CBN warns Banks’ Chiefs over Money Laundering
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned chief executive officers of various commercial banks operating in the country to be careful not to violate the money laundering Act or else face the consequences
The warning is coming as the 2019 elections approach and political maneuvering intensify.
Banks that violate the Act in the guise of handling money for politicians, the apex bank warned, risk stiff penalty.
Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, said: “On the 2019 elections, we had a meeting with the banks. We advised them to be very careful of money laundry issues. If they are caught, they will be heavily penalized. But banks have their rules and criteria; I don’t think banks will do anything that will violate the rules. When they go wrong, we will deal with them.
“When you say banks lending to politicians, banks have their acceptance criteria and I don’t think that the banks will do that at this time. Everybody must have learnt their lessons and I believe that the right thing for everybody is to conduct their businesses carefully. But we as central bank, we are staying behind and watching to make sure that when things go wrong or about to go wrong we will deal with it appropriately.” On the controversial MTN repatriation issue, Emefiele pleaded with journalists to give all the parties some time to tidy up loose ends. He said, “We have held meetings with the MTN Group from South Africa and we are at the verge of announcing the resolution. I am very certain that we have reached the end of the road on this issue, and I will continue to say that the sanctity of the CCI issued by our banks remain sacrosanct. “No other company or persons are being investigated on the issue of CCI, this is an isolated matter and I will also say that we have foreign investors in Nigeria like Nigerian Breweries, Guinness and lots more who have been carrying out their businesses for over 50 years and they have conducted their businesses in a way that we instructed, and that is why there have not been issues,” he said.
According to him, the MTN issue “is being resolved and there is no need for anybody to be worried. This issue will be resolved equitably and amicably for the benefit of all.