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Government inaugurates panel to recover loans granted by AMCON

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja
31 May 2016   |   12:54 am
The Federal Government has set up a Presidential Inter-Agency Committee on recovery of loans granted to commercial banks and corporate organisations by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
Managing Director, AMCON, Ahmed Kuru

Managing Director, AMCON, Ahmed Kuru

The Federal Government has set up a Presidential Inter-Agency Committee on recovery of loans granted to commercial banks and corporate organisations by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

This was disclosed by Salihu O. Isah, Spokesman to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, who stated that the inauguration took place last Thursday.

Isah explained that the minister, who heads the committee in his speech recounted that AMCON was established by the Act of the National Assembly to prevent the collapse of the Nigerian banking sector following the banking crisis as a result of the Bank Consolidation Reforms in 2008.

According to him, the AGF pointed out that the above situation led to huge indebtedness for banks, which culminated in the eventual purchase of the toxic loans by AMCON in order to stabilise the banking sector, and by extension the Nigerian economy.

However, the debtors who cut across the aviation, banking and oil and gas sectors failed to repay the loans while some of them had resulted to court actions all in their bid to frustrate the loan recovery efforts of AMCON, surmising that in some cases, this was with active conspiracy of some financial institutions among others.

Among the terms of reference of the Committee are to ascertain the current status of AMCON recoveries in terms of achievement from inception to date as well as the total outstanding viz value of assets; and to ascertain how government at various levels can be made to honour their debt obligations to the corporation.

It is also to request and obtain information from any person or persons and/or entity or entities onshore and offshore with the full support and weight of the Federal Government and her agencies towards the pursuit and realization of the Committee’s mandate; as well as to assist in third party investigation outside AMCON office relating to obligors and identify the criminal nature of commercial transactions that would assist in pursuing criminal prosecutions.

Members of the committee, which include representatives drawn from the following Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Federal Ministry of Justice as Chairman, Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of State (Aviation), Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase and Mr. Ibrahim Magu, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

Others are Alhaji Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the Federation, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, Group Managing Director Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, Director General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Mr. Farouk Ahmed, Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and Alhaji Ahmed Kuru, managing director, AMCON.