The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has submitted a list of its top 1,000 obligors to the National Assembly, in the latest effort by the organiSation to recover debts owed it.
The names were submitted to the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency at the just concluded retreat of the committee in Lagos.
This came moments after President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amendment) Act.
The AMCON Act provides for the extension of the tenor of the Resolution Cost Fund (RCF) and grants access to the Special Tribunal established by the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act 2020, which confers on AMCON the power to among others… “to take possession, manage, foreclose or sell, transfer, assign or otherwise deal with the asset or property used as security for Eligible Bank Assets (EBAs), and related matters.’’
House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency Chairman Victor Nwokolo, who received the list from AMCON Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Lawan Kuru, said the committee called for the names to enable the National Assembly know those holding the country to ransom, and devise ways of recovering the debts.
He said the harsh economic realities caused by COVID-19 meant that the recovery assignment AMCON is doing for the country has been further compounded, which is why the National Assembly is looking at ways of further supporting the recovery drive of AMCON.
Nwokolo who said the National Assembly was considering punitive measures in dealing with those whose names made the top 1,000 AMCON debtors’ list, however, said he was happy that the President has just signed the Amended AMCON Act into Law because it will help AMCON to recover the huge outstanding debt, which will ensure that the aim of the Federal Government of Nigeria in setting up AMCON in 2010 is not defeated.
Earlier, while presenting the list, the AMCON boss sought the continued support of the committee to enable his agency achieve the objective for which it was set up.
Besides, he said the judiciary should be encouraged to respect the provisions of the law that require it to fast-track cases before the courts, issue certificates of judgement on properties which the Corporation has no collateral and demand debtors to deposit judgment sum before proceeding to appeal any judgement.
Kuru also said AMCON currently has over 4,000 cases in court and is challenged with so many issues including unperfected title documents of some properties from Eligible Financial Institutions (EFIs), which often prevent or elongate the completion of the sale of some of the assets; A general market perception that AMCON assets are distressed, hence buyers request for deeply discounted prices, and the basis for pricing of EBA’s at the point of purchase was the valuation of the assets, just to mention a few.