*AMCON Boss, Ahmed Lawan Kuru at one of the meetings with ICPC office
As a follow-up to earlier warning that the Federal Government would leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of debtors of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the government has begun a move to recover the over N5 trillion outstanding debts owed AMCON by recalcitrant obligors. The government has formally inaugurated an inter-agency committee to speedily resolve the challenges in recovering the debts. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN, who inaugurated the committee in Abuja on Monday at the Presidential Villa, charged its members to turn the tide in what has been a difficult process where debtors have continued to default in their payment obligations.
Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the vice president, explained that about 67 per cent of the outstanding N5trillion debt is being owed by just 20 individuals/entities. He said, “One of the terms of reference is for the committee to prepare a report, giving us a sense of what the timelines would be,” the VP said. Following the challenges encountered in the debt-recovery processes and the very limited results recorded so far, the committee is expected to consider other options, including taking enforcement measures in recovering the debts.
Osinbajo, charged the committee chaired by Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye who is also the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), to exhibit patriotism in the discharge of the mandate. He however expressed confidence in the expertise of the team to carry out the task ahead. The members of the committee include heads and representatives of agencies such as AMCON, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), ICPC, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), and the Federal Ministry of Justice.
The panel, among other related tasks, is expected to review the status of debts owed to AMCON, deliberate on practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the debts, and prepare a report, which will include a debt recovery work plan with specific timelines for completion. The chairman of the inter-agency committee thanked the vice president for the confidence reposed in the group, promising that members would do their best to recover most of the debts.