By Zika Bobby
Efforts to reward entrepreneurship received a boost at the weekend as Wema Bank Plc rewarded the most creative designer at the finals of this year’s Nigeria Student Fashion and Design Week (NSFDW) with startup funds and SME packages for other participants.
The bank equally used the platform to enlighten participants on some innovations that afford convenience and safety of transaction as its customer.
The two-day event showcased over 30 designers from universities across the country.
Speaking on the bank’s involvement in NSFD, Head of Brand/Marketing Communications,Mrs.Odili Onome underscored the organization’s consistent commitment to sustainable development of its resident communities.
“As a leading financial institution in the country, the student campuses represent a major part of our resident communities and we are proud to identify with the core passion of the Nigerian students that constitute a good percentage of our loyal customers across the country.”
She added that “Wema Bank is passionate about empowering the creative youths in the country and the NSFDW Week provides the right platform for the bank to support young entrepreneurs in the Nigerian fashion industry because it is a sector that is evolving quite rapidly and there is also the need to encourage improved saving culture among the youths of the country.”
‘Over N2trn assets under AMCON management’
By Isaac Anumihe
THE Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Ahmed Kuru, has said that it is currently managing assets worth over N2 trillion.
In an interview with Economic Confidential magazine, Kuru said the assignments in the corporation has been rough and tough. He acknowledged that chasing debtors was the most difficult task just like in the banking system, stressing that he has been very busy in debt recovery.
He explained that the Corporation has the powers, through the enabling Act, to trace any assets belonging to debtors and seize them through the courts, even though such assets were not originally tendered in the loan agreement.
“We have been very busy to recover money. You know it is not easy to recover debts.
If your neighbour came to you under a distressed situation and you lend him money, and he promised to give you back the money when salary is paid at the end of the month, I can tell you nine out of 10 cases will frown their faces when you approach them for refund”, he said, adding that there are some debtors who perpetually do not want to pay debts.
On assets and properties of debtors, Kuru said the Act that established AMCON empowers it to go after assets and properties of the debtors wherever they are.
“Our law gives us the right to go after such assets. For instance, if you come under a vehicle and collect AMCON’s money and suddenly we realize that you are somewhere doing other businesses and you have taken our loans for a different project, the law allows us to go after you so far we can link it to the loan.
The law also allows Asset Tracing, which means that it is not only the asset you give us that we should go after. If you have any asset, anywhere, once we can trace it, we can go to the court to obtain the possessing order”, he said.
The AMCON chief also spoke on how he has been coping with powerful debtors in the society.
According to him, no matter how highly placed they are in the society, the corporation will carry out its duty of debt recovery even in the face of intimidation.
“We will follow any case in court to its logical conclusion be it in the High Court, Appeal Court and up to the Supreme Court until we are satisfied that the Act setting us up have been fully complied with.
“What I can tell you also is that, once there is common ownership wherever it is, we can go after it. For instance, an “A” may borrow the money, and the principal that borrows the money has interests in “B,” “C” “D” up to “Z.” We can follow all through because the law allows us to do that by linking them up.
He called on debtors to come forward for discussion and find a way out of the indebtedness, noting that the idea of attacking the corporation on the pages of newspapers will not help them.
“We have in this process helped a lot of businesses bounce back. We don’t want any business to suffer because of their debts. We are not out to kill businesses but to encourage them to grow by following the global best practices in debt reconciliations and settlements. Our desire is to recover the money for the nation through painless processes”, he said.