Firm battles AMCON over properties

Suru Worldwide Ventures Nigeria Limited, a hotel management firm, is currently at a war with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over what it described as the forceful takeover of its multi-billion naira company in Lagos over an unpaid loan it took from the defunct Oceanic Bank Plc.

The management of the company has also gone ahead to petition the National Assembly, asking the lawmakers to intervene to save the company from sinking.

Suru Worldwide Ventures owns Best Western Lagos Hotel, Ikeja, Opebi Hotel projects, Ikeja, Government Reservation Area (GRA) Land, Lagos State and Ikeja GRA Town Houses.

The company claimed that it started with an initial staff strength of over 2000 Nigerians before it witnessed a downturn resorting to staff rationalisation that left just 250 employees, following its loan repayment challenges with the defunct Oceanic Bank Plc.

It appealed to its creditor Bank (EcoBank), to take a second look into its loan repayment appeal.

The Managing Director, Edward Akinlade and Company Secretary, Ayodeji Adewunmi, in a joint statement, to AMCON noted that the classification of the loan accounts with the bank as non-performing was considered objectionable by the company.

It noted that “the said classification is due to no omission or negligence on our part, but to the bank’s breach of agreement on the disbursement of funds on the facility as agreed thereby stalling the various projects which were mostly 95 per cent completed as at August 14, 2019.

“Considering this position and the desire of AMCON to see genuine business flourish, we hereby appeal for the below-stated measures aimed at protecting the interests of all parties.” the statement added.

Justifying its takeover, AMCON Group Head for Enforcement, Joshua Ikioda said: “By the virtue of the terms of mortgages and the facility letters issued severally by the bank, the monies and liabilities thereby secured became due and payable, but the borrower/mortgagor under the mortgage, Suru Wodwide Ventures Nigeria Limited, refused and failed to discharge the outstanding indebtedness despite several demands by the bank.”

A source at AMCON said the corporation took possession of those properties via a court directive and that promoters can approach the court to argue the course.

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