The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has slammed top politicians and high-profile Nigerians owing the company huge debt.
AMCON’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lawan Kuru, also said prominent Nigerians manipulate their ways to high positions in the country despite owing over N5trillion debt.
Kuru said this is in a statement on Wednesday.
The AMCON boss revealed that the corporation was working with other anti-graft agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) in the company to produce a documentary showing profiles of notorious and recalcitrant obligors of AMCON.
He said, “The idea was to document in a permanent format for generations yet unborn to know the so-called big men and women that are behind the over N5trillion debt burden, which AMCON is battling to recover.
"The worrisome aspect of the issue is that these obligors still manipulate their way to emerge as members of the National Assembly, ministers, chairmen and women of big organisations and pro-chancellors of universities.”
He further lamented that the country was structured and ruled in a way to allow the debtors to get away with the debt.
“How can you be a role model when you cannot honour a simple obligation?” Kuru said.
He added, “The way we are handling the issue in the country suggest that we are encouraging financial rascality. People have to be held accountable for their actions, which I believe would serve as a deterrent to others.
“All economies all over the world depend on the 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.
“We are talking about recovering over N5trillion 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. 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 per cent of the debt amounting to N4.6trillion."
Kuru noted that AMCON cannot deal decisively with these crop of obligors because the Act establishing the corporation did not empower it to arrest and prosecute people like some other agencies of the government.
“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.”
The AMCON boss urged members of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce to lead the campaign for the strengthening of corporate governance structures in both the financial services industry and other sectors of the economy as lack of it destroys institutions and organisations.