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AMCON’s New Powers

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed a new law that grants additional powers to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). The new law – AMCON (Amendment Act, 2019) – empowers the agency to access the financial details of debtors. The agency can now place bank accounts of debtors under surveillance. The new law empowers AMCON to by-pass any legal or procedural restriction, specifically those protecting banking details of debtors, so that the debt-mopping agency could gain access to such records. AMCON can now establish the location of debtors’ funds at home or in the Diaspora. The law also empowers AMCON to furnish government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with a list of debtors, and advise government to deny contract awards to such defaulting companies and persons. The Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, who announced that Buhari have appended his signature to the law, explained that “It (the Act) empowers AMCON to place any bank account or any other account comparable to a bank account of a debtor of an eligible financial institution under surveillance; obtain access to any computer system component, electronic or mechanical device of any debtor with a view to establishing the location of funds belonging to the debtor; and obtain information in respect of any private account together with all bank financial and commercial records of any debtor of any eligible financial institution.” As a complement to the new law, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has set up a task force to facilitate ways and means to recover over N5 trillion debts owed AMCON. The agencies are the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Federal Ministry of Justice… Read more

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