NFC has a buyer willing to settle what it owes govt, says chairman

  • Nation
  • Monday, 20 May 2019

Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail stressing his point at the press conference by National Feedlot Corporation Ddn Bhd in Gemas Negeri Sembilan. NORAFIFI EHSAN / The Star

PETALING JAYA: The National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) already has a buyer willing to fully settle the outstanding amount the company owes the federal government, says its chairman, Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail.

The buyer has agreed to completely settle what is owed by the NFC within three months from an agreement with the federal government to restructure NFC, said Mohamad Salleh.

“NFC is currently awaiting approval from the government.

“NFC’s new buyer has already agreed to fully bear the liability of NFC’s loan, and to make full redemption of the loan taken from the federal government.

“Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was informed of this in a letter dated Nov 21, 2018.

“The buyer has also informed the government of its willingness and confidence in restoring and restructuring NFC, including making full payment of the loan taken from the government,” said Mohamad Salleh in a statement on Monday (May 20).

He was responding to a statement by Finance Ministry Lim Guan Eng on Monday (May 20) that the government was seeking full repayment of RM253.6mil in outstanding loans, interest and late payment charges from the NFC.

Mohamad Salleh said he believed Lim’s statement came following a letter dated May 17 that was sent to the Finance Ministry from NFC’s new buyer, asking about making full redemption of the loan.

On Jan 9, 2008, NFC received a loan facility of RM250,000,000 from the federal government at an interest rate of 2% per annum, with a loan period of 20 years and a grace period of three years, for a project to expand the local beef industry.

The loan was secured by a debenture that was signed alongside the loan agreement on Dec 6, 2007.

However, the project became embroiled in controversy for being poorly managed, as noted in the Auditor-General's Report 2011.

Mohamad Salleh said the new buyer and the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry had already held discussions and formulated plans to revive NFC’s project.

“I’m confident that under the leadership of Dr Mahathir, this issue will be settled in the best way possible, where NFC will pay back the outstanding amount it owes the government and this project, which is full of potential, will be revived by the government and the new buyer of NFC,” he said. 

In April, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub revealed that a company has indicated interest in taking over NFC.

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