The already significant challenges that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is facing in trying to recover over N5trillion debt from obligors could be worsened by the imminent economic recession, analysts at CSL Research have said.
The analysts, who stated this in a note obtained by New Telegraph, yesterday, pointed out that since the last slump in oil prices in 2015, which eventually led to the economic recession witnessed in 2016, AMCON had grappled with servicing its estimated N5.4trillion of liabilities (which also includes bonds held by the Central Bank of Nigeria). According to the analysts, “AMCON had previously tried a number of methods to recover these loans, such as naming of debtors in the print media, appointing Asset Management Partners (a consortium with specialist skills required to ensure recovery and debt resolution) and even forming a task force comprising the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC). Despite these measures, the corporation has not seen significant improvement in debt recovery.
“The Federal Government has also supported the recovery efforts of the corporation with the use of legislation. In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amendment) Act, 2019, which among other things, empowers AMCON to: Place any bank account or any other account comparable to a bank account of a debtor of an eligible financial institution under surveillance; obtain access to any computer system component, electronic or mechanical device of any debtor with a view to establishing the location of funds belonging to the debtor (and) obtain information in respect of any private account together with all bank financial and commercial records of any debtor of any eligible financial institution.