The Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria has kicked against the Central Bank of Nigeria’s imposition of 0.5 per cent levy on commercial banks to fund the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria.
According to the shareholders, AMCON had now received N453.47bn as levies from commercial banks between 2020 and the first quarter of 2022.
The shareholders said the corporation received N146.9 billion in 2020, N180.67 billion in 2021, and N125.9 billion in the first quarter of 2022 as levies from commercial banks, noting that these were deductions from the imposition of 0.5 per cent charges on banks’ total assets on and off-balance sheet imposed on banks.
According to the shareholders, these levies by AMCON were harming the returns on investments of the commercial banks in the country.
The association made their displeasure known at a press conference, organised by ISAN to address concerns of minority shareholders on the sustained depressed returns on investments and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s faulty Interpretation of Insider Credits in Banks.
Speaking for the members of ISAN, the Coordinator Emeritus of the association, Sunny Nwosu, said the association’s earlier concerns and fears over the creation of AMCON had already emerged as demonstrated in its inability to put the debt recovery issue to rest.
Recall that AMCON was created in 2010 by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria to take over the non-performing loans in the banking sector.
However, shareholders have been concerned about the sustained depressed returns on investments and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s faulty interpretation of Insider credits in banks.
They claimed that despite the creation of the corporation as the Federal Government’s debt recovery agency, it had recovered only a paltry N1.4 trillion since its inception.
According to them, “The available data showed that non-performing loans across the financial sector have again increased by more than 150 percent.
“At the commencement of its operations, the agency purchased 12,743 non-performing loans or eligible bank assets (EBAS) valued at N3.8 trillion from 22 eligible financial institutions (EFIS) for N1.8 trillion.
“Equally, the corporation earned about N327.6 billion from 0.5 per cent charges on banks’ total assets on and off-balance sheet items imposed on nine banks between 2020 and 2021.
“As part of the quick intervention in the banking sector’s bad debts by CBN through AMCON, the debt recovery agency equally received N125.9 billion from 12 commercial banks listed on the Nigerian Exchange as part of the Sector’s resolution funds in the first quarter of 2022.
“In the same period, AMCON bank charges increased by 29.5 per cent from N97.18 billion paid in the corresponding period of 2021 to N125.9 billion in the first quarter of 2022.”
Meanwhile, the shareholders concluded that the corporation could not continue to be funded with levies from commercial banks as the deductions continued to incapacitate the banks from intervening in the critical sector of the economy.
“The fundamental of our argument is premised on the fact that AMCON was not set up by the banks, but by the Federal Government, which must take responsibility for its operations.
“We are troubled as a corporate entity and as individual investors because Nigerians normally run for cover, but now the government through the instrumentality of policy, as in AMCON levies on banks, is robbing the banks and shareholders. Who do we run to?
“Indeed most commercial banks and numerous corporate concerns indebted to AMCON currently struggle to remain afloat in the face of numerous litigations as the corporation appears unlikely to meet its set goals.
“We conclude that the corporation is on the verge of losing the Nigerian taxpayers’ money spent in repurchasing critical toxic assets from troubled banks and other entities,” the shareholders said.