FG moves to prosecute defaulters, recover over N5tr AMCON debts
To ensure the effective recovery of over N5 trillion being outstanding debts owed to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), a new task force has been set up to get the job done without fail.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, gave the indication during a meeting with board members and management of AMCON and selected heads of government agencies, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday evening.
The Managing Director of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, had last week stated that about 350 Obligors account for over 80 percent of the N5.5 trillion debt it inherited as a result of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the country.
Kuru, at the July 2019 breakfast meeting of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), added that most of these obligors were well-renowned people in the society such as Ministers and Senators in the National Assembly.
According to the Federal Government, recovery agencies include the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), and also the Permanent Secretaries of the Justice and Transport Ministries.
“To this effect, a special task force/committee comprising of the Heads of AMCON, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Ministry of Justice, will be working to develop and implement new strategies that will ensure that the determination of the FG to recover the money is speedily achieved”, a statement from the office of the Vice President read in part.
Prof. Osinbajo said all the relevant agencies have to re-strategise to achieve the desired results.
“The key is collaboration. We need a small team comprising these agencies to look at the next steps that we need to take, especially the criminal aspect, forfeiture, and all of that,” the VP directed.
He said the task force should look at the top 20 AMCON defaulters closely and develop a plan of action that brings results.
Recall that the Vice President had in May, met with AMCON management to discuss how to resolve the issue.
According to the AMCON Chairman, Muiz Banire, almost 67 percent of the outstanding N5 trillion debts are owed by just 20 individuals/entities.
Banire noted that the agency had been “trying its best in its attempt to recover this through the civil judicial process, but had encountered several challenges.”
Also present at the meeting was the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu; Chairman, ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye; Director/Chief Executive, NFIU, Modibbo Tukur; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari; and other senior government officials.
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