Thumbs up for AMCON recovery strides


The Inter-agency committee set up on the recovery of debts owed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria  (AMCON) between 2020 to 2021 fiscal year has recovered a whopping sum of N307 billion and should be supported by Nigerians home and abroad to carry out the assignment seemlessly.

The Committee had yesterday submitted its report to the Federal Government and is urging for strict implementation of relevant laws including the AMCON Act, that ensures that the recalcitrant debtors cannot benefit from government contracts and projects except with due diligence clearance from AMCON.

Members of the Committee led by its Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasonoye, SAN, who is also the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission stated this while submitting its Interim Report to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa.

Specifically, the Committee has proposed an advisory to the Federal Government on going forward, “all AMCON debtors must not be allowed to transact business or enjoy patronage with any government agency whatsoever, except clearance is obtained from AMCON on the debt status of such obligors,” according to Prof. Owasonoye, who presented the Interim Report to the Vice President.

The mandate of the Committee, which was inaugurated in September 2019 includes the review of status of debt owed to AMCON, collate information relating to respective debtors and their current status, deliberate on practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the outstanding debt, among others.

The members of the Inter-Agency Committee consist of representatives from various government agencies including the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission; Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria; Federal Ministry of Justice; Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency; Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation; Central Bank of Nigeria; Department of State Services; and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is a good step towards eradicating corruption in the entire system.

The support became 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 N5 trillion 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.

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, 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,” among others.

At this critical time all hands must be on deck to ensure that the committee executes mandate to achieve its targeted objective.