Ben Agande – Kaduna
The Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions has said that Assets Management Company of Nigeria which was set up by the government to buy back bad debts by banks has become a drain on the nation’s economy, adding something must be done to reverse the trend.
In a statement issued in Kaduna at the end of a retreat organised by AMCON, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Uba Sani said the committee will interface with the executive arm of government to address the AMCON challenge.
According to him, it is unacceptable that only about “350 well-heeled Nigerians account form about 70% of the non-performing loans which have remained a source of instability in our financial system”.
Senator Sani lamented that “after sinking the humongous Nigerian resources to the tune of N4 Trillion into taking over non-performing loan assets of banks, AMCON today only boasts of N800 billion assets”.
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He added that this “clearly unacceptable” noting that the committee has resolved to “confront the AMCON problem frontally, as the institution has become a huge drain on the national economy”.
The senator commended President Muhammadu Buhari for setting up a Task Force for the recovery of the over N5 Trillion indebted to AMCON and signing into law the AMCON (Amendment)Act 2019 which gave “sweeping powers to the corporation to monitor activities of the Nigerian debtors to ensure they do not unduly take advantage of the weakness in the country’s banking systems”.
He said the Committee will close ranks with AMCON in the compilation of “a comprehensive list of Nigeria’s high-profile debtors and proceed to publish without delay, their names, “except the persons in question commence immediate repayment of their loans”.
Senator Uba Sani said part of the steps to be taken by the Committee towards the successful recovery of the debt “is to engage with the Executive, Judiciary and civil society to fashion out a workable strategy to fast-track this recovery of Nigeria’s loan assets”.
The committee chairman said other attend the committee intends to take include “inviting the founding fathers of AMCON to rub minds with our committee on the rationale for committing such incredible amount of resources to debts incurred by Nigerians who have shown scant regard for majority of their countrymen and women and are not committed to growth and development of our economy”.