By Omoh Gabriel
Last week, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, came out with a statement that it is working out an out of court settlement between it and Babalakin, whom the corporation had accused of owing it some huge amount of money and was unable to pay. Hence it took over its choice property in Victoria Island. AMCON had told Nigerians that it secured a court injunction on the property. Babalakin had countered that the property in question was not mortgaged as claimed by AMCON and that he did not owe. Rather, it is government that owes him.
Available facts indicate that both parties were economical with the truth. While AMCON was playing to the gallery, Babalakin was trying to get the best of deal from the agency. Why should a public institution not state facts the way they are? What was AMCON management trying to achieve by making the matter a public affair when it was negotiating with Babalakin? If AMCON felt it had a good case against Babalakin, why did it back down after disturbing the nation with its sponsored stories and advertorials? It was just nothing but waste of resources and time of Nigerians.
As far back as 2010, Bi-Courtney wrote to Chike-Obi, Managing Director/CEO of AMCON and said; “We have been informed that our N20 billion syndicated credit facility with unpaid balance of N15 billion as well as other loans has now been sold to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). It is our desire to discuss and submit a loan restructure plan that would enable the servicing of the indebtedness and its uttermost settlement. Therefore, Messrs West Africa Research Limited led by Mr. Adebisi Ajiboye has been mandated to submit the company’s debt restructure plan as well as discuss, negotiate and conclude the restructuring of Bi-Courtney’s exposure to AMCON. We shall highly appreciate your cooperation with West Africa Resources Limited.”
Bi-Courtney admitted in writing through its financial adviser that it owes AMCON. “The Total outstanding debt obligations sold to AMCON as advised to the company by the creditors is N20 billion. In Bi-Courtney’s opinion, the above stated sum seems to comprise punitive interest or interest charges and ambiguous fees. Without prejudice to the foregoing, it is the objective of Bi-Courtney to continue to operate the Murtala Mohammed Airport 2, meet its contractual obligations to its grantor -Federal Government of Nigeria/Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FGN/FAAN), liquidate its debt obligations to AMCON as well as recoup its investment from the project. Therefore, the restructuring of the company’s indebtedness to AMCON is crucial for the attainment of this objective.”
According to Bi-Courtney, Debt Restructure Plan Option A, is that “Total Debt Net-off from the receivables due from FGN/FAAN) Receivables from FGN/FAAN: N34.4 billion; Total Debt owed AMCON N20 billion; Balance Due to Bi-Courtney: N14.4 billion. Option B (Debt Purchase of up to N10 billion with the receivable due from FGN/FAAN) Facility Type Term Loan Receivables from FGN/FAAN, N34.4 billion; Total Debt owed AMCON, N20 billion; Debt Purchase by AMCON: N10 billion (subject to the agreed discounted value).
Facility Amount: N10 billion, Tenor10 years (including two years moratorium on principal repayment). Interest rate, 14 per cent per annum, Repayment Source; From company’s operational cash flow (income from passenger charges, advert, rental, etc.) Repayment Interest: quarterly in arrears. Principal: 32 equal quarterly payments; Mode of repayment: Through a Bank nominated by AMCON. Security: Existing loan security in place. Pre-payment: Allowed without penalty.
Loan service: The 10-year cash flow projections with modest sales growth indicate that the restructured Debt via either of options B or C would be adequately serviced. The cash-flow is further strengthened by the expected relocation of all domestic airlines operating in the general Aviation Terminal to MMA2 from January 2012.
Other Considerations: The success of the proposed debt structure is contingent on the following:
“Purchase or collection of receivable due from FGN/FAAN; Bi-Courtney’s proposal is for AMCON to purchase or collect Bi-Countney’s N34.4 billion receivables due from FGN/FAAN at an agreed discounted value and for same to be applied to offset the total indebtedness or part-liquidate the outstanding debt. The net proceed after offsetting the total or part of the indebtedness will be dedicated to the continuous upgrading of the Terminal and provision of ancillary services.
“Constant plant upgrade is crucial for effective operation, management and maintenance of the Terminal. All Domestic Flights to emanate from MMA2. Commencing from January 2012, all domestic flights from Lagos shall be conducted from the MMA2. Non-adherence to this will amount to continuous infringement on Bi-Courtney’s exclusive right to all domestic flight out of Lagos as well as threatening the overall success of the debt restructuring plan. Also, the key revenue heads i.e. the passenger service charge and facility maintenance fees shall be increased from the current N1, 000 to N2, 000.00 per passenger from January 2012. Debt Forgiveness: Bi- Courtney hereby seeks a debt forgiveness of N3 billion.”
What Bi-Courney and AMCON should tell Nigerians is the terms of the agreement. You owe me and I am not owing you is noise, meant to cause distraction. AMCON, which of these options have you settled for? How beneficial are the terms to the generality of Nigerians? AMCON and Bi-Courtney, Nigerians know the truth, you cannot fool us.