Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency to investigate the debt portfolio of N5.4 trillion to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the reported unwillingness of some of the debtors to pay.
The mandate was sequel to the adoption of a motion by the member representing Enugu East/Isi-uzo Federal Constituency, Hon. Cornelius Nnaedozie Nnaji, where he raised concerns on the accumulation of debts amounting to about N5.4 trillion, far in excess of the N800 billion debt ceiling by AMCON.
The committee was also mandated to evaluate the status of the debts and the practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the debts, including recommending a timeframe, and other options such as the amendment of the AMCON Act, and report back within three weeks for further legislative action.
The House Committee on Insurance was also directed to broaden the investigation into the insurance aspect of the debt.
Nnaji had noted that AMCON, which was established in 2015 to, among other things, acquire eligible bank assets from eligible financial institutions and to hold, manage, realise and dispose of eligible bank assets (including the collection of interest, principal and capital due and taking over of collateral securing such assets), is currently challenged by difficulties in recovery of debts owed to the tune of N5.4 trillion.
“AMCON claims that 20 individuals/entities are responsible for about 67 percent of the N5.4 trillion debt portfolio of the corporation, an amount which is over 50 percent of the 2018 Budget of Nigeria,” and that “Some of the debtors who owe large portions of the debts are alleged to be unwilling to pay,” Nnaji said.