By Naomi Sharang
Sen. Uba Sani, Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions has decried that prominent Nigerians were “frustrating” the effort of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) at recovering the N4.4 trillion owed the corporation.
He stated this at a stakeholders symposium on “Consolidating the effectiveness of the asset recovery model adopted by AMCON” held on Friday at Zuma Rock Resort Niger State.
According to Sani, the road has not always been smooth for AMCON saying that for a long time, AMCON has been at the receiving end of well laid and orchestrated acts of economic sabotage.
“From the N4.4 trillion we are trying to recover, about 350 people in this country are responsible. This is about 83 per cent of the debt.
“This is very worrisome. This means that powerful Nigerians are the ones not willing to pay these loans. They have been employing different strategies and tactics to stall the repayment of loans running into trillions of Naira.
“A lot of highly placed Nigerians are not willing to support AMCON because most of those people are the ones that have taken this money from the banks and of course you know the government came in to set up Amcon to safe banks from getting down.
“But unfortunately, from what is happening, AMCON is finding it very difficult because those people are highly placed Nigerians, they try to frustrate AMCON’s effort through the judiciary and that is what we are looking.”
Sani assured the agency that his committee with other relevant committees of the senate would do everything within their power to assist AMCON in recovering the N4.4 trillion owed the company.
“It is tax payers money which the government used to bail out banks; of course to try to support the financial sector not to go down.
“Unfortunately, they are facing a lot frustration. We will do our best in the interest of our country and protecting the economy of this country and to support AMCON to succeed,” Sani said.
Managing Director AMCON, Alhaji Ahmed Lawan while commending President Muhammadu for passing AMCON 2021 Amendment Bill into law, said, this would further enhance the corporation’s recovery powers in many aspects.
He said that the corporation has so far recovered over N1.4 trillion, which comprised of; cash N665 billion, property forfeiture N278 billion, disposed assets N141 billion, share forfeiture N139 billion and other strategic assets N207 billion.
On other challenges faced by the corporation, Kuru said that the slow pace of court processes and sometimes conflicting orders by the courts, frustrated recovery process.
Lawan further said that the Judiciary must be encouraged to respect the provisions of the law that required them to fast-track cases before them and issue certificate of judgement on property.
In a related development, Managing Director Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Mr Bello Hassan said
government was keen to provide confidence in the financial system.
This, he said was by putting in place financial safety net to promote financial system stability and support economic growth and development.
“The NDIC has taken important steps at ensuring safety of the Nigerian banks and protection of depositors, in line with its mandate.
“The Corporation had commenced supervisory measures for digital banks, as well as the enhancement of existing consumer protection measures, especially as regards digital deposit, through enhanced collaboration with other safety net players.”(NAN)