By PETER EGWUATU
Shareholders in the country have criticized the proposed sale of Enterprise Bank Limited by Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), saying it is against the rule of law.
Reacting on the proposed sale of Enterprise Bank, Mr. Boniface Okezie, Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), who spoke the minds of members of its group said, “ The AMCON’s proposed sale of Enterprise is illegal and tantamount to breach of the law.
We the shareholders have sued Vetiva Capital and Citi Group, both advisers for the sale of Enterprise Bank.
It is not right to do so because the bank belongs to the shareholders. The case is still in court, so, how can AMCON go ahead to sell the bank when the case is still in court. It is not possible for AMCON to sell the bank , until the issue surrounding the nationalization of the bank is resolved.
There is nothing wrong with the bank before it was taken away from us without due process. Lamido Sanusi needs to be probed and investigated over the nationalization of the three banks under the name of banking reforms.
We did complain before now over Sanusi’s pronouncement and policies and the federal government did not listen, but it is obvious that his recklessness does not mean well for the nation. So, we the shareholders would be glad if Sanusi is investigated and our banks returned back to us.”
In the same manner, National coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) Sir Sunny Nwosu said, AMCON is joking with shareholders investment. AMCON was not set up to run banks, but to intervene when there are crisis. AMCON is behaving as if it is untouchable.
This sale of bridge banks is still in contention at the court and AMCON is still proposing to sale them, then it becomes breach of law. So we are warning those bidding to buy to do due diligence so that they don’t end up buying what they are not suppose to buy. In fact they would be buying things that do not exist.
Meanwhile, AMCON had disclosed that 18 bidders had submitted offers for the sale of Enterprise Bank.
The Chief Executive Officer, AMCON, Mustapha Chike-Obi told Reuters foreign and local investors were in the mix of bidders. He hoped to conclude the deal by the end of May.
AMCON was set up in 2010 to help resolve a banking crisis in Nigeria, triggered by reckless lending and a stock market collapse in 2008, prompting the central bank to spend $4 billion rescuing nine lenders from near bankruptcy.
AMCON issued 4 trillion naira worth of bonds in 2011 to recapitalise the banks and soak up their bad-debts. Chike-Obi said the “bad bank” retired 1.699 trillion naira worth of bonds in December 2013 with 3.8 trillion naira held by the central bank.