N5trn debt: FG sets up inter-agency task force

September 17, 2019
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The Federal Government has taken another determined step in its bid to recover over N5 Trillion outstanding debts owed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), with the formal inauguration of an inter-agency Committee to speedily resolve the challenges in recovering the debts.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, inaugurated the Committee on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, tasking its members to turn the tide in what has been a rather difficult process where debtors have continued to default in their payment obligations.

About 67 per cent of the outstanding N5tn debt is said to be owed by just 20 individuals/entities.

“One of the Terms of Reference is for the Committee to prepare a report, giving us a sense of what the timelines would be,” the VP noted.

Following the challenges encountered from the debt-recovery processes and the very limited results so far, the Committee is expected to consider other options, including taking enforcement measures in actually recovering the debts.

Charging the Committee, which would be chaired by the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, the VP expressed confidence in the expertise of the team to carry out the task ahead.

“I congratulate you on the very onerous task that has been set, to render this service. I know that, given the kind of individuals here, you will definitely turn this whole narrative around. So, I wish you all very well,” he said.

Members of the Committee include heads and representatives of agencies such as AMCON, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the ICPC, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), and the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The Committee, among other related tasks, is expected to review the status of debts owed to AMCON, deliberate on practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the outstanding debts, and prepare a report, which will include a debt recovery work plan with specific timelines for completion.

The Chairman of the inter-agency Committee thanked the Vice President for the confidence reposed in the group, stating that members would do their best to recover most of the debts.

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