Tuesday, March 27,
2018 11.45AM / NASS
The Chairman of House of
Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, Hon. Sir Jones Chukwudi
Onyereri announced yesterday that the House of Representatives has begun the
process of amending the Act establishing the Asset Management Corporation of
Nigeria (AMCON), eight years after it started operation.
Hon. Jones Onyereri disclosed that the
proposed amendment would further empower AMCON to go after its debtors,
especially those that ride on some loopholes in the Act to perpetually engage
AMCON in court.
The AMCON, a creation of the National
Assembly in response to the global financial crises of 2008/2009, acquired over
12,000 non-performing loans worth about N3.7 trillion from 22 banks.
Out of this, AMCON injected N2.2
trillion as financial accommodation to 10 commercial banks in order to prevent
systemic failure. This singular action, helped stabilize the financial system,
protecting about N3.66 trillion of depositors’ funds; and saved approximately
The task before AMCON now is the
recovery of debts either through structured repayment or disposal of
transferred assets towards settlement of the bonds.
Onyereri spoke at a one-day technical
session with financial sector stakeholders in Abuja, where the challenges
inhibiting AMCON from recovering debts were extensively discussed.
The committee also used the occasion
to listen to presentations from the representatives of the Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation and lawyers on how AMCON
could function optimally as well as meet its mandate before sunset.
Speaking at the forum, Managing
Director/Chief Executive Officer of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru described his assignment
at AMCON as “very difficult,” but said there was need to change the recovery
approach at the corporation with the backing of the National Assembly,
especially since the remaining crop of AMCON debtors are defiant, recalcitrant
and business heavyweights.
He said the debtors have the financial
wherewithal to repay their debts but have refused to pay by going to court to
tie AMCON up.
The AMCON boss said: “We have been
doing this for the past seven years and we have realised that what we need now
at this time in the life of AMCON is legislative help that would make it
possible to recover these debts effectively and efficiently.
“At AMCON, we believe that the Act
establishing the corporation can be amended as many times as possible by the
National Assembly as long as they think it is appropriate to do so in the
interest of the Nigerian economy. Given the difficulties we are facing
presently, we are of the opinion that the Act establishing AMCON should be
amended to reflect our sunset period”.
He said the corporation has realised
that some obligors have since established another lifestyle that are different
from what brought them to AMCON. So, the best it can do as a law-abiding agency
of the government is take them to court.
“But the wheel of justice grinds
slowly in the country. So, something drastic must be done if we all want AMCON
to meet its mandate at sunset. So, we suggest that the National Assembly amends
the Act establishing AMCON in such a way that the assets of the obligor(s) are
automatically transferred to AMCON. From what we know, some of the obligors are
working hard to ensure that the cases they have with AMCON in different courts
outlive the lifespan of AMCON.” Download
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