The Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, has lamented that rich Nigerians who are indebted to the agency are still living big and flying around the globe in their private jets.
He stated this while briefing the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions on efforts being made by AMCON to recover N5.4tn owed the corporation by corporate entities and individuals.
Kuru, who led a delegation of the corporation to the Senate, held an executive session with members of the committee.
He told journalists after the closed-door session that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate had expressed their preparedness to ensure that the debts owed the agency were paid.
According to him, the upper legislative chamber assured the AMCON management that it would use all legal means to recover the funds.
He lamented the extravagant lifestyle of the debtors despite owing huge sums of money.
Kuru said, “We have seen that most of the debtors in AMCON are big men that fly in private jets and live in big mansions. They have taken money and they are not paying back.
“The Senate is really disturbed and ready to do anything under the law to ensure that the N5.4tn that is outstanding obligation of AMCON is repaid to the corporation.”
He noted that after reading the body language of the President, some of the debtors were currently in talks with the corporation to repay the debts.
The AMCON boss stated, “The passion the Senate has shown to us is unprecedented because we showed to them in its raw form the challenge that we are having, particularly now that the economy is not doing very well.
“A situation where you have less than five per cent, or less than 300 people, accounting for more than 80 per cent of the outstanding obligation of AMCON. That is very disturbing”.
On the deadline to recover the debts, he said, “You don’t recover that in a day, neither do you recover that in a year. Our intention is not to kill any business; our intention is for the businesses to perform; if there is any help they want from us as AMCON, we help them but the accounts must perform.
“So, it’s not an event, it’s a process. Because somebody owes us N120bn, you don’t expect anybody to bring that in one year. We are encouraging them to come and talk to us so that we can have an agreement and understanding; then, their business is running and they are paying the obligation and everybody will be happy.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, said the meeting was convened to interact with stakeholders and find out their operational challenges.
AMCON was established in 2010 to stabilise and revive the Nigerian financial system by efficiently resolving the non-performing loan assets of companies in the economy.
The agency was used to bail out lenders and buy non-performing loans from industries whose interests included aviation, gasoline marketing and manufacturing.