Senate Pledges to Support AMCON’s Debt Recovery Drive

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The Senate in session

Peter Uzoho

The Chairman Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Uba Sani, yesterday said the National Assembly will join forces with the executive arm of government to wedge war against obligors of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

Sani, who is the senator representing Kaduna Central, made the declaration at the commencement of the 2019 retreat for members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, which began in Kaduna on Wednesday.

A statement from AMCON, quoted the lawmaker to have said recovering the debt owed the corporation had become a major burden, saying the National Assembly would consider all options including the reactivating the Failed Bank Act, and could invite the pioneer management of AMCON under the leadership of Mustapha Chike-Obi for questioning.

The Chairman also hinted that the National Assembly would continue to support AMCON by providing all legislative support, including further amendment of the AMCON Act, if need be, to enable the corporation to recover the huge outstanding obligation.

Describing AMCON as a “strategic national institution,” Sani was quoted to have further said the senate was happy that AMCON, which the government created in 2010 to be a key stabilising and revitalising tool in resolving non-performing loans has done well.

He, however, stressed that recovering the huge debt owed the corporation, must be done before its sunset date.

He added, “The good news is that the federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is now waging a sustained battle against wreckers of the economy. It is determined to bring defaulters to book by strengthening the legal framework that set up AMCON and giving it all the support, it needs to succeed in its daunting task.

“Aside from the senate, AMCON needs the support of all government agencies and indeed all Nigerians to succeed. Our society must say no to the growing culture of collecting loans and regarding such loans as one’s share of the national cake. This is absurd and intolerable. Our judiciary must also assist the corporation in speedily recovering assets. That will send a clear message to other intending defaulters that the era of impunity is over.”

In a related development, the Managing Director/CEO, AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, disclosed that the over N1 trillion AMCON had recovered so far accounted for 61 per cent of the Eligible Bank Assets (EBAs) purchase price of N1.7trillion. This, he said went down history book as an outstanding achievement when compared to the recovery performances of other asset management agencies around the world.

Even at that, Kuru submitted that the National Assembly still has a lot of work to do to ensure that AMCON delivers on its mandate on or before its sunset, which is around the corner.