By Chinwendu Obienyi
Nigerian shareholders have expressed their dismay over the Senate’s passage of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) amendment bill, describing it as sad and unfortunate. This was even as they maintained that the operations of the Corporation ought to have been scrapped as the decision to continue will have severe implications on the financial results of quoted companies on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) and returns to shareholders.
The Senate, had on Wednesday, passed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Amendment bill. The passage of the bill followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Banking, Insurance, and Other Financial Institutions.
The amendment bill passed by the upper chamber empowers the AMCON to amongst others, take possession, manage or sell all properties traced to debtors, whether or not such assets or property were used as security/collateral for obtaining the loan in question.
It also empowers the Corporation to access the Special Tribunal established by the BOFIA, 2020 for dealing with financial related matters. Chairman of the Committee, Senator Uba Sani (APC, Kaduna Central), in his presentation said the Committee had engaged with stakeholders such as AMCON, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Central Bank of Nigeria; and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central), during the clause-by-clause consideration of the bill sought to know the rationale behind the recommendation of the Committee in clause two, which empowers AMCON to take possession of assets outside of those used as collateral in obtaining a loan request.
But Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at this point called for voting on the contentious clause, which was eventually adopted by lawmakers in the majority, following his ruling.
Speaking to Daily Sun via a telephone chat, the National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Boniface Okezie, said, as long as AMCON remains in operation, companies will continue to bleed.
“The Senate has already rubberstamped it and whatever comes their way, they do not deliberate on it properly. This is why things are going wrong in this country. If they have our best interest, they should have scrapped AMCON’s operations” he said.
For his part, the Chairman, Ibadan Zone Shareholders Association, Eric Akinduro, noted that the passage suggests that the government is desperately trying to get rid of minority shareholders.
“AMCON is a child of circumstance and when the circumstance is out of place, there will not be a place for it to operate. They have had their fair share of their operations and ought to have been scrapped.