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Market Digest Nigeria

Finance

350 debtors owe Banks N3.6 trillion – AMCON

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has said that 350 debtors in Nigeria owe it N3.6 trillion.

The corporation’s Group Head of Enforcement, Joshua Ikioda, disclosed this at two-day training for Federal High Court legal assistants and court registrars in Abuja.

Mr Ikioda spoke on the theme: “Overview of AMCON from Cradle to Date and the Implication of the Bad Debt to the Nigerian Economy.”

If recovered, he noted that the N3.6 trillion would be enough to complete the revival of the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State, and capitalise over two million micro-businesses with N2 million each or 200,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with N20 million per SME.

The move will create jobs for Nigeria’s unemployed youth and help develop the economy.

He also revealed that the debtors represent 80 per cent of the N4.4 trillion of the total outstanding debt to the corporation, adding that all agencies of the government and other stakeholders must support AMCON’s debt recovery efforts.

“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,” he said.

“It is also bigger than the N3.12 trillion total foreign debt service and N3.7 trillion personnel cost for the year.

“It is also bigger than the N3.12 trillion for total foreign debt service for 2021.”

AMCON was created in 2010 to look into non-performing loans (NPLs) that crippled banks’ balance sheet positions. The corporation’s mandate was to recover the NPLs from the debtors and return the funds to government coffers to support the economy.

After over nine years into its operation, AMCON has recovered only N1 trillion through assets seizures, forfeiture or cash payments.

Meanwhile, the amended AMCON Act, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, gave AMCON powers to recover debts owed by obligors.

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