Federal Government Planning To Bar AMCON Debtors From Government Contracts, Projects

R-L Vice President Yomi Osinbajo SAN, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), and Prof. Bolaji Owasonoye, SAN, Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and Chairman of the Intger-Agency Committee on the Recovery of AMCON debt during the meeting

By NewsBits

The federal government has said it will bar recalcitrant debtors owing Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) from doing business with ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) or benefitting from public contracts and projects going forward.

As a matter of fact, NewsBits gathered that the federal government would soon issue circulars to all MDAs to that effect. The decision is part of efforts to ensure the recovery of over N5trillion debts owed to AMCON by the debtors.

The decision to bar AMCON debtors from government contracts and projects was recommended by the inter-agency committee set up on the recovery of AMCON debts chaired by Prof Bolaji Owasonoye, SAN, who is also the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).

The committee submitted its recommendations to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday at the presidential villa according to a statement from the office of the Vice President late Wednesday. According to the statement, Vice President Osinbajo said the government would review the committee’s recommendations and act accordingly, observing that the issue of AMCON debtors doing further business with government agencies is a due diligence matter and there would have to be compliance with the requirements of the law.

The statement added that the committee also advised the federal government to ensure that the recalcitrant debtors do not benefit from government contracts and projects except with due diligence clearance. The committee urged strict implementation of relevant laws, including the AMCON Act on recalcitrant debtors.

The mandate of the committee, inaugurated in September 2019, includes the review of the status of debt owed to AMCON, collate information relating to respective debtors and their current status, deliberate on practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the outstanding debt, among others.

In a document submitted to the house of representatives in December, Ahmed Kuru, the Managing Director/CEO of AMCON, said about 7,912 debtors were owing the corporation a total of N5trillion.

In July 2022, Kuru said the commission has so far recovered N1.4 trillion, which comprises cash of N681 billion; property forfeiture of N279 billion, share forfeiture of N140 billion, and other strategic assets of N208 billion. He added over N116.9 billion was also recovered on Polaris EBAs from the period of acquisition within the period.

Speaking about the recovery processes, the committee noted that “between 2020 and 2021, AMCON made significant impacts with 10 per cent growth in the recovery performance across various asset classes.

“For instance, in 2020, the sum of N146 billion was recovered, while in 2021 the sum of N161 Billion was also recovered. The recovery outlook for 2022 is also looking positive, and the committee will not relent in its effort to engendering more recoveries,” the inter-agency committee Chairman, Prof. Owasonoye told Osinbajo.

He added that the “committee will continue its assignment with the institution of bankruptcy proceedings, tax infraction, inquiry as well as other strategies to ensure the obligors are brought under the recovery net of AMCON.”

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