Banks’ loan defaulters almost wrecked Nigerian economy – AMCON

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has said that loan defaulters of Deposit Money Banks who are on its books almost crashed the Nigerian economy if not for its intervention.

AMCON, an agency of the Federal Government, also stated that its intervention in the country’s aviation sector was what made Nigeria to have a semblance of an aviation industry.

AMCON has been intervening in diverse sectors of the economy by buying off the bad debts of businesses at the verge of collapse, as often times the corporation had taken over some of these ventures.

In the aviation sector, for instance, the Head, Corporate Communications, AMCON, Jude Nwauzor, stated that the corporation had to intervene in Arik Air and Aero Contractors.

“For Arik, the airline was owing nearly N300bn. The airline was almost dead and buried before we took over,” he told our correspondent.

Nwauzor further stated that the corporation figured out that obligors on its books would have crashed the Nigerian economy if not for the intervention of the Federal Government through AMCON.

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He said, “I don’t think any Nigerian should sit down and listen to any obligor that is in the books of AMCON because these are the people who wrecked this economy.

“They made sure it is difficult for people like you and I to borrow money in any bank to do anything meaningful. This is because the banks are now apprehensive to lend.”

Nwauzor added, “And why is this so? It is because those people who call themselves investors will go and borrow money from the banks to run businesses and they will not pay back the loans.”

He noted that the government’s intervention in the aviation sector salvaged the industry from utter collapse.

The AMCON spokesperson said, “It is also important to state that it is because of AMCON’s intervention in the aviation sector that is why we still have a semblance of what you can call aviation in Nigeria.

“What is the lifespan of an average airline in Nigeria? It is less than 10 years. So where were the investors when the airlines come into operation and eventually die and nothing happens in terms of reviving or saving them?

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“So it will be frivolous to accuse AMCON of taking over a business that would have died if not for the intervention of the corporation.”

Aside from taking over some airlines in the aviation sector, AMCON had also taken over several other businesses in various sectors.

On November 18, 2020, it announced that it had taken over the prime assets of a billionaire businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, adding that Ibrahim’s assets, which were taken over by AMCON, were worth N69.4bn.

It had explained that following the order of Justice R.M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division, AMCON took possession of 12 prime assets belonging to Ibrahim.

It described Ibrahim as the chief promoter of Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited in Lagos and Abuja, adding that his assets were taken over as a result of a staggering indebtedness of nearly N70bn.

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