The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has raised alarm over serious implications and risk Nigeria faces under the current burden of over N4.6 trillion worth of unresolved loans in the nation’s banking sector.
It therefore said as part of efforts to rejig the economy, urgent and drastic measures must be taken to recover these outstanding debts that represent about 75 per cent of Nigeria’s total current budget.
This is as the Corporation has engaged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to go after bank officials culpable of facilitating the huge non-performing loans in AMCON’s portfolio.
Rising from a meeting with the EFCC’s management team, AMCON said in a statement that the arrangement is for the two organizations to consolidate on already existing gains and strides made in investigations, prosecution and compelling all obligors of AMCON to recover the whopping N4.6 billion from debtors
“The agencies are planning to revisit, re-investigate and duly prosecute such banks and the responsible officials,” the statement read, adding that, “In appropriate circumstances, these bankers would also be called upon to account for their roles in granting these questionable facilities.”
Speaking on the collaboration between both agencies, Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu acknowledged that the two have “very tough, overwhelming and challenging” assignments, adding that he was happy that AMCON, under Ahmed Kuru, is doing everything to confront debtors.
He said the EFCC has established an AMCON desk to handle AMCON-related cases quickly, assuring that the number of personnel on the desk would be reviewed upwards if the need arises.
Magu, who condemned the lack of transparency and impunity that trailed most of these transactions, noted that some of those obligors “who took loans without the intention of paying back” did not envisage that someday an agency like AMCON would come knocking on their doors seeking to recover the loans.”
The EFCC boss however urged Kuru to ensure justice in all cases being handled by the Corporation even as he reassured AMCON of EFCC’s support at all times to help sanitize the nation’s banking sector.
In his remarks, AMCON Managing Director/CEO, Ahmed Kuru lauded the EFCC for its support, particularly creating the special unit that has handled several recoveries.
He said since its establishment in year 2010, the Corporation has acquired debts from 22 banks worth N3.7 trillion and provided financial accommodation to 10 banks of about N2.2 trillion.
AMCON was established by the Act of the National Assembly in July 2010 with an intended 10 years’ duration.