The Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), has requested statutory powers to freeze accounts linked to criminals in the country. The apex bank also called for the creation of a Credit Tribunal to facilitate credit recovery processes and enforcement of collateral rights in Nigeria.
These positions were advanced yesterday, in Abuja, at the Senate Committee’s public hearing on its Bill for an Act to Repeal the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2004 and re-enact the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 2020.
CBN’s Director Legal Services, Mr. Kofo Salam-Alada, in his presentation, told the lawmakers that the 2004 BOFIA provided for the CBN governor “to apply to the court for orders to freeze accounts, which are deemed to be linked with criminal and other civil infractions.”
He noted, however, that in the new bill, which has passed through the First and Second Readings, that provision was omitted, entirely.
“This omission,” he told the Senate, “erodes the powers of the CBN and creates a huge gap in the regulatory and resolution framework. Therefore, we propose that the extant provisions should be reinstated,” Mr. Salam-Alada said.
According to the CBN's Director of Legal Services, creating the Credit Tribunal would enhance help the CBN to enhance loan recovery in Nigeria’s banking industry.