Theophilus Onojeghen, Warri
The Central Bank of Nigeria says it has recovered over N65bn from commercial banks in the country for wrongful deductions and charges from customers’ deposits and other transactions in the last six years.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, stated this on Wednesday on the sidelines of a two-day fair with the theme: ‘Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development’ for stakeholders in Asaba, Delta State.
Okorafor explained that the recovery was made between 2012 and now, stressing that the funds had since been returned to customers, who hitherto complained of wrongful charges and deductions by commercial banks.
“We have recovered and returned to customers over N65bn out of complaints by people over acts of treatment on customers, wrong charges, wrong deductions and others since 2012/2013 when we started,” he said.
He stated that the purpose of the fair was to have a face to face interaction with customers and critical stakeholders in order to understand their challenges and proffer solutions.
Okorafor added that hawking of various denominations of the naira was an offence punishable under the CBN Act of 2005, and warned that the apex bank would not tolerate the breach of its Act, and called on those involved, particularly its staff members, to desist from the practice as they would be dismissed if caught.
He, however, blamed the police for the lack of prosecution of offenders who were caught hawking naira during various raids in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Onitsha, Ibadan and other cities.
He stated, “The CBN is very committed to making sure that people do not hawk the naira, because it is an offence punishable under the CBN Act of 2005. We have made it clear to any of our staff involved in the practice that they will be dismissed.
“We have also made it clear to banks that any of them caught doing it will be severely punished. We are a regulator and not a law enforcement agency. It is the duty of the Nigerian Police to enforce the law. We have collaborated with them at different times.
“We have had raids in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Onitsha, Ibadan and so on, and we will continue to do that, and people have been caught and money confiscated. We are waiting on the police to begin to prosecute those people.”
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