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Senate passes bill to strengthen AMCON against influential debtors, toxic loans

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Senate worried, proposes summit on security in Nigeria

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) will soon be reformed to strengthen its debt recovery authourity after the Senate passed a bill to amend the act of the government agency.

The upper chamber pushed the bill through the second reading on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. The amended bill seeks for an extension of the resolution cost fund tenor, including other matters.

The blll was pushed to the third reading after Senator Opeyemi Bamidele led the argument for the amendment. Currently, AMCON has an exposure of N4.4 trillion, out of which 350 debtors account for N3.6 trillion.

Bamidele argued that to stabilise the financial industry and Nigeria’s economy, there’s a need to strengthen the debt recovery agency. He said highly placed debtors have been trying to stall recovery.

Read also: Bill seeking amendment of AMCON Act scales second reading in Senate

“AMCON is a very important and strategic national institution that must be strengthened to effectively contribute to the stabilisation of the banking sector in Nigeria.

“It proved its mettle in the banking crises of 2009. Our economy still grapples with huge challenges. 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 reenergised to tackle the problem of toxic loans.

“Highly placed debtors have been employing different strategies and tactics to stall the repayment of loans. Under the current Act, the continued smooth operation of AMCON is threatened by the tenor put on a key funding provision for AMCON.”

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