The Asset Management Partners (AMPs) scheme of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) may have resolved to change their recovery strategy by making use of special powers as contained in the amended AMCON Act 2019, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, The Nation Online reports.
This is the feeler from a two-day training organised by Legal Academy led by Fatihu Abba as Director-General, in conjunction with AMCON, and themed: “The Utility of the Federal High Court Proceedings Rules and Complementary Strategies as Critical Tools in AMCON Debt Recovery by AMPs.”
The training was aimed at enlightening the AMPs on powers and provisions available to them as they partner AMCON to recover the huge debt of over N5 trillion from obligors.
The scheme, which AMCON introduced five years ago when the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AMCON Ahmed Kuru, has about 6,000 Eligible Bank Assets (EBAs) at various stages of resolution and about 3,000 matters at various courts.
Although the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) ongoing strike in the country may have delayed or stalled recovery efforts of the corporation and the AMPs, there are indications that AMCON’s recalcitrant debtors may be in serious trouble soon as the strike is called off and the courts resume sitting across the country.
The AMPs whose weekend were exposed to the powers of the Act and, therefore, empowered to make use of the various sections of the AMCON Act 2019 as amended, including Section 6(1) and Section 50A; Section 53(7); Section 53 (3) and (5); Section 34(a) to (c) and 39 (c); Section 49; Section 50 as well as Section 50 and 51 in their recovery efforts.
These sections, according to Muyiwa Balogun, one of the facilitators, deal with bankruptcy and winding up, interlocutory freezing orders, power to trace and track, custody possession of debtor’s company, vesting legal title, fast-tracking AMCON cases and pre-servatory relief/leave to appeal.
Balogun, a lawyer and a Partner at Olaniwun Ajayi LP, told the participants that these laws are there for AMCON and the AMPs to use in their recovery drive and sees no reason the AMPs and even AMCON are not making use of these provisions maximally in conjunction with the Federal High Court (FHC) Rules 2012 especially since the FHC is AMCON’s court of first instance.
AMCON is chasing to recover over N5trillion from obligors that have remained unwilling to repay their debt. Sadly, some of the debtors have also defiled the Nigeria security screening system to contest and win elective political positions in the country, which makes recovery more difficult.
At the training, both the AMCON boss and Eberechukwu Uneze, an Executive Director at AMCON expressed their willingness to continue to sustain and support the AMP scheme as it has become critical in the recovery drive of AMCON.
Kuru in his keynote address at the beginning of the training stated that since the inception of the AMP scheme, AMCON has made significant milestones even though the application of the concept and achievement have not mitigated some key challenges. He said it is for that reason that AMCON has and will continue to engage with different stakeholders especially the AMPs to ensure that they understand the AMCON Act as amended.