The Management of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has disclosed that 350 businessmen and firms owe it N3.6 trillion.
AMCON Group Head of AMCON Enforcement, Joshua Ikioda made the disclosure at a two-day training for Federal High Court Legal Assistants and Court Registrars in Abuja at the weekend.
He spoke on the theme: “Overview of AMCON from Cradle to Date and the Implication of the Bad Debt to the Nigerian Economy.”
According to him, the 350 debtors represent 80 percent of the N4.4 trillion of the total outstanding debt to the corporation.
Ikioda noted that the amount (N3.6 trillion) is higher than the N3.12 trillion set aside this year by the Federal Government for debt servicing.
”This colossal outstanding debt of N4.4 trillion is bigger than the N3.85 trillion capital expenditure budget of the federal government of Nigeria in 2021. It is also bigger than the N3.12 trillion total foreign debt service and N3.7 trillion personnel cost for the year,” he said.
According to Ikioda, if the N3.6 trillion is recovered, it would be enough to complete the revival of the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State, capitalise over two million Micro-businesses with N2 million each or 200,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with N20 million per SME.
By so doing, he said over 10 million jobs could be created in the country, thereby taking unemployed youths off the streets.
In his keynote address, the Managing Director/CEO of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, who was represented by Dr Uneze said “the instrumentality of the courts” posed huge challenges to the corporation’s debt recovery efforts.
He said: “We are just a government recovery agency saddled with the responsibility of purchasing non-performing loans from banks and ensuring it is paid back using the instrumentality of the law.
“Unfortunately, it did not turn out to be that easy, through the instrumentality of the courts as we encountered a lot of challenges.
“The obligors get wiser by the day, deliberately causing orchestrated legal delays knowing that AMCON has a sunset date.”