The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has revealed that fraudulent activities are going on in financial institutions across the country, especially in the nation’s banking industry.
According to Bawa, the directive by the EFCC that bankers should declare their assets was not to witch-hunt them, but rather, to save Nigeria from a serious crisis in the banking sector.
Bawa said the EFCC and other stakeholders needed to sanitise the banking sector to rid it of rots and fraudulent activities. Adding that Nigeria could not afford another crisis in the banking sector.
Bawa who spoke through the Head of Lagos Zonal Office of EFCC, Ahmed Ghali at a capacity building workshop organised by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) for law enforcement agencies in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Monday, explained that the directive that bankers should declare their assets was aimed at clearing “the rots that permeate the nation’s banking sector.”
He said this was misconstrued by those who were “ignorant of the details of the Bank Employees Declaration of Assets Act.”
Bawa vowed that in spite the stiff opposition to the policy, the EFCC would ensure the country’s financial institutions were sanitised.
He called on bankers, financial institutions and security agencies to partner with the EFCC to rid the nation of corruption and other financial crimes.
“We are aware of the different shades of fraudulent activities going on in our financial institutions, particularly in the banking industry sector.
“In dealing with this situation, the EFCC, under my watch, has intensified its engagement with bank executives, more than ever before,” Bawa said.
He explained further that, “I recall that upon assumption of office, one of the major pronouncements I made was giving a directive to bankers to declare their assets before June 1, 2021, knowing the rots that permeate the nation’s banking sector.
“Unlike the claims in some quarters, it is not a witch-hunt; rather, it is part of measures to sanitise the country’s financial institutions.”
Speaking, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NDIC, Mr. Bello Hassan, said the workshop was to give the corporation the opportunity to share information with law enforcement agencies on the developments in the banking sector.
Hassan disclosed that the corporation had started paying compensations of insured amounts to customers of the 42 banks whose licences were withdrawn by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2020.