMCON needs to recover these monies, just as there is need to sensitize the courts on the need for speedy resolution of AMCON cases.
In his remarks, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AMCON, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, who did not hide the fact that AMCON needs support at this critical time in the life of the Corporation further informed members of the House Committee that obligors of the Corporation are getting bolder by the day and employing all kinds of tricks to tie AMCON up in court. He said AMCON today has over 3,000 cases, and counting in different courts across the country with obligors who have the means to pay; are still doing business with other names but have vehemently refused to pay what they owe AMCON. He therefore said that AMCON having achieved remarkable milestones in the last seven and half years of its creation, is willing to deliver even more if given the needed support from all key stakeholders such as the legislature, the judiciary, the executive among others.
Presenting an abridged highlight of the Corporation’s achievements in the last seven and half years Kuru again said, “AMCON has fully redeemed all Federal Government guaranteed bonds issued to the commercial banks for purchase of non-performing loans. The face value of the bonds was N3.7 trillion; the banks became stable and were able to support businesses; AMCON has successfully divested from the three bridge banks—Mainstreet, Enterprise and, Keystone banks; AMCON has recorded total recoveries worth N975billion of which cash and assets account for 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively; Out of the total number of Eligible Bank Assets (EBAs) acquired, AMCON has fully resolved approximately 4,300 leaving approximately 8,400 and AMCON intervened in key sectors of the economy such as aviation and agriculture.”
Providing additional insight into the challenges now faced by the Corporation, the AMCON boss said, “These achievements came at a significant cost of human and material resources. It seems the energy required to make progress now, is a lot more than what was expended before, both in terms of legal, legislation and human resources. Obligors are smarter, desperate, more aggressive and recalcitrant. This calls for a need to revisit the AMCON Act which governs our operations.”
In his prayers to the House Committee, Kuru further submitted that, “One of the major areas for amendment is the matter of vesting proprietary interest of all collateral assets acquired by AMCON from commercial banks. The proposed amendment will have retrospective effect. The vesting of proprietary interest of all collateral assets in the resolution vehicle was implemented in Malaysia and was instrumental to their success in recovering debt obligations.
“Our second challenge has to do with the disposal of assets due to the economic downturn. AMCON’s current Assets Under Management (AUM), that is assets obtained from debt resolution, has a book value of N182 billion, which we are unable to sell. Our ability to successfully divest these assets, at competitive market price, is severely hampered by several factors including valuation methodology, unperfected title documents, state of the economy, purchasing power etc. Our third challenge is the uncooperative attitudes of select obligors who are either unwilling and/or unable to settle their indebtedness. Such debtors prefer to resort to all manner of diversionary tactics as opposed to dealing with the problem of their indebtedness. It sees most of them are buying time, to where we do not know!
“It is evident that we have exhausted the low hanging fruits and have to roll up our sleeves for a drawn out battle as it becomes harder to get obligors to settle their debts. To clarify, obligors indebted to AMCON for the sum of N1.3 trillion have sued us in various courts in Nigeria raising technicalities to avoid meeting their obligations. This has hampered our recovery efforts and our objective of obtaining the best achievable financial returns on assets acquired from the banks,” Kuru concluded.
AfDB, GGBI partner to strengthen Africa’s green bond market
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, has signed a declaration with the coalition of development finance institutions to promote green bond markets in Africa.
AfDB’s Group Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Ms Hassatou N’Sele, said this in a statement issued on the bank’s website.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Africa’s engagement in the green bond market currently represents less than one per cent of the more than 2.2 trillion dollar community green bond issued in 2022.
N’Sele said the institutions in the Global Green Bond Initiative (GGBI) comprised the European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.
Others are the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, Green Climate Fund and Germany’s KfW development bank, while PROPARCO of the AFD Group act as consortium of European development finance institutions.
The AfDB’s chief financial officer signed the declaration with representatives of the coalitions’ institutions on the sidelines of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
N’Sele said the engagement was to tap from the Global Green Bond Initiative technical assistance programme announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in June 2023.
”The Initiative will help private capital flow from institutional investors into climate and environmental projects in EU partner countries, increasing their access to capital.
”Providing technical assistance to green bond issuers in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs), and crowding in private investors through a dedicated de-risked fund.
”This will act as an anchor investor in green bonds issued in EMDEs.
“The anticipated impact can be up to 15-20 billion euro in green investments,” she said.
N’Sele said the partners supported the origination of green bonds, development and identification of pipelines of green projects, and the development of credible and coherent green bond frameworks.
“This joint declaration among us to collaborate on technical assistance on green bonds in Africa is our commitment to work together and it is significant and impactful.
”There cannot be impactful development in Africa without vibrant local capital markets,” the AfDB official said.
N’Sele highlighted the AfDB’s engagements in the green bond market, including issuing over 10 billion dollar worth of green and social bbondsin 2022 to support sustainable progress across Africa.
“Let’s help Africa fully leverage the power of green bonds, and we can contribute together towards a sustainable future for Africans,” she said.
Mr Stefano Signore of the European Commission’s partnerships directorate, described the partnership with the AfDB as an important milestone in efforts to mobilise green bonds in emerging developing economies.
Also, representative of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) expressed hope that the partnership would contribute to the intensification of climate and environmentally relevant projects.
”We hope to also contribute to pipelines that can set off the mobilisation of the global green bond initiative.”
NIS opens passport office in Ikorodu
The Comptroller- General of Nigeria Immigration Service(CGI), Mrs Caroline Adepoju ,on Friday assured Nigerians that they would get their passports within three weeks of submitting their applications.
Adepoju gave the assurance while inaugurating a new passport office in Igbogbo community in Ikorodu, Lagos State .
Adepoju said passports would now be processed and issued speedily provided applicants submit all the required details in their applications.
She advised the public to ensure that they renew their passports six months before its expiration to avoid problems while applying for visa to some countries.
Adepoju thanked the people of Igbogbo for their support and for providing all that was needed to start operation in the area.
“I thank the traditional ruler and the people of Igbogbo for their support and for ensuring the realisation of this project.
“This is my first assignment after my confirmation as the substantive Controller General of Nigeria Immigration Service.
“I want to advise the public to ensure they renew their passport six months before expiration to avoid being denied visa by some countries,” she said.
Speaking, Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu said the establishment of the passport office in Igbogbo would improve service delivery i to Nigerians and save the people of Igbogbo and environs the stress of traveling far to obtain tbeir passports..
Sanwoolu, represented by Mr Ibrahim Layode, Commussioner for Home Affairs, said the role of Immigration in any country could not be over- emphasised.
He said that the establishment of the passport front office in Igbogbo was a testament to Federal Government’s commitment to providing world -class immigration services in line with global standard.
Also speaking, the council Chairman of Igbogbo Baiyeku Local Counvil Development Area(LCDA) Mr Olusesan Daini, urged the CGI to consider expanding operations at the new passport front office .
Daini said the council would synergise with NIS to ensure the edifice was maintained.
“We will also improve our security architecture to ensure the office is secure.”he said.
He said that the new passport office was a welcome development as residents would no longer have to travel far to obtain or renew their passports.
“The establishment of this passport front office in Igbogbo will improve commercial activities.
“The council will also improve its security architecture to provide adequate security in the area,” he said.
Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Orimadegun Kasali ,who spoke on behalf of all the traditional rulers in Ikorodu Division , said he was very happy that the passport front office was established in his domain.
He added that it would go a long way in improving commercial activities in the area.
Adeboruwa commended all those who facilitated the establishment of the passport office in the community.
“I cannot say how happy I am today, infact ,this office will put Igbogbo community in world map.
” I appreciate everybody that has contributed in one way or the other to make this a success,especially the family that donated the land .
“I am glad that Igbogbo passport office has come to stay,” he said.
Nigeria, Germany sign Siemens power project accelerated implementation agreement
President Bola Tinubu and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz were witnesses to the signing of an accelerated performance agreement in Dubai on the Siemens power project in Nigeria.
The agreement was signed on the side-line of the on-going 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28 by Mr Kenny Anuwe, Managing Director of FGN Power Company on behalf of Nigeria.
Ms Nadja Haakansson, Siemens Energy’s Senior Vice-President and Managing Director for Africa signed on behalf of the German company.
Speaking after signing the agreement, Anuwe highlighted Siemens Energy’s effective delivery of crucial equipment worth more than 63 million Euros to Nigeria since the commencement of the project.
This includes 10 units of 132/33KV mobile substations; three units of 75/100MVA transformers, and seven units of 60/66MVA transformers, currently being installed by FGN Power Company at various sites.
The Dubai agreement was signed to expedite the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) to improve Nigeria’s electricity supply.
The PPI, formerly known as the Nigeria Electrification Roadmap Initiative, was the outcome of the visit by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Abuja in August 2018.
An agreement was signed between the governments of Nigeria and Germany in 2019 to improve Nigeria’s power sector.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, stated on Friday in Abuja that since assumption of office, Tinubu had advocated the accelerated realisation and expansion of the PPI.
To achieve this, the project has been a major focal point in three rounds of bilateral discussions at meetings between President Tinubu and the German Chancellor in New Delhi, in Abuja and in Berlin.
The Dubai agreement will facilitate the modernisation and expansion of Nigeria’s electric power transmission grid with full supply, delivery and installation of Siemens-manufactured equipment within 18 to 24 months, Ajuri stated.
It will ensure project sustainability and maintenance with full technology transfer and training of Nigerian engineers at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), he added.
The project will also focus on identified load demand centres with particular emphasis on economic and industrial hubs nationwide and the execution of new 330kV and 132/33KV substations in target load centres with economic priority.
These are in addition to thousands of kilometres of overhead transmission lines to connect new substations with existing ones, Ajuri also stated.
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