Sanity returns to Nigeria’s banking sector as EFCC moves on corrupt bank chiefs

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Sanity returns to Nigeria’s banking sector as EFCC moves on corrupt bank chiefs

Sanity returns to Nigeria’s banking sector as EFCC moves on corrupt bank chiefs
May 15
10:37 2016

• Bank chiefs and underlings scorn unethical practices, become more customer-friendly

There was a time when the Nigerian bank chief and his underlings treated their clients worse than the dust beneath their feet. They treated the average customer like the weed and shrubs that clutter the base of trees and entangle the roots of the fashionable saplings in their terrace and planned gardens. So caught up were they in their arrogance that they treated every customer that fell outside their favourite deep-pocket divide, like congealed faeces in a pen of random guinea-fowls. But all that is history now. Many bank chiefs and their subordinates have lost their hideous cloaks of hostility and arrogance to adopt a more friendly disposition to every customer irrespective of the latter’s status and financial might.

This radical change in the attitude of several bankers is attributable to the ongoing anti-corruption campaign being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari. Unlike the past when anything goes in the banking sector, there is greater sanity within Nigerian banks’ hallowed boardrooms and banking halls.

Bankers are more polite and eager to help every customer that walks into their banks because they do not know who might be on a clandestine mission to investigate their banking operations. Although many people will readily puncture this claim because they are yet to experience such customer-friendliness from their bankers, The Capital findings revealed that most bank chiefs and their underlings have become more courteous and amenable to the ethics of their profession because they are wary of being investigated and arrested by the EFCC.

Thus many bankers now avoid the shady practices that characterised their operations before President Buhari’s anti-corruption fight intensified.

Just recently, the EFCC unearthed shocking truths about the depth of the previous administration corruption and the complicity of the nation’s private sector – the banking sector in particular in the fledgling rot. Since the $115 slush fund scandal broke out in the country’s business and social space, senior bank chiefs in the country have been running from pillar to post in search of refuge from the long arms of the EFCC.

Since the $115 slush fund scandal broke out, most senior bank chiefs have been living in fear of arrest and prosecution. The fund which was allegedly used to bribe INEC officials en route the last presidential elections was traced to major players in the country’s oil and gas sector. Soon after the EFCC commenced investigations into the scandal, it arrested the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, and some officials for allegedly receiving the $115m slush money from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke. Since Okonkwo’s arrest, several bank chiefs and oil magnates in the country have been implicated in the monumental scam.

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