The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on Sunday denied media reports that it had detained 344 female students of Providence High School, in Enugu.
In a statement signed by Jude Nwauzor, Head of its Corporate Communications, AMCON said, “It is unfortunate how some media establishments allowed the publication of unsubstantiated report that totally spewed mischief and half truths regarding the real issues about the enforcement exercise at the school.”
He said that AMCON did not shut down schools because the Management of AMCON understood the strategic importance of that sector to the country.
Nwauzor said, “This is not the first time AMCON is having to enforce an order on a school. Some years back a certain high-profile school in Lekki area of Lagos State was also subject to enforcement but AMCON did not shut down the school or detainthe students until the issues were amicably settled.
“The same enforcement approach was deployed at the school in Enugu by going there to place AMCON’s possessory sign board on the wall of the school and on the gate. It is therefore difficult to understand how writing on the fence of the school, which is outside the school premises and placing a small AMCON sign amounted to disrupting school activities and detaining the students.”
Aside the school authority that were approached before the signs were placed, he said the students, some of whom were in their hostels and their various classes did not know that any enforcement exercise even took place.
Nwauzor said, “Please AMCON did not storm the Enugu school with over 50 mobile policemen to detain students and their teachers. AMCON also did not prevent school activities from continuing as claimed by some reports. The reports are nothing but fake news.
“The management of the embattled school is using sensational journalism to raise false alarm. The gate of the school is still open, and activities are ongoing. It is a boarding school with students from across the country.”
He said, “how can anyone eject them? It’s all lies told to curry public sympathy and to delay the repayment of a huge debt of over N7.6billion, which is the main issue.
“As far as AMCON and records are concerned the property where the school is located belongs to Ferdinand Property Investment Limited. The company several years back took loan from UBA Plc and gave Corporate Guarantee in respect of the $2.9m AFDB loan granted to Ferdinand Oil Mills Limited in 1989.”
All the loans, he said, remained unliquidated resulting in AMCON acquiring the loan. The order and the originating processes, Nwauzor said were served on the school on July 16, 2016, but the school pleaded to be given time to enable them to arrange how to settle AMCON.