Disturbed by the dwindling economic fortunes of the country, the Senate yesterday assured Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON of support to recover about N5.4trillion debts owed the failed banks that are now defunct by some rich individuals and groups.
Managing Director of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, disclosed this after an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Banks, Insurance and other Financial Institutions headed by Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim (APC Kwara South), in Abuja.
Kuru lamented that most of the debtors in the corporation were influential and rich Nigerians who fly in private jets and still live in big mansions while they could not pay their debts.
His words: “We have seen that most of the debtors in AMCON are big men that fly in private jets, live in big mansions and took the money and they are not paying back”.
The managing director noted with joy that the Senate was “really disturbed and is ready to do anything under the law to ensure that the N5.4trillion that is outstanding obligation of AMCON is repaid”.
Kuru also expressed happiness about the passion the upper legislative chamber has shown to the corporation, which he described as unprecedented.
This, he explained, was due to “the way we show to them in its raw form the challenges that we are having, particularly now that the economy is not doing very well.
“And where you have less than five percent, less than 300 people, accounting for more than 80 percent of the outstanding obligation of AMCON, that is very disturbing”, he said.
Kuru, however, informed that the position of President Muhammadu Buhari had been helping the corporation to do most of its current work with ease.
He stressed: “There are quite a lot of people that were shying away from AMCON before. Looking and seeing the body language of the President, they have realised that it is important for them to come and talk to AMCON.
“It is not criminal to borrow money, it is only inappropriate not to come and pay back because these funds ultimately if we don’t pay them, somehow they carry government guarantee.
“So, the current body language of the government and from what I have seen from the Senate, there is a harmony and consensus as to the fact that these funds must be paid back.”
On whether AMCON has a target for the debtors to repay the funds, Kuru said it is going to be a gradual process, because according to him, it won’t be easy to recover about N5.4trillion in a day or year.
“Our intention is not to kill any business; our intention is for the businesses to perform. If there is any help they want from us as AMCON, we help them, but the accounts must perform.
“So, it’s not an event, it’s a process. Because somebody owes us N120billion, you don’t expect to anybody bring that in one year. But come and talk to us so that we have an agreement and understanding. And then your business is running and you are paying obligation and everybody is happy”, he added.