A legal expert, Muyiwa Balogun, has called on the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and its Asset Management Partners (AMPs) to leverage the 2019 amended AMCON Act, which has been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari to recover the over N5 trillion outstanding AMCON debt before sunset.
Balogun who made a case in support of the 2019 Amendments while addressing external solicitors and AMPs of AMCON in Abuja painted a gloomy picture of what could befall the economy if the debts were not recovered in time
According to him, AMCON debt could easily rise to N6.6trillion by 2024 because it still owes the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) N4.5trillion and also battling with N1.7trillion of Assets Under Litigation (AUL).
Balogun also expressed satisfaction with what he called the “key pillars of the 2019 amendment,” which include tracing and tracking debtors hidden funds, naming and shaming recalcitrant debtors and making, contracting with government subject to good standing with AMCON, holding and selling eligible financial institutions to their loan sale obligations and giving teeth to claw back rights and checkmating debtors’ legal gymnastics and exploitation of legal technicalities to frustrate recovery. Other key pillars include fast tracking the hearing and determination of AMCON cases, enhancing AMCON’s rights over collateral securing Eligible Bank Assets (EBAs) from security interest to legal title, fine-tuning AMCON’s special powers as well as prescribing a sunset date.
AMCON Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Kuru, said even though obligors of AMCON had been working hard to stretch AMCON to the sunset period, the corporation, under his leadership was determined to achieve its mandate within the limited time available (and within the law). He stated that the amended act indeed provided additional powers to an already strong act of AMCON as some obligors who hitherto were hiding from their obligation were now coming out to see how their debt could be resolved. He, however, added that the amendment could only be effective to the extent that solicitors of AMCON understand the act and thereafter utilise the far-reaching powers that had been vested in the corporation to help AMCON and Nigerian recover the debt.