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Bank Debtors Taking Advantage Of Judicial System To Frustrate Loan Recovery—Emefiele

Oluwasina Phillip

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefile has said that recalcitrant debtors have exploited the lack of prioritization of credit recovery matters by the Nigerian judicial system to frustrate debt recovery efforts of financial institutions in the country.

The Governor made this known in Abuja at a workshop for judicial officers on recent reforms of the banking financial services sectors in Nigeria.

Emefiele was represented by the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN Aisha Ahmad.

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria had said that out of a total of N4.158trn bad loans, it has so far recovered over N1.48trn.

AMCON still has 7,902 outstanding obligors with total outstanding loan of above N3.1trn. According to AMCON, 350 obligors alone account for over N2.053trn, which more than 70 per cent of total outstanding amount.

But Emefiele disclosed the plan of the CBN to engage stakeholders in the Judiciary to enforce The Special Tribunal for the Enforcement and Recovery of Eligible Loans.

The Special Tribunal which is a provision of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act was introduced to accelerate credit recovery processes and enforcement of collateral rights.

Speaking on the significance of the BOFIA 2020, the apex bank boss said that the act is expected to reinvigorate the Nigerian banking sector as it will engender a sound and stable financial system that will support sustainable growth and development of the Nigerian economy.

He said that the BOFIA 2020 also strengthens the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism Framework by mandating regulated entities to comply with AML/CFT and cybersecurity regulations.

Emefiele also pointed out that the BOFIA contains provisions to effectively manage unclaimed funds or abandoned property in dormant accounts maintained with banks, specialized banks and other financial institutions, as well as recovery tools for failing banks.

BOFIA 2020 also provides enhanced recovery and resolution tools for failing banks, specialized banks and other financial institutions in order to prevent systemic crisis, maintain financial system stability and sustain depositor confidence, he explained.

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