By Yusuf Abubakar
Alhaji Ahmed Kuru was appointed Managing Director, Assets Management Corporation (AMCON), soon after the tenure of the pioneer leadership led by Mustapha Chike-Obi elapsed few years ago.
AMCON was the creation of government through a wider and wiser decision and recommendation of the apex bank, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to handle toxic assets of Banks availed to Business conglomerates and other private sector driven organisations, that could not redeem their advances.
The toxic assets that almost grounded the economy of Nigeria through genuine borrowings and other unbecoming practices in the Banking sector, resulted to the Nationalisation of some Banks in 2009, by the Lamido Sanusi led CBN, a decision regarded as timely to avoid total collapse of the country’s economy, through failed Banks and blue chips market.
Kuru a seasoned Banker,was appointed to continue were the previous Management stopped, as a result of his wider experience in the Banking sector that span for years,while he was the Managing Director of Enterprise Bank,one of the Nationalised Bank by CBN, with a given mandate to reposition the ailing Bank.
Having known the intricacies and advances of recoveries and reordering of toxic assets being managed by AMCON, it made the job of managing the entire organisation alot more easier, through the deployment of his wealth of experience both in knowledge,practice and exposure.
Continuing from where the previous Management of AMCON stopped and the need for constant assessment and reassessment of the toxic assets, Alhaji Ahmed Kuru Led leadership was confronted with aggressive recovery,as well as rescheduled toxic assets owned by individuals and companies, to ensure strict compliance with the lay down procedures and timing.
Aside managing the toxic assets for recovery,the supervisory department of AMCON, was also rejigged to monitor all availement of both from the Nationalised Banks and other commercial Banks operational in Nigeria.
AMCON whose primary assignment is to recover the toxic waste previously known in Banking sector as ‘Bad debts’ is to ensure recovery of the transferred assets from the conventional Banks,and it’s total recovery.
This is in addition to monitoring all loans and advances to conglomerates by Banks to ensure strict compliance with conditions of repayment,and due dilligence as well conditions precedent to draw downs, which must be inline with the lay down procedures.
Coincidentally,the period of his leadership as the helsman of AMCON,had being a critical period of recovery from high brow National and Multinational companies,that have used both assets and business as collateral, based on the initial sign on agreement between the Banks and the Business class.
With a dual role of recovering and sustaining the Nigeria economy from bankruptcy in recession,and at the same time allow businesses to thrive amidst crises of recovery,Ahmed Kuru led AMCON had no choice than to take over some of the ailing businesses through partnerships, so as to maintain status quo of it’s clients being in Business and at the same time managing it’s exposures.
This was in addition to taken a major decisions by confiscating or outrightly taking over landed assets of individuals and corporate bodies with toxic accounts and had deliberately evaded series of ocertures to offset it’s obligations and commitement.
In line with allowing business conglomerates to thrive amidst toxic assets with AMCON, the agency had taken a major decisions to float business interests recently along with Arik Air and Aero Contractors,so as to keep them afloat in their businesses, so as to meet up with their exposures and obligations, rather than a blanket decision to ground the airlines.
This new initiatives and innovations is a welcome developement in view of the world ravaged economic recession, managing the country’s economy cum the global pandemic of COVID-19, both in the previous and now second wave.
The administrative wisdom and proficiency of the Ahmed Kuru led AMCON,was the glaring success recorded in the last five years,leading to his reappointment for another term of five years to enable him meet the yearnings and aspirations of many Nigerians, with a view to delivering a world class economic blue print were Banks will play a leading roles to economic sustainability and developement.
The Kuru leadership is also determine to initiate more people oriented policies, that will reduce to the barest minimum the task of monitoring and recovery to seamless and generally accepted economic template, that will drive financial independent of all business entity.
Abubakar Yusuf writes from Abuja