The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has said that it will commence the sale of the three nationalised banks in June this year.
The banks, which are also referred to as ‘Bridge banks’ are Enterprise Bank, Mainstreet Bank and Keystone Bank.
Chief executive officer of AMCON, Mustapha Chike Obi, who disclosed this in Lagos at the Hallmark public lecture forum, said that Enterprise bank would be sold by June while Mainstream would follow subsequently in October this year.
Chike Obi explained that the process is still on-going; adding that at least two, out of the three banks would be sold this year.
“There are many people interested in buying the banks and we would sell them as soon as the process is completed. We would make sure it is done properly; at least two of them will be sold this year. The first one in June and the next one would follow in October.
“Enterprise bank would come first before Mainstream. The Keystone bank would come third because there was a management change in the bank after a year and we need to give more time to correct the bank,” he added.
Speaking on the theme; ‘Emerging Market Challenges and the Imperatives of Economic Reforms’, the AMCON boss said that the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company needs over N2 trillion capital to operate effectively as against the N100 billion earmarked for the recapitalisation of the industry.
He also identified lack of capital, parlous infrastructure and unemployment as the major problem facing the economy. Chike Obi decried over the high level of unemployment in Nigeria, noting that for the country to become one of the top 20 economies in the world, it must be capable of growing by 15% and creating about six million jobs on a yearly basis.
“We are in a very critical period of the economy and things are getting much worst very fast. We are a country of about 170 million, growing at three and half per cent a year. There is a need to create between four to six million jobs for the people yearly. We have a backlog of unemployment people and five years from now, if this unemployment problem was not solved, it would amount to creating eight million jobs a year and if we fail, the society might not hold.
“We needed employment emergency in this country. We must create policies that would bring Nigerians in diaspora back to the country. The fiscal and monetary policies must gear towards growth. We must grow this country by 15% a year for many years and create six million jobs year on year,” he concluded.