The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has been urged to leverage the 2019 Amended AMCON Act to declare obligors who are holding public office bankrupt.
This was stated by legal consultant and Senior Partner of Olaniwun Ajayi firm, Muyiwa Balogun while reviewing the new AMCON Act 2019 at a one-day Seminar for Honourable Judges of the FHC in Abuja.
According to Balogun, the new 2019 Amended AMCON Act, which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier in the year provides AMCON with the power to recover the huge debt of over N5.4 trillion owed by obligors as a result of AMCON intervention in the banking sector.
How the funds should be recovered: In Balogun’s opinion, the only alternative to the recovery challenge was for the judges of the Federal High Court of Nigeria (FHC) to take the matter as a national assignment and explore all the powers of the new amendment.
Balogun also said the Federal High Court, which incidentally is AMCON’s court of first instance, should, as a matter of fact, support the corporation to explore the bankruptcy proceedings as provided by the amendment. This, he said would at least make it possible for the corporation to rubbish its debtors that are holding public office as persons of no integrity and so cannot hold such office.
Balogun’s words; “Once you are declared bankrupt, you cannot hold public office. Today, we have AMCON debtors making laws for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. AMCON with your support, needs to go to court and declare such individuals bankrupt. Given the sunset period of AMCON and the fact that the debt we are talking about is the commonwealth of Nigeria, it would not be out of place to take the full advantage of the bankruptcy power among other special powers in the new amendment.”
The concerned lawyer, who stated that the bankruptcy proceedings had been explored in other climes to address similar matters, argued that there was no reason why it should not work in Nigeria. Again, he said, “As a way of being proactive with the new amendment of the AMCON Act, let us test the bankruptcy proceedings because it will be effective. In other jurisdictions, this has proved to be a very potent tool and why not in Nigeria.”
Balogun further painted a gloomy picture of what could further befall the already challenged Nigerian economy, if the debts were not recovered in good time before the sunset period. He said if the Federal High Court Judges and indeed the judiciary do not support AMCON, the debt profile of the corporation can easily rise to a whopping N6.6 trillion by 2024 since AMCON still owes the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) N4.5 trillion just as it is still battling with N1.7 trillion of Assets Under Litigation (AUL).
The debt burden, he explained, would eventually become the burden of the Federal Government and by extension taxpayers, which is why he said there was a need for speed from the angle of the courts. He said it was immoral to allow the obligors go away without punishment, especially since both the Holy Bible and the Quran, which incidentally are the dominant religions in the country abhor people who borrow without the intention to pay back.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 30th of September 2020, 201 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 58,848 confirmed cases.
On the 30th of September 2020, 201 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,549 samples across the country.
To date, 58,848 cases have been confirmed, 50,358 cases have been discharged and 1,112 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 509,555 tests have been carried out as of September 30th, 2020 compared to 507,006 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 30th September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 58,848
- Total Number Discharged – 50,358
- Total Deaths – 1,112
- Total Tests Carried out – 509,555
According to the NCDC, the 201 new cases were reported from 13 states- Lagos (77), Rivers (37), Plateau (25), FCT (13), Kaduna (12), Ogun (12), Adamawa (8), Taraba (7), Imo (4), Kwara (2), Osun (2), Abia (1), Oyo (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,461, followed by Abuja (5,709), Plateau (3,450), Oyo (3,261), Edo (2,626), Rivers (2,432), Kaduna (2,419), Ogun (1,850), Delta (1,802), Kano (1,737), Ondo (1,631), Enugu (1,289), Ebonyi (1,040), Kwara (1,036), Abia (895), Gombe (883). Katsina (861), Osun (839), Borno (745), and Bauchi (699).
Imo State has recorded 572 cases, Benue (481), Nasarawa (450), Bayelsa (399), Jigawa (325), Ekiti (321), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (248), Anambra (237), Sokoto (162), Taraba (102), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara (78), Yobe (76), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Lagos cancels parade, opts for a low-key celebration of Independence Day
Due to the threat of the novel coronavirus, the Lagos state government has said it would observe a low-key celebration.
Lagos State government has opted for a low-key celebration of the 60th independence anniversary of the nation. This decision is due to the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still with us.
This statement was made by the Government of Lagos State today, via its official Twitter account.
The Lagos State Government has opted for a low key celebration of the 60th Independence Anniversary due to the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still with us.@jidesanwoolu @drobafemihamzat @gbenga_omo @gboyegaakosile @Mr_JAGss #LASG #ForAGreaterLagos pic.twitter.com/xDzMGWig7w
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) September 30, 2020
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has directed that the planned Independence Day Parade at the Agege Stadium by 9 a.m and other activities that involve the gathering of more than 50 people should be canceled.
He congratulates Lagosians on this auspicious occasion and strongly advises that they should celebrate quietly at home and pray for the country. He asked that they should also observe the COVID-19 protocols, including wearing of face masks to protect themselves and their loved ones.
The Governor urges Lagosians not to let down their guards on COVID-19 so as not to reverse the gains that the state has made in fighting the disease.
The governor congratulates Lagosians on the auspicious occasion and strongly advises that they should celebrate quietly at home and pray for the country. They should also observe the COVID-19 protocols, including wearing of face masks to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Lagos takes major step towards delivery of Fourth Mainland Bridge
The Governor revealed that the proposed bridge has been well integrated into the overall Lagos Master Plan.
The Lagos State Government has taken a major step towards the realization of the Fourth Mainland Bridge by the hosting of the first stakeholders meeting on Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the construction and launch of the Bridge’s logo.
Speaking at the meeting, the Lagos State Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, described the event as a significant one in the joint effort to change the narrative of the socio-economic development of the State, through the provision of critical infrastructure for sustainable prosperity.
The Governor revealed that the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge has been well integrated into the overall Lagos Master Plan in relation to transportation infrastructure, adding that the project allows for the first time, direct access from the large suburb of Ikorodu to the Island and the Lekki Free Trade Zone area.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the state government reactivated the construction of the bridge in October 2019 with the development of a 6 step process that will lead to the selection of a suitable concessionaire in line with global best practices. He noted that the present administration has left no stone unturned in ensuring that the strategic project becomes a reality.
The Governor emphasized that the stakeholder-engagement and consultation on Environmental and Social Impact Assessment was a precursor to the third step, which will involve issuing a Request for Proposal to the six consortia for the presentation of their respective financial proposals and methodologies for carrying out the project.
According to him, “The stakeholders’ meeting was organised to open the project to further inputs, comments, ideas and observations for incorporation into the ongoing social and environmental impact assessment. We hope the meeting would boost the acceptability and implementation ratings of the 4th Mainland Bridge in line with global best practices”.
In her welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye stated that the meeting was another bold step by the present administration towards ensuring the buy-in of Lagosians into the government project and another fulfilment of the promise of Mr Governor to adopt inclusiveness as a tool for governance.
While giving assurances of his unalloyed support towards the project, the Minister for Works and Housing and former Governor of the State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, represented by Dr Adetunji Adeoye, commended Lagos for the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge, adding that the construction will create a lot of activities and job opportunities for residents.
The Minister of State for the Environment, represented by Mrs Oluwatoyin Agbenla, described the Fourth Mainland Bridge as an endearing project to the citizens, which will be executed with the highest levels of environmental sustainability.
Nairametrics, last month, reported that the Lagos State Government has shortlisted 6 companies for the design, development, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Fourth Mainland Bridge. This followed the government’s issuance of a Request for Qualification (RFQ) in February this year. The 6 companies were said to have completed the technical and financial capacity requirements.
Lagos State said it will announce the selection of the next stage in due course, even as the RFQ will be given to the pre-qualified bidders.
The Fourth Mainland Bridge is a 37.4km freeway subdivided into three sections namely Island Section, Lagoon Section and Mainland Section. It will commence from Abraham Adesanya Roundabout in Lekki through Ajah and Langbasa areas, crossing the Ado Badore Road before arriving at the Lagoon shoreline.
The road crosses the Lagoon via a 4.5km Lagoon Bridge landing between Bayeku and Ijede villages, passing through Ikorodu-Epe expressway to further link Isawo Road and from there to Lagos/Ibadan Expressway.
A major step towards the realisation of the Fourth Mainland Bridge was, today, taken by the State Government with the first stakeholders meeting on Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the construction and launch of the Bridge’s logo.@jidesanwoolu#ForAGreaterLagos pic.twitter.com/E4XPivJOxd
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) September 29, 2020