Senate panel okays publication of AMCON’s N4.8tn debtors list
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, has called on the National Assembly to empower the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria to go after recalcitrant obligors by publishing their names.
He said that was the only way AMCON could meet its mandate of achieving the purpose for which it was set up in 2010.
He said since AMCON had done its best over the past seven years to resolve the debts but was still being resisted by the debtors, the 8th Senate would have not option than to urge it to compile and publish the list of all the debtors in major daily newspapers in the country.
The move, he argued would place before Nigerians those who were holding the nation’s economy to ransom since they accounted for 80 per cent of AMCON’s N4.8tn obligation.
The Senator, who spoke at the opening of a two-day retreat in Lagos on Thursday to discuss the AMCON Act Amendment Bill, stated that the upper chamber of the National Assembly, as part of its oversight function, had decided that the corporation, at this critical time in its lifespan, must be given all the support it required to perform as expected by all Nigerians.
He, however, urged the AMCON management to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation to propose to President Muhammadu Buhari to issue an Executive Order on the seizure of assets of persons who are indebted to it.
Ibrahim said the Senate was intent on having serious discussions as soon as possible with major stakeholders such as the CBN, finance ministry, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation and relevant committees of the legislature to discuss issues hindering AMCON from performing optimally, including the funding model to enable the debt recovery agency finish its assignment on a high.
According to him, the will amend the AMCON Act because the agency has been a key stabilising factor in the Nigerian financial system.
He added that the legislature was in support of the proposal by AMCON to publish the list of the 350 obligors who accounted for nearly 80 per cent of the total indebtedness to it.
Earlier in his presentation, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, AMCON, Mr. Ahmed Kuru reminded the committee that the ramifications for failure by the agency to recover its debt could not be quantified as it would go beyond economic costs.
He stated that AMCON’s total debt obligation of N4.8tn represented more than 55 per cent of the 2018 national budget.