Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has said it is high time the federal government used top debtors with the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) as deterrents to others.
Osinbajo, while receiving AMCON’s leadership led by Muiz Banire said individuals who are owing Nigeria greatly are enemies of the country.
”I think the time has come for us (Federal Government) to set some examples with some of these top debtors of AMCON, which I believe will set a good example and serve as a deterrent to others,” Osinbajo was quoted to have said.
“I congratulate AMCON for the work done so far having recovered over N1trillion and counting both in cash and in assets. The work you do as a recovery agency is not something that is particularly easy or encouraging because we all know how Nigeria works.
“But we are committed to working more closely with your administration to ensure that these monies are recovered from AMCON obligors because it will help our economy and provide the government with more money to continue to improve on the development of infrastructure across the nation.”
Osinbajo said the FG will hold an interagency meeting with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to map out strategies on how to battle the problem.
Banire called on the government to support AMCON if they indeed want the corporation to succeed. Banire said, in a statement that; “AMCON has been able to recover over N1 trillion since inception to 2018-year-end.
”Out of the recovered sum, cash accounted for 60% while non-cash assets such as properties and equity securities accounted for the balance of 40%. Over the same period, AMCON’s repayment of its indebtedness to the CBN was over N1 trillion.
“As at end of December, 2018, AMCON’s Assets Under Management (AUM) amounted to about N172.5 billion. It is noteworthy to state that out of the total real estate properties, assets available for sale is valued at N62 billion.
“Of this N62 billion about 83% comprises of bare land and other assets, which may need considerable improvements to convert into income generating assets.
“Your Excellency may recall that in September 2018 following the takeover of Skye Bank Plc. by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), AMCON was again invited to inject a total sum of NN898.45 billion as capital thereby leading to the emergence of another bridged bank named Polaris Bank Limited.
“The intervention in Skye Bank was caused majorly by internal abuse by the operators. As a result of that development, AMCON’s total debt obligation to the CBN, is currently in excess of N6 trillion.
“And it is evident that the Federal Government cannot afford to write off this debt in the short term, hence, our moral obligation to pursue obligors and recover the debts owed.
“But, despite the successes recorded, the corporation has been facing a number of challenges, which includes obligors resorting to all manner of tactics to avoid honouring their obligations.
“Whilst some are still enjoying government patronage, others are using the judiciary and adopting on legal technicalities to stall recovery, which is why we need a new strategy to enable AMCON meet its mandate before sunset.”
Ahmed Kuru, the AMCON MD, expressed gratitude to the vice-president for his support to AMCON all these years.
He added that he can’t wait for the interagency collaboration and advised that all hands should be on deck to help the promotion of AMCON.