By Peter Egwuatu
The leader of Ibadan Zonal Shareholders Association, Chief Aderemi Oyepeju has advised the federal government to mandate all public officers and chief executives of banks to declare their assets for ease of accountability and to forestall further embezzlement of public funds.
The advice is coming after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has sacked five banksâ€™ managing directors of banks for the misuse of shareholdersâ€™ funds.
Oyepeju, who spoke to Vanguard following panic by investors to withdrawing their money from the affected five banks said, â€œ It is time for the banks chief executives to declare their assets while in office.
This will help check mate the use of depositors and shareholders and general public funds under their custody. If managing directors are made to declare their assets while in office they will not amass too much wealthÂ because government can question how they got them and prosecute them accordingly.Â But if they are not allow to declare their assets while in office they will steal and mismanage so mcuh money in their custody, that is why it imperative that declaration of assets is much important if the country must get rid of corruption arisen from embezzlement of funds.â€
Continuing, he said, â€œ The executive officers working in sensitive places like : CBN, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) etc should declare their assets before they are engaged if amassing of wealth by public offices is to be drastically reduced if not eliminated.
Another shareholders leader, Mr. Boniface Okezie has called on the federal government to probe the CBN bank examiners who satisfy the financial reports of these banks whose managing directors and executive directors were sacked.
According to him, â€œ Other institutions to join in the probe are : Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), SEC, and Audit firms of those five affected banks.â€
The stakeholders at a seminar on â€œMargin exposure of banksâ€ organized by Proshare Nigeria Limited, weekend, in Lagos unanimously agreed that the action taken the CBN in sacking five banks managing directors out of the 24 banks operating in the country was not in the best interest of the economy.
According to the stakeholders, â€œ Why should only 10 banks be examined out of the 24 banks? Why did the CBN not exercise patient until it completes the examination of all the 24 banks before coming out with the punitive measures.
This action of examining only 10 banks and sanctioning 5 is not the best it would lead to a lot of unhealthy practices, such as de-marketing among banks, unnecessary panic, massive withdrawal of funds, etc.â€
Meanwhile at a seminar organised by Proshare Nigeria Limitedparticipants indicted the CBN, NDIC, SEC, NSE, and auditors who examine and approve the financial results of these banks.
According to them, â€œ If the CBN, NDIC, SEC, NSE, and Auditors were able to examine the books of these banks they would have corrected this anomaly of reckless disbursement of margin loans that was not adequately collateralised.â€
To this extent, they called on the Federal Government to quicky investigate these agencies and impose disciplinary measures tantamount to what the CBN did for the five banks managing directors that was indicted and sacked.
The participants agreed with the CBN that the banks were reckless in the use of investors funds, saying all the banks, with few exempted, are culpable to this financial indiscipline.
According to them, â€œ The banks managing directors should not be blamed alone, CBN, NDIC, SEC and NSE who approves the result should share the blame. If they had been proactive they loan exposure would not have escalated up to this level.â€They further opined that most investors and depositors rely on the approved results from these agencies in making investment decisions.