The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has said it would soon test the option of “naming and shaming” debtors, especially Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).
AMCON’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Kuru made this known while presenting the corporation’s 2017 audited accounts. According to him, the ‘name and shame’ policy is part of the corporation’s new drive in dealing decisively with the top obligors. Kuru said that 350 debtors of AMCON account for almost 80 per cent of the over N5 trillion huge debt burden, adding that these must be recovered because AMCON borrowed to purchase the Eligible Bank Assets (EBAs) during the first and second phases of the take-over of the bad loans from the banks.
Noting that AMCON has about five more years to wind down operations, he warned that PEPs and business heavyweights who think they are untouchable would not be spared in the enforcement process that are being fine-tuned by the recovery agency. He further informed that the corporation was already restructuring its operational processes to enable it go after unrepentant debtors in an unprecedented manner.
Explaining the challenges of the agency’s task, he said: “I think people need to pity us because we are at that stage in the life of the Corporation where we are dealing with the hardcore, because the low hanging fruits have been dealt with earlier in the life of AMCON. I want you to understand that we are sitting on a substantial amount of assets, which we must one way or the other resolve on or before our sunset, which is around 2023/24.’’
“As we close in on these individuals and entities that owe us, I want you to know that they will call us names, blackmail us, threaten us, malign and harass us. However, I can tell you that as hard as they will try, we will not be deterred in going about our normal duties as mandated by law.”
Kuru said it was important for the media to have a full understanding of the magnitude of the challenges faced by AMCON and help it to recover public funds held up by individuals who heavily borrowed money from banks with no intention to repay, which contributed in no small way in destroying the economy. He reiterated that AMCON played strategic role in rebuilding the nation’s economy with the recapitalisation of the banks, which prevented systemic collapse of not only the banks, but also the unimaginable costs on the economy.