Wednesday, January 05, 2022 / 08:42
AM / by Oyetunji Abioye, Nike Popoola, and Stephen Angbulu of Punch
Newspaper/ Header Image Credit: Pulse
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria is set to publish the names of 7,912 debtors owing it a total of N4.4tn, it has been learnt.
The move follows the expiration of the 30-day ultimatum given by the National Assembly to debtors to regularise their debt status with the bad debt manager.
The one month notice elapses on Wednesday (today), January 5, 2021.
The corporation confirmed to The PUNCH on Tuesday that the agency had no choice but to obey the directive of the National Assembly asking it to publish the names of debtors who have refused to repay their loans.
The spokesperson for AMCON, Mr. Jude Nwauzor, said debtors who were yet to provide a repayment proposal risked having their details published in the media after the 30-day grace period given by the National Assembly.
He said, "AMCON has taken the decision to publish already. The decision has been taken already. It is a directive from the National Assembly. As a responsible corporate citizen, this was why we published an advertorial to warn all the entities concerned that their names will be published at the expiration of the ultimatum. The one month grace period will be expiring on January 5, 2021".
According to corporation, out of a total of 12, 743 non-performing loans inherited by the agency, 4, 831 debtors have settled their indebtednesses, leaving a total of 7,912 outstanding debtors
AMCON confirmed that the agency would be publishing the names of 7,912 debtors owing the agency N4.4tn at the expiration of the deadline.
Emphasising why the agency would go ahead to publish the names of the debtors, Nwauzor said, "If you recall that before we went for the Christmas holiday, the National Assembly asked us to publish a list of debtors. However, the management of AMCON felt that to avoid a situation whereby people would say we took them by surprise, there was a need to do an advertorial. That was why we put adverts to warn that after the expiration of the deadline, the names would be published. We bought 12,743 loans, but as of now, about 4,831 have been resolved. The outstanding is now7,912. These outstanding debtors are owing us N4.4tn".
AMCON, it was learnt, had finalised arrangements to publish the complete list of individuals, and institutions on its non-performing loans portfolio in the national dailies.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Uba Sani, had, in early December, directed the corporation to publish the names of all debtors, including popular Nigerians as the government stepped efforts to drive debt recovery.
The agency consequently gave the debtors between December 6, 2021, and January 5, 2021, to provide payment formidable repayment proposal or risk the embarrassment of having their names published as directed by the National Assembly.
In a document submitted to the House of Representatives and the Senate last December, AMCON's Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Kuru, revealed that about 83 percent of the total NPL portfolio of N4.4tn was being owned by 350 debtors.
The corporation's spokesperson had warned that the agency "will have no choice but 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".
Speaking on Tuesday, Nwauzor said, "Before we went on vacation, a good number of debtors who will not want their name published have been discussing with the relevant departments within AMCON.
"What will happen now is a compilation of those who have not come forward. After that, we will get management's approval to publish. It will be published!
"You know, left to the National Assembly, they wanted the names published immediately after we engaged with them last month. But as a responsible organisation, AMCON felt that it is proper to give people a final warning so that nobody will say they were taken unawares.
"So what we did was to play the role of a responsible organisation. Even though the National Assembly has approved that we go ahead and publish the names, let us also warn people about what will happen.
"After our announcement warning the public that we will publish the list of debtors, a good number of debtors have been coming to discuss with our enforcement department. They are the ones who will publish the list".