A former governorship aspirant in Lagos State, Chief Owolabi Salis, has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to closely monitor the activities of the nation’s banks for economic recovery.
Salis, who is a New York based legal practitioner and chartered accountant, has posited that the call had become expedient if the Renewed Hope Agenda of the current Tinubu administration is meant for success.
Chief Salis in a press release from his base in the United States (US) noted that Nigeria was losing billions of Dollars due to the unscrupulous activities of banks, especially from remittances from Nigerians in the Diaspora, lamenting that, “this is discouraging many Nigerians abroad from sending their monies to Nigeria, thereby negatively impacting the economy and programmes of government.”
His words: “There is no gainsaying that Nigeria has a lot of professionals cutting across diverse fields abroad. Ordinarily, this should be a major advantage for any country, as it is a major avenue to boost the economy.
“However, from my personal experience and my discussions with many Nigerians abroad, a lot of Nigerians are very reluctant to send money home because of the unscrupulous activities of some banks that impose excessive deductions on such monies. I have felt this at a personal level as five percent of a not-for-profit venture sent to a Nigerian bank was deducted.
“This left me shocked to the marrow as there is nowhere in any part of the civilized world that such is done.”
Continuing, the concerned Attorney said, “I am more that sure that I am not alone because so many Nigerians abroad are discouraged by such acts and would rather keep their monies in places they are pleased with.” Regretting that, “Unfortunately, this impacts negatively on the nation’s economy, denying it several millions of dollars which would have provided more foreign exchange and provide jobs for millions of people.”
He therefore commented on the anti-graft agencies thus: “I have argued several times since 2007 that the anti-graft agencies, EFCC and ICPC should operate at the grassroots of public corruption rather than chasing the proceeds of corruption. Merely chasing the proceeds of corruption is an attack on the economy because the corrupt government officials will move the money from the economy.
“Allowing corruption to happen in government and chasing the proceeds, is also corruption on its own. Since many government officials have been raided, the public has never been fully informed what was retrieved from the raids.”
Concluding, the international legal expert expressed the pleasure to hear from the new EFCC helmsman that government corruption will be pursued at the grassroots by setting up kiosks at the transportation level,” saying, “That will help a lot.”