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Senators consider scrapping AMCON over poor performance

Some senators yesterday sought the scrapping of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over its alleged poor performance over the years. The lawmakers spoke…

Some senators yesterday sought the scrapping of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over its alleged poor performance over the years.

The lawmakers spoke when AMCON Managing Director, Ahmed Kuru, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to present the agency’s 2023 financial records and to defend the 2024 budget estimates.

AMCON is saddled with the statutory responsibility amongst others, of recovering the non-performing loan hitherto disbursed by eligible financial institutions (banks) to their customers.

Kuru had told the panel that his administration had been able to recover about N648bn out of the agency’s total liabilities of N5trn as of September 20, 2023.

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But while some members of the committee expressed dissatisfaction with AMCON’s performance, others justified its existence despite the challenges confronting it.

Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger) said despite its huge liabilities, AMCON was not aggressive enough in its loan recovery drives.

He said, “Most of the loans were owed by individual companies which were never sanctioned, and at the end of the day, the same company would go back to buy back their assets that AMCON had hitherto taken over. Are we going to continue like this?

Also, Jimoh Ibrahim (APC, Ondo) decried the huge losses suffered by the asset recovery agency in the outgoing fiscal year.

Ibrahim said, “Your net operating profit and loss is N126bn. What is responsible for all these big losses? You are created to collect bank loans from them.

“Even if you’re now regulators to the debtors, why are you incurring losses? Your balance sheet is not looking so good. Again, why are you buying cash-collateralized loans?”

Attempts by the Chairman of the Senate Committee, Tokunbo Abiru (APC, Lagos) to defend the agency’s submissions did not go down well with some members, and the panel had to dissolve into a closed session.

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