In a renewed strategy to recover a whopping debt obligation of over N4.6 trillion owed it by recalcitrant debtors, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has sought the collaboration of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The management of both institutions met Thursday to consolidate on the gains of their relationship especially in the areas of investigating, prosecuting and compelling all obligors of AMCON in accordance with the relevant statutes.
The high-level meeting, led by Ahmed Kuru, AMCON managing director/chief executive officer, and Ibrahim Mustafa Magu, EFCC’s acting chairman, is working on taking another look at some banks and their officials that were instrumental to the abuse and violation of internal processes that led to the huge non-performing loans in AMCON’s portfolio.
Kuru who stated AMCON’s role in the economy especially in the banking sector said that since its establishment, AMCON acquired debts from 22 banks worth N3.7 trillion and provided financial accommodation to 10 banks of about N2.2 trillion.
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He observed that despite AMCON’s recovery efforts, the corporation still holds unresolved loans in excess of N4.6 trillion, which represents about 75 percent of the total national budget. The MD expressed concern that failure on the part of AMCON to resolve the debts will have far reaching implication for the nation at large.
To this end, AMCON is seeking the help of EFCC to revisit, re-investigate and duly prosecute such banks and the responsible
The EFCC acting chairman, who welcomed the AMCON boss and his team described the assignments of both agencies of government as “very tough, overwhelming and challenging”, adding that he was happy that AMCON under Kuru is doing everything within its mandate to confront the obligors with all the risks involved in the process of doing so.
He said it was for that reason that EFCC established AMCON Desk with dedicated EFCC officials that ensure that all AMCON related cases in EFCC received speedy attention.
Magu assured Kuru that the AMCON Desk at EFCC will continue to be functional, adding that the EFCC is willing to increase the number of personnel on the Desk if so required and would be willing to establish a Lagos branch if necessary to make sure these huge loans are recovered in the interest of the Nigerian economy.
Condemning the impunity with which those transactions were done, the EFCC boss affirmed that some of these obligors “who took loans without the intention of paying back” did not envisage that someday an agency like AMCON will come knocking on their doors seeking to recover the loans.
According to him, giving the similarity in the objectives of both agencies, the acting EFCC Chairman said there is a need for joint training towards fostering better understanding between AMCON and the EFCC.
On his own part, Kuru who thanked the Acting Chairman of EFCC for graciously receiving the AMCON delegation, however, expressed appreciation for his passion and cooperation in the collaboration with AMCON toward recovering the enormous bad debts from recalcitrant obligors.