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Bad debts: AMCON to confiscate assets of 13,000 defaulters

AMCON Executive Director, Credit Directorate, Abbas Mohammed Jega, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Daily Trust. Jega said this measure became necessary because “we…

AMCON Executive Director, Credit Directorate, Abbas Mohammed Jega, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Daily Trust.
Jega said this measure became necessary because “we can’t allow 13, 000 people to kill the economy of 170 million Nigerians.”
Apart from publishing the debtors’ names in national dailies, AMCON would also start confiscating the assets of the loan defaulters, he added.
He said: “We want to use this medium to tell them that if you have a loan with AMCON come forward and pay. Otherwise, we will come to your house; we will take the house and sell it even if you are living inside with your family. We will sell the houses to recover the money. We won’t wait forever. We are not only going to sell it, but we are going to publish the names of these 13,000 people in the newspapers so that everybody will know who they are.”
He said the debtors have refused to meet with AMCON to discuss their loans despite all entreaties, adding, “we have advertised in the newspapers that anybody who has loans with AMCON should please come for negotiation. We are not a law enforcement agency. We don’t arrest or detain people, just come for discussions. We are business men. We speak your language, come and talk to us. We’ll give you breathing space. We will give you concessions so that you will be able to pay your loans.”  
The executive director further said: “We have also written to people who we have their names and addresses to come forward and pay. We have appointed lawyers and debt recovery agents to go to people in Jega, Calabar and Maiduguri to talk to them to come to AMCON and pay their loans. But 54 percent of these people are not talking to us.
“We are already three years now, so we have been patient enough.  And we don’t have all the time and this money must be recovered. AMCON has only 13,000 customers, that is 13, 000 bad loans.”
He also pointed out that, “AMCON act has given AMCON tremendous powers for recovery which the banks don’t have. We can go to court (for) exparte and seize your property if it is mortgaged or if it’s collateral. We can do so many things. We can stop you on the road and seize your car.”
According to him, directors of indebted companies are not spared either.
He said: “We are allowed to go not only after companies but even after the individual directors. The act gives us the power to lift the corporate veil. So, we are not limited to limited liability. If a company borrows money and it is not able to pay, when we look at the company and find out that all the money has been diverted, we will go to Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and look at who are the directors of the company and we will go after them.”
Jega explained, however, that about 20 percent of the debtors have repaid their loan.
He added: “So far, we have been able to successfully restructure about 46 percent of the loans in our portfolio. Out of the 46 percent that we have restructured, 20 percent have paid off.”

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