The Federal Government has inaugurated a Presidential inter-agency committee on the recovery of loans of commercial banks and corporate organisations bought over by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
The spokesperson for the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Salihu Isah, disclosed the constitution of the committee in a statement in Abuja.
Members of the committee include the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase; and Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
The committee also has as members the Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris; Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu; and Director General, Debt Management Office, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo.
Others are the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, Mr. Farouk Ahmed; and Managing Director of AMCON, Mr. Ahmed Kuru.
The statement quoted the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, as saying that AMCON’s debtors cut across the aviation, banking and oil and gas sectors.
Malami recalled that AMCON was established by an Act of the National Assembly to prevent the collapse of the Nigerian banking sector, adding that the law was enacted following the banking sector reforms of 2008.
The AGF pointed out that the crisis, which informed the bank consolidation, led to huge indebtedness for the financial institutions.
This, he said, culminated in the eventual purchase of the toxic loans by AMCON in order to stabilise the banking sector, and by extension the Nigerian economy.
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-a-viz value of assets; and to ascertain how government at various levels can be made to honour their debt obligations to the corporation.
Isah added, “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 realisation 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) takeover 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.”