The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has been named to head the Presidential Inter-Agency Committee on recovery of loans granted to commercial banks and corporate organizations by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)
A statement made by the minister’s spokesman, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, said that the inauguration of the committee was held on May 19, during said that AMCON was established by the Act of the National Assembly to prevent the collapse of the Nigerian banking sector following the banking crisis as a result of the Bank Consolidation Reforms in 2008.
Malami pointed out that the crises led to huge indebtedness for banks, which culminated in the eventual purchase of the toxic loans by AMCON in order to stabilize the banking sector and, by extension, the Nigerian economy.
However, the debtors who cut across the aviation, banking and oil and gas sectors, failed to repay the loans while some of them had resorted to court actions all in their bid to frustrate the loan recovery efforts of AMCON, saying that in some cases, this was with active conspiracy of some financial institutions among others.
Malami explained that this resulted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s gracious approval and directive for the establishment of an Inter-Agency Committee to effectively pursue the loan recovery.
Among the terms of reference of the Committee are to ascertain the current status of AMCON recoveries in terms of achievement from inception to date as well as the total outstanding viz value of assets, and to ascertain how government at various levels can be made to honour their debt obligations to the Corporation.
It is also to request and obtain information from any person or persons and/or entity or entities onshore and offshore with the full support and weight of the Federal Government and her agencies towards the pursuit and realization of the Committee’s mandate, as well as to assist in third party investigation outside AMCON office relating to obligors and identify the criminal nature of commercial transactions that would assist in pursuing criminal prosecutions.
In addition, the Committee will ascertain how government agencies can collaborate to support AMCON’s recovery effort in: (a) ensuring payments due to Obligors are made to AMCON; (b) the possibility of going into a Joint Venture Agreement with AMCON; (c) the acquisition of forfeited assets from AMCON; and (d) take-over of recalcitrant businesses/companies where feasible.
It is also expected to establish the working framework for the Committee such that AMCON could have direct contact with the agencies for assistance and report be made to the Committee on achievement and challenges as well as to design and come up with workable strategies to pursue aggressive recovery of the AMCON loans.
Members of the Committee include representatives drawn from the following Ministries, Departments and Agencies: Malami as Chairman; Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of State (Aviation); the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase; and Ibrahim Magu, the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crime Commission.
Others are the Alhaji Ahmed Idris, the Accountant General of the Federation; Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, the Group Managing Director Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, the Director General, Debt Management Office; Farouk Ahmed, the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency; and Alhaji Ahmed Kuru, the Managing Director, AMCON. [myad]