Nigeria sets up task force to recover N5trillion debt

By Cyril Okonkwo , Abuja

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Nigeria' Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo

The Nigerian government has moved to recover over N5 Trillion outstanding debts owed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, with the formal inauguration of an inter-agency Committee, to speedily resolve the challenges in recovering the debts.

The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo inaugurated the Committee on Monday in Abuja, tasking members to turn the tide in what has been a rather difficult process where debtors have continued to default in their payment obligations.

About 67 per cent of the outstanding N5tn debt is said to be owed by just 20 individuals and entities.

”One of the terms of reference is for the Committee to prepare a report, giving us a sense of what the timelines would be,”Professor Osinbajo said.

He stated; ”Following the challenges encountered from the debt-recovery processes and the very limited results so far, the Committee is expected to consider other options, including taking enforcement measures in actually recovering the debts.” 

Professor Osinbajo urged the Committee, chaired by the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, to carry out the task ahead with diligence.

“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,” the vice president said.

Members of the Committee include; heads and representatives of agencies such as AMCON, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the ICPC, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), and the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The Committee, among other related tasks, is expected to review the status of debts owed to AMCON, deliberate on practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the outstanding debts, and prepare a report, which will include a debt recovery work plan with specific timelines for completion.

The Chairman of the inter-agency Committee thanked the Vice President for the confidence reposed in the group, stating that members would do their best to recover most of the debts.

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere