|The inter-agency committee on the recovery of debts owed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has urged the federal government to apply strict implementation of relevant laws that bar recalcitrant debtors from benefiting from government contracts and projects except with due diligence clearance from the corporation.
An inter-agency committee set up on the recovery of debts owed to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has submitted its report to the Federal Government and is urging for strict implementation of relevant laws including the AMCON Act, that ensures that the recalcitrant debtors cannot benefit from government contracts and projects except with due diligence clearance from AMCON.
The committee chaired Prof. Bolaji Owasonoye, SAN, who is also the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission made the plea while submitting its Interim Report to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa.
Osinbajo said the government would review it 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.
Specifically, 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,” according to Prof. Owasonoye, who presented the Interim Report to the Vice President.
He stated that “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.”
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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.”
The mandate of the Committee, which was inaugurated in September 2019 includes 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.
The Chairman further noted that the Committee immediately commenced work upon inauguration, but the advent of the COVID-19 global pandemic inevitably slowed down the pace of activities and enforcement measures.
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.
The meeting was attended by representatives of those agencies including the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, AMCON, Ahmed Kuru.