The Senate yesterday lamented that efforts to recover the N4.4 trillion owed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria were being frustrated by 350 prominent Nigerians.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Uba Sani, stated this at a stakeholders’ symposium, titled, “Consolidating the Effectiveness of the Asset Recovery Model Adopted By AMCON”, held in Abuja.
Sani said, “The road has not always been smooth for AMCON. For a long time, AMCON has been at the receiving end of well laid and orchestrated acts of economic sabotage.
“From the N4.4 trillion we are trying to recover, about 350 people in this country are responsible. This is about 83 per cent of the debt.
“This is very worrisome. This means that powerful Nigerians are the ones not willing to pay these loans. They have been employing different strategies and tactics to stall the repayment of loans.
“A lot of highly placed Nigerians are not willing to support AMCON because most of those people are the ones that have taken this money from the banks and, of course, you know the government came in to set up AMCON to save banks from getting down.
“But unfortunately, from what is happening, AMCON is finding it very difficult because those people are highly placed Nigerians, they try to frustrate AMCON’s effort through the judiciary and that is what we are looking.”
Sani assured the agency that his committee, with other relevant committees of the Senate, would do everything within their power to assist AMCON in recovering the N4.4 trillion owed the company.
He said, “It is tax payers’ money which the government used to bail out banks; of course, to try to support the financial sector not to go down.
“Unfortunately, they are facing a lot frustration. We will do our best in the interest of our country and protecting the economy of this country and to support AMCON to succeed.”
The Managing Director of AMCON, Alhaji Ahmed Kuru commended President Muhammadu Buhari for passing the AMCON 2021 Amendment Bill into law.
He said the development would further enhance the corporation’s recovery powers in many aspects.
He added that the corporation had so far recovered over N1.4 trillion from debtors.
He said details of the recovery included cash of N665 billion; property forfeiture N278 billion; disposed assets N141 billion; share forfeiture N139 billion and other strategic assets worth N207 billion.
On other challenges faced by the corporation, Kuru said the slow pace of court processes and sometimes conflicting orders by the courts, frustrated recovery process.
He further said the Judiciary must be encouraged to respect the provisions of the law that required them to fast-track cases before them and issue certificate of judgement on property.
Also, the Managing Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Bello Hassan said government “is keen to provide confidence in the financial system.”
This, he said, “is by putting in place financial safety net” to promote financial system stability and support economic growth and development.
Hassan said: “The NDIC has taken important steps at ensuring safety of the Nigerian banks and protection of depositors, in line with its mandate.
“The Corporation had commenced supervisory measures for digital banks, as well as the enhancement of existing consumer protection measures, especially as regards digital deposit, through enhanced collaboration with other safety net players.”
credit- This Day