Post Views: 296 Apparently irked by the seeming unwillingness of recalcitrant debtors to meet their obligations, the House of Representatives is worki...
Apparently irked by the seeming unwillingness of recalcitrant debtors to meet their obligations, the House of Representatives is working at strengthening the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), with its Amendment Bill ready for third reading in a fortnight.
Announcing this during a visit to the corporation’s Abuja headquarters on Tuesday evening, by members of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, its Chairman, Jones Chukwudi Onyereri, said the amendment will further empower AMCON to go after such chronic obligors.
At a forum for judicial officers some weeks ago organized by AMCON and the National Judicial Institute (NJI), for judges across the country, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen urged the corporation to embrace the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) window to recover the estimated N5.4tr debt owed it (READ MORE). A few weeks ago also, the corporation, in a name and shame approach, published the names of some debts owing it a total of N940bn, the biggest of who was Ifeanyi Ubah’s Capital Oil & Gas Limited, reportedly owing N150bn (READ MORE).
There are worries that most of the recalcitrant debtors could be taking advantage of the fact that AMCON’s original 10-year lifespan comes to an end in 2020, following which some keen observers want the Federal Government to wade into the matter. This, they say, is based on the fact that the bonds issued by AMCON at the point of purchasing the debt to help Nigerians clean their books in 2010, enjoys the sovereign guaranty of the Federal Government.
The committee members grilled the management of AMCON on the performance of its 2018 budget as presented by the corporation’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, Ahmed Lawan Kuru, Onyereri
Reaffirming commitment of the red chamber to support AMCON’s bid to recover its huge outstanding debt from a few recalcitrant obligors, Onyereri assured the corporation that the committee will “in the next one or two weeks submit the AMCON Amendment Bill to the House of Representatives for the third reading after which it would be moved to the Senate for final deliberation. The committee has worked tirelessly to ensure that when the Bill is passed, AMCON will be further empowered to deliver on their mandate.
AMCON, he added, remains an interventionist institution of the Federal Government, that needs the support of all government agencies to deliver on its mandate, particularly recovery of the over N5.4tr outstanding debt.
“We have thoroughly reviewed the 2018 budget performance of the corporation vis-à-vis what was approved for (it). The committee is satisfied with the performance, which would also help the committee make projections and provide guidance, as the case may be, against their 2019 budget.”
Welcoming the committee members earlier, Kuru described the oversight visit as a good feedback mechanism, which has over the years afforded AMCON management the opportunity to rub minds with the legislature. Such visits, he said, have in the past offered opportunities to draw from the wisdom of the lawmakers and how to efficiently and effectively pilot the corporation’s affairs.
He assured the legislators that the current AMCON management under his leadership will continually remain prudent and continue to persevere in the face of adversity posed by the difficult socio-political and economic realities in the country.
Photo Caption: Chairman, Reps Committee on Banking and Currency, Jones Chukwudi Onyereri (2nd right); Managing Director/Chief Executive of AMCON, Ahmed Lawan Kuru (3rd right); Vice Chairman, and the committee’s deputy chairman, Salisu Ningi (2nd from left); and other members pose for a picture after the visit to AMCON’s Abuja head officer in Abuja on Tuesday, November 5, 2018.