Senate seeks scrapping of AMCON over N5 trillion liabilities

THE Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions have demanded the dissolution of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over its failure to recover the agency’s liabilities totalling N5 trillion.

The federal lawmakers made the demand when AMCON’s managing director, Ahmed Kuru, appeared before the committee on Wednesday, December 13, to defend the agency’s budget for the 2024 fiscal year.

At the budget defence in Abuja, Kuru told the lawmakers that AMCON recovered about N648 billion out of the agency’s total liabilities of N5 trillion as of September 20, 2023.

Some of the panel members thereafter expressed concern over the commission’s financial statements since the beginning of the year.

The lawmakers called for the dissolution of the asset-recovery organisation because its management was not proactive in recovering liabilities.

Some of the committee members who called for the commission’s dissolution are Sani Musa (APC Niger East), Jimoh Ibrahim (APC, Ondo South), Adamu Aliero (PDP, Kebbi Central) and Ifeanyi Ubah (APC, Anambra South).

In his remarks, the Senate Committee on Finance chairman, Sani Musa, expressed dissatisfaction with the commission’s performance.

“Most of the loans were owed by individual companies which were never sanctioned. At the end of the day, the same company would go back to buy back their assets that AMCON had hitherto taken over. Are we going to continue like this?

“It is not only about defending the budget; it is about seeing the effect of the appropriation. We need to know whether it is working. Or are we just creating a job for those we can’t protect?






     

     

    He queried why AMCON should not be scrapped since it appeared to have lost its statutory mandate.

    Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Tokunbo Abiru, further said AMCON must have a timeline to recover all the outstanding liabilities.

    “The only challenge that we have today is that we need to have a definite time that all the obligations hanging on the throat of AMCON must be redeemed,” he said.

    AMCON was set up by an Act of the National Assembly in July 2010 in the wake of the global financial meltdown of 2008-2010 and the systemic stress that swept through Nigeria’s financial system, with an initial intended lifespan of 10 years to buy the bad loans of the banks and avert bank failures. 

     

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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