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ECONOMIC SITUATION HAS MADE AMCON'S JOB HARDER SAYS HOUSE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN ON BANKING AND CURRENCY

The Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, Hon. Sir Jones Chukwudi Onyereri yesterday in Sokoto said that there was need for all institutions that want to see Nigeria get out of the current economic situation in the country to support the effort of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to resolve the huge debt it carries insisting that its resolution was capable of rebounding the economy.

The members of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, National Assembly are in Sokoto for a 3-day retreat themed “Capacity building for Members of the Committee on the Emerging issues in the financial sector and Banking Industry, Taking into consideration the current development in the country as it relates to AMCON efforts in loan recovery.”

Welcoming his colleagues and the Management of AMCON to the retreat in Sokoto, Hon. Onyereri said the gathering was timely because it again remind and reiterate the enormous task that AMCON faces in its debt recovery efforts especially in the face of the current state of the economy of Nigeria and what the Committee can do to help the Corporation and the nation. He said, “…The problem we are currently facing are not just monetary policy issues; they are equally fiscal policy issues. Therefore, there is need to be a convergence of both and the establishment of the Financial Services Commission that will create an avenue where both of them can work together to get us out of our present situation.

“This retreat is therefore timely given the enormous task that AMCON faces in its debt recovery efforts because of the current state of our economy. The current economic problem makes their (AMCON) harder but that notwithstanding, every debtor is obliged to pay their debt. AMCON therefore needs any assistance it can get in order to effectively fulfil its mandate.” He also reminded the committee that the retreat offers the members another opportunity to further interact with AMCON for a better understanding of the challenges they are faced with and how the National Assembly can be of help to the Corporation.

While promising that the committee will engage in in-depth analysis and discussions on major issues affecting AMCON and its operations, Hon. Onyereri however described the recent introduction of Asset Management Partners (AMPs) as a bold step in the right direction in the debt recovery effort. He added, “At a time like this, debt recovery is a daunting and enormous task that requires you think outside of the box and come up with innovative ways of accomplishing the task within the ambits of the law. The collaboration with AMPs, which is a consortium of professionals with specialist’s skills in banking, legal, valuation and accounting, represents a new down in AMCON’s debt recovery efforts aimed towards strengthening the capacity for more recoveries.”

In conclusion, the Chairman promised that as a legislature, which the Committee serves as an interface, the Committee would do its best through healthy collaboration and speedy enactment of relevant laws critical to the acceleration of stability in the financial sector in particular and sustained economic growth generally. He said it for these reasons that the House Committee on Banking and Currency is ready at all time to work with AMCON to save the Nigerian economy.

Earlier in his remarks, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AMCON who attended the retreat with the Corporation’s executive directors told the committee that he was worried with the growing rascality among obligors of AMCON, which makes it compelling for AMCON to perpetually depend on the judiciary for meaningful recoveries. He also informed them that AMCON was dealing with obligors that have the financial capacity to engage AMCON from court to court in their plot to evade repayment and thereby sabotaging the effort of the federal government to resuscitate the economy.

Kuru said there was need for all the relevant government agencies to rally round AMCON because the failure of AMCON would mean that the gains Nigeria recorded in 2010/2011 when AMCON was created would be lost and the economic difficulty will befall all of us. He however added that with the continued support of the House, he said he was sure that AMCON would realize its objectives.

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