A Presidential Inter-Agency Committee on recovery of loans granted to commercial banks and corporate organisations by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has been set up by the Federal Government.
This was revealed in a statement made available to the media on Monday by Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, the spokesman for the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.
The inauguration of the committee, according to the Minister of Justice, was held on Thursday, May 19, in Abuja.
The committee is headed by the Minister.
Mr Malami in his speech, recounted that AMCON was established by the Act of the National Assembly to prevent the collapse of the Nigerian banking sector following the banking crisis, as a result of the Bank Consolidation Reforms in 2008.
The AGF pointed out that the above situation led to huge indebtedness for banks which culminated in the eventual purchase of the toxic loans by AMCON in order to stabilise the banking sector and by extension the Nigerian economy.
However, the debtors who cut across the aviation, banking and oil and gas sectors failed to repay the loans while some of them had resulted to court actions all in their bid to frustrate the loan recovery efforts of AMCON, surmising that in some cases, this was with active conspiracy of some financial institutions among others.
The Minister also explained that the situation led to the President’s approval and directive for the establishment of the Inter-Agency Committee to effectively pursue the loan recovery.
The Committee will ascertain the current status of AMCON recoveries in terms of achievement from inception to date, the total outstanding viz value of assets and also ascertain how government at various levels can be made to honour their debt obligations to the Corporation.
It is also to request and obtain information from any person or persons and/or entity or entities onshore and offshore, with the full support and weight of the Federal Government and her agencies towards the pursuit and realisation of the Committee’s mandate; as well as to assist in third party investigation outside AMCON office relating to obligors and identify the criminal nature of commercial transactions that would assist in pursuing criminal prosecutions.
In addition, the Committee will ascertain how government agencies can collaborate to support AMCON’s recovery effort in ensuring that payments due to Obligors are made to AMCON, consider the possibility of going into a Joint Venture Agreement with AMCON, the acquisition of forfeited assets from AMCON and the take-over of recalcitrant businesses/companies where feasible.
It is also expected to establish the working framework for the Committee such that AMCON could have direct contact with the agencies for assistance and report be made to the Committee on achievement and challenges as well as to design and come up with workable strategies to pursue aggressive recovery of the AMCON loans.
Members of the Committee include representatives drawn from the following different Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
It is chaired by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.
It also has as members, the Minister of State (Aviation), Senator Hadi Sirika, Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase and the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crime Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
Others are the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, Group Managing Director Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, Director General, Debt Management Office, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, Mr Farouk Ahmed and the Managing Director of AMCON, Mr Ahmed Kuru.