The Senate is getting worried over seeming lack of proper mobilization of support by key stakeholders given the responsibility to back the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to recover huge outstanding debts.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Uba Sani, has however reiterated the willingness of the National Assembly to continually support the debt recovery efforts of the AMCON.
He said the support has become critical because AMCON remains a strategic national institution that plays important, and pivotal role in helping to stabilise the economy.
AMCON is saddled with the tough assignment of recovering nearly N5trillion owed the country by debtors who for years now hide under all manners of technicalities to tie AMCON up in different Courts to stall repayment. Sani who was represented by Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi however commended the management of AMCON for remaining resolute.
While appealing to sister agencies of the federal government and all stakeholders to support the recovery drive of AMCON, Sani also appreciated the contribution of the Inter-Agency Committee set up by the Federal Government sometime in 2019 to ensure that debtors are held accountable.
The work of the committee has brought many obligors to the negotiation table. The Inter-agency Committee is chaired by Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN) who is also the Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The committee is made up of heads and representatives of agencies including the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU). Others are heads of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), the Federal Ministry of Justice and AMCON. They were expected to review the status of the huge debts owed to AMCON, deliberate on practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the outstanding debts.
Recall that it was also in a bid to tighten the noose on the obligors that in November 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amendment) Act, amending the AMCON Act No.4, 2010. The Act provides for the extension of the tenor of the Resolution Cost Fund (RCF) and grants access to the Special Tribunal established by the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act 2020, which confers on AMCON the power to among others… “to take possession, manage, foreclose or sell, transfer, assign or otherwise deal with the asset or property used as security for Eligible Bank Assets (EBAs), and related matters,’’ just to mention a few.
Sani spoke at one-day retreat, which held recently at the Zuma Rock Resort in Niger State. The retreat was themed: “Asset Recovery as a Tool for Enhanced Growth and Stability of the Banking Sector Sustaining the Impact and Bridging the Challenges of AMCON.”