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Reps plan more powers for AMCON in debt recovery

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House of Representatives

The House of Representatives is currently working at amending the Act establishing the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in efforts to empower and embolden the corporation to go after its debtors.

The move is scripted specifically for those who hitherto think they can ride on some loopholes in the Act to perpetually engage AMCON in court.

The Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, Sir Jones Chukwudi Onyereri, disclosed this, at the weekend, in Abuja, at a one-day technical session with stakeholders.

The stakeholders, which include the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Nigeria Insurance Deposit Corporation (NDIC); members of the House Committee on Banking and Currency; and AMCON management, among others, at the session, were discussing the challenges inhibiting AMCON from recovering the debts.

The committee also used the occasion to listen to presentations from the representatives of the CBN, NDIC and lawyers, among others, on how AMCON could function optimally, as well as meet its mandate before sunset.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, who expressed his fruatration at the technical session, described his assignment at AMCON as “very difficult.”

He however, 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 who have the financial wherewithal to repay their debts but have refused to pay by going to court to tie AMCON up.

“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.

“We are making this suggestion because we have over the years realised that some of our obligors have since established another lifestyle that are different from what brought them to AMCON so the best we 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 outlives the lifespan of AMCON,” he said.


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