Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) says it has handed over Standard Shoe Company Limited (SSCL), a footwear manufacturing factory, to Hope Uzodinma, governor of Imo.
The company is co-founded by Imo government.
In a statement on Saturday, Jude Nwauzor, head, corporate communications department, AMCON, said the handover ceremony took place at the corporation’s head office in Abuja.
The corporation said the action followed Standard Shoe’s successful liquidation of its indebtedness.
“As part of its strategy to partner, support, and help revitalise businesses in its portfolio over huge debt, in Abuja on Friday, handed over the original title documents of Standard Shoe Company Limited (SSCL), a footwear manufacturing factory co-founded by the Imo State Government to Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State,” the statement reads.
“The handover of the asset to the good people of Imo State through their governor followed the full resolution of the indebtedness of Standard Shoe Company Limited to AMCON. Ever since it took over the factory, AMCON had continued the engage the government of Imo State because of the critical impact resuscitating such a massive factory would make in the manufacturing sector of the Nigerian economy.”
The corporation said it had made several efforts to discuss the debt with the previous administrations but did not make any headway until the present administration expressed interest in settling the state’s debt obligations.
In his remarks, Ahmed Kuru, managing director, AMCON, represented by Eberechukwu Uneze, executive director, AMCON, said the company was happy the state government finally resolved indebtedness with AMCON.
“My governor, we appreciate this effort because other governments in Imo State have come and gone, but none of them had made this much effort to resolve this debt. So, it is a huge impact you have made. I hope this will energise the state and encourage the good people of Imo,” Kuru said.
In his acceptance speech after signing and receiving the documents, Uzodinma said: “I approached the Management of AMCON and discussed with them. I want the public to understand that AMCON is not a hostile outfit. From my experience with them, AMCON is interested in the genuine growth and development of the Country. This is what I saw during the negotiation period concerning what Imo State was owing AMCON.
“I am very happy about the co-operation we (Imo State government) received, and I assure you that we are going to revive the industry by employing our young men and women to stimulate industrialisation in the state. The people will be happy to see the industry come back to life. On behalf of myself and the people of Imo, I am very grateful to AMCON.”
AMCON had taken over the assets belonging to the SSCL during the first phase of eligible bank asset (EBA) purchases from Oceanic Bank in 2011 — after the company stopped production in 2009 due to a lack of working capital and inability to meet up loan obligations.