Finally, FG Sets EFCC, ICPC, NFIU, Task Force After N5tr AMCON Debtors

The unwavering efforts of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to recovers its over N5tr debt got a boost on Monday, with the Federal Government setting up a task force comprising representatives of government agencies for the purpose.
This was the outcome of a meeting Vice President Yemi Osinbajo held with the corporation’s board and management, as well as heads of selected government agencies, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday evening.
A statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President on Tuesday evening listed the agencies as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), as well as the Permanent Secretaries of the Justice and Transport Ministries.
Recall that AMCON, which is jointly owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Ministry of Finance Incorporated (on behalf of the Federal Government), purchase the toxic debts from Nigerian banks as part of efforts to enable them to concentrate on their primary job of financial intermediation in 2010. In exchange for the toxic loans purchased at a discount, the banks were issued bonds with sovereign guaranty, which makes them computable as part of the Federal Government’s total debt.
The special task force/committee, the statement continued, comprising of the Heads of AMCON, EFCC, NFIU, ICPC and the Ministry of Justice, will collaborate to develop and implement new strategies that will ensure that the determination of the FG to recover the money is speedily achieved.
Prof. Osinbajo challenged the small team to re-strategize and achieve the desired results, by looking “at the next steps that we need to take, especially the criminal aspect, forfeiture, and all of that.”
He urged them to look closely at the top 20 defaulters who together owe 67% of AMCON’s total debt closely, with a view to developing a result-oriented plan of action.
The Vice President had in May met with AMCON management to discuss ways of resolving the issue.
According to the AMCON Chairman, Muiz Banire, the corporation had been “trying its best in its attempt to recover this through the civil judicial process, but had encountered several challenges.”
Also present at the meeting was the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu; Chairman, ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye; Director/Chief Executive, NFIU, Modibbo Tukur; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari; and other senior government officials.
Chief executive of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru recently lamented that many of the recalcitrant debtors have found their ways to the corridors of power as Senators, Ministers and Pro-Chancellors of universities, among others (READ MORE).