N3bn debt: AMCON takes over Gateway Portland Cement

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Ahmed Kuru, MD AMCON

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) says it has taken over Gateway Portland Cement Limited on the orders of a Federal High Court Abeokuta Division, Ogun State over a debt profile of nearly N3billion.

A statement from AMCON says its Receiver; Mr. Charles Adeogun-Phillips has successfully taken possession of the company’s factories and facilities located in Abeokuta and Mowe areas of Ogun State.

The court presided over by Hon. Justice A.T. Mohammed in the ruling restrained the Gateway Portland Cement Limited and the promoters whether by themselves, their agents, or whosoever howsoever from moving, into the firm, withdrawing money from or with any bank or financial institutions that hitherto does business with the cement company pending the hearing and determination of the suit to be filed by the applicants for recovery of its outstanding debts.

The order also restrains Gateway Portland Cement Limited and the promoters by themselves, their agents, servants and, or their privies from interfering with or otherwise obstructing or frustrating the Receiver appointed by AMCON in performing his duties.

To ensure that the court order is carried out as directed, the presiding Judge directed the Inspector General of Police, the Assistant Inspectors General of Police, the Commissioners of Police in charge of any location where the pledged assets of Gateway Portland Cement Limited might be found to assist the bailiff and the AMCON Receiver in the enforcement of the order.

AMCON under the current management team lead by its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, has continually maintained that there would be no rest for recalcitrant debtors of the Corporation like in the case of the promoters of Gateway Portland Cement Limited, which he said remains the only way AMCON mandate could be realised within the timeframe of the assignment and in the interest of the country’s economy.

Only recently the AMCON boss told the nation that despite the efforts of the Corporation to resolve the huge debts in its portfolio, it identified 350 obligors’ accounts that represent about 80 per cent of AMCON’s current exposure of N2.5 trillion as at December 31, 2016. Kuru said it was based on this that AMCON repositioned its debt recovery approach to strengthen legal and credit restructuring units to collaborate on the aforementioned 350 accounts, which he termed “defaulters”; enhance the restructuring and turnaround team; and engage in asset tracing to enhance recoveries.

 

FG praise Heritage Bank support to entertainment industry

 

Federal Government has commended Heritage Bank Limited for its commitment to the development and growth of the creative industry.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave the commendation at a two-day Creative Nigeria Summit held in Lagos recently with the theme: Financing the Film, Television and Music Industries; which was co-sponsored by the Bank.

He said that the conference which was jointly organized by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and the Think Tank Media and Advertising was to take the industry into a golden era with smooth access to short and long term financing, world class management and local and international distribution.

In a plenary session on Alternative Sources of Financing for the Creative industry, Acting, Chief Risk Officer of Heritage Bank, Mr. Dike Dimiri, articulated some issues that have continued to plague the entertainment industry over the years.

He said the industry is being hindered by lack of infrastructure such as studios, equipment and talented manpower, adding that at a time when some international universities are offering cinematography as a course in mass communication, Nigeria’s educational system is still skewed towards the print industry which is dying rather than electronic industry that is widening.

Other issues he cited as hindrances to the creative industry are legal framework around which the industry runs its business, especially how intellectual property is protected as well as the right type of finance for the industry.

The Chief Risk Officer also touched on the need to have value chain in the industry, instead of one person being involved in every stage of the business as well as the need for operators to package their works into libraries and use them as collaterals to access money from banks.

The two-day summit attracted who is who in the industry including film producers, directors as well as investors.

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