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AMCON recovers N307bn from bank debtors in 2 years

By Kehinde Ibrahim, Lagos

THE Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has recovered N307 billion from recalcitrant debtors in two years.

In 2020, the sum of N146 billion was recovered from debtors while AMCON also recovered N161 billion in 2021.

The recovery outlook for 2022 is also looking positive.

These were the submissions of the committee on AMCON debt recovery in its report submitted to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday.

AMCON is an inter-agency committee set up for the recovery of debts owed financial institutions by debtors. The debts had been taken over from banks by AMCON.

The members of the committee led by its Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasonoye, SAN, who is also the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), urged strict implementation of relevant laws including the AMCON Act that ensures recalcitrant debtors do not benefit from government contracts and projects except with due diligence clearance from the agency.

“The committee has proposed an advisory to the Federal Government that going forward, all AMCON debtors must not be allowed to transact business or enjoy patronage with any government agency whatsoever, except clearance is obtained from AMCON on the debt status of such obligors.

“Between 2020 and 2021, AMCON made significant recoveries which is highlighted in the report. Within the period under review, AMCON witnessed 10% growth in the recovery performance across various asset classes.

“For instance, in the year, 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 in engendering more recoveries.

“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,” Owasonoye said.

The chairman further noted that the committee immediately commenced work upon inauguration, stressing that the advent of the COVID-19 global pandemic inevitably slowed down the pace of activities and enforcement measures.

While receiving the report, Osinbajo said the government would review it and act accordingly.

The Vice President noted that the issue of AMCON debtors doing further business with government agencies was a due diligence matter, saying there would have to be compliance with the requirements of the law.

The mandate of the committee, which was inaugurated in September 2019, include the review of 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.

Members of the Inter-Agency Committee consist of representatives from various government agencies including the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Justice, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, Central Bank of Nigeria, Department of State Services, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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