The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has disclosed that it would release a TV documentary on prominent Nigerians who owe the larger part of the N5 trillion debt, stating that the debtors are top public office holders in the country.

This was reportedly disclosed by the Corporation’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, who was a guest speaker at the July 2019 edition of the breakfast meeting, organized by the Nigerian–American Chamber of Commerce.

Further details: Speaking further, Kuru disclosed that the Corporation was partnering with other agencies such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC), amongst others, to produce a full-length television documentary on the recalcitrant debtors in a permanent format. 

The AMCON boss stated that the plan included making the documentary in a permanent format available for future generations yet unborn to get informed of the so-called public office holders which are inclusive of lawmakers, ministers, university pro-chancellors and prominent Nigerians.

“Sadly, these are the calibre of people we respect in Nigeria but these people are not role models. How can you be a role model when you cannot honour a simple obligation? That is why I have been consistent in the call for the return of the failed bank act.

“All economies all over the world depend on financial infrastructure for growth. If we allow or encourage the destruction of the basis of our financial structure, then the economy would not grow.

“These are men and women who go to banks, borrow monies with no intention to pay and in the process bring down banking institutions. It takes a lot for a bank to fail. AMCON just rescued Skye Bank with an investment of nearly N1trillion. In a decent society, those who are responsible are supposed to be held accountable.”

AMCON’s concerns: According to AMCON’s boss, a major source of concern is that only 350 Nigerians owe 80% of the N5 trillion debt.

  • Kuru further stated that the debt can not be written off because the money could be used for infrastructural development in the country. 
  • He also revealed how the Corporation rescued Sky Bank with an investment of N1 trillion as a result of high non-performing loans.

“We are talking about recovering over N5 trillion debt, which sits with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and we know that the Federal Government through the CBN cannot afford to write the debt off so we just have to recover it.

“With such a huge recovery, the country can do a lot in the areas of infrastructure development in energy, rail line, health, road construction, and a whole lot more. To enable you to understand the magnitude of what we are talking about, only 350 individuals account for 80% of the debt amounting to N4.6 trillion.

“At AMCON, we have no power to arrest these ‘powerful’ people as we depend largely on judicial processes to recover and we all know the slow pace of judicial processes. 

“Already, we have changed our strategy to more of enforcement, because the negotiations have failed. We now want to go a step further by working with the ICPC and the EFCC, which will enable us to go investigate the credit processes.”

In the meantime, AMCON has reiterated that if the debt is not recovered, Nigeria’s financial sector may be heading towards another era of high non-performing loans which is not good for the economy.