Lawmakers Pledge Support for AMCON

Victor Nwokolo

Obinna Chima

The Chairman, Banking and Currency, House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Banking and Currency, Hon. Victor Nwokolo has assured Nigerians that the ninth National Assembly will take all necessary measures to support the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in realising the huge outstanding debt of over N5.4 trillion owed it by obligors before its sunset.

Nwokolo, who was addressing members of the House Committee on Banking and Currency at a retreat in Lagos, affirmed that the National Assembly through the committee, which has oversight mandate over AMCON would work to ensure that AMCON not only performs its function satisfactorily, but ensures that the corporation delivers on its expected mandate given that AMCON is a creation of the parliament in 2010.

While commending the previous assembly, the management of AMCON under the leadership of Mr Ahmed Lawan Kuru, its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, and the executive arm of government for amending the AMCON Act, the chairman said the National Assembly would continue to amend the Act until the federal government achieves that target for which AMCON was created in the first place, which is to stabilise the financial sector.

Given that the AMCON Act had been amended and already signed into law by President Buhari, Nwokolo said the lawmakers would continue to strengthen the laws of the country on enforcement.

He said enforcement has become critical given the tactics of the debtors, which has constrained AMCON from achieving optimum results especially since public funds were used to buy these loans that helped prevent systemic collapse of the banking sector in Nigeria at the time AMCON was created in 2010.

On his part, AMCON’s Managing Director/CEO, who challenged the lawmakers to consolidate on the gains of the previous national assembly said it was in the interest of the Nigerian economy to recover the debt because was not established as a charity organisation.

On what the corporation under his leadership was doing ahead of the sunset date of AMCON, a statement quoted Kuru to have explained:

“AMCON is already working with Ernst & Young as (Financial Advisers) to see what we need to do, how we need to work with the Nigerian Insurance Deposit Corporation (NDIC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to thinker things a little and then at certain point in time liaising with the National Assembly draw a line.

“My suggestion will be to put all the remaining debt in one vehicle and fling the vehicle to anybody or firm that wants to buy with considerable discount.

“At that stage maybe it would be wise to do that and then close AMCON. There are funds all over the world that are in search of such opportunity. Then the contributions into the sinking fund from the banks, NDIC and CBN would over the period of two or three years depending on how the rates are adjusted be gradually cleared.”