AMCON bites, takes over oil firm’s properties


March 1, 2012

The nation’s bad debt bank, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) yesterday took over the properties of Tonique Oil Services over a N200 million debt the firm owed Skye Bank.

This is the first time AMCON is taking over the properties of delinquent debtors who failed to pay debts bought over by the bad debt bank from deposit money banks.

AMCON’s action was executed under the order of the Federal High Court, granted pursuant to its special powers under its enabling Act. The AMCON Act allows the corporation to take possession of assets of recalcitrant debtors while the recovery action is pending in court.

Law enforcement agents, lawyers and court bailiffs yesterday executed this order on one of AMCON’s intractable debtors - Tonique Oil Services Limited, on its premises in Ikoyi and Gbagada, both in Lagos State, pledged as security for the loan.

In a statement made available yesterday,  AMCON said it had purchased the Non-Performing Loan of the oil services firm, a defaulting customer of Skye Bank Plc. Debt recovery proceedings were initiated before the Federal High Court, pursuant to the special procedure prescribed under the AMCON Act against the oil firm, whose debt (in excess of N200million) remained unpaid after several demands.

Preliminary steps in furtherance of the debt recovery action necessitated the application by AMCON for ex-parte orders of possession of the immovable properties of the customer, pledged as security for the debt and also injunctive Mareva orders freezing the funds of the debtor company in about 21 banks in the country.

This order, which was obtained on February 21, 2012 per Hon. Justice OJ Okeke at the Federal High Court Lagos, has a return date for March 6, 2012 when the debt recovery proceedings will continue.

AMCON had earlier this year urged all its debtors and other obligors to pay up on their debts or come forward with acceptable repayment proposals. In a statement, it advised   debtors and other connected obligors to disabuse their minds of any erroneous notions that such debt obligations would not be vigorously pursued and enforced by the corporation.

The corporation had noted its primary focus last year was in assisting with financial system stability, by the recapitalisation of hitherto weak banks, and the de-risking of the books of Nigerian banks in accordance with its primary functions and objects under the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (AMCON Act).

AMCON said it now intends to focus, in 2012, on the most critical statutory imperative of recovering and realising debts owed to it in consequence of its statutory acquisition of non-performing loans from Nigerian banks.

Already,  AMCON has engaged 70 professional valuers to determine the appropriate values of assets and properties of borrowers transferred to it through loan-purchase agreements with banks.

Source: Businessday


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