Nigerian tax payers may bear burden of unrecovered N5tn debt, AMCON warns

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The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has said that, if at sunset, it is unable to recover its outstanding huge debt of over N5trillion, the debt burden will automatically become the debt of the Federal Government of Nigeria, adding that taxpayers’ money will be used to settle it in the long run.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, said this in Abuja at the first seminar for AMCON Receivers/Receiver Managers in General Enforcement.

Kuru said the implication of such failure would be that the Nigerian public would be made to pay for the recklessness of only a few individuals who had continued to take advantage of the loopholes in Nigeria’s laws to escape their moral and legal obligations to repay their debts.

However, he said that the recovery of the N5trillion toxic debt in the banking industry was possible if it unleashed its full powers against recalcitrant debtors.

The AMCON Chief Executive, who was represented at the event by Aliyu Kalgo, AMCON’s Group Head, Resolution Strategy, called on all AMCON partners, especially in the receivership business, not to allow a few individuals to escape with the commonwealth of all Nigerians.

However, he cautioned that whatever steps AMCON Receivers intended to take in the process must be in strict compliance and within the confines of the law.

Kuru said, “Our Receivers are very key to the success of AMCON. In order to streamline the functions of our Receivers and make them more effective and accountable, we have developed a new Receivership Framework, which will henceforth govern our relationship in terms of management of the assets and accountability.

“We have had course to disengage some of our Receiver Managers due to non-performance. We did that because assets are being abandoned without cause or plan to come out of the debt.”

“And at times, Receiver Managers are confused about their responsibilities. Therefore, I urge the participants to partake actively in this interactive session and share some of their experiences with one another so that we can all succeed in our collective efforts to recover the over N5trn from these recalcitrant debtor, which is a national assignment,” he added.

Speaking in the same vein, Senior Partner, Lexavier Partners, Francis Chuka Agbu, SAN; and Alheri B. Nyako, the Chief Executive Officer of Alheri Legal and Allied Services Consulting and a former Board Secretary/Director Legal at the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, took their turn to amplify the position of the AMCON CEO.

They said there were many possibilities AMCON could leverage to hasten recovery, given the enormous powers of receivership as well as winding up and bankruptcy proceedings in its Act, which they described as undisputable and potent tools for debt recovery.

For instance, Agbu who was also represented by Mohammad Sani Umar, described receivership as the most effective debt recovery tool within the current insolvency/debt recovery regime.