…As Banks’ non-performing loans rise to N2.24tn***
The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, said on Thursday that he was glad the Senate refused to confirm him as the substantive chairman of the anti-graft agency.
Magu said if the Senate had confirmed him, perhaps he would not have been able to perform as much as he had done.
The acting chairman said this before the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja where he was testifying in a libel suit he filed against The Sun Newspaper.
Magu had sued publishers of the Sun Newspaper for a series of publications which he described as libellous and injurious to his character.
The EFCC boss who sued the publishers before Justice Doris Okuwobi claimed N5bn damages and also demanded that The Sun Newspapers should publish an apology and retract the alleged libellous publications.
Magu, under cross-examination by the respondent’s counsel, Charles Enwelunta, said he was not worried that he had been rejected by the Senate twice.
He said, “I have been rejected by the Senate twice and it does not worry me that I’m not confirmed; I’m not bothered. It’s good that they did not confirm me, I may not be able to work very well as we have been able to get over 700 convictions.”
He claimed before the court that he had only one house in the Karo area of Abuja as against the publication of The Sun Newspaper alleging that two houses were traced to his wife by the Department of State Services.
Magu dismissed as false The Sun Newspaper’s publication of March 25, 2017, titled ‘Magu under fresh probe,’ which claimed that two houses located in a highbrow area in Maitama, Abuja were traced to his wife and that he was under discreet investigation by the DSS.
He said, “Since I came to the EFCC, nobody has investigated me. I am not under any probe, the publication is totally false. Even if I have the money, I wouldn’t buy houses in Maitama.
“My wife is a civil servant. We only have one house sold to us in Karo, Abuja. The publication is completely untrue.
“I want to tell you the damage it has done to me. It was not done to me alone, it has gone down my lineage, the entire family, and it has done so much wrong. It has done so much damage.”
Justice Okuwobi adjourned the matter till February 28, 2019 for further proceedings.
In the meantime, Nigerian bank’s non-performing loans stood at N2.245tn as of the end of September 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
The NBS revealed that in the period under review, the country’s gross loans stood at N15.861tn, while loans (after specific provisions) stood at N13.332tn.
According to the NBS, as of the end of June, non-performing loans stood at N1.939tn while gross loans and loans (after specific provisions) were N15.50tn and N13.587tn respectively.
Recently, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria said it was preparing to release another list of debtors.
The corporation decided to expose the debtors following their failure to meet their debt obligations after several peaceful engagements.
In October, AMCON published a list of defaulters that it termed as delinquent debtors. They allegedly owed about N906.1bn.
Part of the publication read, “This has become necessary as all avenues provided by the corporation for the debtors to propose acceptable resolution terms have failed. Nevertheless, the corporation is still open to an amicable resolution of these debts within a reasonable time, failing which it shall continue to exercise all powers as provided by law to recover the debts.”
AMCON is saddled with the statutory responsibility, among others, of recovering the non-performing loans hitherto disbursed by eligible financial institutions (banks) to their customers.
The corporation had said that despite numerous overtures and appeals to AMCON debtors to extinguish their indebtedness, it was concerned that certain debtors had willfully maintained recalcitrant postures while also adopting unscrupulous means of avoiding recovery.
After several appeals and dialogues to resolve this indebtedness, it added that it would not relent in pursuing vehemently the achievement of its recovery mandate against erring debtors.