AMCON, ICPC to collaborate on debt recovery drive
THE Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye disclosed plans by the commission to collaborate with Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) towards the recovery of N5trillion owed AMCON by obligors. He made the declaration when he received the Board and Management of AMCON led by the Corporation’s Board Chairman, Dr Muiz Banire.
Professor Owasanoye who received the AMCON delegation at ICPC headquarters in Abuja while describing the huge debt profile of AMCON as sobering situation especially as the figure represents about 50 per cent of Nigeria’s 2019 budget, further said the situation has become existential challenge for the country since the few people who are holding the country to ransom are still walking free and waxing strong in the society.
Considering the positive impact, the funds would have in the economy if recovered, Prof. Owasanoye declared that the time has come for the ICPC and other relevant sister agencies to partner AMCON and support the debt recovery drive.
He however pledged that the ICPC under his leadership is ready to work with Ahmed Lawan Kuru, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AMCON and the Board members to recover as much of these debts as possible before sunset.
“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 taskforce to deal with this sobering issue,” he added.
Earlier in their submissions, both Dr Banire who led the delegation and Kuru, AMCON managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, highlighted some of the high-profile obligors of the Corporation including some 350 individuals that account for 80 per cent 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