Reps to probe Otedola’s N141 billion debt

The House of Representatives, on Monday night, said it would probe the alleged debt of N140.9 billion, being outstanding debt of a businessman, Femi Otedola, to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed, in a statement, said “we have observed with interest, the payment of N140.9 billion, being outstanding debt of Mr Otedola to AMCON. This payment was credited to AMCON’s Managing Director, Mustafa Chike-Obi.

“Obi confirmed that AMCON board met on Thursday and approved the transfer of the business-man’s assets, as well as undisclosed cash to AMCON as full payment and final settlement of Otedola’s liabilities,” he noted.

“The seventh House of Representatives would, on return from its one-week oversight tour, constitute a committee to investigate the amount and the assets so transferred to AMCOM.

“It is imperative to state that with the state of our economy, this transaction was done with confidentiality and secrecy.

“It is curious that AMCON, being a government establishment which is under the purview of the National Assembly, could do that without the knowledge of the House.

“To say the least, the procedure is not acceptable. The National Assembly would be interested in getting full details of the transaction,” it read.

AMCON boss says capital market probe report is sloppy

The Managing Director of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Mustafa Chike-Obi on Thursday said that the report presented to the House of Representatives by the Chairman of the ad-hoc committee that probed the near collapse of the Nigerian capital market is “extremely ill done” and “extremely sloppy”.

Mr Chike-Obi, who disclosed this while responding to questions on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, said he disagree with most of the observations the committee listed in the report.

He said: “For example he (the chairman of the probe committee, Ibrahim Tukur El-Sudi) said that AMCON is a time-bomb waiting to happen. This he concludes after one hour interaction with AMCON MD. We’ve had visits from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) to look into the AMCON module. I spent eight hours with them in Abuja and I was on the phone with them for an additional eight hours when they went back to Washington, asking me questions, details of what we are doing. And in their report about Nigeria they cited AMCON as one of the good things Nigeria has done.”

AMCON may list nationalised banks

The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) on Tuesday said it may list three banks that were nationalised as part of a bailout in 2009, instead of selling them to rivals, as it seeks to determine fair value for the banks.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Mustapha Chike-Obi

Mustapha Chike-Obi, the chief executive of AMCON, said the AMCON will need to find financial advisers before finalising its decision on whether to list directly or sell to competitors.

“AMCON is appointing an adviser that will evaluate and determine the value of the banks, evaluate all the options available to AMCON,” he said.

“We expect our eventual adviser to consider this (listing) among other options,” Chike-Obi said. He said in April that all three rescued banks were now profitable.

Previously, AMCON said that more than 20 firms — banks and private equity investors — had expressed interest in acquiring the nationalised lenders, but AMCON is keen to have them valued before starting any negotiations.

It may opt to take them public if it can get a better deal.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) nationalised three banks changed their names to Mainstreet Bank from Afribank; Enterprise Bank from Spring Bank; Keystone Bank from Bank PHB, for failing to find new investors before a recapitalisation deadline.

The CBN then injected N620 billion into nine banks in 2009, judging that they were dangerously undercapitalised.