The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has said that the directive of the anti-graft agency to bankers to declare their assets was misconstrued by some people he tagged “ignorant”.
He said that the directive was not to witch-hunt them but to save Nigeria from another serious crisis in the banking sector.
Bawa said that given the rot in the financial institutions, the commission and stakeholders need to sanitize the industry as “Nigeria cannot afford to go through another serious crisis in the banking sector”.
The EFCC boss disclosed this at the opening session of a capacity-building workshop organized by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, for the law enforcement agencies in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Bawa, who spoke through the Head of Lagos Zonal Office of EFCC, Ahmed Ghali, vowed that despite the stiff opposition to the policy, the anti-graft agency would not relent in its efforts in sanitizing the country’s financial institutions.
He said: “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.
“It is obvious that those who kicked or are still kicking against the directive are ignorant of the unmistakable details of the Bank Employees Declaration of Assets Act.
“The nation cannot afford to go through another serious crisis in the banking sector, and this explains the constant intervention by the EFCC.”
In his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NDIC, Mr. Bello Hassan, said the workshop would give the corporation the opportunity of sharing information and ideas with law enforcement agencies on the developments within the banking sector.
He added that the corporation had taken various measures to ensure that banks remain safe and sound despite the economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m happy to report that despite the effect of the pandemic, looking at the various financial indicators, the banking system is safe, sound, and resilient.
“For us as supervisors, what we advise the banks is to strengthen their internal control and also make sure that they do proper background checks when they are employing staff so as to ensure that they employ people that are fit and proper to work within the banking system,” Hassan said.