Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has so far recovered over N65 billion from commercial banks as a result of wrongful deductions and charges from customers’ deposits and other transactions within the banking system.
The apex bank said the recovery which is an accumulation since 2012 has also been refunded to customers, who either to complained of wrongful charges and deductions by commercial banks.
Acting Director of Corporate Communications of CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor disclosed this in Asaba on the sidelines of a two-day fair with the theme: ‘Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development‘ for stakeholders in Delta State.
“We have recovered and refunded to customers over N65 billion out of complaints by people over acts of treatments on customers, wrong charges, wrong deductions and others since about 2012/2013 when we started,” he said.
Okorafor reiterated that hawking of various denominations of the naira is an offense punishable under the CBN Act of 2005, and specifically warned staff of the apex bank involved in the act to desist from it as they will be dismissed if caught.
He however blamed the police for the lack of prosecution of offenders who were caught hawking the naira during various raids in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Onitsha, Ibadan and other cities.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria is very committed to making sure that people do not hawk the naira, because it is an offense 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 regulators and not law enforcement agencies. 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,” he stated.
According to him, the objective of the fair was to have a face to face interaction with customers in order to understand their challenges of proffer solutions.
He urged customers to cultivate good credit culture so as to continue to secure facilities from commercial banks.