By PETER EGWUATU & NKIRUKA NNOROM
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi , yesterday said the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) is now set to pay-off N1 trillion of the entire series 1,2,3, and 4 of bonds held outside of the CBN on December 30, 2013.
According to him, the CBN is already in custody of the said N1 trillion and all those who own stakes in the said series will be paid either through cash or Treasury Bills.
Mr. Sanusi made the declaration in Abuja yesterday during the signing of an agreement between the apex bank and AMCON on the financing of N3.8 trillion of bonds over a period of 10 years.Furthermore, he disclosed that by October 2014, AMCON would write off another N1 trillion worth of bonds, thus making the CBN the only creditor of AMCON. This, he noted, is a credit positive for Nigeria.
Prior to signing the agreement, which he said was the outcome of bilateral negotiations between the two bodies, the CBN Governor gave a background to the establishment of AMCON in 2010, stating that the corporation was instrumental to addressing the banking crisis brewing in Nigeria at the time.
“Without AMCON, we would never have been able to resolve the financial crisis,” he stated.
He therefore expressed appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan, his predecessor, the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her predecessors, Olusegun Aganga and Mansur Muhtar, as well as other financial advisers, for their cooperation and the roles they played in the establishment and operation of the AMCON project.
Sanusi noted that the Bank was aware of the concerns by the Federal Ministry of Finance that the amounts involved in the AMCON project could end up on Government’s balance sheet. He, however,assured that the apex Bank, AMCON and financial institutions were working hard to protect the Government’s balance sheet.
Sanusi also expressed optimism that the collaboration between the Bank and the Federal Ministry of Finance will continue to yield fruitful results.
The CBN Governor also thanked the National Assembly for its support in ensuring the passage of the AMCON Bill, which was signed into Act in July 2010. He, however, appealed to the National Assembly to finalize work on the AMCON Amendment Bill, to put the agreements reached on AMCON on a firm legal ground.