By Yinka Kolawole
THE Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, Hon. Jones Chukwudi Onyereri, has called on all institutions to support the effort of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to resolve the huge debt it carries, saying it will help the country get out of the current economic situation.
Onyereri was speaking at a three-day retreat for members of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency in Sokoto. He said the move was capable of rebounding the nation’s economy. The theme of the retreat is, “Capacity building for Members of the Committee on the Emerging issues in the financial sector and Banking Industry; taking into consideration the current development in the country as it relates to AMCON efforts in loan recovery.”
In his welcome address, Onyereri said the gathering was timely because of the enormous task that AMCON faces in its debt recovery efforts, especially in the face of the current state of the economy of Nigeria and what the Committee can do to help the Corporation and the nation. “The problems we are currently facing are not just monetary policy issues; they are equally fiscal policy issues. Therefore, there is need to be a convergence of both and the establishment of the Financial Services Commission that will create an avenue where both of them can work together to get us out of our present situation. This retreat is therefore timely given the enormous task that AMCON faces in its debt recovery efforts because of the current state of our economy. The current economic problem makes them (AMCON) harder but that notwithstanding, every debtor is obliged to pay his debt. AMCON therefore needs every assistance it can get in order to effectively fulfill its mandate,” he said.
The lawmaker also reminded the committee members that the retreat offers the members another opportunity to further interact with AMCON for a better understanding of the challenges they are faced with and how the National Assembly can be of help to the Corporation. He described the recent introduction of Asset Management Partners (AMPs) by the corporation as a bold step in the right direction in the debt recovery effort.
“At a time like this, debt recovery is a daunting and enormous task that requires you to think outside the box and come up with innovative ways of accomplishing the task within the ambits of the law.
The collaboration with AMPs, which is a consortium of professionals with specialist skills in banking, legal, valuation and accounting, represents a new dawn in AMCON’s debt recovery efforts aimed towards strengthening the capacity for more recoveries.”
Earlier in his remarks, Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AMCON, said he was worried with the growing rascality among obligors of AMCON, which makes it compelling for AMCON to perpetually depend on the judiciary for meaningful recoveries. He also said AMCON was dealing with obligors that have the financial capacity to engage the corporation from court to court in their plot to evade repayment and thereby sabotaging the effort of the federal government to resuscitate the economy. Kuru said there was need for all the relevant government agencies to rally round AMCON because the failure of AMCON would mean that the gains Nigeria recorded in 2010/2011 when AMCON was created would be lost.