Polaris is the latest AMCON adventure that may prove loss-making since its involvement in three other failed banks in the 2010s — Mainstreet Bank, Keystone Bank and Enterprise Bank. The federal asset management agency was established in 2010 to absorb bad bank loans following the 2008 global financial crisis.
But AMCON’s performance should not be gauged solely on how much it spends saving a commercial investment, said economist Edward Omosewe.
“Generally speaking, government interventions like AMCON are put in place to save jobs and businesses,” Mr Omosewe said. “While it might seem easy to say a large amount was injected into a business to save it, it would be difficult to quantify the overall economic benefits of jobs saved, direct or indirect, as well as other businesses standing because of the bad loans purchased by AMCON.”
Notwithstanding, Mr Omosewe said AMCON would be more successful if allowed to operate under a transparent environment.
“Transparency and accountability will substantially eliminate insinuations about corruption,” the economist said. “AMCON and CBN should encourage potential investors by conducting sales of nationalized businesses like Polaris in a manner that is evidently free, fair and less opaque.”