Estimated reading time: 8 minute(s)
A legal consultant and Senior Partner, Olaniwun Ajayi -LP, Mr Muyiwa Balogun, has claimed that the debt of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria may rise from the current value of N5tn to a N6.6tn by 2024.
The legal consultant noted that AMCON still owed the Central Bank of Nigeria N4.5tn, and was also battling with N1.7tn of Assets Under Litigation.
Balogun who made a case in support of the 2019 Amendments while addressing external solicitors and AMPs of AMCON in Abuja, painted a gloomy picture of what could further befall the already challenged Nigerian economy if the debts were not recovered in good time before the sunset period.
In a statement, he called on the AMCON and its Asset Management Partners, as well as the Inter-Agency Presidential Committee set up by the Federal Government to leverage the 2019 Amended AMCON Act, which had been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari and recover the over N5tn outstanding AMCON debt before sunset.
Given the fact that the debt would eventually become the burden of the Federal Government and by extension taxpayers, he argued that there was the need for speed in recovery just as all hands should be on deck to ensure that AMCON recovered the debt as mandated by the new amendments.
Balogun also expressed satisfaction with what he called the ‘key pillars of the 2019 amendment,’ which included tracing and tracking debtors hidden funds; naming and shaming recalcitrant debtors and making contracting with government subject to good standing with AMCON; holding selling eligible financial institutions to their loan sale obligations and giving teeth to claw back rights and checkmating debtors’ legal gymnastics and exploitation of legal technicalities to frustrate recovery.
Other key pillars included, fast tracking the hearing and determination of AMCON cases, enhancing AMCON’s rights over collateral securing Eligible Bank Assets from security interest to legal title; fine-tuning AMCON’s special powers as well as prescribing a sunset date.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, AMCON, Mr Ahmed Kuru, said even though obligors of AMCON had been working hard to stretch AMCON to the sunset period, the corporation, under his leadership was determined to achieve its mandate within the limited time available (and within the law).
He stated that the amended Act provided additional powers to an already strong Act of AMCON as some obligors who hitherto were hiding from their obligation were now coming out to see how their debt could be resolved.
He added that the amendment could only be effective to the extent that solicitors of AMCON understood the Act and thereafter utilise the far-reaching powers that had been vested in the corporation to help AMCON and Nigeria recover the debt.
Kuru added that even though the process of amending the Act was a challenging process, he said AMCON owed a debt of gratitude to the National Assembly and indeed President Muhammadu Buhari, for their courage and for putting the issue to rest and accomplishing this feat.