FG sets up inter-agency task force on AMCON debt recovery

FG sets up inter-agency task force on AMCON debt recovery

- The federal government has inaugurated a committee to recover over N5trillion outstanding debts

- Prominent Nigerian politicians and businessmen are on the AMCON debt list as published by the corporation a few months ago

- They include Senators Ifeanyi Ubah and Buruji Kashamu, former minister Dr Barth Nnaji and businessmen; Wale Babalakin and Jimoh Ibrahim

The federal government has taken a bold step in its bid to recover over N5trillion outstanding debts owed to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

To underscore its seriousness, the government has inaugurated an inter-agency committee to speedily resolve the challenges in recovering the debts.

Prominent Nigerian politicians and businessmen are on the AMCON debt list as published by the corporation a few months ago.

They include Senators Ifeanyi Ubah and Buruji Kashamu, former minister Dr Barth Nnaji and businessmen; Wale Babalakin and Jimoh Ibrahim.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, inaugurated the committee on Monday, September 16 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, tasking its members to turn the tide in what has been a rather difficult process where debtors have continued to default on their payment obligations.

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Checks reveal that about 67 percent of the outstanding N5trillion debt is said to be owed by just 20 individuals/entities.

“One of the terms of reference is for the committee to prepare a report, giving us a sense of what the timelines would be,” the VP noted.

Following the challenges encountered from the debt-recovery processes and the very limited results so far, the committee is expected to consider other options, including taking enforcement measures in actually recovering the debts.

Charging the committee, which would be chaired by the chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, the VP expressed confidence in the expertise of the team to carry out the task ahead.

“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.

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Members of the committee include heads and representatives of agencies such as AMCON, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the ICPC, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), and the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The committee, among other related tasks, is expected to review the status of debts owed to AMCON, deliberate on practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the outstanding debts, and prepare a report, which will include a debt recovery work plan with specific timelines for completion.

The chairman of the inter-agency committee thanked Osinbajo for the confidence reposed in the group, stating that members would do their best to recover most of the debts.

Meanwhile, the federal government has challenged the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to develop DNA replication and encoding laboratories to help in the detection and prosecution of criminals in the country.

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The minister of state, science and technology, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, said this at the 2019 National Identity Day organised by NIMC on Monday, September 16.

He stressed the need for NIMC to look into the possibility of strategic partnerships with other government agencies to ensure new innovations are introduced to help in combating crime in the country.

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