Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has stated that the agency is aware of the fraudulent activities across the nation, especially in the banking industry.
Bawa said the EFCC directive that bankers should declare their assets was not to witch-hunt them, but it was to save Nigeria from a serious crisis in the banking industry.
According to him, the EFCC and other stakeholders needed to sanitise the banking industry to rid it of rots and fraudulent activities, saying Nigeria could not afford another serious crisis in the banking sector.
Speaking at a capacity building workshop organised by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) for law enforcement agencies in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Bawa explained that the directive that bankers should declare assets was aimed at clearing “the rots that permeate the nation’s banking sector.”
This, he lamented, was misconstrued by those he said were “ignorant of the details of the Bank Employees Declaration of Assets Act.”
Represented by the Head of Lagos Zonal Office of EFCC, Ahmed Ghali, Bawa vowed that in spite the stiff opposition to the policy, the EFCC would ensure the country’s financial institutions were sanitised, calling 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.”
In his words, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NDIC, Mr. Bello Hassan, disclosed that the workshop was to give the corporation the opportunity to share information with law enforcement agencies on the developments in the banking industry.
Hassan added 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the corporation had started paying compensations of insured amounts to customers of the 42 banks whose licences were withdrawn by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2020.