By Bimbo Ogunnaike
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has constituted a committee to recover over N5 trillion outstanding debts owed Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
It was learnt that Osinbajo formally inaugurated the committee to speedily resolve the challenges in recovering the debts.
According to a statement released on Tuesday to newsmen by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the inauguration ceremony was held on Monday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Osinbajo expressed confidence in the expertise of the team, chaired by the Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, to carry out the task ahead.
“One of the Terms of Reference is for the Committee to prepare a report, giving us a sense of what the timelines would be,” Osinbajo was quoted as saying the statement.
The vice president, who tasked members of the committee to turn the tide in what has been a rather difficult process where debtors have continued to default on their payment obligations, said that about 67 percent of the outstanding N5tn debt is said to be owed by just 20 individuals and entities.
Following the challenges encountered from the debt-recovery processes and the very limited results so far, he asked the committee to consider other options, including taking enforcement measures in actually recovering the debts.
“I congratulate you on the very onerous task that has been set, to render this service.I know that, given the kind of individuals here, you will definitely turn this whole narrative around. So, I wish you all very well,” said the Vice President.
In his remarks, Professor Owasanoye thanked Professor Osinbajo for the confidence reposed in the team, stating that members would do their best to recover most of the debts.
Members of the committee include heads and representatives of AMCON, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
Others are drawn from the ICPC, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), and the Federal Ministry of Justice.
The team, among other related tasks, is expected to review the status of debts owed to AMCON and deliberate on practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the outstanding debts.
It is also asked to prepare a report which will include a debt recovery work plan with specific timelines for completion.