I met someone on Thursday at a hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos who said “Don’t mind that Prof, he has always been a failure” – and I am now tempted to believe the guy after I read your comments in a BBM group blog suggesting that that “Ifeanyi Ubah was let off the hook for owing N50bn after President Goodluck Jonathan commanded AMCON to do so after the man a Political Action Committee [PAC] known as Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria [TAN] to help him win the 2015 elections!”
Let’s keep the records straight – AMCON bought the debts owed by Capital Oil and Gas as it did buy the debts of many other companies after the ‘Sanusi Tsunami’ that swept across the banking sector in 2008; in the case of Capital Oil and Gas, AMCON employed a team of Management contractors from the US led by a Caucasian to rescue the company [since it now owned the company in the interim] who went on to run the company for more than 3-4 years – while this was going on, Ifeanyi Ubah was naturally in court fighting AMCON to handover his company to him believing he could have ran the same business and still repaid AMCON himself.
Well, he never succeded in that regard despite “all the noise” that was being made around the subject matter in the media – including the angle that involves Cosmas Maduka who had stood as guarantor to him with one of the banks he was owing – there were equally reports of “Ifeanyi being close to Patience Jonathan and trying to press button to have these issues resolved in his favor.”
The management contractors continued to run the business and all the monies being made by the company were being used to pay up the monies now owed by Capital Oil to AMCON in offsetitng the debts th agency had bought over from the banks – when the agency had fully recoverd what was owed to it, it agreed, along with Ifeanyi Ubah to withdraw all court cases between both parties from the law courts and made such a position officially known in the media – and went on to handover the company back to Ubah.
This same narrative is what AMCON has done with other companies and continues to do with others because the JOB of the agency was never “to kill businesss” but to “take over assets of the erring firms they had bought over their loans from some banks ensuring they can have all monies remitted before back to the agency before such companies can be handed back to the original owners” – and rather than castigate President Jonathan in this case because “Ifeanyi Ubah runs Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria [TAN], you should be commending the President that he allowed DUE PROCESS to reign despite the relationship Ubah had with him – because he never asked “AMCON to let Ubah off the hook without paying all he owed the agency” neither did he get cut short a process that eventually lasted for about 5 years into 5 months!
Furthermore, Capital Oil has proven that the very reason AMCON was set up is a success – that you can have business owners become disciplined not to mismanage the wealth of their firms even though they own such businesses in the majority especially when they have placed other publicly quoted companies – in this case, some banks in jeopardy by borrowing from them – in the time AMCON was recovering debts owed by Ubah, a lot of his private properties were confiscated by the agency and sold to recover some of these monies in the same way, ALL BANKS were forbidden by the Central Bank/AMCON from lending him a dime – all of these as he remained a friend of Jonathan! I am sure you as a person would not have approved of such a friend, would you?
What baffles me about folks like you, Prof. is “you would be in private meetings over drinks chatting about how a Donald Trump was bankrupt a number of times yet turned things around” but when you come across such unique stories in Nigeria, you begin to attribute such to “such businessmen being let off the hook because of their support for the President” – so please, which of the Presidents in the US did people like Trump support to become the successes stories they have become today?
Please, I would imagine that Ifeanyi is in the same age bracket as you and of course of the same South-Eastern Nigerian extraction, just in case you only heard his name the first time after Jonathan became President, you should go and find out to know that – he has been running this same Capital Oil long before Goodluck Jonathan became a notable name within Nigerian politics – as he was already a major supplier of Oil products to the Federal Government of Nigeria before then – and as part of his operations, he owns a fleet of Oil haulage modern trucks in excess of 1,000 units – which he acquired at a single time brand new – aside from others he owned before and after this – and he went on to build an ultramodern facility, the first of its kind in Nigeria at the time located on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos – that could accomodate as many trucks while others were blocking the roads on the same axis with their own trucks.
Aside from that, he owned Tank Farms directly linked to his head office building futher down the same road – all of these things he did years ago before setting up TAN in 2014 in support of Goodluck Jonathan, so he could have made some mistakes borrowing monies from banks and not returning such as at when due but, please this guy was no pauper trying to make it!
And he is not the only one whose debts has been restructured by AMCON, in the same way this has happened with Capital Oil, so are many other businesses currently going through the same process – Femi Otedola made the cover Forbes Africa in November 2014 and he spoke of the pains he went through with Zenon Oil v AMCON – leading to his properties – at home and abroad being confiscated and auctioned by the agency – in a true the rich also cry he narrated how he had to endure 4-5 gruelling years before he was able to bounce back again – he even went on to mention how “most of his friends deserted him” and “how Banks that used to frolick all around him abandoned him as well but for Segun Agbaje/GTBANK and Jim Ovia/Zenith Bank!”
This also showed that despite his closeness to Goodluck Jonathan, he still went through all he described – what does that tell you? Jonathan as he has said on his current campaign trail doesn’t believe “in your jungle justice style of fighting corruption” but would allow the system itself to correct itself applying due process – the same majority of businesses [and owners] on the famous AMCON list were the same companies providing JOBS for Nigerians – what was there to be gained in KILLING these businesses and the jobs they provided? That would have even been crazier than throwing the baby out with the bathwater!
There is nothing wrong with being down and gettting back up again – such is the stuff of legends – and the typical story that we all live to read in Fortune, Bloomberg Businessweek, Time, etc – so why must such stories be mocked rather than celebrated in Nigeria?
In closing, you have made it very clear in all of the writings on several fora that you support the candidacy of the ex-coup plotter Gen. Muhammadu Buhari – and I congratulate you for that, so please parading yourself all over this polity granting cheap interviews to media houses that “you are a neutral observer that just believes in the future of Nigeria” and stop selling lies intentionally concocted against President Goodluck Jonathan all in a bid to win some more support for your own candidate.
Put yourself to good use for your nation and stop maligning the reputations of those that are already making CHANGE possible within the same polity!