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Publishing Debtors’ List Will Enhance AMCON’s Debt Recovery, Say Experts

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  • Publishing Debtors’ List Will Enhance AMCON’s Debt Recovery, Say Experts

The recent publication of list of debtors by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has been welcomed by experts who believed the move will boost the recovery of existing huge non-performing loan (NPLs) by the corporation.

Although mixed reaction had trailed the action by AMCON, especially its legal implication, some experts who spoke on the matter, however said the move by the corporation was a step in the right direction.

Former Managing Director, Unity Bank Plc, Dr. Mohammad Rislanudeen and a Professor of Finance and Capital Market at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Prof. Uche Uwaleke said over the weekend that naming the debtors, including prominent Nigerians would be a game changer in its recovery drive.

According to Rislanudeen, the NPLs which stood at about five per cent when the debts were acquired by AMCOM in 2011, now averaged about 15 per cent, implying that more loans had gotten bad.

He said both AMCON and the debtor entities are currently in a dilemma-“because that chunk of money- over N4 trillion are tax payers’ money which was used rightly to ensure financial stability. And it’s the responsibility of AMCOM to recover these loans.”

However, the ex-banker added, publicising the identities of debtors in an effort to compel them to pay represented, “a right thing to whatever AMCON will do to ensure that those loans were recovered.”

Contrary to suggestions of a possible backlash, he said: “I don’t see any negative implication for the economy.

“If you are in business, you won’t like your business to fall. For instance, if you are indebted to AMCON to the tune of N1 billion and you’re doing good business, AMCON will never come to you and demand that you pay all the money at ago.

“All AMCON will want from you is to sit down with them, agree on the exact amount and restructure the facilities to be paid over a period of time based on your own cash flows.

“All AMCON wants is ownership: agreeing that you’re indebted and that you’ll start to pay.

“So anyone that’s in good business and is not ready to pay debts, then he should as well allow his business to go.

“If we don’t do that, we’ll continue to have this problem of moral hazard and adverse selection. It means even from day one, both the borrower and lender knows that the facility can get bad and yet they went ahead because they know at some point, somebody will take over.”

He added: “People will just go to bank, borrow money and then refuse to pay. On the part of the banks, because they know there’s AMCON- there’s always a place to sell the loans- it will be an unending vicious cycle.”

In the same vein, Uwaleke posited that the publication of the list of debtors would go a long way to aid recovery of most of the debts that AMCON took over from distressed banks.

He added:” AMCON is meant to be a temporary resolution vehicle and therefore should be seen to be ready to activate its sunset clause any time soon.

“This is one of the steps it should be taking to recover the debts owed it in preparation for winding down.”

According to the professor: “One implication of this sort of action is to send the right signals to bank customers with a reputation for loan defaults that they are expected to honour their obligation to the banks as at when due or risk being named and shamed.

“This will help to reduce the high level of non-performing loans in the banking industry. So, I think the development bodes well for financial system stability.”

Nevertheless, the former Unity Bank boss said AMCON was unlikely to wind up its operations by 2020 given that it “will not be able to recover those loans.”

He said: “So if they (AMCON) don’t recover the loans and more loans are getting bad, and there may be another pressure for another round of AMCON; because now, there’s Polaris Bank- that has huge bad debt…Now it has been liquidated and the entire share now belong to the NDIC and after some time, it’ll be handed over to AMCOM.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

Nigeria, Morocco sign MOUs on Hydrocarbons, Others

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The Federal Government and the Kingdom of Morocco have signed five strategic Memoranda of Understanding that will foster Nigerian-Morocco bilateral collaboration and promote the development of hydrocarbons, agriculture, and commerce in both countries.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, led the Nigerian delegation to the agreement signing ceremony on Tuesday at Marrakech, Morocco, while the Chief Executive Officer of OCP Africa, Mr Anouar Jamali, signed for the Kingdom of Morocco, according to a statement by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

Under the agreement between OCP, NSIA and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria will import phosphate from the Kingdom of Morocco and use it to produce blended fertiliser for the local market and export.

The statement said Nigeria would also produce ammonia and export to Morocco.

“As part of the project, the Nigerian Government plans to establish an ammonia plant at Akwa Ibom State,” it said.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, and the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, were part of the delegation and they confirmed that their organisations would take equity in the ammonia plant when the Final Investment Decision would be taken, the statement said.

Sylva said the project would broaden economic opportunities for the two nations and improve the wellbeing of the people.

He added that the project would also positively impact agriculture, stimulate the growth of gas-based industries and lead to massive job creation.

He said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had mandated the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and it agencies and other government agencies to give maximum support for the project.

“He mandated me to ensure that at least the first phase of this project is commissioned before the expiration of his second term in office in 2023,” he added.

According to the statement, the MOUs were for the support of the second phase of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative; Shareholders Agreement for the creation of the joint venture company to develop the multipurpose industrial platform and MOU for equity investment by the NNPC in the joint venture and support of the gas.

Other agreements are term sheet for gas sales and aggregation agreement and MOU for land acquisition and administrative facilitation to the establishment of the multipurpose industrial platform for gas sales and aggregation agreement.

The NCDMB boss described the bilateral agreement as significant to the Nigerian economy as it would accelerate Nigeria’s gas monetisation programme through establishment of the ammonia plant in the country.

The agreement would also improve Nigeria’s per capita fertiliser application through importation of phosphate derivatives from Morocco, he added.

Wabote challenged the relevant parties to focus on accelerating the FID, assuring them that the NCDMB would take equity investment for long-term sustainability of the project.

He canvassed for the setting up of a project management oversight structure to ensure project requirements and timelines are met.

“There is also need to determine manpower needs for construction and operations phase of the project and develop training programmes that will create the workforce pool from Nigeria and Morocco and design collaboration framework between research centres in Nigeria and Morocco to develop technology solutions for maintaining the ISBL and OSBL units of the Ammonia complex,” he said.

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Economy

Dangote Fertiliser Plant to Commence Shipment of Urea in March 2021

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Dangote to Sells Petrol in Naira, Plans to Commence Urea Shipment in March 2021

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said Dangote Fertiliser Plant will commence shipment of Urea in March 2021.

The CBN governor disclosed this during an inspection tour of the sites of Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals Complex Fertiliser Plant and Subsea Gas Pipeline at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos on Saturday.

Emefiele further stated that Dangote Refinery would sell refined petroleum products in Naira when it starts production.

This he said would save the country from spending 41 percent of the nation’s foreign exchange on importation of petroleum products yearly.

Based on agreement and discussions with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the oil companies, the Dangote Refinery can buy its crude in naira, refine it, and produce it for Nigerians’ use in naira,” Mr Emefiele said.

That is the element where foreign exchange is saved for the country becomes very clear. We are also very optimistic that by refining this product here in Nigeria, all those costs associated with either demurrage from import, costs associated with freight will be totally eliminated.

Emefiele explained that this will make the price of Nigeria’s petroleum products affordable and cheaper in naira.

If we are lucky that what the refinery produces is more than we need locally you will see Nigerian businessmen buying small vessels to take them to our West African neighbours to sell to them in naira.

“This will increase our volume in naira and help to push it into the Economic Community of West African States as a currency,” Mr Emefiele said.

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Economy

UK Budget 2021: Will Sunak’s Budget Run Into Unintended Consequences?

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Rishi Sunak’s Budget will encourage higher earners to consider their “international financial options” and will drive businesses away from the UK, warns the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organizations.

The warning from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as the Chancellor delivered his 2021 Budget in the House of Commons, his second since he took on the role.

Mr Green says: “The Chancellor has got an extraordinarily difficult hand to play as he tries to stem the economic damage caused by the pandemic, support jobs and businesses and, crucially, rebuild the public finances.

“Whilst Mr Sunak is being hailed a hero for the continued and unprecedented levels of support, it should also be remembered that he is – in a stealth move – dragging more people firmly into the tax net.

“He is raising taxes under the radar.

“Yes, there is no income tax rise. However, he is freezing personal tax thresholds, meaning as incomes rise and thresholds don’t, he is able to raise money by fiscal drag.”

Earlier this week, the deVere CEO noted: “Those most impacted by this stealth move will be looking at the financial planning options available to them, including international options, in order to grow and protect their wealth.”

Rishi Sunak also confirmed that corporation tax will increase to 25% from 2023, up from the current level of 19%.

Of this tax hike, Mr Green goes on to say: “Lower corporation tax helps job and wealth-creating business to survive and thrive. It also helps attract business to move and invest in the country.

“Instead of increasing taxes, Mr Sunak should have relentlessly focussed on growth and stimulus policies for businesses.  This would have been of greater help to firms, the economy, jobs and, ultimately, the Treasury’s coffers.”

He adds: “Again, this corporation tax hike is likely to serve as a prompt for businesses to consider their overseas financial options.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “The Chancellor had to perform a tough juggling act.  But stealthily dragging more people into the tax net and raising corporation tax might have negative, unintended consequences for the Treasury’s bottom line.”

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