- AMCON, ICPC Partner to Recover Debt
The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, on Wednesday in Abuja, disclosed plans by the commission to collaborate with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria towards the recovery of N5tn owed AMCON by obligors.
He disclosed this when he received the board and management of AMCON, led by the corporation’s Board Chairman, Dr Muiz Banire.
While describing the huge debt profile of AMCON as sobering, especially as the figure represented about 50 per cent of Nigeria’s 2019 budget, Owasanoye said the situation had become existential challenge for the country, since the few people who were holding the country to ransom were still walking free and waxing strong in the society.
Considering the positive impact the funds would have in the economy if recovered, Owasanoye said the time had come for the ICPC and other relevant sister agencies to partner AMCON and support the debt recovery drive.
He pledged that the ICPC under his leadership was ready to work with the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, and the board members to recover as much of these debts as possible before sunset.
Recalling that the Vice- President, Prof. Yomi Osinbajo, had also raised concerns over the huge debt in a similar forum, the ICPC chairman said, the commission would be interested in tracing the transactional history of the different loans, especially the high profile ones with a view to establishing any irregularity, which could have contributed to its hard-core nature, with obligors refusing to pay.
He said, “We have to be practical in our approach. Something needs to be done and very fast too given the approaching AMCON’s sunset, because this is public funds we are talking about here.
“We need AMCON and ICPC to work closer and develop a strategy that would work. We need the public to know the opportunity cost of the huge debt to the Nigerian economy; we need to share information as sister agencies locally and internationally and treat this matter as a last lap race by setting up a joint taskforce to deal with this sobering issue.”
Banire, who led the delegation, highlighted some of the high-profile obligors of the corporation including some 350 individuals that accounted for 80 per cent of the entire debt obligation.
He also reiterated that AMCON would at the current time in its lifespan, need collaboration of the ICPC to go after the obligors, especially since AMCON on its own did not have the powers to invite, arrest or prosecute obligors as the only option open to AMCON remained the court.
CBN to Extend Credit Risk Management System to OFIs
In an effort to curb growing bad debt, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will extend its Credit Risk Management System to Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) operating in Nigeria to protect them from bad debtors.
According to the apex bank, this is important following the successful implementation of the credit risk system in other lending institutions operating in Nigeria.
The bank disclosed this in a circular titled ‘Credit Risk Management System: Commencement of enrolment of all Development Finance Institutions, Microfinance Banks, Primary Mortgage Banks and Finance Companies’ and signed by Kelvin Amugo, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, on Monday.
In part, the circular read, “As part of efforts to promote a safe and sound financial system in Nigeria, the CBN introduced the CRMS to improve credit risk management in commercial, merchant and non-interest banks as well as to prevent predatory borrowers from undermining the banking system.
“With the successful implementation of the CRMS in deposit money banks, it has become expedient to commence the enrolment of Other Financial Institutions on the CTMS platform.
“Accordingly, all DFIs, MfBs, PMBs and FCs are required to report all credit facilities (principal and interest) to the CRMs and to update same on monthly basis.
“OFIs shall note the Bank Verification Numbers and Tax Identification Numbers are the only basis for regulatory renditions”.
BoI Grows Assets by 78.8% to N1.86 Trillion
The Bank of Industry Group concluded the 2020 financial year with a 78.8 per cent growth of assets from N1.04tn to N1.86tn between 2019 and 2020.
A statement by the bank on Monday said the increase was driven to a large extent by the successful debt syndication of €1bn and $1bn that were concluded in March and December 2020 respectively.
BoI stated that the group’s financial statement demonstrated resilience and strength, noting that the period had significant challenges in the operating environment on account of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
“It also indicates synergy with the various interventions developed by the Federal Government, the Central Bank as well as other strategic partners towards ameliorating the impact of the pandemic on Nigerian enterprises,” the statement said.
The group’s total equity increased by 14.8 per cent from N293.08bn in the previous year to N336.48bn in 2020.
It added that as a reflection of the adverse impact of the challenging operating environment on growth of new facilities, loans and advances grew marginally in 2020 by 1.3 per cent to N749.84bn from the 2019 position.
The bank explained that this was largely due to the economic slowdown in the year as well as the various interventions and support initiated by the bank for its customers.
“The bank reviewed and restructured all its managed projects under the CBN intervention programme with interest rate reduction from nine to five per cent per annum for a period of one year and moratorium extension of three months (with a possible extension up to 12 months),” it said.
TAJBank Deploys NQR Solution To Ease Customer Transactions
TAJBank, Nigeria’s non-interest bank, has announced the deployment of the NQR Payment solution, an indigenous Quick Response Code (QRC) by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS), for merchants and customers as the newest addition to its innovative e-business channels.
The NQR Payment solution is a secure QR-code-based payments and collections platform developed for merchants and customers to receive and make payments for goods and services in a quick, easy, contactless and secure manner.
A statement signed by the Founder/Chief Operating Officer of the bank, Mr. Hamid Joda, indicated that the ingenious solution would further drive TAJBank’s culture of innovation and create a seamless payment experience for its rapidly growing individual and corporate customers in their banking transactions.
“We are excited to have this payment channel introduced into the nation’s financial system as an addition to other innovative solutions we have deployed over the past few months.
This is a proof that, as we have said in our communications signature line, TAJBank’s interest is always in our customers”, Joda enthused.
In his remarks, the non-interest lender’s Chief Marketing Officer/Co-Founder, Mr. Sherif Idi, also maintained that the deployment of the NQR payment solution would revolutionize the e-payment experience and open new frontiers for small, medium and large scale businesses who are major stakeholders of the bank.
Since it commenced operations in the non-interest banking segment of the financial services industry, TAJBank is noted for its impeccable track record of growth and innovation, rendering exceptional quality services to customers.
The lender’s NQR solution is open to all customers of the bank, both merchants and individuals, across all its branches and digital channels globally.
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