The Federal Government has set up an inter-agency committee for the purpose of recovering the N5 trillion debt owed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).  

The committee was inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo according to a statement released by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande. 

[READ MORE: AMCON sets to publish names of prominent Nigerians owing N5 trillion

The Details: Members of the committee include heads and representatives of agencies like Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit; the ICPC; Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation; the Federal Ministry of Justice; AMCON, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). 

The Vice President gave the committee targets and expected to receive reports of their progress. 

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“One of the terms of reference is for the committee to prepare a report, giving us a sense of what the timelines will be. About 67% of the outstanding N5 trillion debt is said to be owed by just 20 individuals/entities,” the statement said. 

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[ALSO READ: UPDATED: Donald Duke reaches agreement with AMCON over N537 million debt

The backstory: Over 350 Nigerians are said to be responsible for more than 80% of the N5 trillion debt profile of AMCON. The huge debts have lingered for several years. 

  • AMCON was set-up by the Federal Government in 2010 to acquire non-performing loans from banks in order to ensure the viability of the country’s financial sector.
  • FG, through the operation of the Central Bank of Nigeria, conceptualized the idea for the establishment of a body that would prevent financial crisis in the country.
  • In October 2018, the corporation published about 20 names of corporations and agencies who hugely contributed to the debt.
  • AMCON has also threatened to publish the full list and released a documentary on prominent Nigerians who are still owing the corporation. IH
  • Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari assented to a new Act that gives AMCON more power to enforce recovery of debt from prominent Nigerians and corporate organisations.

The bottom line: In the meantime, AMCON has reiterated that if the debt is not recovered, Nigeria’s financial sector may be heading towards another era of high non-performing loans which will affect the economy. 

 [READ FURTHER: AMCON boss wants courts to have debt recovery powers] 

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