By Sunday Ode
The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa has expressed reservations over the roles of bankers in fighting financial crimes in the country.
Bawa stated this after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
Fielding questions from newsmen after emerging from the President’s office, the new EFCC boss said the law requiring bankers to declare their assets will be vigorously enforced by the anti graft commission.
He assured Nigerians, however, that the commission would do everything possible to rid the country of financial crimes.
He said: “My assurance to Nigerians going forward is that we are going to do our best to ensure that this country is free of financial crimes.
“Let me just put this, we understood that the tail end of every financial crime, is for the criminal to have access to the funds that he or she has illegitimately gotten, and we’re worried about the roles of financial institutions. And we have discussed, but we hope that all financial institutions, particularly the bankers, will declare their assets as provided for by the law, in accordance with the Bank, Employees Declaration of Asset Act. And that the EFCC, come the 1st of June 2021, will be demanding for this asset declaration forms, filled by the bankers so that the line that we have drawn from the first of June is really complied with by bankers in particular.”
Bawa said President Buhari was happy with the ongoing reforms at the EFCC and the way the commssiom is currently discharging it’s mandate.
Asked for comments on cybercrimes in the country, he said: “Well, the issue of cybercrime is a huge problem for this country. In the last one month, we have arrested about 300 cyber criminals across the country and it was reported in the media. It is something that I am particularly worried about.
“As a young man I am appealing to all young Nigerians to desist from these cybercrime activities. It is bringing bad image to our country, it is giving bad name to our country, it is also chasing away a lot of foreign investment that we need. And I call on all parents, guardians, and, of course, elders in the community, in the society to be able to talk to these young people desist from these crimes.
“These are crimes that they commit online. And of course, there is nothing like patting your back to say go and sin no more. Our laws does not provide for that. It is a crime and as we say in EFCC, EFCC will get you anywhere, anytime.”