With liabilities of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) put at about N7 trillion, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Finance, Jones Onyereri, said on Monday the recovery of the debt could speed up the country’s economic recovery.
Out of the total portfolio, only about N1.4 trillion has been recovered, leaving a balance of about N5.6 trillion.
Mr. Onyereri was speaking in Sokoto at the opening of a retreat on capacity building for members of the committee on emerging issues in the financial and banking sectors of the economy.
He said the ability to recover all the debts could help the quick recovery of the economy from the current recession.
“There is need for all institutions wanting to see Nigeria get out of the current economic situation to support the effort by AMCON to resolve the huge debt it carries. This is capable of rebounding the economy,” he said.
Mr. Onyereri, however, expressed regrets that the current economic situation was a huge obstacle to the debt recovery efforts by AMCON.
He said the lawmakers could help by ensuring both the monetary and fiscal policy issues worked towards the same direction.
“There is need for a convergence of monetary and fiscal policies through the establishment of the Financial Services Commission to create an avenue for both to work together to get the country out of the current economic situation.
“The current economic situation has made AMCON’s job to recover debts difficult. We have an obligation as lawmakers to assist AMCON effectively fulfill its mandate. We need to interact with AMCON for a better understanding of its challenges and how the National Assembly can help it succeed,” he said.
The introduction of Asset Management Partners (AMPs), he noted, would help develop innovative ways to recover the debts within the ambit of the law.
AMPs are a consortium of professionals with specialist skills in banking, legal, valuation and accounting to strengthen AMCON’s capacity in debt recovery.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, had told the lawmakers he was worried with the growing rascality among AMCON obligors, compelling the corporation to depend on the judiciary for meaningful recoveries.
Mr. Kuru said AMCON was dealing with obligors with established financial capacity to engage it from court to court in their plot to evade repayment, thereby sabotaging government’s effort to resuscitate the economy.
He called on all relevant government agencies to support AMCON, saying failure to realise its mandate would mean the gains Nigeria recorded in 2010/2011 with the establishment of AMCON would be eroded.