By Emma Ujah
THE Central Bank o Nigeria(CBN) has engaged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, on the establishment of a Special Tribunal for the Enforcement and Recovery of Eligible Loans.
The Special Tribunal is one of the provisions of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020.
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The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, told the CJN and other senior judicial officers at the Judges Workshop on Recent Reforms of the Banking and Financial Services Sector in Nigeria, in Abuja, yesterday, that the Tribunal was introduced in the Act to accelerate credit recovery processes and enforcement of collateral rights.
Emefiele who was represented by the Deputy Governor in charge of Financial System Stability (FSS), Mrs. Aisha Ahmad, stated: “The Special Tribunal, together with the Bank’s Policy on Global Standing Instruction will address the incidence of non-performing loans that has posed a great threat to the Nigerian financial system.
“Supervisory observance indicates that recalcitrant debtors have exploited the non-prioritization of credit recovery matters in the Nigerian judicial system to frustrate debt recovery efforts by financial institutions.
“The Bank is currently informally engaging the key stakeholders in the judiciary to operationalize this provision.”
The CBN boss said that BOFIA 2020 was expected to reinvigorate the Nigerian banking sector as it would engender a sound and stable financial system that would support sustainable growth and development of the Nigerian economy.
He added that the entire Committee of Governors (COG) of the CBN, recognized the fundamental role of the judiciary in upholding the CBN’s mandate and ensuring the orderly operation of the financial system.
In his address, the CJN re-iterated the age-long view that, “time is money,” and that the financial sector needed speedy resolution of commercial disputes.
According to him, in the normal judicial process, a matter could take between eight to twenty years to reach a final resolution, noting, “No investor will wait for eight to twenty years for a dispute involving his money to be resolved. The winner in the dispute would have had his money depreciated.”