The senate has fingered prominent Nigerians behind the inability of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to recover about N4.3 trillion debt, saying such funds must be recovered.
The chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Uba Sani, who stated this, said some influential Nigerians were frustrating the efforts of AMCON to recover the N4.4 trillion owed the corporation.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ symposium tagged: “Consolidating the effectiveness of the asset recovery model adopted by AMCON,” in Niger State yesterday, Sani said there was a serious blockade in the effort to recover the money but added that the National Assembly was ready to support the organization to recover the debts.
“AMCON has been at the receiving end of well laid and orchestrated acts of economic sabotage,” Sani said, adding, “From the N4.4 trillion we are trying to recover, about 350 people in this country are responsible. This is about 83 per cent of the debt.
“This is very worrisome. This means that powerful Nigerians are the ones not willing to pay these loans. They have been employing different strategies and tactics to stall the repayment of loans running into trillions of naira.
“A lot of highly placed Nigerians are not willing to support AMCON because most of those people are the ones that have taken this money from the banks and of course you know the government came in to set up AMCON to safe banks from going down.
“But unfortunately, from what is happening, AMCON is finding it very difficult to recover the debt because those people are highly placed Nigerians, they always frustrate AMCON’s effort through the judiciary and that is what we are looking at.”
Sani, while assuring that his committee and other relevant committees of the senate would do everything within their powers to assist AMCON in recovering the N4.4 trillion, added; “It is tax payers’ money which the government used to bail out banks; of course to try to support the financial sector not to go down.
“Unfortunately, AMCON is facing a lot of frustration. We will do our best in the interest of our country, protect the economy of this country and support AMCON to succeed.”
AMCON managing director, Alhaji Ahmed Lawan, while commending President Muhammadu for passing the AMCON 2021 Amendment Bill into law, said it would further enhance the corporation’s recovery powers in many aspects.
He said the corporation had so far recovered over N1.4 trillion, which comprised of cash N665 billion, property forfeiture N278 billion, disposed assets N141 billion, share forfeiture N139 billion and other strategic assets N207 billion.