ERA OF BANK FAILURE OVER, SAYS AMCON
The Managing Director, Mustafa Chike-Obi was interviewed today by the Editorial Board of The Guardian on the all-round structural performance and organizational mandate of AMCON, with questions ranging from; what the clientele of AMCON comprises of, the role of AMCON in the acquisition of the three acquired banks and the future of these banks in AMCON’s custody, the length to which AMCON can or cannot take decisions without the involvement of the CBN and what mechanisms are in place to ensure an enduring legacy for AMCON, due to its investment profile as being very strategic to the Nigerian economy?
The MD began by stating that AMCON has money from two sources. The Corporation can issue bond guaranteed by the government. But to do this, the Corporation has to conform to everything in Section C of the Act that sets AMCON up. The Corporation can only issue bonds to recapitalize Eligible Financial Institution (EFIs) or buy eligible non-performing loans from these EFIs. When asked if other companies can liaise with AMCON for bailout or if their banks had to seek AMCON’s intervention on their behalf, the MD specified that the banks normally report such cases to the Corporation, provided it is a non-performing loan and classified as such in the first instance by the bank and if that is not done, it cannot come to AMCON.
He further clarified the fact that AMCON had no involvement in the acquisition of Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB, but it capitalized these new institutions after their acquisition. The Corporation has had four cases with respect to the nationalization of the bridge banks, but the courts vindicated the Corporation in all these cases saying that due process was adhered to. Some investors showed their interest to acquire these banks, but investigations were carried showing that they were not fit to own a bank; hence, the CBN had to intervene. It was made known that these banks in question were not just acquired; they were declining in financial standards and were losing about N2 billion monthly. The CBN gave an ultimatum of September 30, 2011, to Eight (8) declining banks in the country, to make an encouraging turnover; this deadline was not met, instead more debts were accrued. Consequently, the NDIC did not want to wait for the deadline because the banks would have been liquidated by then. Therefore, the NDIC took a proactive step; necessitating the CBN to strip the licenses and asked AMCON to capitalize. In conclusion, He assured that AMCON wants to stabilize these banks and sell them to the best bidder(s) after due process has been followed.
Culled from THE GUARDIAN: Monday, July 23, 2012. Pg. 62-63