April 21, 2023

AMCON debt: Project Nollywood directors react

AMCON debt: Project Nollywood directors react

Say: ‘We have agreed to settle the matter out of court’

By Benjamin Njoku

Owners of Project Nollywood Production Limited, including Charles Novia, Fred Amata and Fidelis Duker have reacted to the story making the rounds that they have been dragged to court by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, over N435 million unpaid debt, insisting that the matter has been settled amicably since last year.

An online portal had reported days back that the three popular Nollywood producers and their company, Project Nollywood Production Limited, have been dragged before a Federal High Court in Lagos, following an unpaid loan of N435 million secured from Eco Bank Nigeria Plc since 2007.

But reacting to the report in a statement made available to Saturday Vanguard, the directors of Project Nollywood Production Limited,said the case has been settled amicably between their legal representatives and MacMilton since 2022 in which their side of the story was tabled.

The statement reads in part: “Our attention has been drawn to some news stories on some blogs about the undersigned Nollywood Producers ‘in trouble’ over an AMCON debt as reported.

“We wish to state categorically that the case has been settled amicably between our legal representatives and MacMilton since 2022 in which our side of the story was tabled.

“In 2007, Project Nollywood was incorporated by Messrs Chico Ejiro (deceased) , Charles Novia, Fidelis Duker and Fred Amata and an agreement was reached between PNL and Ecobank Nigeria Limited for the sponsorship and distribution of four movies by the directors under a tripartite agreement between PNL, Ecobank and Strategic Outsourcing Limited.

“A term facility of N50 million was obtained from Ecobank in 2007 with PNL paying 10% cash equity as part of the agreement. PNL met its part of the bargain and paid off much of the obligations of the term facility within months.

“To the surprise of the directors of PNL, without any communication or information to any of the directors about the state of the deal, the directors learnt in 2022, through the AMCON communication to us, that the balance of the term facility had been transferred to AMCON by Ecobank since 2009 and interest charged on it for over 12 years without our knowledge!

“Our part of the story has been tabled to the legal representatives of AMCON and an out of court settlement has been agreed by all parties.

“Being law abiding citizens of Nigeria and having corporate responsibilities in the creative and business sectors, we have nothing to hide in this matter and have resolved to see the matter to the final amicable conclusion, which has already been reached.

“The public is advised to disregard any news which seeks to portray our good names in disrepute in this matter.”