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AMCON battling 3,000 court cases, restraining orders to sell off debtors’ N3.6trn assets — MD

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With over 3,000 cases in court, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has restraining orders from the courts not to sell assets of debtors valued at N3.6 trillion, its Managing Director, Mr Ahmed Kuru has said.

“We cannot sell their assets because they are still under litigations. There are about 3,000 cases in court, you cannot touch their assets.

“The court processes are cumbersome — from high court to appeal court and all that.

“To recover N3.5 trillion, 250 debtor-companies have taken AMCON to court and we don’t have power of arrest or confiscation,” Persecondnews quotes Kuru as saying.

Kuru spoke at an interactive session with editors in Lagos on Monday.

According to him, the corporation has recorded about 70 percent debt recovery but that the interest rate on the loans “makes it look insignificant.”

Described collection as a very difficult job, Kuru said those owing the agency are not ordinary people — powerful people, the elite.

“Debt payment is the most difficult thing; it is very difficult to pay debts.

“If AMCON does not succeed in the assignment, it will affect all of us as Nigerians. So as a recovery agency, we must recover debts.

“When I open my phone, I get messages on daily basis insulting and abusing me for doing my job and these people I don’t know.

“Sometimes we take very painful decisions but that is the law.

“A man takes a bank loan to build a house and he died without repaying the loan and without telling his wife. We take over the asset and the wife started crying.”

Kuru suggested a further amendment of the Act setting up the agency to enable it confiscate assets of obligors, recalling that the Act had been amended four times — 2010, 2015, 2019 and 2021.

“The federal government can initiate an amendment bill that will empower AMCON to seize assets of debtors.”

The CEO described the agency as a child of necessity set up as a result of 2009 financial crisis with over N3 trillion bad loans from the banks.

On AMCON’s exit date, Kuru disclosed that it is expected to wind up in 2025, but said NASS, Finance Minister, CBN and AMCON will work out a frame work without a disruptive end.

“AMCON there can’t be there perpetually. It can’t wind up until the obligors and the agency agree on an arrangement.”

On money realized so far from sold assets, Kuru said:”We have realized N250 billion from assets sold, some in cash, some in assets.

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