Shortly after successful completion of my first degree in Kwara State University (KWASU), I started my internship with Image Merchant Promotions Limited, a Public Relations and Media outfits in Abuja. The Agency publishes Economic Confidential, Spokespersons’ Digest, Youths Digest and PRNigeria Online.
I was assigned to join the editorial team of the Economic Confidential for an interview session with the chief executive officer of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr Ahmed Kuru.
Being a graduate of economics, journalism is a new field entirely for me, this led me into conducting a brief research on Ahmed Kuru and AMCON and also major questions I would like to ask in preparation to meet such a key player in the Nigerian financial sector.
AMCON was created to be a key stabilizing and re-vitalizing tool established to revive the financial system by efficiently resolving the non-performing loan assets of the banks in the Nigerian economy. It was established on the 19th of July 2010, when the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria signed the AMCON Act into Law. It has since been assisting the economy by complementing the recapitalization of affected Nigerian banks.
It does this by complementing the recapitalization of affected Nigerian banks; providing an opportunity for banks to sell off Non Performing Loans(NPLs); freeing up valuable resources and enabling banks focus on their core activities including lending.
Ahmed Kuru is a career banker with professional experience spanning over three decades. Prior to his appointment as the Chief Executive of AMCON, Mr. Kuru served as the Managing Director/CEO of erstwhile Enterprise Bank Limited. From the bottom rung, where he took over the affairs in the bank, Kuru restructured, stabilized, restored stakeholders’ confidence and returned the financial institution to profitability before it was acquired by Heritage Bank Limited.
Previously, Kuru who is known in the industry as a change agent, also served as Executive Vice Chairman, Emeritus Capital Limited; Executive Director of the old Bank PHB Plc, and held senior management roles at Habib Bank of Nigeria.
Mr. Kuru is a graduate of the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and also an alumnus of the London Business School, Columbia Business School, New York, as well as Harvard Business School.
He is an experienced leader and corporate executive with mastery of risk management, compliance, commercial banking, public sector and strategy.
On reaching AMCON head office in Abuja on Monday, 1st of August 2016, I walked into an office I will describe as Abuja’s wall street office. It is a simple and elegant office setting with staffs corporately dressed and busy with their individual assignments. Some were involved in group discussions.
After due process of visitor registration, we were directed to the office of the chief executive officer, where Ahmed Kuru was expecting our team.
The introduction was perfect as we were well-received by Mr Kuru who displayed high sense of responsibility, humility and intelligence during the interview session. During the chat, he was straight forward, frank and blunt as he provided facts and figures to buttresses his points.
I was courageous, though shy while asking follow-up and probing questions. Mr. Kuru responded to our questions eloquently, especially on debts recovery, asset management, sinking funds, AMCON’s status with controversial and powerful debtors, bank related issues and on the issue of shareholder’s criticism of AMCON’s contribution being a mere wastage.
It was a very educative and inspiring experience for me as I learnt about the real life activities and operation of a national asset management organization and current economic realities in the period of recession. The full text of the interview can be accessed from this link: We Have Assets in Excess of N2 trillion- AMCON Boss
Shittu Yunus Shittu
An Economics Graduate of
Kwara State University, KWASU