The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) has disclosed that it has injected over N5trillion into the economy of Nigeria to rescue the financial sector from complete collapse.
The revelation was made Tuesday in Abuja by Alhaji Kola Belgore, Chairman of AMCON at the maiden edition of the Chartered Institute of Stockbroker held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel.
Belgore however noted that the bulk of the fund from its coffers to clear the bad loans incurred by corporations and individuals were injected in the hitherto ailing Nigerian banking sector.
“Virtually all non-performing loans in the books of the banks have been mopped up by AMCON)”, he enthused.
He further revealed that other sectors of the economy which include power, telecoms, agric, oil & gas among others have felt the impact of his company.
He however noted specifically that the recent intervention of AMCON in writing off the margin loans incurred by some operators in the capital market, which was primarily responsible for the downturn of the market some three years ago was a major milestone achieved by AMCON.
He argued that the decision of AMCON to intervene in the debt case in the capital market was strategic to the smooth running of every other aspects of the Nigerian economy.
His words: “One major sector outstanding in AMCON’s intervention was the capital market. If all sectors are cleansed up and the capital market is left out, the problem in the economy will persist”.
He however hinted that the decision to intervene in the capital market was a primary decision of AMCON, given the importance it attached to the role of the market in economy growth.
“Though we (AMCON) is owned 50 per cent each by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, AMCON paid off the margin loan owed by the capital market to the banks”, he emphasised.
He added: “Today, the margin loan saga is behind us. It is completely written off”.
Belgore however confirmed claims by regulators and operators of the capital market by saying “now, the capital market is alive, because all bailed out companies may soon begin find their ways back to the market to list their shares”. Meanwhile, the Federal Government through the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) has confirmed the approval of the contract Manitoba Hydro Electric Board of Canada as the network operator for the state-owned power utility.
The re-affirmation of the deal signed with the company by federal government Tuesday in Abuja puts an end to the row that ensued as a result of the petition raised by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) against the decision of BPE to announce Manitoba Hydro as the preferred winners of the deal.
Mr. Benjamin Dike, Director General of BPE, who announced the decision of the Federal Government during the maiden National Workshop of the Chartered Institute of Stockbroker (CIS) held yesterday in Abuja, in addition said the money due to Manitoba Hydro from the federal government has been approved for immediate payment.
“Government has approved the process of payment and Manitoba will be paid soonest”, Dike said.
Dike who noted that the robust participation of Nigerians in the ongoing process of power privatisation has conferred credibility and confidence in the whole power transformation agenda, said investors in the sector will be duly encouraged.
His words: ” All investors in the power sector are assured that all hanging labour issues threatening the success of the privatisation process would be resolved before the conclusion of the exercise”.
He added that proper Title Transfer to core investors will be taken care of by the government.
However, Dike assured that all hands are on deck to ensure that the security environment in the country improves a lot more to further boost the confidence of foreign investors in the sector to operate without fears in the country.
Dike also mentioned that monopolists in the power sector will be continually dismantled in the country to pave way for the complete success of the transformation agenda in the power sector.
Besides the power sector, Dike asked investors both local and foreign to look out for more opportunities to create wealth in other sectors like transportation, oil & gas and Agric after the ongoing regulations to drive activities in them are fully achieved.
Bamidele Obafemi reporting from Abuja