The senate committee on banking has backed Nigeria’s bad bank, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), to publish the list of its defaulting obligors.
Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, chairman senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions, who announced the legislative backing, said that Nigeria can be made great again, if the legislature as a matter of urgency empowers AMCON to go after recalcitrant obligors.
He said that is the only way AMCON can meet its mandate of achieving the tough mandate for which it was set up in 2010.
Ibrahim noted that since AMCON, over the past seven years, have done its best to resolve these debts but are still encountering resistance from obligor, the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the able leadership of Olubukola Saraki, would have not option that to urge AMCON to compile and publish the list of all these debtors on major daily newspapers in the country.
The move, he argued would place before Nigerians those who are holding the nation’s economy to ransom since they account for 80 percent of AMCON’s N4.8 trillion debt obligation.
The senator, who spoke Thursday at the opening of a 2-day retreat in Lagos hinted that the upper chamber, as part of its oversight function, has decided that AMCON at this critical time in its lifespan must be given all the support it requires to perform as expected by all Nigerians.
He however urged the Management of AMCON to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation to propose that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces issues an Executive Order on seizure of assets of persons who are indebted to AMCON.
Earlier in his presentation, Ahmed Kuru, managing director/chief executive officer, AMCON, reminded the senate committee that the ramifications for failure by AMCON to recover its debt, principally owed to the CBN, cannot be quantified as it goes beyond economic cost.
He disclosed that AMCON’s total debt obligation of N4.8 trillion represents more than 55 percent of the 2018 national budget and that given the current demands on the Federal Government he is convinced that it is doubtful that the government can afford to expense AMCON’s debt in the short term.
It was for that reason, AMCON, after seven years of negotiating with the obligors with no commensurate recovery result, has decided to change its strategy, which now pays strict attention to enforcements as a way of compelling especially the recalcitrant obligors to come and pay up their debts.
To achieve this however, Kuru said the corporation will be heavily dependent on the legislature, most especially members of the committee to facilitate the amendment of the AMCON Act since most obligors of AMCON that are politically exposed and business heavyweights now employ different antics in law to tie the Corporation up in courts.