AMCON's MD, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi,
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has given a clean bill to Nestoil Plc with regard to an earlier impression that it had been barred from accessing credit from banks owing to its supposedly huge indebtedness.
A letter dated September 21, 2012, with the reference, Prohibition of New Credit Facilities to Debtors of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, signed by AMCON's managing director, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, and addressed to the president and chief executive officer of Nestoil Plc reads: "CBN's circular dated September 17th, 2012, with respect to the above subject matter refers please.
"Nestoil Plc is not an obligor in the books of AMCON and has no Past Due Obligations. The Corporation therefore has no objections to Nestoil Plc accessing new loans from Money Deposit Banks."
Spurred by the need to instill discipline in the banking sector and enthrone financial stability, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had listed 113 companies and 419 directors and shareholders to which banks in the country were barred from extending further credit.
A report published by THISDAY based on a CBN circular had listed Nestoil owned by oil and gas entrepreneur, Ernest Azudialu, as one of the blacklisted companies and as having a debt profile of N13.506 billion. The report also suggested that the CBN directive may have put Nestoil's bid in the proposed privatisation of power generation and distribution companies created from the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)in jeopardy.
But Nestoil has refuted the insinuation, stating that its power bid is clearly in no way under threat from any issues relating to AMCON, or indeed, any issues at all.
"In its characteristic nature, the company has assembled a world-class power consortium, with technical, operational and financial strength to acquire, fully rehabilitate, modernize, and expand Sapele Power Plc, and in this way, become a major generator of power in Nigeria," a statement from the company said.
"This group includes such giants as Julius Berger, Babcock Borsig Steinmueller GmbH, Steag Energy Services GmbH, and two other international power and financial giants. The Managing Director of Nestoil PLC, Dr. Ernest Nnaemeka Azudialu-Obiejesi, an entrepreneur par excellence and man of great integrity, was recently awarded an All Africa Business Leaders Award (AABLA) by Forbes, CNBC and ABN for West African Entrepreneur of the Year, in acknowledgment of his exceptional vision and leadership in building a successful company from the ground up."
The statement added: "Recently also, the Nigerians of the in Diaspora Organisation in the Americas also honoured Dr. Azudialu-Obiejesi in Washington DC with the Nigerian Business Person of the Year 2012, for his notable business acumen, global strategic planning, effective use of resources and developing alliance partnerships in multiple spheres for new economic development in Nigeria."
The awards, according to the statement, are also in recognition of the achievements of the Nestoil family from its inception as an "underdog in a predominantly foreign sector to becoming a reputable company in pipeline construction, fabrication, pressure vessel manufacturing, oil exploration and production, power generation and distribution".
The CBN stated that the restriction would apply to individuals, organisations, companies as well as principal shareholders and directors of companies where the outstanding value of loans purchased by AMCON amounted to N5 billion or above as at the day of purchase, without regard to the actual amount paid by AMCON.
The circular, which was signed by CBN's Director, Banking Supervision, Mrs. A. O. Martins, stated that "it has become necessary to stop debtors who failed to repay their loans to banks and had these loans subsequently transferred to AMCON, from further enjoying credit facilities from Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) until they fully repay agreed outstandings to AMCON."