…Calls for review of financial system
By AMECHI OGBONNA
Against the backdrop of intense regulation of the nation’s banking sector, former Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Wole Adetunji, Tuesday advocated an urgent review of Nigeria’s financial system to enable it compete with its peers across the world.
Adetunji who spoke at a press briefing on the 2012 PEARL Award in Lagos, noted that the review has become imperative for healthy development of the financial system considering that the last of such exercise was done in 1978 under the military administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
‘’I believe the Nigerian banking industry is over regulated and that is not how it is done elsewhere. We need an independent body to regulate the banks while the Central Bank will concentrate on monetary policy, inflation targeting and exchange rate stability’’.
According to him, government can do this by setting up a high powered committee of experts to take a critical look at the financial system in order to come out with a code that will enhance the efficiency of the system as we have in Britain where there is a financial services regulatory authority.
Adetunji stated’’ Nigerian financial system needs an overhaul. It needs to be looked into because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not have the capacity and resources to handle effectively the responsibility it has assigned itself under the current dispensation. He wondered how Nigeria would still be operating the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of 1990, when Britain from whom she copied the law has reviewed and updated hers over the years.
He also lamented the high rate of mortality in the industrial sector due to the inability of the banks to feed manufacturers with credit. While listing criteria for choice of Pearl award winners for 2012, President of Pearl Award, Mr Tayo Orekoya stated that it was the only award in Nigeria and in this part of the world that identifies and rewards quoted companies based on verifiable facts and figures.
He described the award process as scientific as it is based on the audited report of companies utilizing credible parameters and tools of data evaluation that meet international standards. Orekoya said the uniqueness of the award earned it the endorsement of the capital market apex regulators as well as other stakeholders in the sector, stressing that the committee will continue to insist of high level of efficiency in its nomination and choice of winners for the various sectoral awards.