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ICPC To Support AMCON Recovery Of 5 Trln Naira Debt

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Nigeria’s anti-graft agency Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) said it will support the effort of the country’s ‘bad bank’ to recover the over 5 trillion naira outstanding debt from recalcitrant debtors, chairman of the ICPC said on Wednesday.

KURU

Bolaji Owasanoye, made the declaration while receiving the delegations of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) led by its Board Chairman, Muiz Banire.
Owasanoye described the huge debt profile of AMCON as a sobering situation especially as the figure represents about 50 percent of Nigeria’s 2019 budget.
He noted that the situation has become an existential challenge for the country since the few people who are holding the country to ransom are still walking free and waxing strong in society.
The anti-graft agency chairman said the time has come for the ICPC and other relevant sister agencies to partner AMCON and support its debt recovery drive.
Considering the positive impact the recovery of the debt would have on the country’s economy, Owasanoye pledged that the ICPC under his leadership is ready to work with Ahmed Lawan Kuru management of AMCON and the Board members to recover as much of these debts as possible before sunset.
The ICPC Chairman promised that the commission would be interested in tracing the transactional history of the different loans especially the high profile ones with a view to establishing any irregularity, which could have contributed to its hard-core nature, with obligors refusing to pay.
“We have to be practical in our approach. Something needs to be done and very fast too given the approaching AMCON sunset because this is public funds we are talking about here.
“We need AMCON and ICPC to work closer and develop a strategy that would work. We need the public to know the opportunity cost of the huge debt to the Nigerian economy, we need to share information as sister agencies locally and internationally and treat this matter as a last lap race by setting up a joint task force to deal with this sobering issue,” he added.
The ICPC boss was of the opinion that obligors of AMCON are made to face the music, which he said would serve as a deterrent to others,
“If these matters are not properly challenged and well treated, we can predict based on history that these set of people or their clones would repeat this circle of borrowing and would tell you that in the past, some people borrowed and defaulted and nothing happened. So something has to be done.”
In his remark earlier, Banire who led the delegation that includes the corporation’s Chief Executive Officer Kuru highlighted some of the high-profile obligors of the Corporation including some 350 individuals that account for 80 percent of the entire debt obligation.
They also reiterated the fact AMCON would at this time in its lifespan need collaboration of the ICPC to go after these obligors especially since AMCON on its own does not have the powers to invite, arrest or prosecute obligors as the only option open to AMCON remains the court.

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