The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) confirmed ongoing plans to proceed with the publication of names of the 7,912 debtors owing the agency N4.4 trillion following the expiration of the deadline on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.
There are however indications that the number of debtors could be less, according to Jude Nwauzor, spokesman of the corporation.
When asked if some of the erstwhile recalcitrant debtors utilized the one-month grace period offered by the Nigerian Senate on December 5, last year to negotiate the terms of the settlement, Nwauzor told our correspondent on telephone: “Yes, there are people coming to negotiate with us, who do not want their names on the list being prepared for publication.”
Another issue that would play in the decision of what names to publish, could be those cases already before various courts in the land.
Addressing judges of the Federal High Court during the annual 2021 Judges Conference/interaction with relevant government agencies in the country, on December 13, 2021, the chief executive of AMCON, Ahmed Lawan Kuru, lamented that only 350 outstanding obligors account for 83% of the corporation’s total Eligible Bank Assets balance; of which the top 244 are in various courts. Worse still, he continued, the collateral coverage for these assets stands at a mere 16% of the total current exposure.
Recall that on December 6, the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, directed AMCON), on Monday hinted at a 30-day grace which expires on January 5, 2022, to come with a payment proposal to upset their outstanding debt obligations.
Publication of the new list of recalcitrant debtor individuals, and institutions, as well as their directors on its Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) portfolio in national newspapers, was directed by the Senate committee chairman, Senator Uba Sani (Kaduna Central).
Based on the order, a statement by Nwauzor had said “the corporation will have no choice than to carry out the directive of the National Assembly (and) will not be blamed having taken the pain to warn the debtors ahead of the planned publication.”
According to the AMCON Act Section 50B. (1) as amended, “notwithstanding any rule or contractual obligation as to confidentiality, the Corporation may publish, in the national daily newspapers, a list of debtors that have failed to meet their debt or other repayment obligation to the Corporation in connection with any Eligible Bank Asset acquired by the Corporation…”