The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, Mr. Ahmed Kuru has said that the Corporation is currently managing assets worth over N2trillion.
He also said that the Corporation has the powers through the enabling Act to trace any asset or assets belonging to debtors and seize them through the courts even though such assets were not originally tendered in the loan agreement.
The AMCON boss disclosed this in an interview with the Economic Confidential.
Kuru said the assignments in the Corporation has been rough and tough. He acknowledged that chasing debtors was the most difficult task facing the corporation just like in the banking system stressing that he has been very busy in debt recovery.
“We have been very busy to recover money. You know it is not easy to recover debts. If you give your neighbor who came to you under a distressed situation and lend him money, and promise to give you back the money when salary is paid at the end of the month, I can tell you nine out of ten cases will frown their faces when you approach them for refund”, adding that there are some debtors who perpetually do not want to pay debts.
Speaking further on assets and properties of debtors, Kuru said the Act that established AMCON empowers it to go after assets and properties of the debtors wherever they are.
“Our law gives us the right to go after such assets. For instance, if you come under a vehicle and collect AMCON’s money and suddenly we realize that you are somewhere doing other businesses and you have taken our loans for a different project, the law allows us to go after you so far we can link it to the loan.
The law also allows “Asset Tracing” which means that it is not only the asset you give us that we should go after.
If you have any asset, anywhere, once we can trace it, we can go to the court to obtain the possessing order”, he said.
Asked how he has been coping with powerful debtors in the society, the AMCON boss said emphatically that “No matter how highly placed they are in the society, we will carry out our duty of debt recovery even in the face of intimidation.”
We will follow any case in court to its logical conclusion be it in the High Court, Appeal Court and up to the Supreme Court until we are satisfied that the Act setting us up have been fully complied with.”
“What I can tell you also is that, once there is common ownership wherever it is, we can go after it. For instance, an “A” may borrow the money, and the principal that borrow the money has interests in “B,” “C” “D” up to “Z.” We can follow all through because the law allows us to do that by linking them up.
He called on debtors to come forward for discussion and find a way out of the indebtedness, noting that the idea of attacking the corporation on the pages of newspapers will not help them.
“We have in this process helped a lot of businesses bounce back and on the part of recovery. We don’t want any business to suffer because of their debts.
“We are not out to kill businesses but to encourage them to grow by following the global best practices in debt reconciliations and settlements.
“Our desire is to recover the money for the nation through painless processes”, he said.