A bill seeking to amend the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Act scaled the second reading at the Senate on Tuesday.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Michael Bamidele.
Bamidele, who led the debate on the bill, said the aim was to update few clauses in the act inhibiting operations of AMCON.
He said: “Therefore, the proposed amendment is designed to allow for more flexibility in the tenor of this key funding provision.”
The lawmaker said the amendment would strengthen AMCON in stabilising Nigeria’s banking sector and empower the agency in carrying out its functions of assets and debt recovery.
He said AMCON was a very important and strategic national institution that must be strengthened to effectively contribute to the stabilisation of the banking sector in Nigeria.
Bamidele said: “The banking sector is not immune from the difficulties we face.
“We must therefore review and amend the AMCON Act (2014) in order to reinvent and reposition AMCON to optimally perform its functions.
“In particular, this amendment will strengthen the hands of AMCON in assets recovery. AMCON must be reenergized to tackle the problem of toxic loans.
“Highly placed debtors have been employing different strategies and tactics to stall the repayment of loans and cases drag on in courts for many years.”
In his contributions, Senator Uba Sani said AMCON largely depended on resources from the resolution fund, adding that failure to amend the act would certainly affect its operation and force the government to bear the entire cost of debt management.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, thereafter referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions for further legislative work.
The committee is expected to present its report to the Senate in four weeks.
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