The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has recovered nearly N1.4 trillion from obstinate debtors of Nigerian banks.
Ahmed Kuru, AMCON’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, stated this at a House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency retreat with AMCON management and other stakeholders.
He stated that the Corporation has recovered almost N1.4 trillion, which includes cash N681 billion, property forfeiture N279 billion, share forfeiture N140 billion, and other strategic assets N208 billion.
Similarly, Polaris Eligible Bank Assets have recovered a total cash recovery of about N116.9 billion from the date of acquisition to the present.
The AMCON MD/CEO, who was represented by Mr Matthew Coker, AMCON’s Group Head, Asset Management Directorate, informed the MPs that despite the Act’s Special Powers, AMCON is still struggling with execution due to the nation’s legal system.
He stated, “At this point, the Corporation’s recovery processes rely heavily on the Judiciary, i.e., obtaining Possessory Orders or Orders for Sale.”
“The slow pace of our court processes, as well as sometimes contradictory orders by the Courts, particularly at the Federal High Court (FHC), our Court of First Instance, stymies the recovery process.” There are delays in securing Court dates to hear AMCON cases.
“The deposit of the judgment sum as provided for in the act is not enforced by the Courts, and some of the obligors are still active government contractors.”
“They conduct business with the government using debtor company names or other aliases, and the BOFIA Act, which provided for a Special Tribunal on recovery and enforcements, would have accelerated the adjudication of our cases in Court if the Judiciary had formed a task force specifically for that purpose.”
In addition, the Chairman of the Federal House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, Hon. Victor Nwokolo, stated that the National Assembly would summon the leadership of the various key committees that oversee the various federal government agencies to investigate why the Inter-agency Committee on the Recovery of the Huge Outstanding Debt owed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is not working as directed.
According to an AMCON statement on Sunday, Nwokolo expressed regret that federal government departments work against one other rather than collaborating to guarantee that the federal government recovers arrears.
“We cannot continue in this manner because we are accountable to the people of Nigeria and our constituents as lawmakers,” he stated. They will hold us accountable if we do not take decisive steps to assist AMCON in recovering these massive outstanding obligations.”
Nwokole stated that it was shameful that Osinbajo had set up a committee that was supposed to force sister government departments to coordinate and apply pressure on AMCON obligors within the confines of the law to guarantee that these debts were settled without yielding real results.
He did, however, commend AMCON’s leadership for its determination to pursue the “debtors, some of whom believe they are bigger than the country.”
He stated that enforcement has become critical due to debtors’ tactics, which has prevented AMCON from achieving optimal results, especially since public funds were used to purchase these loans, which helped prevent the banking sector in Nigeria from collapsing at the time AMCON was established in 2010.