. Shareholders accuse AMCON of rip-off
· Customs officials fingered in night operation
AS the new Comptroller General of Customs(CGC), Adewale Adeniyi assumed office last week, one area he is expected to beam his searchlight is on the high-scale nocturnal fraudulent activities being perpetrated by some customs officials in connivance with importers at the Medlog Jetty and Sapid bonded terminal, all located at Satellite Town, Lagos.
Our source disclosed that no fewer than 100 containers of different sizes are moved out of the terminal and Jetty at internals without official customs clearance, alleging that importers route their cargoes from port of origin in clear agreement with the Mediterranean Shipping Company(MSC) which operates Medlog Transport and Logistics Services Nigeria Limited, owners of Medlog B1 Barge Terminal Jetty and Sapid Bonded Terminal as off-dock terminal partner.
Describing their mode of operation, he said on arrival MSC anchors their ship at Port and Cargo Terminal and the Tin Can Island Container Terminal(TICT) because they have no terminal in Nigeria. Subsequently, the Medlog barges are deployed to the transit point to move the cargo to Medlog Jetty from where the containers are sorted according to prearranged plans in categories of official and unofficial containers using the Sapid Bonded Terminal and Customs officials.
One Abdullahi, Deputy Comptroller of Customs in charge of Operations at the Federal Operations Unit(FOU) Zone “A” Ikeja, was alleged as one of the master-minders in the operation that services the Alaba International and the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex traders. However, findings by MMS Plus revealed that the officer may have retired even as other visits to Medlog and Sapid have not yielded much progress in the investigation.
Medlog is the logistics arm of MSC that enables a one-stop-shop global supply chain operations, with presence in 70 countries and handles over 12 million TEUs per year.
Meanwhile, Nigerian shareholders are spoiling for legal war with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigderia(AMCON) massive reap off of their investment Deposit Money Banks(DMBs).
The National Coordinator of Proactive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Taiwo Oderinde who confirmed this said this has become necessary because of the fraudulent motive of AMCON towards shareholders who invested in some of these DMBs.
According to him, “AMCON expenses has affected shareholders return on investment and it is a national fraud. We call on the new government to shutdown AMCON operations.
Collectively, shareholders have expressed dissatisfaction over AMCON and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) expenses that reduced profit before tax of 11 banks to N1.28 trillion in 2022 financial year from N1.16 trillion reported in 2021.
Over the years, shareholders have expressed dissatisfaction with the creation of AMCON, stressing that the charges discourage investing in bank stocks with dwindling dividend payout.
Speaking, the Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Boniface Okezie said AMCON has over stayed its function in the banking sector, calling on its banks management to suspend funding AMCON as it is affecting shareholders’ profit.
According to him, “AMCON is lobbying the federal government to extend its operations. If the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) wanted to sustain AMCON, fine but not banks funding the corporation. AMCON has overstayed its functions in the banking sector. AMCON is reporting losses despite collecting levy from banks and having challenges in selling recovered assets from debtors.
“The banking institution must continue to fund AMCON because it is not the bankers’ committee that form their board but the government. If the federal government wanted to keep the board of AMCON, they must think of funding it not collecting from banks. What was AMCON doing when some banks were having challenges recently? AMCON has not helped our banking sector and it has not posted any profit.
“I still do not understand why the Senate requested AMCON to continue to exist. AMCON’s 10 years has ended, according to the law but they continued to stay, playing games with shareholders’ funds. AMCON is killing the industry and not helping the banks when they are in financial crisis,” he added.
“NDIC levy is also affecting banks compared to what is happening in other countries. The new government has to look at it because shareholders have suffered a lot from AMCON and NDIC expenses,” he said.