VENTURES AFRICA – Nigerian billionaire businessman, Mr Femi Otedola has cleared a 141 billion naira ($900 million) debt his companies. Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited and Forte Oil Plc, owed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
Nigerian newspaper THISDAY reported that a reliable source disclosed: “Zenon Petroleum has paid AMCON the full and final settlement of its obligations/loans to some Nigerian banks, which was bought over by AMCON in May 2011.”
After the sanitation of Nigeria’s banking sector that saw the indictment of 8 bank chiefs, Otedola, Zenon and 112 other companies and their major shareholders, with outstanding AMCON loans valuing at least 5 billion naira ($32 million), were blacklisted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from accessing more credit from banks, until their debts have been cleared.
According to Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, MD/CEO AMCON, the organization’s board on Thursday approved the reception of an undisclosed sum of cash and personal assets from the billionaire as total payment for his liabilities after a thorough 6-month evaluation process had been carried out by an appointed valuer.
Reports reveal Otedola’s Zenon lost 75 billion naira ($480 million) when oil prices plummeted from $147 per barrel; 40 billion naira ($258 million) through the naira devaluation, 50 billion naira ($320 million) due to pilling interest and service charges; 25 billion naira ($160 million) when stocks crashed.
With a total debt of 192 billion naira ($1.2 billion) which was acquired by AMCON at an agreed price of 141 billion naira ($900 million), the son of former Lagos State governor Michael Otedola, listed as the biggest debtor to AMCON.