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FG Sets Up Inter-agency C’ttee To Recover N5trn AMCON Debt

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After issuing several threats and warnings without compliance, the federal government has swung into action by inaugurating an inter-agency committee to recover over N5 trillion Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) debts.

The chunk of the debt, the government said, is owed by only 20 individuals and organisations.

The fresh move to recover the huge debt was announced in Abuja, yesterday, by the senior special assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande.

In a statement, he issued on the development, Akande said that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who inaugurated the committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, tasked the members to deploy their expertise in the assignment.

The committee is headed by the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye.

Osinbajo said that by constituting the committee, the government was adopting a new approach in recovering the AMCON debts.

He, therefore, urged the committee to turn the tide in what had been a difficult process where the debtors had continued to default in their payment obligations.

About 67 per cent of the N5 trillion debts, according to official sources, is owed by only 20 individuals/entities.

Following the challenges encountered in the debt-recovery processes and the limited success so far recorded, the committee is expected to consider other options, including taking enforcement measures to recover the money.

Osinbajo said: “One of the terms of reference is for the committee to prepare a report, giving us a sense of what the timelines would be. I congratulate you on the very onerous task that has been set, to render this service.

“I know that given the kind of individuals here, you will definitely turn this whole narrative around. So, I wish you all very well,” he said.

Members of the committee include heads and representatives of agencies such as AMCON, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

Others are heads of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), and the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The committee is expected to review the status of the debts owed to AMCON, deliberate on practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the money.

It is also expected to prepare a report, which will include a debt recovery work plan with specific timelines for completion.

Owasanoye thanked the vice president for the confidence reposed in the group, adding that the members would do their best to recover most of the debts.

 

…Sacks Obono-Obla-led Assets Recovery Panel

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has dissolved the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) which was headed by Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla.

The sack of the panel was contained in a statement issued by the special adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, who hinted that the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of Justice had been directed to take over all the outstanding investigations and other activities of the panel.

The panel was established in August 2017 by then Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to investigate cases of corruption, abuse of office and similar offences by public officers.

Adesina said that “President Buhari thanks all members of the dissolved panel for their services.

“The president looks forward to receiving the final Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) report on the ongoing investigations of the dissolved panel’s chairman,” he said.

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