Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and Ernst & Young, (multinational financial advisory firm), the are pushing to end the operation of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
Ahmed Kuru, managing director/CEO, AMCON, said AMCON is working with the three institutions to “tinker things a little and then at certain point in time liaising with the National Assembly to draw a line.”
Speaking during a retreat with members of the House Committee on Banking and Currency in Lagos, Kuru said: “My suggestion will be to put all the remaining debt in one vehicle and fling the vehicle to anybody or firm that wants to buy with considerable discount. At that stage maybe it would be wise to do that and then close AMCON. There are funds all over the world that are in search of such opportunity. Then the contributions into the sinking fund from the banks, NDIC and CBN would over the period of two or three years depending on how the rates are adjusted be gradually cleared.”
The AMCON boss said the corporation raised its N5.6 trillion take-off capital from bonds it issued at six per cent for a discounted value of N4.042 trillion (face value of N5.6 trillion) for the acquisition of Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) and the recapitalization of Eligible Financial Institutions (EFIs).
The AMCON chief said another cash of N500 billion was from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at three per cent annual interest rate, payable in 2021 and another N10 billion share capital contributed equally by the Ministry of Finance and the CBN.
Kuru challenged the lawmakers to consolidate on the gains of the previous National Assembly, said it is in the interest of the Nigerian economy to recover the debt because it was not established as a charity organisation.
He said AMCON purchased 12,743 NPLs or EBAs worth N3.8 trillion from 22 Eligible Financial Institutions (EFIs) for a purchase price of N1.8 trillion. The purchased are covered by various collaterals. AMCON also capitalizes three EFIs and provides financial accommodation to five. The corporation, he added had to inject a total sum of N2.2 trillion to 10 banks – bridged and owned banks (intervened banks) – bringing Net Book Value (NAV) to Zero.
AMCON he added bought 12,743 Eligible Bank Assets (EBAs) but has so far resolved about 4,000 EBAs while more than 8,000 EBAs are still outstanding just as it mapped out about 6,000 accounts to its Asset Management Partners (AMPs), which has significantly improved recoveries. However, 71 of the EBAs are currently under receivership.
Also, Hon. Victor Nwokolo, chairman, committee on Banking and Currency, of Federal House of Representatives assured Nigerians that the 9th National Assembly would take all necessary measures that would support AMCON in realizing the huge outstanding debt of over N5.4 trillion owed it by obligors before its sunset.
Recall that AMCON with the assistance of the 8th National Assembly successfully amended the AMCON Act, which President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law earlier in the year. The amended Act further provided AMCON with additional powers to deal with the obligors.
Since government is a continuum, Nwokolo affirmed that the National Assembly through the committee, which has oversight mandate over AMCON would work to ensure that AMCON not only performs its function satisfactorily, but ensures that the corporation delivers on its expected mandate given that AMCON is a creation of the parliament in 2010.
He said the National Assembly will continue to amend the AMCON Act until the Federal Government achieves that target for which AMCON was created in the first place, which is to stabilize the financial sector.
Given that the AMCON Act has been amended and already signed into law by President Buhari, Nwokolo said the national assembly will continue to strengthen the laws of the country on enforcement. He said enforcement has become critical given the tactics of the debtors, which has constrained AMCON from achieving optimum results especially since public funds were used to buy these loans that helped prevent systemic collapse of the banking sector in Nigeria at the time AMCON was created in 2010.
SEC, EFCC Partner Against Ponzi Schemes
The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, are committed to strengthening the partnership between the agencies with a view to tackling the menace of Ponzi schemes in the country.
This commitment was restated during a courtesy visit by Mohammed Danladi, the Kano Zonal Head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to his EFCC counterpart, Sanusi Aliyu Mohammed on Tuesday.
The SEC Zonal Head described his visit to EFCC as an effort to solidify the already existing relationship between EFCC and SEC.
“This visit is nothing more than to solidify the existing relationship between EFCC and SEC which dates back to the inception of EFCC. We are here to renew that relationship, foster it and fight the common enemy together”, he said.
Mr. Danladi expressed concern about his Commission’s challenges dealing with operators of wonder banks which are on the rise especially in the northern part of the country.
According to him, “the operators of the illegal scheme are taking advantage of the financial illiteracy of the public to defraud them in the name of investment”.
He added that most of the Ponzi scheme operators avoid SEC registration because they know they would be monitored.
In his response, Sanusi Mohammed, the EFCC Zonal Head, suggested a joint operation between the two agencies to curtail the spread of Ponzi schemes and prevent the public from falling victims of the scam.
Mohammed further assured the SEC of the Commission’s continued support as the two agencies share common objectives to fight financial crimes. “As long as the mandate of EFCC and that of SEC remain, you cannot separate the SEC and EFCC. We will continue to work together institutionally, “he said.
“Where the SEC’s main concern is to make sure investors are protected from losing their investments, the EFCC’s concern is the protection of the general public from the activities of fraudsters, which are one and the same,” the Zonal Head added.
Oreoluwa Adesakin, First Bank Staff Jailed for Stealing N49m
Oreoluwa Adesakin, a staff of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has been convicted for fraud and handed a total term of 98 years in prison by Justice Muniru Olagunju of the Oyo State High Court.
But she will spend just seven years in jail.
Adesakin was found to have committed financial fraud against First Bank to the tune of N49,320,652.32.
She also stole $368,203.00 belonging to the bank, which she converted to her personal use.
Adesakin, before she was busted by the bank and sacked, was its Money Transfer Operator, saddled with the responsibility of effecting payments through Western Union Money Transfer and MoneyGram platforms.
The convict was prosecuted by the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on a 14-count charge, bordering on stealing, forgery and fraudulent accounting.
One of the counts read: “That you Oreoluwa Adesakin sometime between the months of May, 2013 and November, 2013, at Ibadan within the Ibadan Judicial Division, whilst being a staff of First Bank PLC stole the sum of N25,974,116.13 (Twenty Five Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand, One Hundred and Sixteen Naira, Thirteen Kobo) from First Bank PLC MoneyGram Payment Naira Account, property of First bank PLC.”
She pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Usman Murtala, prosecution counsel, presented every vital document and witnesses which nailed the convict.
Justice Olagunju noted that the EFCC presented incontrovertible evidence against the convict and did a diligent investigation and prosecution.
He thus pronounced Adesakin guilty of all the counts.
He sentenced her to seven years in prison without an option of fine on each of the 14 counts. The sentencing will run concurrently.
Apart from the jail term, the convict is also to restitute the First Bank, through the EFCC, all the money she stole.
The convict was arraigned April 4, 2014 by the EFCC following a conclusion of investigations against her which arose from a petition from her former employer, dated December 18, 2013.
The bank alleged in the petition that Adesakin fraudulently manipulated its Moneygram accounting and withdrew N49,320,652.32 and another $368,203.00 for herself, which the bank only uncovered while reviewing its internal account.
The EFCC was also able to establish that the convict used part of the proceeds of her crime to acquire landed properties in different parts of Oyo State.
CIBN Recertifies NDIC Academy as Bankers Training Provider
Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has recertified the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Academy as a training service provider for various professionals in the banking industry.
The council also renewed the academy’s accreditation for the next three years, effective from June 2020.
Mr. Saubana Ogunpola, head of the five-man CIBN Accreditation Team, said the recertification followed the exemplary performance of the NDIC Academy since it initial accreditation in 2016 and the satisfaction of the stringent conditions for the recertification.
The recertification, according to Mr. Saubana Ogunpola, Head of the five-man CIBN Accreditation Team, followed the exemplary performance of the NDIC Academy since its initial accreditation in 2016 and the satisfaction of the stringent conditions for the recertification.
He noted that there would be periodic monitoring to ensure that quality standards are being adhered to.
Mr Ogunpola commended the NDIC for its consistent efforts toward meeting the high standards for the benefit of the banking industry and the larger economy.
He described the NDIC’s readiness to subject itself to the rigors of the Institute’s accreditation process as a testimony of its Management’s commitment to capacity development for all stakeholders.
In his reaction, Mr. Umaru Ibrahim, managing director/chief executive, NDIC, described the recertification as another milestone in the NDIC efforts to consolidate the position of the Academy as a center of academic excellence in the nation’s banking industry and on deposit insurance in Africa.
Mr Ibrahim disclosed that the Academy had so far trained a total of 13,368 participants cutting across the NDIC’s workforce.
“It had also trained 135 participants from relevant stakeholders, including the EFCC, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
“On the international front, 19 employees from sister deposit insurance agencies in other African countries had benefitted from the expertise of the Academy,” the managing director noted.
He stated that the NDIC Academy has been designated to host the African Centre for Studies on Deposit Insurance System (ACSDIS) recently established by the Africa Regional Committee (ARC) of the International Association of Deposit Insurance (IADI).
Mr. Ibrahim reiterated that with the recertification, the NDIC Academy is positioned to fulfill the NDIC’s goal of serving as a center of excellence for capacity building on Deposit Insurance Scheme (DIS) for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
He added that the NDIC prides itself on establishing the highest standards of professionalism and competency among its staff through the NDIC Academy and other human capital development initiatives, including the Chartered Banker/MBA program at Bangor University, Wales in partnership with the CIBN.
The NDIC boss emphasized that the Corporation places high premium on capacity building and continuous high level training of its staff to achieve the NDIC mandate of deposit guarantee, bank supervision, bank distress resolution and liquidation.
“The ultimate goal would be to enhance depositor protection and public confidence in the nation’s banking system,” he said.
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