The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, explained that its directive to bankers to declare their assets was not a “witch hunt” but aimed sanitising the banking sector, according to new monitored from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, made the clarification in Abeokuta at the opening of a two-day capacity building workshop for security agencies organised by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
The theme of the workshop is “Effective Investigation and Prosecution of Banking Malpractices in Nigeria”.
The EFCC had, in March, directed all bank executives to declare their assets latest by June 1. The anti-grant agency said that the directive was in line with the bank employees, ETC. (Declaration of Assets) Act 1986, enacted to ensure adequate measures in sanitising the nation’s financial system.
Represented by Mohammed Ghali, EFCC Lagos Zonal Commander, Bawa said that the clarification became necessary because many people had misconstrued the measure for a “witch hunt”.
Bawa declared that in carrying out the responsibility of ridding Nigeria of corruption, as mandated by the EFCC Establishment Act, he had realised that “there is a slew of corrupt practices going on in the banking sector”.
He, however, reiterated the agency’s commitment to ridding the banking sector of the malpractices.
He explained that the situation had prompted the EFCC, under his watch, to intensify engagement with bank executives, more than ever before.
He assured that the anti-graft agency, through its Bank Fraud Section, would continue to prevent fraudulent practices in the banking sector and prosecute perpetrators of such fraud.
Bawa described the EFCC and the NDIC as co-runners on the anti-corruption tracks, racing to improve the image of Nigeria in the international community.
He assured that the activities of the two agencies would create an economically enabling environment that would boost foreign investors’ confidence in the country.