The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has submitted a list of its top 1,000 debtors to the National Assembly as part of its debt recovery strategy.
In a statement on Friday, the corporation said the list of the noncompliant obligors was submitted to the members of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency at a retreat of the committee in Lagos.
According to the statement, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, Mr Victor Nwokolo, while receiving the list, said the committee called for the list so that the National Assembly would know “those holding the country to ransom.”
He said this would enable the lawmakers to meet with relevant agencies of the Federal Government on how to further deal with the debtors to ensure the realisation of AMCON’s mandate in the overall interest of the Nigerian economy.
Also, Nwokolo commended AMCON’s commitment saying the corporation had been operating under a very difficult condition since its establishment, adding that this had been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.”
Furthermore, Nwokolo said the National Assembly was considering punitive measures in dealing with those whose names made the top 1,000 AMCON debtors’ list.
He said he was happy President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the amended AMCON Act into law, noting that it would help the corporation to recover the huge outstanding debt and ensure the achievement of the Federal Government’s aim of setting up AMCON in 2010.
While presenting the list, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the corporation, Mr Ahmed Kuru said to enable AMCON to succeed in its national call to duty, AMCON solicits the continued support of this distinguished committee.
“The judiciary must be encouraged to respect the provisions of the law that require them to fast-track cases before them, issue certificate of judgement on properties, which the corporation has no collateral and demand debtors to deposit judgment sum before proceeding to appeal any judgement.”
Kuru said the judiciary had been of tremendous support, adding that the corporation’s recovery drive “is heavily dependent on the judiciary in the country because AMCON has over 4,000 cases in court.”
He noted that the corporation was challenged with so many issues, including unperfected title documents of some properties from eligible financial institutions, which often prevent or elongate the completion of the sale of some of the assets.
Also, he said another issue hampering the corporation’s drive was the general market perception that AMCON assets are distressed; hence buyers request for deeply discounted prices, whereas the basis for the pricing of EBAs at the point of purchase was the valuation of the assets.
Kuru added that with the support of the National Assembly and the judiciary, recovering the total current exposure on all EBAs might be possible before the corporations’ sunset period.
Meanwhile, AMCON put the total current exposure on all eligible bank assets at N4.4tn, saying the market values of the assets had significantly reduced below the valuation at the point of purchase due to the socio-economic downturn, making it extremely difficult to consummate sales transactions.
By Victor Uzoho
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