Mr Ralph Monye, Plateau Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), has urged the Federal Government to streamline banking regulations to checkmate corruption in Nigeria.Monye, who is a Jos-based lawyer, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Jos that the rate of capital flight involving the banks was “very alarming’’ and “detrimental’’ to the nation’s economy.The legal practitioner said if the Federal Government would aptly streamline the banking policies and regulations, it would strengthen the economy.
“The banking system has been bastardised, but if properly checked and streamlined, the Nigerian economy would be better for it. “This is because most shoddy financial transactions go through the banks unnoticed and such should not be allowed to continue if only we want re-jig and boost the economy of this country. “The government should also wield the big stick against any erring bank to serve as deterrent and help matters because some of them may be in the know of activities of some of the corrupt officials, yet they are keeping mute, ’’ Monye said.
He said “even the corruption that we have been crying over can be checkmated through the banks’’. The NBA Chairman lamented the situation whereby the corruption fight had not been brought to the front burner, saying “what we only have is paing lip service to the fight”. “The truth is that it is not about the inefficiency or efficiency of our anti-graft agencies, EFCC, ICPC and Code of Conduct Bureu, but the mentality of Nigerians who always look at the accused, where is he from, his religion or if a politician, what party does he belong to? “If that is how we think, how then can we successfully fight corruption in this country and make progress as a nation? ‘’ he queried.
He challenged the anti-corruption agencies to be more serious in looking into dealings of banks and in prosecuting corrupt public officers as well as blocking the unholy money laundering of public funds no matter who is involved.
According to him, if all the monies stolen jn the country were being sunk in to the industrial sector and other life transforming sectors, Nigeria and Nigerians would be better for it as it would bring about growth and development.
On Central Bank Governor’s recent statements that the country’s recession would be over by the third quarter, the lawyer said “that is wishful thinking of an expert, which we should believe in.’’ According to him, the CBN Governor as an expert knows best the state of the nation’s economy and “again we all really need to come out of this recession’’.