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Reps to probe AMCON’s N5.4tr debt profile

The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to investigate the Asset Management Corporation’ of Nigeria (AMCON) for its huge debt stock, said to be beyond its statutory ceiling. It mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency to probe the corporation’s N5.4 trillion debt portfolio as well as the alleged unwillingness of some of the debtors to pay. The need for the probe followed a motion presented by Cornelius Nnaji and passed by majority of the members.

 Presenting the motion, the lawmaker said the accumulation of the debts was in excess of its N800 billion debt ceiling. He said: “The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) was established 2015 to, among other functions, acquire eligible bank assets from eligible financial institutions and to hold, manage, realise and dispose of eligible bank assets (including the collection of interest, principal and capital due and taking over of collateral securing such assets).

“AMCON is currently challenged by difficulties in recovery of debts owed by debtors to the tune of N5.4 trillion.”

Nnaji said AMCON claimed that 20 individuals/entities were responsible for about 67 per cent of the N5.4 trillion debt portfolio, “an amount which is over 50 per cent of the 2018 budget of Nigeria”.

He expressed concern that some of the debtors were alleged to be unwilling to pay. The motion was not debated but was passed when Deputy Speaker Idlris Wase called for a vote.

The committee is also to “evaluate the status of the debts and the practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the debts, including recommending a timeframe and other options, such as amendment of the AMCON Act”.

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