BY EMEKA EJERE
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has pleaded with the Senate to facilitate the recovery of N5 trillion yet to be recovered from debtors.
AMCON’s managing director, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, who led the management of the commission to appear before a technical session of the Senate Committee on Banking Insurance and other Financial Institutions in Abuja, stressed that some of the top debtors still hide under legal technicalities to tie AMCON in courts.
According to Kuru, a recovery of the huge sum will have a positive impact on the Nigerian economy which has been hit by the outbreak of the coronavirus.
He said, “We want the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to pile pressure on some of our obligors through the Senate Committee on Banking Insurance and Other Financial Institutions under the leadership of Senator Uba Sani as Chairman.
“Some of these obligors are very important members of the society and, as distinguished senators, I know they have all it takes to intervene and even compel AMCON obligors to meet their obligation.”
Mr. Kuru stated that the support received from the legislature has been tremendous with the aid of the National Assembly to addressing some of the challenges in the 2019 Amendment Act, but needs to be done to recover the debt.
He stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic had an adverse effect on its debtors and the Commission is working on ways to provide moratorium for some of his loyal debtors.
“COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has had a monumental impact on the globe and Nigeria in particular. Not only has it adversely affected the global economy, but the entire health system of the world has remained on its knees. AMCON, one of the institutions of government saddled with the responsibility of revitalising Nigeria’s economy is not immune to this monumental global disaster.
“The pandemic has impacted negatively on the various sectors of our economy, particularly the sectors, which AMCON is substantially exposed to, like Aviation, Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, and Retail sectors,” he stated.
The AMCON boss averred, “The continuous rise in inflation and Naira depreciation has also affected the purchasing power of the public thereby affecting obligor’s capacity to repay. Noting the untoward hardship caused by COVID-19 pandemic on most businesses and indeed the economy at large, the Corporation has begun consideration of granting moratorium to deserving obligors that had hitherto shown commitment/seriousness towards resolving their indebtedness. On our day-to-day operations, the Corporation has taken several measures to withstand and curtail the spread of this pandemic.”
He added that despite the challenges in recovering bad debt, the Commission has been able to recover N136.73billion in assets under management, with about N112.03bn worth of propriety assets as of August this year.
In his reaction, chairman of the committee, Senator Uba Sani, stressed that the tactics being employed by the debtors have been noted and the Committee will brainstorm on ways to address the challenges through policies and procedures, implementation strategies, and assets recovery in the heat of COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Sani said the engagement with the management of AMCON has provided a window of opportunity for the committee to also address e continued reduction of the high rate of Non-performing Loans (NPLs).
He added that the provision for a Loan/Credit Tribunal will assist AMCON in its loan recovery efforts and the Senate will strongly consider all recommendations, which if strengthened, will further enhance the efforts of AMCON.